So You Want To Play College Golf: College Visits & Financial Aid
This series of blogs on the steps in the college golf recruiting process wouldn't be complete without information on the importance of college visits and finding other sources of college aid.
A visit to a college or university spending valuable time on campus and seeing the golf facilities is where the athlete (if prepared) can determine whether the school and program is a good fit in all areas such as the financial aspect, academic offerings, golf program, coaching personality and more.
Once a visit has been scheduled with a coach whether by email or calling a coach, there are important steps that parent and junior golfers need to know to make a great impression!
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
StraightShot Inc. encourages high school athletes and their parents to schedule unofficial visits as early as possible. These initial visits as early as sophomore year are a terrific way to begin a college search to find the right fit. Official visits cannot take place until the first day of an athlete's senior year for NCAA Division I schools and that's very late in the game for first visits!
There is nothing like an upfront and personal view of a campus, coach, team and academic program to get you evaluating what you want from the college experience. And, an early visit provides invaluable information on ACT and SAT requirements that will have you focused on good test scores and grades.
Nothing turns off a coach or administrator more than an athlete not being prepared for the visit. The following is a list of tips for your visit:
Do not wear jeans. Khaki pants, belt, dress shirt for guys. Dress pants, sweater, skirt etc. for girls.
Be engaged and ask questions. Look coaches in the eyes when speaking. Practice with friends, golf coach or parents in speaking skills.
Have a notebook with questions and take notes. List positives and negatives of visit, program, school, etc.
Parents should not take over in this process of talking to coaches. Take a walk, offer your child time with coach alone. Then have your time to ask questions.
Bring your updated resume to present to the coaches.
If you get a chance to meet the team, this is a great time to get great insight on
the school and coach.
- Always coordinate meetings with financial aid and admissions office on your visit.
Get important academic requirement information, financial aid scholarship forms, FAFSA forms, ask about scholarships you may qualify for!
Check out this document for a list of questions you can ask coaches while on your visit:
Always check to see if you are eligible for financial aid.
If you have studied the NCAA Student Athlete Handbook you soon realize there are a limited number of full athletic scholarships in every sport. These athletics-based scholarships must be renewed annually and the monetary amount of an athletic scholarship can change year to year based on your performance. They are awarded in a variety of amounts, ranging from full scholarships(which include tuition, fees, room and board, and books) to very small scholarships (books only). Your athletic scholarship may not cover but a small percentage of your college costs so it is crucial to look for other types of aid.
For more information on the different types of financial aid available and a list of resources, see this document:
After the Visits
Review and rate your results.
Write a follow up personal note to thank the coach for his or her time. Evaluate the school using a simple scale of 1-5 rating the general criteria like academics, location, dorm or lodging, quality of practice facilities, opportunity to improve, schedule, climate and other factors. StraightShot Inc. is proud of our record in mentoring athletes in evaluating schools and the "college notebook" or excel spreadsheet that we require athletes to keep of their visits is a key in our success. In the end, these notes hold the answer of your best college choice.
Finally, stay in touch with coaches! Your final decision often rests on what relationships you have built through constant communication.For more information or help with this process- please visit www.straightshotinc.com or email email@example.com to set up a visit!
Betty Baird Kregor is an LPGA Master Teaching Professional and owner of StraightShot Inc., specializing in the DISC personality system to mentor and advise athletes of all ages and abilities.
In 2014, Kregor retired from over 27 years of teaching golf to consult athletes in the mental aspects of sport an serve as a "performance coach" for goals, scheduling, practice programs, college advising and more.
Her LPGA education in DISC profiling allows an athlete to maximize their performance with "self awareness" of their strengths and weaknesses. It is also an important tool in finding the right college fit which is a component of Kregor's expertise. College athletic consulting is a service that benefits 9-12th graders in learning how to market their talents, schedule college visits and value the importance of academics.
If you are interested in contacting Betty regarding a consult or workshop please visit www.straightshotinc.com for more information.