COLLEGE PREP PROGRAM

COLLEGE PREP PROGRAM IS OFFERED TO PROVIDE FAMILIES GUIDANCE WITH SCHOOL SELECTION.


 The aim  will be for players to go through the process of school selection based on multiple criteria: 
*academics
*location
*public/private
*costs
*athletics, etc...

Furthermore, we'll identify a list of college-showcase tournaments,  for our older teams to attend, putting themselves in front of the eyes of college coaches.

This goes along with the college-ID camps/ clinics that have been identified for our players; coaches from multiple schools attend and ID players for their programs at such recruiting events.

We hope that with formulating such a collegiate-pathway program with general information, specific targeted efforts, getting players exposed to college coaches, we can provide an opportunity for our players to be noticed and recruited.

The  Program's Objective is to begin with a specific soccer, academic curriculum at the earliest developmental ages.

 
This step-by-step plan will help your child develop the necessary level of soccer skills needed to play at the high school and college level. Once players have the skills, we will work to get them exposed to college programs across the nation.

  • We'll help your child develop an online college profile .
  • Create videos geared to attract college coaches’ interest.
  • Get to display their talents on the field in front of college coaches.
  • ​Help in contacting schools that might suite your child’s ability.

 Of course, the “X Factor” in any plan of this nature is the desire, commitment, and ability that players and parents display. Success requires hard work.

"The College Recruiting Guide"

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
Getting Started/A Suggested Timeline
Make a List of Colleges
Educate Yourself about the Colleges on Your List
Educate Yourself about the Various Associations’
NCAA Guidelines
NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse
The NCAA Divisions
The NAIA
The NJCAA
The NCCAA
A Home-Schooled Athlete
When Can a College Coach talk to a Prospect?


A Home-Schooled Athlete
When Can a College Coach talk to a Prospect?
What does it mean when a coach sends a questionnaire?
Why Responding to all College Coaches is Important
How to Contact a Coach
What to include in Interest Letters/Cover Letter
Interest Letter/Cover Letter Samples
What to include in Athletic Profile/Resume
Athletic Profile/Resume Sample
Do you need a Video?
How to plan a Campus recruiting Visit
What is an Official Visit?
What is the Recruiting Timeline?
Questions to ask Prospective College Coaches?

About Athletics
About Academics
About College Life
About Financial Aid
What Questions should you Ask Team Mates?
Information for Parents and Guardians
Amateurism and Academic Eligibility
Financial Aid
What is a FAFSA?
What is a National Letter of Intent?
Agents
Scouting/Recruiting Services
Questions and Answers


INTRODUCTION


Many times parents and players are seeking information on the college soccer and recruitment process. They are not sure where to turn for information. There are so many questions to ask. 
When do I apply to College? 
How important are test scores? 
How do I contact a college coach? 
Do I need a video? 
What is the NCAA Clearinghouse? 
How do I begin the recruitment process?

It is very important to know that no one course is correct for everyone. Each school and coach may handle the process differently for their prospective student-athletes. But there are many things you need to know about the process before you begin.

When looking at schools, try to find a campus you love and where you can see yourself attending for four to five years. Look for a school that has your major area of concentration. Try to find a school that has a soccer program where you’ll play and enjoy yourself. Be honest with yourself about where you might fit in academically and athletically and be honest with yourself and the coach you are communicating with.

Schools and coaches also look for good students. One of the most important things to remember is to work hard and keep your grades up. You should be a student first and an athlete second.

It is also our hope that you will check with the school and their umbrella organization to make sure of their policies, scholarship availability, rules and programs. There are differences between those umbrella organizations rules. 

For example, the NCAA Division I and II, NCAA Division III and NAIA have different rules for what coaches may do during the recruitment
process. So do your homework and remember to ask questions.

It is our hope that the information provided in this guide will help you to answer some of those questions and point you to the right sources for additional information. There are some guidelines that will help you as you prepare for this exciting, yet sometimes intimidating, process.

GETTING STARTED

A Suggested Timeline
(Some of these items pertain to NCAA schools only. It’s always best to check with the umbrella organization
to verify recruitment rules. The governing organizations meet on a regular basis and can change rules).

