Are you searching for an advantage in getting into a college? Are you trying to get more money to pay for college? Do you want to attract the attention of college coaches?
Here is a "college recruiting hack" ... TAKE THE SAT, early and often and improve your GPA. I realize it can be difficult to improve your GPA quickly, especially if you’re in the latter half of high school already.
Freshman (2022): You've most likely only completed two semesters of high school, so there's plenty of time (4-5 semesters!) left for you to raise your GPA. The majority of your classes are still ahead of you. It's important to take action as soon as possible if your GPA is especially low so that you don't get stuck trying to climb out of a much deeper hole your sophomore or junior year.
Sophomore (2021): At this point, you’ve completed four semesters of high school and have 2-3 more to go before you apply to college. This means that almost half of the grades that will make up your final GPA for college are still ahead of you, so you have a pretty strong chance of making improvements. If your GPA is currently, say, a 2.7, by putting in more effort over the course of the next year or so you can most likely raise it above a 3.0.
Junior (2020): You’ve completed six semesters of high school now and have one semesters left to go before you send out college applications. You will have to improve drastically in order to make a positive impact on your GPA before you apply to college. You may still be able to make small changes, but a major increase in your GPA is likely to be out of reach. You might decide to focus on standardized test scores over GPA at this point as you near the end of your junior year. Raising your scores is your best bet for getting accepted into a selective college despite a GPA that’s on the lower side. You should be able to take the SAT as late as January and the ACT as late as February if you're looking to submit your scores along with regular decision applications.
Let this sink in ... this is important!
There are approximately 299 NCAA Division I baseball programs with each team being allowed to offer a maximum of (11.7) scholarships. Under NCAA rules, these 11.7 scholarships can be divided between a maximum of 27 players, with all players on athletic scholarship having to receive a minimum of a 25% scholarship. What does that mean? Let's take a look at the following college examples.
Private University (a private D1)
Total Costs - $71,000
Baseball Scholarship - $17,750
Remember that since it is private, more than likely there is one cost whether you live down the street or 3,000 miles away. The student is responsible for this balance .. the way to help off set this cost is your GPA, SAT or ACT scores and building a relationship with the college, the college admissions personnel as well as the baseball coach.
Let's look at another situation
Big State University (a public D1)
Total Costs $26,000 (in state) $45,000 (out of state)
Baseball Scholarship $6,500 (in state) $11,250 (out of state)
$19,500 (in state), $33,750 (out of state) Balance
Know how selective each college you are applying to is (admission wise) .. if you have a 4.0 GPA and a 1440 SAT and are applying to a college that is "middle of the road" in selectivity rating, where the average incoming freshman who will apply have a 3.45 GPA and a 1240 SAT, well now you are at the top of the "money chain" and could be offered a much higher academic scholarship than if you had only applied to highly selective colleges, where the average incoming freshman has a 3.95 GPA with a 1500 SAT.
So if your son is playing high school baseball, even if he is only a freshman, it’s time for a reality check.
11.7 is the maximum number of scholarships that NCAA Division 1 baseball teams can give to its players. That’s not per year, that’s per team for all players. Most D1 teams carry more pitchers than the number of scholarships they can award. To make the money go further, they award partial scholarships. Depending on the school, this can still leave you on the hook for a hefty chunk of the tuition bill (thus the need to know financial aid and admissions deadlines). So if you’re investing money in lessons and select/travel ball in the hopes of a full college baseball scholarship, then you’re making a poor investment decision.
OPPORTUNITY - The first thing to notice is that the largest number of schools and active players are in Division 3 - the one that doesn’t award any athletic scholarships. The next thing to get your attention should be the number of maximum scholarships awarded compared to the average number of participants per team for the division.
Junior Colleges (JuCo) are allowed to award up to 24 scholarships and NAIA schools allow 12 scholarships.
Knowing and understanding your son’s actual talent level and his ability to compete are critical, but having an understanding of your son, what he really is looking for and what type of situation that he will shine should be a priority right now. The focus at the beginning should not be the sticker price (price tag) - it should always be about right fit, understanding where you are at academically and athletically and then targeting those schools. If you are only interested in "Big Name University" or D1 College" or bust ... and aren't looking deeper into those institutions than their baseball record, facilities or conference they play in, then you should seriously stop your search now. The game is hard enough and you will fail and if you are not in the place, you will leave (transfer) and then the nightmare begins. Do not be that guy - if you love the game and seriously want to play in college, the focus has got to be right fit - not level, not name and not money. When you focus on the things that really matter, the right fit will appear.
We all know how competitive D1 colleges can be - now lets briefly look at D2 - Take a look at the seniors on each roster. How many came directly from high school and how many are transfers? In the 2019 graduating class at Western Oregon University, there are only TWO players who came in as freshman (together) and will be graduating in four years (together) .. TWO out of 16 graduating seniors. If most of the seniors are junior college transfers, or D1 bounce back guys, what do you think the chances are of a freshman, just out of high school, making it to his senior year on the team?
