Look for value in a school and a program, not just money. It is far more important to find the right school and not just the cheapest.
Unless you are among the very best in your sport, most coaches will wait until as late as possible in the recruiting process to discuss scholarship….if you let them. Once scholarship is discussed, there is a perceived level of commitment by the swim coach. (Nothing is for sure until you receive the Financial Aid Agreement papers.) Good recruiters want to wait until as long as possible before they commit to a scholarship so they can weigh all of their options.
There is a right way and a wrong way to ask about money. The last thing a college coach wants to hear from a recruit or their parents is, “how much are you going to give me/how much am I worth to you?”
· Before you can negotiate for a scholarship, you need to determine just how much you and your parents can afford to send you to college. You should not divulge this information to college coaches, but it helps you to narrow down your choices.
- Once you are fairly sure that you are interested in a school and you think they are interested in you it’s time to find out if you can afford to attend that school.
It is best to ask this question before you take an official visit.
- Swimming scholarships can be upgraded after the first year based on improved performance.
- The first thing to let the coach know is that finances will be an important factor in your decision to attend a school.
- The next thing is to ask the coach how much will it cost to attend that school.
Here is How to Ask for a Scholarship:
“Coach, I am very interested in your school and I really believe that I can get a great education there and really improve under your coaching, but I have to be honest with you. My parents are concerned if they can afford for me to go to your school. They would like for me to find out how much you think it might cost for me to attend.”
If the coach gives you a percentage of scholarship that they are going to offer you let them know that your parents don’t understand percentage and would like to know what it will cost.
- Coaches are looking for two major attributes in a recruit:
- How good are your grades and test scores? Coaches like to recruit good students so they can help them find academic scholarships first then fill in with athletic scholarships.
- How many points can you score in 3 events at the conference championships? There is usually a small scholarship available for swimmers who can score in the top 16 in 3 events and more money for top 8 and even more for top 3 or 4.
- A team’s needs change from year to year and as they answer those needs their scholarship priorities change.
- Grades count. Coaches don’t want to waste their time and money on an athlete who is an academic risk.
- Leadership qualities count, but don’t list them ahead of academic and athletic accomplishments.
- Most scholarships are given to student-athletes who can help the team at the conference and national level.
- Athletic versatility makes you more marketable.
- Present yourself as a “big meet” performer.
- If you are a minority, let the coaches know. There is a lot of extra financial aid available for minorities.
- Don’t be concerned with other athletes’ scholarships. Each recruiting situation is different.
- Ask the coaches what their policies are on:
A) Fifth year scholarships. Coaches are allowed to give student-athletes financial aid in their fifth year of school even though the student-athlete can no longer compete for the school. This scholarship does not count against the scholarship limit for that sport.
B) Summer school. The NCAA allows schools to award summer school scholarships to current student-athletes at the same percentage of scholarship they were on during the regular school year.
C) Scholarship upgrades. What does it take to get an increase in scholarship?
D) Scholarship downgrades. What are reasons for having a scholarship downgraded?
- The bottom line is what does it cost to attend a school and how much will
it cost you.