By A. Andrew “Andy” Marwede
The athletic college scholarship world is an exceedingly large and complex world, and it is constantly evolving. In the final article in his four-part series, A. Andrew “Andy” Marwede covers five common questions about the process.
What is one of the best things to do if you are trying to help your child obtain an athletic scholarship?
Reach out to parents of children who have recently obtained an athletic scholarship — ideally in the same sport as your child — and ask them your questions over the phone, over coffee, etc.
What is one of the worst things you could do during this process?
Besides not starting soon enough, it's a tie between overestimating your child's athletic ability or overestimating your child's enjoyment of/dedication to their sport(s). Both will lead to frustration and disappointment, instead of accomplishment and joy (which is what youth sports are meant to be all about).
Does a student’s academic performance really matter?
Grades and test scores are extremely important because strong academic performance makes it more likely to receive an offer from a coach. This is because if a student’s grades or test scores are very high, a school may be able to offer academic money instead of athletic money. This means that coach doesn't have to use up any of his or her precious scholarship budget on that athlete. Instead, the coach can use (repurpose) the money to attract another athlete. High-level academic performance in high school makes an athlete very attractive to that coach when the coach can secure a student’s athletic services using “other people's money” with the other people being the academic side of the school’s scholarship pool.
What were some of the emotions you all experienced during this process?
My wife and I experienced the gamut of emotions from confusion, boredom and sadness to confidence, excitement and eventually joy.
Did things work out for your children in their transition to school?
Very well! Both of our children obtained athletic college scholarships with colleges they love.
Online Resources You Can Use Throughout the Process
College Confidential http://www.collegeconfidential.com/
The NCAA's website http://www.ncaa.com/
Top Drawer Soccer http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/ is the main news outlet/rating agency for high school soccer athletes.
Hudl http://www.hudl.com/ Primary website where athletes of many sports post film
Twitter http://twitter.com for following and potentially communicating with college coaches and programs you are interested in (virtually mandatory).