Each week, we receive dozens of questions about recruiting and college admissions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are a few of the most timely questions from the past week:
Since DIII schools can’t offer scholarships, how do they attract great student-athletes?
Division III schools offer financial aid packages, which are often competitive when compared to other athletic based packages at DI levels. The financial aid packages are comprised of academic, merit and need-based aid. The size of these packages depend on a variety of factors including your family’s need as well as the endowment and financial resources of the school. In the current recession, financial aid packages can be slightly less than in previous years, but often are more money than a partial athletic scholarship.
What is the Difference between Early Decision and Early Action? And should I apply to one of these?
Many colleges offer early decision or early action, but not all. If you are a recruited athlete, and have already made a verbal commitment to a program, you will likely be applying early decision.
The fundamental difference between the two early application options is that Early Decision is binding. That means you agree to attend the college if it accepts you. You can apply to only one college for early decision, but you may apply to other colleges through the regular admission process. If you’re accepted by your first-choice college early, you must withdraw all other applications.
If you have been accepted in Early Action you can choose to commit to the college immediately, or wait until the spring. You may also apply early action to other colleges. Usually, you have until the late spring to let the college know your decision.
You should apply early only if you are sure about what college you want to attend. You shouldn’t apply early if it would be beneficial to have more of your senior year work to show a college or if you plan to weigh your offers in the spring. If you are uncertain about where you want to go then don’t rush the admissions process; there is still a lot of time left. If you feel strongly about one school, then take advantage of the option to apply early because you’ll have a better chance of being accepted.
If I’m a Senior, Should I still be Going to Fall and Winter Recruiting Showcases and Tournaments?
It depends. If you have already verbally committed to a program or have been sufficiently evaluated as a player by the coaches of the schools you are looking at, then it’s probably not necessary.
Attending a recruiting showcase this late in the process would be a good idea if you are hoping to get some more options and garner interest from others schools. This might be the case if you were injured during the summer, feel you have improved a lot since a coach last saw you play, a coach of a school you are interested in never saw you play, or you are on the bubble in a coach’s recruiting class.
I’ll be playing my first season of varsity lacrosse this school year. Should I wait to have some varsity experience before I start the recruiting process?
Absolutely not! The earlier you start, the better. The recruiting process is all about building relationships with coaches and understanding which colleges and programs will help you achieve your college lacrosse and academic goals. Get yourself on the coach’s recruiting radar and become someone on their list to follow-up with in the future. Doing this early will put you ahead of many other student-athletes interested in the same schools.
To begin building relationships with college coaches, send them information about yourself and fill out their recruiting questionnaire. Make sure to capture some game footage and keep track of your stats to send coaches. Take control of your college process rather than be reactive!
Furthermore, lacrosse offers recruiting opportunities that other sports do not: camps and tournaments to showcase your ability in front of college coaches. You have the advantage of playing lacrosse most of the year, and there are more opportunities for college coaches to see you play. Before attending a tournament, make sure to send out emails to the coaches notifying them of your interest in their school and your presence at the tournament. Get on their list!