College Admissions Checklist

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College Admissions Checklist
Sophomore Year

  • Start thinking about college choices – the college decision must be based on a players like of the school and academics at the school

  • Visit college campuses the summer after completing your sophomore year

  • Consider attending summer camps of those schools that interest you, though this is not absolutely necessary. This is for gathering information about the school and the program as you narrow down your interests

  • Begin to prepare for SAT and ACT

  • Consider taking courses that will count towards college degrees. Most High Schools have this built into the school curriculum which will be beneficial for all students wanting to play soccer in college

Junior Year

  • Start thinking about university choices

  • Make an appointment to talk with your high school university counselor

  • Register to find money you need for college – financial aid, academic scholarships etc

  • Plan to take your practice admissions test during your Junior year and start studying for the SAT or ACT. Try to take one admissions test if possible

  • Register for the fall SAT or ACT tests

  • Request applications and brochures from top college choices

  • Recruiting: Make sure you are in contact with the top 10 schools you would like to attend and compete at athletically. (calling and emailing head coaches of the programs)

  • June: register for NCAA clearing house

  • Recruiting: make sure coaches know when and where you are playing so they can come watch when possible

  • Get started on college applications essays and writing sample drafts

  • Study and prepare for SAT and ACT tests

  • A prospective student athlete can contact a coach as often as they would like

  • Recruiting: Make sure you gave a recruiting video complete and ready to give to a coach if they request it

Senior Year


  • Get your applications organized by creating folders for your top schools. Make a list of application requirements and deadlines

  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers and community leaders

  • Some schools require you to apply for admission by certain dates. Know these deadlines and apply early. Keep track of when you have applied by logging the dates applications were submitted


  • Talk to your parents about the cost of college. Decide how much you can you afford and explore other funding opportunities

  • Learn more about financial aid

  • Start applying for scholarships from private organizations

  • Search the web for other grant and scholarship programs


  • If you are expecting early action or early decision make sure you turn in your completed application and have transcripts sent to the university


  • If you are not expecting early action or decisions work on completing your applications by January


  • File the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st ( ) NOTE that this is available for US Citizens only

  • Check with prospective colleges about additional financial aid application forms and requirements


  • Sign National Letter of Intent


  • Expect admission letters and financial aid packages

  • Compare your admissions offers with your parents and guidance counselors

  • Pay close attention to deadlines by which you have to make decisions


  • Notify schools you have decided NOT to attend

  • Double check any final deadlines for housing, financial aid etc


  • Have your final transcripts sent to your new college and the NCAA CLEARINGHOUSE

Substantial planning is important when identifying the appropriate schools to which a student should apply. Students need to discuss their interests and needs with their parents, peers and admissions professionals to help determine the right schools for them. College criteria to be considered in the formulation of the short list of schools should include the following:

  • Location of school

  • Size of school

  • Majors offered

  • Admission requirements

  • Private or state school

  • Dream schools:

A school where the average student’s academics are better than the prospective student athletes. Apply to at least one dream school – be aggressive, take some risks, have fun!!

  • Just Right Schools:

A school where the average student has similar credentials to the prospective student athlete. Some students are still able to get into their Just Right Schools, but solid preparation can really make a difference in the success of your applications

  • No Problem Schools:

A School where the average student is academically less qualified than the prospective student athlete. A No Problem School should be just that-No Problem! If time and care are taken in putting the application together you will be assured of admittance


A couple other good resources around selecting schools and some of the recruiting rules:
NCAA Division 2 Recruiting Rules
High-School Coach Recruiting Tips

Important Points To Remember When Deciding To Pursue College Soccer

  1. Be realistic

  2. Match the school academically to your abilities. This is the primary reason to attend college

  3. Coaches will look for:

    1. Not only good players, but good position players

    2. Level of play you are accustomed to

    3. Your personal character and integrity

    4. Your chance to succeed academically

  4. Be proactive – recruiting is a two way street

What’s Important if I Choose To Play College Soccer?

  1. Club: Find a club program which has a good reputation for developing players and participates in number of state, regional and national tournaments

  2. USSDA Academy/ECNL Programs: Being connected to a club that has academy level or ECNL level programs is important. The majority of players being recruited to top D1 programs are coming from organizations participating in the USSDA Academy or ECNL programs for boys and girls respectively.

