STUDENTS & PARENTS
Now is the time to start thinking about college. A college education is an investment in your future. What you put into it will pay you back for a lifetime. College helps build the groundwork for better job opportunities, greater earnings potential and a comfortable life. Not only that, it can be a lot of fun if you choose the right school for you. As an athlete, you may have fewer choices than your classmates. You must realize that as an athlete, the schools choose you, you may not get to select the school. However, the goal is to have as many schools know who you are so you can have as many options as possible.
NCAA Resources are at your fingertips! Ignorance of NCAA rules does not excuse your making mistakes. So take the time, read over the NCAA information during your recruiting process and register with the NCAA eligibility center summer before your senior year.
NAIA Resources Discover the athletic and academic opportunities at an NAIA school. Every student interested in playing sports at NAIA colleges for the first time needs to register and have a determination if they are eligible to play. Register summer before your senior year.
Are you wondering about the SAT, NCAA core course changes and how it will affect your eligibility.
- Currently the NCAA is not making any changes to the rules for eligibility. The NCAA is currently counting only the verbal and math sections of the SAT.
- Beginning with the class of 2013 you will need 16 core courses for Division 2, so please check the NCAA eligibility site and the 48H form to see if your course work is on track. Be sure to check with your college counselor, he or she is your best resource! see NCAA ELIGIBILITY STANDARDS
What should athletes be concerned with?
- Are colleges going to find me or do I need to go out and find colleges?
This is very important! Letters with questionnaires from colleges do not mean you are being recruited. Thousands of these go out weekly! Personal letters and personal phone calls do. If you are not receiving the personal touch, you need to be proactive or the coach will never know about you. You should return all questionnaires to colleges, whether you have interest in that school or not. Never rule out a college until you have signed your NLI or accepted a walk on spot
- How do I get exposure?
You must be proactive in the recruiting process. Video must be good, stats must be accurate and you must get out there and find the coaches. Our online profiles are a good start. We have coaches calling all the time for athletes. You may post your profile online very easily through PIAA. Go to the Getting Recruited page for more detailed information on the recruiting process. You MUST be pro-active. Before your junior year starts, send 50 emails to college coaches around the country, tell them about yourself! Give them your contact information, your academics, your stats...you have to SELL YOURSELF!
- Do I meet the minimum NCAA or NAIA eligibility standards?
Check out the NCAA links on the recruiting page, pull up eligibility rules and regulations
- Can I afford college without that big time scholarship offer?
Most athletic scholarships are not ‘full rides'. Only Division 1 football and basketball require a full ride or nothing at all. All other sports offer partial scholarship or full scholarships at the schools' discretion. Some schools offer no scholarships at all for athletics, including some NCAA Division 1 and all NCAA Division 3. Financial aid is something you must consider, as well as outside scholarships. Please look in our "Paying for College" section
- How and where do I find additional scholarship money?
First step is always keep your grades up so you may qualify for academic scholarships and grants to supplement your athletic scholarship
Second step, check the link for FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aide. Not everyone will qualify but everyone must fill it out in after January 1 of their senior year in high school. Next, look for outside scholarships. Speak to your guidance counselor and check out the valuable links on this site. It is very time consuming but your time and energy may be worth it. Dig deep into the schools website or printed materials for scholarships and grants that are not automatically considered when applying to school.
Always call the financial aid office at a college after the scholarship offer comes in and ask for more money. The worst they can say is no!
Of course, there is always the National Guard or ROTC that can help pay your way.
- All my friends know where they are going to school already and I don't
Most athletes tend to be the last students to know where they are going to school unless they started corresponding with colleges in their sophomore year. When your friends ask you in January where you are going, you may not know. But don't be concerned, February, March and April are the biggest signing months for athletes.
Some not very good reasons to choose a college
- My best friend is going there
How often will you see that best friend if you are playing sports or if you don't have the same major?
- My girlfriend/boyfriend is going there
If its love, it will last the test of time. Go to a school that fits you, do not be concerned with others.
- It's on the west coast
There are great schools all over the United States.
Once you cross the Pacific, does it make a difference if you are standing in California, Colorado or the Carolinas? Pick a school where you will succeed, where a coach wants you, where they have courses that interest you.
- My uncle's friends' brothers cousin says the school is cool.
Never pick a school based on what others tell you alone. Investigate the
school, the coaches and program. What is a good fit for one may not be a good fit for you.
COLLEGE IS NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL SITUATION!
Some very good reasons to choose a college
(in no particular order!)
- I am being recruited and will be able to play my sport
- I felt comfortable speaking with the coaching staff
- The coach as offered me a National Letter of Intent and/or a scholarship
- The overall cost of the school is affordable to my family
- They have courses I am interested in pursuing
- I like the rural/suburban/urban setting
- The size of the classes are not to big/small
- I have visited/checked out the campus and I loved it there
We are pleased that satisfied parents, athletes and coaches endorse PIAA. However, any representations made by parents of PIAA athletes or other parties do not reflect the thoughts, opinions or ideas of PIAA.