As a recruiting company, we receive all sorts of questions regarding the recruiting process.
One of the most recent questions we collected came from a parent whose son was a star swimmer and getting plenty of attention from college coaches. The parent wrote:
“Is it possible for an athletic scholarship to overturn an academic denial?”
Quick answer: No. The ability to earn an athletic scholarship at a school does not automatically get an athlete accepted as a student. Recruits need to meet all of the athletic and academic standards of both the NCAA and the university itself.
Long answer: It is never enough to be good at your sport; if you don’t have the grades, the school will not accept you. Athletes and non-athletes alike have to meet the same school requirements. However, there are rumors that college coaches do carry some weight in the application process; the coach can maintain contact with the admissions department and express serious interest in an athlete to make sure that they are accepted. Coaches have even been known to pull some strings to get their PSA accepted into the school. Of course, these instances are much more common at big-time schools and sports programs, so there is still no guarantee that a coach can get you accepted no matter what.
Here is what you need to do to improve your chances at an athletic scholarship:
- Make the grades: college coaches want athletes who excel in the classroom, because it improves their program and the school.
- Be honest with the coach: Throughout the recruiting process, you should keep the coach updated on your grades and test scores, in addition to your athletic stats. If you can see there might be some trouble getting into their school, talk to them about what you need to do to get there. If they are truly interested in you, they will help you to figure it out.
- Know your chances: If you are applying to schools that are way above your academic level, you will most likely not get in. Make sure you are targeting your recruiting efforts on schools that accept your academics (GPA, SAT/ACT scores, etc.) otherwise you could be missing out on other great opportunities.
- Albion College Athletics.