Sophomore Year
(Coaches cannot call or write you yet, only send general information and camp information, so
don’t be disappointed if you write a coach and they do not write you back
• Keep your grades up!
• Begin compiling a list of possible colleges or universities that meet your interests and
research their academic and athletic programs
• Take the PSAT test.
• Write a cover letter and soccer resume and send it out to possible schools.
• Review NCAA Clearinghouse eligibility requirements. The summer before your junior
year, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
• Select junior year courses to fulfill these requirements.
• Play at the highest level possible. Keep a record of athletic achievements.
___________________________________________________________________________
Junior Year
(As of September 1, coaches can return correspondence and write letters, but cannot call until on or after July 1 before your senior year).
• Keep your grades up!
• Send coaches updated resume and player profile, send dates of tournaments and league games.
• Organize a filing system on colleges that respond to your inquiry and indicate interest.
You will need names and phones numbers of coaches and also when they indicated interest.

• Make a list of all the colleges/universities you have been in contact with and rank them in order starting with your favorite school (based on what you know at this point) down to your least favorite school. Start by calling the coach at your least favorite school. You will probably be nervous when you talk to this coach however, by talking to a coach at your least favorite college/university, you will gain confidence for when you contact the coaches who are higher on your priority list.

• Most likely, if you are calling a coach, you will get his or her voicemail. Practice leaving a message beforehand. You can even call yourself and leave a practice voicemail on your cell phone. If you do get in touch with a coach, make sure you take notes on the conversation. Also, keep a list of your top five questions to ask and make sure that these questions cannot be answered by looking on the Web site.
• Play in College Showcase tournaments, summer tournaments or participate in ODP events.
• Attend any recruitment seminars at these tournaments. Also attend College Fairs and
register your sport with each college.

• Consider attending the summer camp of a school of interest, or one which has a lot of college coaches on staff.
• Narrow your search to 10 or so schools and engage in regular correspondence with the coach.
• Make unofficial visits (at your expense) to selected schools. Meet with the coach and see the team play, if possible.
• Take the SAT or ACT tests. Make sure scores are sent to your schools of interest.
• Check your status with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
• Select senior year courses to complete Clearinghouse requirements.
• Stay in touch with your high school counselor.
• Obtain financial form (FAFSA).

File taxes – January Deadline
File FAFSA – February – 15 Deadline 
Check individual schools for earlier FAFSA deadlines (Feb 15 universal for Fin. Aid but many have earlier deadlines)
___________________________________________________________________________
Senior Year
(As of July 1, you can now talk on the phone with a coach. If you are a top level player, expect
some phone calls. If not, call the coach yourself. A letter followed by a call shows interest in the program. Only one call per week is allowed).
• Don’t let down in your class work. Finish strong.
• Check status with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
• Narrow your search to 5 schools.
• Complete FAFSA form again with recent tax information.
• Respond immediately to any interest shown by colleges
• Schedule and complete official visits (at schools expense). Meet with the coach and the team and stay overnight if possible, see the team play.
• Stay in touch with your high school counselor.
• Narrow down your choices and get your applications done early.
• Keep coaches updated on your achievements by sending them your resume through the fall and play in high level events in November and December.
• Provide your coach and counselor with your interest college list. Discuss college interest with your coach and counselor.
• Make a decision!

MAKE A LIST OF COLLEGES

Draft a tentative list of colleges that interest you. Your list may include schools in your area, schools that have a particular major of interest to you, or schools you know very little about.

Your list may be long but in the early stages you don’t want to eliminate any school you are curious about. It is very important that you look at the school for its academic programs as well as its athletic programs.

Your academic experience in college is what will provide an important foundation for your chosen career path after college. Not many players plan to be professional athletes. 

In addition, it’s not uncommon for an injury to happen that could end your college soccer career. You want to end up at a place that you will enjoy attending even if you never play athletics there.

Here are some questions that may aid you in your college selection.
• Would I choose this college even if I am not playing on the team?
• Would I be happy sitting on the bench and not playing much?
• Would I still select this college if there is a different coach?
• Was I comfortable there both academically and athletically?
• Did the staff and team seem to get along and care about each other?
• How does the coach motivate the team?
• Were the coaching team and staff friendly? Enthusiastic? Honest? Supportive? Sincere?
Caring? Or hospitable?



