How to Decide which Is The Right College Football Program for You
After deciding you’d like to play college football, you’ve been recruited by multiple schools. So what do you do now? Choosing a college is one of the most critical decisions in a person’s life, and for athletes, it can even be more challenging. Most high school players dream about playing D1 football since they know that’s what they want, but only one out of every 40 make it. So where should you play and what school should you attend?
First off, identify the things that are important to you. Are you interested in playing in your freshman year? Do you have a particular coach in mind? Would you like to be closer to your family? Would you like to attend a top athletic or academic school? Would you like small classes, for example? To pick the right team, you’ll need to see what your options are once you’ve decided what your priorities are.
Know your choices
Discover what schools are really recruiting you by understanding the recruiting process. The D1-FBS schools that dominate national television are most familiar to student-athletes. While a D1-FBS school may be interested in you, you should keep your options open until you receive at least two scholarship offers. A school’s recruitment doesn’t equate to an offer of a scholarship or a roster spot. Research other universities in the divisions you’re interested in.
Learn about the fundamental differences between football divisions, such as player to coach ratios, scholarship opportunities, stadium capacity, and recruiting selectivity. However, you should visit at least one school from every division to get a good sense of it. By using College Selector technology, you can quickly determine which schools to target. A computer algorithm scans information on more than 700 college football programs to find unique matches for you using artificial intelligence.
Where an athlete can attend college is heavily influenced by their academic performance. There are minimum GPA requirements for each division and each school, and if your GPA does not meet those requirements, the school cannot recruit you.
Prepare a list of several schools that interest you at different division levels, especially if they’re interested in recruiting you. You have a better chance of landing at the right school if you have a variety on your list.
Know your finances
The cost of a school is usually an essential factor for most athletes. College can be very costly when you take tuition, room and board, and textbooks into account. The cost can range from $20,000 to $260,000 for four years. However, families usually don’t have to shell out the total amount for the school of their choice. The cost of college can be reduced or eliminated through athletic, academic, and need-based scholarships.
The average amount of athletic scholarships awarded to high school athletes is about 2%. The number of academic scholarships awarded by colleges and universities is almost three times greater than the number of athletic scholarships they provide. Your out-of-pocket expenses, including loans from each school, should be fully understood during your senior year; that way, you’ll know what financial aid and scholarships are available to you. Even though loans can help you attend a more affordable school, they also need to be repaid and should be accounted for in your out-of-pocket costs.
Don’t hesitate to tell the coach recruiting you if the school you want to attend is not within your budget. The financial aid package he can offer you might be better than the one you currently have. The fewer choices you have, the cheaper it will be.
Choose the right school
Most NFL careers last less than three years, and only 1.6% of college football players make it to the NFL. Therefore, you should determine what you want to do after you graduate from college, and you should ensure that the university is the right one for your career path.
For example, to become a finance major, check if the school offers an excellent finance program; to become a teacher, check whether or not the school has a good education program.
Engage in a program
Ultimately, you must choose a program after narrowing your options. It is rare for athletes to decide with 100% certainty. You should make a decision when you are 90% sure, and use all your energy to make the right decision by working hard to succeed. You will be able to partake in the school’s spots after you have committed.
When you commit to a school, you should no longer consider any other option. You are not engaging faithfully in the recruiting process if you continue to treat your commitment as a placeholder as you explore other options. A couple of weeks before signing day, you wouldn’t want to hear that another player has signed with the school where you committed.