Getting into College with Sports

by Louise | April 6th, 2010 | Sports

I remember being told when I was a child that something like .01% of students goes to college with help from sports. I believed it, that high school sports wouldn’t help me in the slightest.

However, during the college application process, one of my coaches, a recent graduate from college, started telling me that college sports were a gold mine and that I should contact the coaches. I would hear the statement and chuckle to myself a bit. Me? Good enough for colleges to want me to play at their school? Fat chance. My coach threw javelin, and when she was in high school she held state titles. I don’t even hold a school record. She went to UMass Amherst on a full ride. Her story was too perfect. I’m a reasonably good track runner, but not that good. Nevertheless, I followed her advice and contacted the coaches at the colleges I was interested in. It turns out, I was “good enough.”

Though D2 and D3 colleges do not officially offer scholarships for athletics, it doesn’t mean that the coaches can’t give you an edge in the admission process or give a slight nudge in the department of financial aid. The amount of money that is available for college athletes is larger than it seems. There are thousands of colleges, each with a dozen or more sports, each with a coach looking for new recruits. The D3 and D2 coaches want good athletes just as much as those in D1; they are willing and able to help you out in the admission process. If you have a child that seems to have a talent in a certain sport (though he/she might not be shattering records), it may be worth encouraging this activity and contacting college coaches when the time rolls around.

Of course, contacting coaches can’t offer any guarantees, and the number of positions available from college to college and sport to sport will vary. However, I’m sitting here with an acceptance to an excellent university, the possibility of running track in college, and a hankering feeling that I should be sending the coach I contacted a few dozen thank you cards. It’s worth considering.

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