EDUCATE SELF ABOUT COLLEGES LISTED

After you have created your list of schools, research the schools. Read everything you can find on the school. Look at their Web page, read their press releases on their Web page, check college resource books, talk to your school counselor, read the teams homepage as well.

Guides you may want to look at include: 
Peterson’s Four-Year Colleges 
The Big Book of Colleges
Fiske Guide to Colleges
The Best 366 Colleges
The College Board College
Handbook
Official Athletic Guide to Soccer, or the 
Women’s Soccer Guide: The Official Athletic College Guide, Over 1,100 Women’s Scholarship Programs Listed 
(Official Athletic College Guide Soccer Women). 

Make sure and talk to your Club and High School Coaches
about various college programs. The University of Florida also maintains a Web page that lists
links to US colleges and universities that offer bachelors and master’s degrees.
That link is:   http://www.clas.ufl.edu/au/




EDUCATE SELF ABOUT ASSOCIATIONS, NCAA GUIDELINES

Students that plan to compete in athletics at the college level must meet certain eligibility requirements set forth by the NCAA. Students who have not met the NCAA eligibility requirements will not be allowed to participate in college athletics.

We have including the following link to assist you in this process. For information go to:
https://web1.ncaa.org/eligibilitycenter/common/
NCAA Initial-eligibility Clearinghouse

Students who plan to compete in athletics at the Division I or Division II college level must
complete the NCAA Clearinghouse form in order to be eligible. Division III does not use the
eligibility Center. There is a $30 registration fee. 

To pay online you will need to use a credit
card. The steps for registering on line are as follows:
1. Go to the NCAA Clearinghouse web site at http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
2. Once there, click on PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETE
3. Once on the Welcome to student information page, click on DOMESTIC STUDENT RELEASE FORM
4. Once on the Student release form (U.S.) page, complete this page accurately
5. Print an extra copy of your student release form for your counselor.
6. You will still need to notify your counselor that you registered on line so that your
transcript will be sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse.





NCAA DIVISIONS

Division I
Division I member institutions have to sponsor at least seven sports for men and seven for women (or six for men and eight for women) with two team sports for each gender. Each playing season has to be represented by each gender as well. 

There are contest and participant minimums for each sport, as well as scheduling criteria. For sports other than football and basketball, Division I schools must play 100 percent of the minimum number of contests against Division I opponents — anything over the minimum number of games has to be 50 percent Division I.

Division I schools must meet minimum financial aid awards for their athletics program, and there are maximum financial aid awards for each sport that a Division I school cannot exceed.
For a list of member schools/sports link: http://web1.ncaa.org/memberLinks/links.jsp?div=1

Division II
Division II institutions have to sponsor at least five sports for men and five for women, (or four for men and six for women), with two team sports for each gender, and each playing season represented by each gender. 

There are contest and participant minimums for each sport, as well as scheduling criteria. For sports other than football and basketball there are no scheduling requirements. There are not attendance requirements for football, or arena game requirements for basketball. 

There are maximum financial aid awards for each sport that a Division II school must not exceed. Division II teams usually feature a number of local or in-state student-athletes. Many Division II student/athletes pay for school through a combination of scholarship money, grants, student loans and employment earnings. 

Division II athletics programs are financed in the institution’s budget like other academic departments on campus. Traditional rivalries with regional institutions dominate schedules of many Division II athletics programs.

For a list of member schools/sports link: http://web1.ncaa.org/memberLinks/links.jsp?div=2

Division III
Division III institutions have to sponsor at least five sports for men and five for women, with two team sports for each gender, and each playing season represented by each gender. There are minimum contest and participant minimums for each sport. 

Division III athletics features student/athletes who receive no financial aid related to their athletic ability and athletic
departments are staffed and funded like any other department in the university. Division III athletics departments place special importance on the impact of athletics on the participants rather than on the spectators. 

The student-athlete’s experience is of paramount concern. Division III athletics encourages participation by maximizing the number and variety of athletics opportunities available to students, placing primary emphasis on regional in-season and conference competition.

For a list of member schools/sports link: http://web1.ncaa.org/memberLinks/links.jsp?div=3





WHAT IS NAIA


The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has different eligibility requirements for student-athletes. 
To be eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics as an incoming freshman, two of the following three requirements must be met:

1. Have a 2.0 (C) or higher cumulative final grade point average in high school.

2. Have a composite score of 18 or higher on the ACT Assessment or an 860 total score or
higher on the SAT I on a single test administered on a national test date.

