Here are some of my thoughts on winning an athletic, academic or any scholarship for that matter. According to the College Board, college tuition rates and fees are expected to continue to rise faster than family incomes, once again. As of June 2018, the average annual cost for private college will come in at $46,950 (including $33,000 in tuition), and the in-state cost for a year of public college will be $20,770 (with tuition of $9,648).
The good news is that most students —more than 70%—receive some form of financial aid. Better yet, thousands of dollars in available aid go unclaimed each year. So stay on top of things, stay with us at Fallon Sports throughout your entire recruiting process and let us help to guide you to the best college opportunity for you.
Do not look at the numbers above and only seek public colleges because they are cheaper, it does not work like that. From all my years of being involved with the college recruiting and admissions process, the piece that is ignored by parents (and students) is that they just don’t go through the entire process, they seek shortcuts or the easy path to a scholarship. This is a recipe for disaster, if you truly want your child to have a great college experience, graduate and play the game of baseball you must go through the entire process and the longer you are involved, the better.
Let’s look at how to maximize your share of available scholarship funds?
Start early, you should actually start your freshman year of high school.
You can begin earning scholarship money as early as ninth grade from outside scholarships and save scholarship funds in an escrow account, where they can earn interest until you begin paying tuition bills.
On the academic side of things, your freshman year matters, so do not think that college admissions personnel are going to just forgive your academics because you were only 14.
In addition, you can begin to understand how the recruiting process actually works, what college coaches are looking for and begin to do those things that’ll bring you closer to having much of your college paid for by earning (or winning) a scholarship, whether it be academic, athletic or other.
Knowledge is key - many parents think freshman or sophomore year is too early to start, but they are missing the bigger picture. It is not about the college coach seeing your son at that age or even about the exposure piece, it is more about arming your child with the necessary information and experiences so when he gets to the point of making a decision, he will have all the information and personal experiences needed to make the right decision.
Get Bigger, Stronger, Faster - Look at how physical the current college players are in the positions you play at the colleges you are interested in?
Compare your present body and athletic tools against a player in your position at whatever college you’re interested in and ask yourself how many years do you have to reach his age and what is your plan to reach that level of physicality and athleticism.
Be Good and Get Better - Be the best player on your team, then be the best player in your school district, then be the best player in your city, then be the best player in your state, then be the best player in your region of the country and so on … too many players just settle for who is around them and try to fit in. Well you are reading this because you want a scholarship, right? You realize this is a competition, right? There are thousands of high school and junior college players right now that want that same scholarship, what are you doing right now to win it? Get better and do not settle.
Think about this -
if you hoping for a NCAA D1 baseball scholarship and are a 2018 graduating senior shortstop, you are competing against the 2015/2016 high school senior shortstop who chose to attend a junior college, is now 2-3 years older, in his 20’s and that much stronger, faster and quicker. He also has over 100 competitive JC baseball games under his belt and 500 college at bats. If you were a D1 college coach and needed to continue to win, why would you take the smaller, less experienced high school guy?
If you are in the mix for a NCAA D2 baseball scholarship in the same situation above, do you realize that D1 players can “bounce back” to a D2 program (in most cases) and play right away. If you were a D2 college coach and needed to continue to win, why would you take the smaller, less experienced high school guy when you can either take the JC guy that the D1 program did not select OR the D1 “bounce back” guy - making it even more difficult to go D2 out of high school.
There are circumstances for everything and rules that regulate the above but it’s important that you know this exists. It’s not as simple as D1 gets the best, D2 gets the next and so on and so forth - not even close that.
Get an honest assessment - As a parent, I know it’s easy to see all the great things our children do or have done throughout their lives. This is natural and should never be discouraged, but it has no place in college recruiting. Let a set of experienced eyes make an evaluation of your son, try to get your son the opportunity to play in front of or with that person. Tools are one thing, but heart, character, p