SAT ACTThere are so many decisions regarding college preparation when your child is in high school. Where should she volunteer? What extracurriculars should he join? And a very important decision: which admissions test for college should receive one’s full attention? Experts recommend that students focus on taking and improving their score on either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT). Both are used in the application process and usually accepted at colleges across the United States, but can be very different when it comes to the actual testing.

shutterstock 1658822The Reality Behind NCAA Divisions

Division makes a difference, but not in the way you think.  There are extremely talented athletes in every single division.  The things that are different about the divisions is how they prioritize your life.  If you go D1, you will do nothing but your sport and likely miss the majority of your classes.  D2 will still be sport focused, but you will miss less school. However, you will probably not be involved in much outside of school and your sport.  In D3, school comes first and you are only allowed to miss a few days of school (for me it’s 6 days per semester). You will also be able to be involved in more extra-curricular activities.  I was recruited by every single level and I chose D3 because of the flexibility to be more than just an athlete. I am a student athlete with a major and double minor. I am also involved in multiple clubs and president of one.  I am in a sorority and sit as a committee chair. I do at least 15 hours of community service a semester. I am prouder and have learned more from the second half of that list than playing golf for my school. For me D3 offered a balanced life style that appealed to me and has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

College recruitmentGoing through recruitment is an interesting and honestly challenging time.  It is probably one of the first times you and your talent will be openly judged.  Coaches will analyze every aspect of your game looking for potential as well as flaws that may cause them to choose someone else.  For a whole year, you wonder if you are good enough and are being openly compared to other athletes the coach is recruiting.

college stadiumChoosing a School as a Student Athlete

For any high school senior, choosing your college can be extremely stressful.  Some students, like myself, also had the added stress of being an athlete. On top of academics and school culture, you are having to think about divisions, coaches, new teammates, and more.  When I was making my college decision I was extremely stressed and faced so many conflicting thoughts. “I like the coach, but the school doesn’t have the major I want. I love the school, but cannot connect with the coach.  The culture of the school is awesome, but the team seems to have a lot of drama.” You suddenly feel pulled in 100 different directions and it is confusing.  

IMG 8981Allison is a senior at Hanover College in Indiana. She majors in communications, with a double minor in art and business, and is  the Captain of the Varsity Women’s Golf Team. While completing her summer internship at Hilton Head Monthly, she wrote a 6 part series geared toward high schoolers and parents of high schoolers  looking for colleges, and balancing athletics with course work.