3. Have a top-half final class rank in his or her high school graduating class.
Student-athletes must also have on file at the college an official ACT Assessment or SAT I score
report from the appropriate national testing center. 

Results reported on the student’s high school transcript are not acceptable. Students must request that their test scores be forwarded to the college’s admission office. 

If you have additional questions about NAIA eligibility, contact them at: 
NAIA, 23500 W. 105 Street, P.O. Box 1325, Olathe, Kansas 66051-1325 
or by phone at 413-971-0044 or on-line at: http://www.naia.org.

For a list of member schools: http://naia.cstv.com/member-services/about/members.htm
For rules on financial aid, campus visits, etc. refer to Article II:
http://graphics.fansonly.com/schools/naia/member-services/pubs/handbook/2007-08_Official_Handbook.pdf







WHAT IS NJCAA

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is the governing body of intercollegiate athletics for two-year colleges. 
As such, its programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a diverse group of student-athletes who come from both traditional and nontraditional backgrounds and whose purpose in selecting a junior college may be as varied as their experiences before attending college. 

For information on schools and eligibility requirements go
to: http://www.njcaa.org/ For a list of member schools by gender and sport:
http://www.njcaa.org/members-sport.cfm


WHAT IS NCCAA

The National Christian College Athletic Association was incorporated to provide a Christian based organization that functions uniquely as a national and international agency for the promotion of outreach and ministry, and for the maintenance, enhancement, and promotion of intercollegiate athletic competition with a Christian perspective. 

For information on schools and eligibility requirements go to: http://www.thenccaa.org/ 
For a list of member schools by region: http://www.thenccaa.org/member_schools.html



WHAT IF YOU'RE HOME-SCHOOLED?

Home schooled students who want to play DI or II college sports must register with the clearinghouse and meet the same requirements as all other students. After registering, the homeschooled student must send the following information to the eligibility center:
• Standardized test scores must be on an official transcript from a traditional high school or be sent directly from the testing agency.
• Transcript listing credits earned and grades.
• Proof of high school graduation.
• Evidence that home schooling was conducted in accordance with state law.
• List of texts used throughout home schooling (including text titles, publisher and in which courses it was used).

For more information refer to the NCAA website at www.ncaa.org. It is important for you to check with the colleges you are interested in to verify your courses and any other requirements.




WHEN CAN COLLEGE COACHES TALKE TO HIGH SCHOOL PROSPECTS?

(Some of these items pertain to NCAA schools only. It’s always best to check with the umbrella organization to verify recruitment rules. The governing organizations meet on a regular basis and can change rules).

There can be a lot of confusion about contacting college coaches, especially if you are new to the recruiting game. This is the time of year when athletes start thinking a lot about getting calls from a college coach and there are usually a lot of questions surrounding the topic.

Is it okay for an athlete to call a coach? When can a coach call an athlete? Are there any rules to be aware of when you are hoping to be recruited by a college coach? To help simplify this, here are a few simple tips to guide your future interaction with college coaches:
• A college coach can only call or visit you after July of your junior year in high school. That means a coach cannot place an outbound call to you, nor can he initiate a visit to your home or school specifically to talk to you about playing a sport at his or her college, until the summer before your senior year. Remember, this deals only with outbound communication from a coach.

• You can call or meet with a coach at any point in your high school career. That’s right; you can call a coach whenever you want. The key here is that you are the one initiating contact with the coach and not the other way around. If you want to call a coach or visit a campus and set up a meeting with the coach, you may do so as often as you wish.

• You can take as many campus visits as you would like when considering a sports scholarship offer. Again, the key here is that you are the one initiating the visit. What about those five “official” visits that you often hear about big-time athletes making to schools when they are seniors? Those are visits that the school pays for. A prospective student-athlete can only take five official visits that are paid for by schools during his or
her high school career.

• Be proactive about the process! Take control!
What does it mean if a College Coach sends a questionnaire?
Colleges may ask you to complete an on-line questionnaire or mail you one to complete. It is a way for them to get initial information on you.

