COACHES DO THEIR HOMEWORK, TOO
Before a coach decides to offer you a scholarship, he will do an extensive background check to find out everything he can about you. A scholarship is a big financial risk for the coach and his/her college, so coaches can be very thorough in their research, in order to improve the chances of making an intelligent decision. A few phone calls to your high school coach, guidance counselor, teachers, summer team coach, friends, and any local contacts he has will provide the information he needs.
So ask yourself right now:
· Is there anything I am doing now that will negatively affect a college coach’s opinion of me?
· Do I attend all of my classes?
· Do I get along with my teammates?
· Am I a leader or a follower?
· What kind of crowd do I hang with?
· How is my work ethic, drive, and integrity?
Scholarships & Walk-Ons
Once the athletic staff has finalized its recruiting list, it’s time to decide which incoming freshman or transfer students will receive athletic scholarships and how much money each person will be offered—remember Division III athletes do not receive athletic scholarships. All other athletes on their recruiting list will continue the application process and if they attend the school will be invited to make the team as a walk-on.
Facts about Scholarships
The NCAA strictly limits the number of scholarships that each school can distribute. Each Division 1 lacrosse program has 12.69 scholarships for men and 12 for women. In Division 2 there are 10.8 scholarships for men and 9.9 for women. Unlike football, lacrosse is a NCAA equivalency sport, which means the scholarships can be spread among many players. Typically, a coach divides the scholarship allotment into several partial scholarships as opposed to giving only a few athletes full scholarships. It’s a lower risk strategy because some of the scholarship recipients will fall short of expectations, get injured, become academically ineligible, or drop out.
Also, realize that the scholarships are not just earmarked for incoming freshmen, but are used for all athletes on the team. This may include as many as 35 sophomores, juniors, seniors.
It is very difficult for a coach to offer many “full rides.” What also may happen is that an upperclassman may have his or her scholarship amount increased in an effort to retain that player. A quarter scholarship may be improved to a half scholarship. Which means the “extra” scholarship money has to come from another athlete.
As a result, thousands of outstanding high school athletes are never offered even partial scholarships. Many don’t even receive passing interest from coaches. Keep in mind that scholarship awards are on a year-to-year basis. While a coach cannot guarantee you will
receive the same award in future years, it is normal practice that it will be renewed at the same level.
Even if you are fortunate enough to get all or some of your tuition paid by an athletic scholarship, you may still have other significant costs like room and board, books, entertainment, and transportation to and from school. D-III, D-I Ivy League and Patriot League schools do not offer any athletic scholarships (American University, a Patriot League member is the exception). Military academies like Air Force, West Point, Navy, and the Coast Guard are tuition free; however admission requires a congressional recommendation and service requirements.
In addition to allocating scholarships, a coach can consult financial aid officers on your behalf to determine what non-athletic aid might be available. However, you should personally check out for yourself other areas of help since you cannot expect the coach to explore all available options for each prospect.
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