Next, take a look at the names of the colleges that the players transferred from. What kind of competition do you think exists at these junior and community college baseball programs? Chances are that they aren’t desperate for quality baseball players.
Think about it. How many high school players have less than stellar grades and decide to attend a junior college instead of a four-year institution?
Then there are the players who were actually drafted by a MLB team that decided to play JuCo for a year to improve their draft position for the following year. Players at four-year schools cannot be drafted until their junior year which is why these players are at the JuCo level.
The point is to use this information to put your son in the best position possible to play at the next level and that doesn’t mean just more hitting lessons or get him on a "name" travel/scout team. You are really missing the boat and not helping your son in anyway, if his goal is to actually play college baseball.
So then, how do you pay for it? Maybe you’ve taken the SAT or ACT and got a really good score, but you aren't sure how to get the most money out of it. Or maybe you haven’t taken the SAT or ACT yet but are wondering how important the tests really are. You can earn thousands of dollars in scholarships based just on your test scores. Curious to see how? We'll show you where you can get scholarships based on ACT scores and scholarships based on SAT scores.
Every college and university has a different chart covering these automatic scholarships - once you have discovered your top 20 (best fit) colleges, do your research and see where your sons academics and test scores rank on their chart. Here is a chart at one college -
SAT Score ACT Score Amount per year
1520+ 34+ $43,610
1450-1510 32-33 $42,610
1330-1390 30-31 $41,610
You can read more about each opportunity at every school's website but be sure to know it's a good fit FIRST. By looking at what school is cheapest first, then "hoping" it's a right fit is backwards - DO NOT CHEAT THE PROCESS!
This is just the tip of the iceberg with colleges that give automatic scholarships based on SAT/ACT scores, as well as qualifiers like GPA or class rank. For these scholarships, you don’t have to submit any extra application information, but in some cases, you have to apply by a certain deadline to be guaranteed the scholarship.
In addition to the awards highlighted above, some universities also offer scholarships based on GPA and class rank.
Scholarship Amount Awarded per Year
President’s Gold Scholarship $19,000-22,000
Provost’s Gold Scholarship $16,000-18,000
Dean’s Gold Scholarship $13,000-15,000
Founder's Gold Scholarship $7,000-12,000
Most colleges have a scholarship estimator you can use to predict your award amount. As an example, based on the estimator
- 36 ACT with a high class rank (5/500) gets you a President’s Gold scholarship of $22,000/year
- 34 with the same rank also gets you $22,000,
- 32 gets you $20,000
- 28 gets you $16,000
While these are all high amounts, note that increasing your ACT from 28 to 32 gets you $4,000 more dollars each year—$16,000 over your whole college career.
Or, to take another example, if your class rank is top 50% and you have a 21 ACT, you don’t qualify for a scholarship. But if you have that same rank but a 24 ACT, you can get a Founder’s Gold Scholarship of $10,000 per year. In other words, a 3-point ACT increase, which is definitely possible with some smart studying, can earn you $40,000. That’s amazing!
Remember, every college is different so at another less selective college, the requirements could be less but the scholarship numbers could remain the same.
Some colleges offer a Distinguished Scholars program that covers the cost of tuition for students with at least a 1350 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT.
Here are some others
GPA 3.0 SAT: 1200 ACT: 26 - $5000-$6000
GPA 3.0 SAT: 1100 ACT: 24 - $3000-$6000
So if you have at least a 3.0, a 2-point ACT increase gets you $2,000 more dollars, per year $8,000 over four years.
This brings me to the SAT Superscore? If you have heard about it, you are probably confused. I bet you spent hours scouring college websites to understand what SAT scores they require and use and how they use them? Every college, and sometimes each college department, will have different SAT score-use policies.
If you haven't heard of it then this will make you happy and then will push you to register for the SAT. Imagine you’ve taken the SAT two times, once in the spring and once in the fall. The second time around, your Reading and Writing score increased 80 points, but your Math score came out 10 points lower. Colleges that "superscore" the SAT use your best section-level scores, even if they were from different tests. This allows them to see and consider the highest section scores consistently.
No matter if colleges on your list superscore or not, you should consider taking the SAT more than once. It will give you the opportunity to demonstrate perseverance, show your growth, and possibly improve your scores. Having two or three SAT scores also allows for more score sending options.
Colleges don’t look poorly upon retaking, so don’t worry about it hurting your admission chances ... 2 out of 3 students raise their scores when they take the SAT a second time. Many students will take the SAT for the first time in the spring of their junior year, then again in summer and a third time in the fall.
UPCOMING SAT TEST DATES
2018-19 SAT Dates
2019-20 SAT Dates
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