A couple of my current clients are in the midst of athletic recruiting, and are visiting colleges. I always recommend that they be prepared to ask some pointed questions of coaches, admissions officers, and other students when they make the visit.
The list of questions below comes from a book on sports recruiting that I particularly like, and that I recommend to all my clients who hope to play college sports. It’s called The Sports Scholarships Insider’s Guide, by Dion Wheeler, published by Sourcebooks, Inc.
The questions are divided in to four categories: Athletic, Academic, Legal, and Financial.
- How much time is spent in practice?
- When does the season begin? End?
- Are there additional training periods?
- What are practice hours?
- What are my off-season responsibilities?
- Can I compete in other sports?
- What is the team’s past record?
- What conference and division does the team compete in?
- How often does the team travel?
- Can she/she describe the athletic facilities? (If not, wait and observe during the visit.)
- What is the coach’s philosophy?
- What are my chances of regularly competing and when?&
- What position/event/class am I being considered for?
- How many freshmen at your position are being recruited?
- What position am I on the recruiting depth chart?
- Will I be redshirted?
- What are the housing arrangements for athletes?
- Have you seen me play or compete?
- Do my skills fit into your program?
- Are my career goals compatible with the college’s majors and programs?
- Am I allowed to make up classes and tests missed because of the competition schedule?
- Am I qualified to meet the admission standards?
- Are tutors provided for athletes?
- What percent of freshmen graduate? Graduate with their class?
- What is the college’s policy toward student athletes during summer session?
- Will I have an academic advisor?
- Will the coaches provide any guidance if I have academic problems?
- How many hours of studying per day is average for my major?
- Do professors teach?
- Do I receive a written contract/tender?
- If I get injured or become sick,will I lose my financial aid?
- What medical expenses does the college cover?
- How many credits are required for me to be eligible to compete? How many credits are required for me to keep my financial aid?
- What is the status of the college’s relationship with the NCAA?
- Is there academic or need-based financial aid available?
- What is the amount of financial aid being offered?
- How many years is it being offered?
- What criteria is used to determine renewal of aid?
- What portion of the total (yearly/semester) cost is covered by the financial aid I receive?
- What expenses does the financial aid cover (tuition, room, board, books, special assessments, supplies, etc.)?
- What sources and types of financial aid will be include in the total financial aid package (state, Pell, USEOG, institutional, special awards, grants, loans, etc.)?
- Am I eligible for additional financial aid now? In future years?
- If I need five years to graduate, will I continue to receive the same amount of financial aid as the other four years?
Never go into the process of athletic recruiting underprepared. The whole process is a snake pit, and students and parents need to fully understand the process so that they can “play the game” to their advantage. That is why so many parents are turning to consultants to help them navigate these roiling waters.
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