As a student-athlete, choosing a college is a big deal. After all, you want to select the school that offers you a position on your dream team.
While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the athletic attractions of your would-be school, though, it also pays to think a little deeper and choose a school that’s promising both academically and athletically.
In this post, we’ll discuss a few of the reasons you need to choose a school that’s a good educational match, and how to do it.
Let’s dive in.
Whether your dream is to play professionally or go on to a rewarding career of another type, choosing a school that’s a good educational match is one of the most important things you’ll do.
Athletics can be fickle, and it’s impossible to guarantee that you will play your chosen sport forever.
For example, what if you get a career-ending injury that makes it impossible for you to play?
Even if your goal is to play at the professional level, it’s important to be realistic about how life could get in the way of you doing that. Choosing an educationally promising school helps you build up your career prospects, even as you focus on making the cut for professional sports.
Even if you’re an incredibly skilled athlete and you stay physically healthy enough to play forever, you still can’t guarantee that you’ll make it to the pros. After all, professional leagues are incredibly selective.
According to the NCAA, more than 480,000 people compete as NCAA athletes, but just a handful move on to compete at the professional or Olympic level. In football, for example, only 1.6% of NCAA athletes will go on to become Major Pros.
Even as you strive toward your goal of playing at the professional level, make sure you’re choosing a university that supports your academic fallback plan as well.
While many student-athletes make the mistake of thinking athletics and academics exist separately, that’s not the case.
In fact, good academics are essential for student athletes, and are a condition of play at many schools. Grades are also a critical consideration during the recruiting process.
With all this in mind, it’s easy to see how choosing an academically excellent and supportive school is one of the best ways to support your athletic career.
If you don’t intend to play professional sports, academics are directly tied to your future career prospects. The better your grades are, the more career opportunities you'll be able to enjoy throughout your career. This is especially true for anyone planning to go on to get another degree in law school, medical school, or something similar.
If you need a scholarship to play sports at the college level, academics are a critical consideration. The stronger your academic program, the more likely it is that they’ll have generous academic scholarships meant for student athletes.
If you’re thinking about college recruiting and how best to navigate it this upcoming year, it’s critical to consider the academic appeal of your would-be school as well.
By choosing a school that excels both academically and athletically, you support yourself on all fronts and make it easier to build the life you want.
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