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Over the next few weeks our recruiting tips will cover the roles of parents, coaches, and the athletes themselves in the college recruiting process. This week let’s talk about the parent’s roles in college recruiting.
Whether you like it or not, your parents should be involved in your recruiting journey. When it comes to their kids, we all know how parents can act. Sure, they ask too many questions, they think their athlete is the best player on the planet, and typically they are more critical than the coach. That said, they are motivated to help, they have the best handle on the family college budget, and many times they will come up with questions that you never would have thought to ask. For those reasons parents need to be involved and here are the ways I feel they can be most helpful.
The first role for parents is one as a recruiting counselor. At times, the recruiting process can be discouraging and frustrating. Waiting for a coach to respond to you or hoping someone comes to watch you play is difficult. Your parents are your biggest fans and for that reason can offer some perspective and keep you on track.
Your parents also can keep you focused on the real goal and help you remember that the most important reason to go to college is to get a quality education. They can make sure you don’t get caught up in the excitement of college recruiting and overlook that simple fact.
Finally, a parent’s role as counselor should be to support, to be a positive role model, and to encourage. If you are an athlete who is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient, and who always tries his or her best; then your parents have probably been a big part of your athletic career so far.
The second role a parent can fill is one as a administrative assistant. This is probably the easiest role for parents to step into and I bet you can use the help. That being said, parents need to understand that you will be the one on the team, not them. Their role is primarily behind the scenes. Here is a short list of administrative tasks parents can do to help their student-athlete with the college recruiting process:
- Help organize the process
- Provide input on college budget
- Develop a college recruiting timeline
- Proofread emails and correspondence (not to edit, just to make suggestions)
- Help you understand the college recruiting rules
- Keep you focused on realistic colleges
Having a personal administrative assistant will make your recruiting process a lot easier. I would sign your parents up for that role right now.
The projected average “all-in” cost of college for the 2016–2017 academic term exceeds $21,000 for state residents at public colleges, $36,000 for out-of-state residents attending public universities, and can be over $46,000 for private universities. Given these numbers, if you aren’t offered a full scholarship, your family budget can be an extremely important factor in college recruiting and therefore you probably need to do some financial planning.
The NCAA breaks sports into two categories—head count sports and equivalency sports. Students who are offered a scholarship to play a head count sports are being offered a full scholarship, while students who play equivalency sports most likely will receive only a partial scholarship. Typically partial scholarships range from 25% to 60%. The head count sports are all at the Division I level and include Football (D-I FBS only), Basketball (Men’s and Women’s), Women’s Tennis, Women’s Gymnastics and Women’s Volleyball. All other Division I sports are equivalency sports. Division II, NAIA and Junior Colleges also offer equivalency scholarships.
The point is that if you are seeking a scholarship in an equivalency sport then you need to know the family college budget and your parents are the ones to ask. You and your parents will have to do some financial planning on the “all in” costs before you decide which schools to consider.
Here’s the deal
Win, lose, or draw your parents are always there for you and they would like nothing more than to offer their help and advice. In fact, you probably will get it even if you don’t ask. Take them up on the help and listen to the advice. Your parents might be smarter than you think.