In the sports recruiting process, senior year is a big year. It comes with all sorts of deadlines, dates to remember, and a huge decision come spring. But before you make the final decision on what college you’ll be attending, there are several little but significant choices you must make in order to get you there.
As you move through your senior year, certain circumstances will arise in which you will need to make a decision that will ultimately affect your recruitment and where you end up at college. Recognizing the situation and how your decision will determine your future is a huge part of knowing which way to choose. It is important that you understand each situation, assess the options, and then make the decision that is right for you.
Here are Six of the Biggest Decisions that Will Arise During Your Senior Year:
1. Retaking the SAT or ACT
Whether or not you should take the SAT or ACT again is an important decision because college admissions weigh them heavily in your academic profile. So think about your previous score: do you think you could do better on another try? If you took time to study, practice, and retake the exam, would you get a significant improvement? It never hurts to give it another shot, especially since you can take it as many times as you like.
2. Picking a Major
High school is a great time to explore different subjects and see what you might be interested in studying in college. Anything that you are interested in or have strength in could be a possible major in college. Don’t have any idea? That’s okay too. There are a lot of students who aren’t sure what they want to major in and end up switching majors while at school.
3. Pursuing a Junior College or a Four-Year University
When looking at possible schools, there is a choice to pursue junior colleges or four-year schools. Both options have numerous benefits for student athletes; you just need to know which is right for you. Junior colleges are good for those students who still need development in their athletics and who need to strengthen their academics. Spending a couple of years at junior college might be the time they need to prepare for a transfer to a four-year school.
4. Picking Your Top 5 Schools
Whenever you start the recruiting process, you will probably start with a long list of schools you may be interested in. As you continue to do your research and talk to coaches, that list will start to dwindle as you cut schools out of the running. By your senior year, you should have a solid list of schools you are actively pursuing for admittance. You should take some time and go through your list and develop your top 5 schools. Taking the time to do this early on will help you as you get closer and closer to making your final decision, when there won’t be as much time available.
5. Walking On, Playing Time, or Accepting a Scholarship
For some athletes, they may get multiple offers with varying degrees of incentives. Some schools may be able to offer more scholarship money than others, if any at all. But you should take into consideration where you might rank on the team once you get there. Is it worth it to you to go to a big-name school but not get much playing time? Or would you rather go to a lower-level school where you know you’ll get to play and succeed on the team? Your experience at these schools will be crucial to your success at the school, both academically and athletically, so make sure to give it some thought.
6. Waiting for an Offer or Taking the One You Have
Offers from schools won’t come in all at the same time. If you receive an offer from one of your top schools, but you haven’t gotten one from another, should you just take what you get? That depends on several things. You should consider where they rank on your list and whether getting an offer from the other school is likely. Make sure you’ve had these conversations with coaches so that you can make informed decisions. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity with one team because you are waiting around for another who might not step up.