Why responding to all College Coaches is Important?
Most prospective student-athletes will receive some contact from colleges, in the form of general admissions information, questionnaires, and/or emails from college coaches. Many student athletes make the mistake of disregarding correspondence from colleges and coaches they are not
initially interested in. No college contact should be neglected!

The following is a list of reasons why you should respond to EVERYONE:
• If you are receiving general admissions information, especially if you are an underclassman – respond anyway! A lot of coaches put underclassmen’s names on admissions lists to see if they will respond.
• If you do not respond to a coach, or return their questionnaire, they will stop recruiting you.
• Your opinion may change. Once you research a college and talk to a coach, you are bound to learn something new. You never know which college or program might be the perfect fit for you.

• The more coaches you communicate with, the more familiar you will become with the types of questions college coaches ask. This practice will prepare you for email exchanges and conversation with coaches at your favorite colleges/universities.

• By investigating many different types of colleges, you will have a better idea of your likes and dislikes in a college/university.

• College coaches change jobs! You might ignore a coach because you are not interested their program, only to have them get hired at one of your top choices.

• College coaches are friends with one another, and they do not appreciate it when a student-athlete ignores a contact. You never want to give anyone something bad to say about you!

• It is just common courtesy. If a coach takes the time to send you some information, you owe them a response.

• Responding to a college coach will demonstrate that you are mature and responsible. For example, most of the information asked on the questionnaire is to test your responsibility and ability to follow directions, and to see if you are interested in the college/university.

Remember, it will only take a little bit of your time, and will definitely be worth it if you are keeping in touch with every college/university that you hear from. Who knows – it may even be the one you decide upon!





HOW TO CONTACT COLLEGE COACHES?

Initial Interest Letter/Cover Letters
The letter you compose should be short and direct. The letter is a way to request information and introduce you to the coach as a prospective student-athlete. 

Here are some things to include:
• You name, high school, current grade level.
• Your home address, email address, phone number. 
• High school soccer experience, years of varsity experience, team accomplishments, and personal awards.
• Current club team, recent team accomplishments
• Academic interests






SAMPLE LETTERS?

Date
Coach’s Name
University Name
Address
City, State, Zip
 
Dear Coach _____,
    My name is Helen Smith and I am currently a senior at All Star High School at Wachusett Regional 
High School. I am also the starting forward on my high school team and have led them in goals 
scored for the past three years. 

     My team won the state championship in 2007 and was the runner-up in 2008. We
are currently ranked third in the state. I was named honorable mention all-state in 2005, second
team in 2006 and 2007. I play for the LFC U-17 Premier Girls Team. I have played at the premier 
level since U-13. My team won the Massachusetts State Championship for the past three years. 

     In 2007, we advanced to the semifinals at the Midwest Regional. I also play forward for my
select team. My coach, Markens Benoit, said he would be glad to speak with you on my behalf.

      I have spent time doing research on what colleges would be a good match for me academically and
athletically. I am interested in majoring in psychology with a minor in English. I am very interested
in your College and your program and would appreciate receiving information from you.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Sincerely,
Firstname Smith
(Include your email address)







ATHLETIC RESUME PROFILE

You should put together a resume that includes your basic personal information, athletic accomplishments and provides information about your past teams, camps, tournaments and other soccer experiences. Don’t forget to include athletic accomplishments in other sports as well.

Coaches like to see athletic versatility and talent. Then list your scholastic accomplishments, include standardized test scores if available, and any extracurricular activities, such as school clubs or volunteer activities. 

Let the Coach know of any showcase tournaments you will be attending with your club team. That is a great way to be seen by a prospective coach.

Sample Resume

Profile of Helen Smith  | Graduation Date: June 2020
123 Anywhere Lane | Lexington, KY 40503
Cell: 555-555-5555  E:esmith@anymail.com

Parents Name:
Personal Information:
Height: 5’8” Weight: 146 DOB: 1/30/89
High School Information:
Name:
Address:
Phone Number
High School Coach:
Coach Home Number:
Guidance Counselor:
School Fax Number:
Academic Achievements:
Athletic Achievements:
Club Soccer:
High School Soccer:
Other Sports:
Extracurricular Activities:
ODP Experience:
Academic Achievements:
Educational Goals:
Comments: