How Do I Get Recruited as a College Athlete?

Monday, March 1, 2021

What Does It Take to Get Recruited as a College Athlete?

If you’re passionate about your sport of choice, you may be interested in what it takes to get recruited as a college athlete. There are a lot of misconceptions about the athletic recruitment process, so it’s important to learn all of the facts to determine your best path forward. 

From deciding between Division I, II, and III to realistically assessing your admissions odds, there are many considerations students need to take into account when applying to schools as a college athlete. Keep reading to learn more about getting recruited, and tune in to a recent Just Admit It! podcast episode if you’re looking for even more information. 

Understand the Process

There are a lot of rules around the actual recruitment process. If you’re interested in athletic recruitment, it’s important to understand the steps necessary to take in order to be considered for recruitment as well as the timeline. From registering with the NCAA to filling out questionnaires and creating online profiles, there are a lot of tools out there that you’ll need to take advantage of in order to have a successful athletic recruitment process. IvyWise counselor Amy, who is featured in the Just Admit It! podcast episode about athletic recruitment, lays out what you need to do step-by-step in her Athletic Recruitment Plan.

Determine What Role You Want Athletics to Play

One of the most important decisions students need to make is exactly what kind of role they want athletics to play throughout their college experience. It’s important to keep in mind that playing a sport in college can be a serious time commitment. If you choose to play at a competitive level like Division I, in particular, it’s likely that a significant portion of your college experience will be devoted to practice, traveling to games, and playing, at least during your season. Take time to reflect on exactly how much time you wish to devote to your sport throughout college and the additional social and academic engagements you hope to balance.

Know the Competition

Students need to be realistic about their admissions odds and what it takes to stand out. There is a huge difference in skill level between high school sports and collegiate athletics, regardless of whether you’re playing in Division I, II, or III. That doesn’t mean that students should feel discouraged or assume they won’t gain a spot on the team. Instead, it’s just a reminder that it’s important to go into the process with a realistic idea of where you stand. In some sports, such as rowing and tennis, it might be possible to measure your performance and see how you might stack up compared to other athletes in your field.

Create Two Lists 

Another important step that student athletes should take is making two separate college lists, one in which sports is a key consideration and one in which it’s not. Regardless of your passion and interest in the sport you play, every student needs to be realistic and acknowledge that there’s always a chance you won’t play during college, whether that’s due to an injury or an emerging interest that takes you down another path. Give yourself time to compile two separate lists and start getting excited about best-fit options for both scenarios.

Understand the Role Academics Play

Regardless of your talent level, academics are a significant factor throughout the college recruitment process. Every athlete will need to meet a minimum GPA in order to gain a spot on the team. Additionally, a stellar GPA will always work in your favor and may prove beneficial throughout the recruitment process. Generally, each team has a GPA they must meet as a whole. If you are a strong athletic candidate, an impressive academic performance can work in your favor because it will positively contribute to your team’s overall GPA. Consequently, every student athlete needs to make sure they’re devoting the time they need to study and give academics their all.

The athletic recruitment process is complex and will vary depending on the sport you play and the level of competition you hope to pursue. If you’re preparing to apply to colleges as a recruited athlete, our team of college admissions experts can help guide you throughout the process.

Related Topics

Athletic Recruiting

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