If you’ve received athletic scholarship offers from more than one college and are trying to make a decision, you’ve come to the right place! First off, congratulations! Getting an athletic scholarship offer is challenging, and to get more than one must mean you’re a great athlete. Now comes another hard part: Choosing which offer to accept.
There are many factors that go into choosing the right athletic scholarship offer, and there’s no one-size fits all solution. However, at Cheshire Academy we’ve provided college guidance to a number of high school athletes who have received one or more athletic scholarship offers, so we do have some tips.
School A is offering you $15,000 and their annual tuition cost is $60,000. School B is offering you $5,000 and their annual tuition cost is $30,000 a year. While at face value school A seems like a better deal because they’re offering more money, School B is actually $20,000 cheaper per year.
Get to know the coaches.
In order to play competitively, you have to trust your coach. What kind of vibe do you get from the coach of each team? What’s their coaching style? Consider carefully whether you think you’ll thrive under the leadership of each coach.
Ask former or current players.
Often when it comes to being recruited, coaches and players put forward their best faces. However, if you have connections through your high school, former coaches, or friends who might have played for this team in the past, their stories could provide useful insight for your decision.
For example, maybe a senior on your team last year went to one of the schools now extending an offer to you. Give him a call or send him a message and ask him how he likes playing for the team. Sometimes, you’ll find out the player was promised play time as a freshman and ended up redshirted. Other times they’re loving their classes and thriving on the field. Either way, you can learn a lot about each school just by using your network.
Which school wants you more?
Looking back at my earlier example when it comes to School A and School B, it can be useful to see which school is willing to spend more money on you. Why? If a school is planning on spending a sizeable amount of their scholarship dollars on you, it means they see you as a good investment and may develop your skills further or even play you more.
This may go without saying, but if one school plays D1 and another plays D3, you’re going to have to look at that as well. If you plan on playing professionally after college, a D1 school will be your best bet. But if you’re using your athletic talent to help you get into an academically competitive school or to get a scholarship, a D3 school might be fine for you, especially if they’re offering you more money or a better degree. If you have offers from multiple D1 schools, that’s where it gets harder. Talk to your high school coach to see if they can help you decide which team might be better.
Don’t forget about the classes.
Unless you plan on playing professionally (and even then!), you’re going to need that degree to help you get a job after you graduate. Which school has the degree program you want, or will provide you with the most competitive degree? For example, if you want a business degree but one of the schools that made you an offer only has liberal arts degrees, that school might not be the best fit for your future career.
These are just six of many factors to consider when it comes to deciding between athletic scholarship offers for college. We don’t have the answer for you, but we hope that these tips help you on your journey to finding the right college fit.