College Planning & Placement for SPIRE Student Athletes: A Path for Everyone

SPIRE IA (Institute/Academy) is one of the world’s most unique and comprehensive athletic, academic, personal and career development organizations. Constructed on 175 acres with 750,000 sq. ft. under roof, SPIRE is among the largest indoor multi-sport, training, education and competition complexes in North America.

SPIRE swimming facilities include a 50-meter, 10-lane, Olympic-sized pool with 2 movable bulkheads, a 25-yard 6-lane pool, 4 therapy pools , access to a world class Performance Training Center, the SPIRE Fuel cafeteria and much more. Under the direction of Aquatics Director and Head Coach Thad Schultz, SPIRE runs academy, camp and club programs across a 12 month calendar of training activity.

SPIRE hosts numerous swim competitions every year, including regional meets, world championship qualifiers, Olympic trials, and events organized by the NCAA, the Big East, Big Ten and Atlantic 10 conferences. SPIRE is also proud to call 12 time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte it’s International Swim Ambassador.

SPIRE’S 9-12th grade college prep Academy offers an accredited, cross curricular, project-based learning environment designed with the progressive learner/thinker in mind. The Academy is housed in a brand new, state-of-the-art facility which includes 100% flexible learning space, advanced technology, common area for group project work, an esports studio and science and mechatronic engineering labs.

As a SPIRE student athlete, your experience is based on four integrated priorities: college preparatory academics, specialization within a sport or particular passion, personal skills development and career path exploration. The “SPIRE Way” is a balance of all of these priorities, each of which is critical to the development of a well-educated, self-disciplined individuals who are not only college ready, but well on their way to achieving peak potential in life.

At SPIRE, we believe the college planning and placement process is one of the most important aspects of Academy life– and that you can’t start that process too early. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has stringent requirements and strict rules, making the college placement process rather difficult to navigate for those who don’t have a solid plan based on clear direction. SPIRE’s experienced college planning and placement staff, together with its coaching team, have a strong network of college coach relationships that can help eliminate many of the unknowns and identify the right program for you.

Our coaches and college planning and placement services staff work hard to ensure that, during your years at the Academy, you are adequately prepared/equipped to be eligible for, and accepted into, the best college program for you. And because independence and personal responsibility also play a key role in your success, we encourage you to address each item in the following college checklist to the best of your ability:

  • Keep your grades up all four years of high school. They count!
  • Take the PSAT in your sophomore year, and the SAT and ACT in your junior year.
  • If you are an international student with English as a second language, take the TOEFL in your junior year.
  • Prioritize your college choices based on its sports/esports program, location, academics, size, team and any other factors you consider important.
  • Make as many unofficial college visits as possible to get a feel for the type of school you’d like to attend.
  • Register for the NCAA clearinghouse.
  • Make official visits after you start your senior year.
  • Commit during the signing period!

Whether you aspire to an NCAA Division I, II or III school, an NAIA school, or any other college or university, we believe there’s a path for everyone to attain their goals. At SPIRE, we are committed to helping you find your best possible college fit based on your personal passions, your swimming prowess/potential and your academic performance.

For more information on SPIRE Academy swimming programs, contact Director of Admissions Brian Oliver, [email protected] or visit the website to download the Admissions Guide.

Swimming news is courtesy of SPIRE, a SwimSwam partner. 

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