Smart Admissions Tips for Student Athletes


Planning to play a sport in college? If you're a student athlete, finding the right school is still about best overall fit. Make sure you are considering academics, campus culture and financial aid — in addition to the athletics program — during your college search and the admissions process.

1. Understand the Rules of Recruitment

If you have your eye on a varsity sport, be aware that members of the team are usually recruited by college coaches. There are rules for when and how coaches can get in touch with you. Check out the guidelines for NCAA recruiting.

2. Plan Ahead for NCAA Eligibility

If you are applying to Division I or II schools, you will also need to meet NCAA eligibility. These academic standards include:

- Required courses

- GPA cut-offs

- SAT/ACT score requirements

3. Raise Your GPA

NCAA eligibility does not mean automatic admission! You'll still have to go through the school's admission committee, so work hard to get good grades in challenging courses. The Princeton Review's online tutors have your back if your GPA needs a boost!

4. Choose Your SAT/ACT Test Dates Wisely

Consider your sports schedule when choosing your test dates so that you can get in enough prep. For example, if you play a spring sport, you may have more time to prep for the SAT and ACT tests in the fall or even over the summer.

5. Be Original in Your Application Essays

Strategize with your college counselor about how to talk about playing sports in your college essays. Many essays sound the same.

6. Think Beyond Sports

Your best fit college is one you would attend even if you don't make the team! Learn more about how to find the right school for you.