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How Do I Know What School Is The "Right Fit" For Me?

When an athlete is being actively recruited, they often want to know what factors they should consider to make sure they are choosing the "right fit" for them.

How To Pick The Right College

Every year the athletes and parents we work with ask us a variety of questions throughout the recruiting process in order to best educate themselves on everything that’s involved in finding and choosing the right school. Even though each athlete's recruitment journey is unique and completely different from other athlete’s experiences, we often get a lot of the same basic questions regarding how to pick the right college.

With that in mind, we want to make sure anyone going through this process has the guidance necessary to choose a college based on the right factors and not just the NCAA division or conference, Nike vs. Adidas uniforms, or any other factor that likely has little to no impact on their enjoyment or success once on campus.

Each athlete has different values and wants different things out of their college experience, but there are a few core items everyone should take into account to make sure they will maximize their opportunities and experiences both on and off the team during these four years.

Top College Factors

Most college factors fall into one of three categories: Social Fit, Academic Fit and Athletic Fit. Within each of these three categories lies a number of questions you need to ask both yourself and ask the coaches and staff at the university. You must ask yourself so you have an honest understanding of your personal needs and wants, and you must ask the staff because they know the answers and they know best what type of students succeed at their school.

It’s important to remember that you are going to school to live and earn a degree, not just play your sport. While there are numerous benefits to being a college athlete, your degree and the connections you make will set you up to begin your career and life after you graduate. For this reason, you may want to put more emphasis on the academic and social factors than the athletic factors.

Feel free to use the below tips as a resource to ultimately determine what the most important factors are to your particular recruitment. If you ever have additional questions, be sure to ask the CCR staff. We’re used to dealing with this process and help athletes just like you on a daily basis.

Social

  • On-campus activities available
  • Has the team/coach had international student-athletes previously?
  • What kind of support staff and clubs are available for international students?

Academics

  • Majors available (academic area of study)
  • Success of job placement post graduation for your potential major and in general
  • Support staff for helping student-athletes be successful academically

Location

  • Do you prefer to be near or in a city? Could you be happy in a small town, rural location, in some cases hours from a more populated city?
  • What kind of weather is typical for the area?

Financial

  • Costs of tuition, housing, books, etc.
  • Do they offer full athletic scholarships? Partial scholarships?
    • If so, do they have any available? How many? And are you being considered for a full or partial scholarship?
  • Academic scholarships available and do you qualify for any?
  • Many NCAA Division II, NAIA and Junior College programs will split up scholarships, with scholarships being more limited at many schools
  • NCAA Division III offers no athletic aid and strictly offers academic, merit based and need-based aid.
  • Are you willing to help cover some costs? If so, how much is realistically possible?
    • This increases the amount of schools who can realistically consider recruiting you and the likelihood they’ll reach out to express interest.

Athletics

  • Potential to play early
  • Roster and how you fit in
  • Coaching staff and their track record of developing talent
  • Program’s recent success and how much does that matter to you

Housing

  • On-campus vs. off-campus
  • Co-ed housing
  • Do athletes live together?
  • Security and safety of housing

Be Realistic About Your Situation

Everyone would love to play at the big name schools, but ultimately it comes down to looking at your realistic and tangible options. The schools that are actively recruiting you by emailing, calling, etc. on a regular basis are the ones you should be thinking about, communicating with, learning more about and asking these questions. Of course, if we can help you navigate this space in any way don't hesitate to reach out to our team.

Start Your College Recruiting Journey

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Begin Your Sports Recruiting Journey

The keys to recruiting success are starting early, exposure and commitment. Take the first step today and we'll help guide you through the rest.

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