  3. Camps: During your high school years, choose some schools in which you might me interested and participate in the college ID camp during the summer to learn more about the program and the coach of the program while showcasing your abilities to the program

If Pursuing A Soccer Scholarship

  1. Evaluate early

  2. Market yourself

    1. A one page resume’ is best

    2. Schedules that includes many major tournaments that enable a coach to see you

    3. Set up an online youtube channel on which to post video clips of your participation in games or trainings

(make sure video clips are not longer than 1-2 minutes)
If Pursuing A Walk-On Status

  1. Find a match academically

  2. Find a realistic soccer level match for your ability

  3. Write the coach that you want to pursue a walk on possibility

  4. Have one of your current coaches call or email the college program coach prior to preseason to give recommendation for you as a player

  5. Be in great shape. Show up fit to preseason. You will have a 0% chance to make a college team as a walk on candidate if you are not fit for the preseason

  6. Keep in mind, some walk-ons have gone on to become great players

College Thoughts

Additional strategies to help you get to the school of your choice

  1. Earn College credit in high school

  2. Can attend Summer session prior to the fall of your Freshman year

  3. Take the ACT and/or SAT as often as you can. Combine sub scores if necessary. Some schools will combine sub scores to determine academic awards

  4. FAFSA

  5. Student Athletes that qualify for academic awards are appealing to College coaches because this money is not countable towards the athletic scholarships (men 9.9 and women 14)

  6. Unofficial visits prior to and during your junior year can expedite the recruiting process

  7. Gather information on the school at their website

  8. Apply online. It’s usually free and very easy

  9. Go watch college tournaments where you can see 4 teams play in a weekend and you can visit the school. With the new college networks on tv, college soccer is readily available for all to see

Academic Progress Rates

  1. Coming into college undecided (Arts & Sciences) will allow you to choose majors without jeopardizing your eligibility

  2. Beginning taking general classes can be helpful if you change majors.

  3. Retention and Academic Eligibility each semester for those on scholarship. Falling out of academic eligibility can result in revocation of a scholarship


  • Time-Frame – where are you with my graduation class? Are you looking for a prospective student athlete in my class? When do you expect to make a decision for this year’s upcoming class?

  • Verbal Commitments – what does this mean, when can you do this?

  • National Letter of Intent – Who signs the NLI and when does that happen?

  • Medical Hardships – Why would I need this? How would I get this?

  • How long has the coach been at the college?

  • Is the coach approachable and available to players?

  • What are the academic expectations? What kind of academic support is provided for student athletes?

  • Red Shirts – What does this mean?

  • Fifth Year Player – begin working towards you masters degree possibly?

  • How are the facilities?

  • What is the training schedule each week? For the season?

  • For Goalkeepers, the situation is very unique

  1. How many keepers do you carry on a squad?

  2. Do you have a GK coach (full-time)

  3. What is your philosophy if you have two or three quality keepers, shared playing time, seniority

  • What is the Strength and Conditioning routine and who supervises?

  • What type of player are you looking for and in what system of play?

  • Do you have scholarship dollars available or other avenues that I could get money if this is necessary b/c of the cost of that particular school

  • Housing options, meal plans, to make school affordable

  • How many players do you carry on a roster?

  • How many players travel?

  • Who is graduating and what positions are you looking for at this time?

  • Where do you see me fitting in positionally and can I contribute now or when do you see me contributing to the game

  • Would I be considered a scholarship, walk on, tryout or rostered player?

  • What do I do in the summer? Is there an opportunity for

    • Work

    • Internships

    • Club

    • PDL

    • Summer school

  • What is your Conference Affiliation?

    • Do you have an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tourney

  • Who is on your schedule?

  • What is your regional breakdown?

    • How many teams from your region get into the tournament

  • Where does your soccer program stand in priority at the school

  • What does the spring calendar look like?

    • 5 competition dates and training

    • Out of season conditioning

    • How often do you train in spring/winter

    • What do you expect from the summer in training?

  • What are academic support services available to student athletes

    • Tutoring

    • Study Hall

    • Missed Class time

    • Progress reports

    • Professors

    • Academic Advisor within your major within the athletic department

  • How has your team performed academically? What is the team GPA?

  • What are the typical class sizes?

    • Student to professor ratio?

    • Full time student/full time athlete class load for a semester?

    • Summer School options?

    • Training time/ when would I take classes?

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