Choosing where to go to college is a big deal—and it takes some serious consideration. Even more so if you’re a college-bound student-athlete.
If that’s you—pause, take a deep breath, and rest assured that college is a blast no matter where you go, but there are a few steps you can take to make sure you find your perfect fit:
First things first. Be realistic with yourself and your parents. What can you afford? Will you be receiving scholarships? Are your athletic abilities Division I or more Division II? Being brutally honest will make this process lots easier.
Think beyond sports. You’re an athlete, and you’ve probably got your heart set on competing for a certain team. But remember, the “student” part comes first. Make sure that if tomorrow you couldn’t compete, you’d still love the school.
What are your goals? Consider what you want in the next few years. Do you want to jump right into a job after graduating? Is graduate school an option? Does going to a junior college first before heading to university make most sense for you? Once you’re clear on what you want out of college, you can narrow down your search.
Consider environment? Do you learn best in large groups or smaller class settings? Do you want to live in a big city or a cozy town? How important is being close to home? The environment you’re in impacts every aspect of your life—athletically and academically—make sure it’s one you’ll thrive in.
What do you want to be when you grow up? You’ve been asked this since you were a toddler, now it’s time to realy think about it. Get an idea of what you’d like to do when you grow up and make sure the school you’re considering offers that program—a good one at that.
Visit. Now’s the fun part! Explore everything: classrooms, the library, central campus, residence halls, etc. While on your visits you’ll want to talk to:
Professors (in your field of study)
Come prepared with any questions you may have and ask away! Pay attention to how you feel on your visits—you’ll know you’ve found a good match when you’re comfortable and excited.
Selecting your ideal college should be fun—not stressful. With these simple steps you’ll be attending (and playing for!) your perfect fit in no time.