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Timeline and Action Plan – NCAA Participation

College Bound Student/Athletes – By Year

Freshman Year

  • Take challenging courses, keep your grades up and work on study skills.
  • Begin talking with your counselor about core class requirements and let them know of your interest in playing collegiate level athletics.
  • Attend sports camps and start a sports resume, building on it each year.
  • Realistically analyze your athletic abilities and start thinking about academic and career goals.

Sophomore Year

  • Keep your grades up and choose challenging courses.
  • Update your sports resume (and maybe begin a videotape – upload to YouTube).
  • Talk with high school and club coaches about your abilities and ambitions.
  • Begin compiling a tentative list of colleges. Use your parents, coaches and guidance counselor as resources.
  • Make preliminary inquiries to colleges that interest you (send interest letter, resume and schedule of upcoming sport activities). Try to do this before the summer tournament/recruiting camp season.
  • Take every opportunity to participate in your sport to maximize your exposure and increase your skills in the summer before junior year and fall of junior year.

Junior Year

  • Keep your grades up and choose challenging senior year courses. The GPA reported to colleges is the one you have at the end of your junior year.
  • Talk with coaches about a realistic assessment of which college level you can play.
  • Talk with your counselor about career goals and core course requirements. Make sure you understand the transcript request process and what services and resources your counselor can help you with.
  • Take the SAT or ACT at least once in the spring of your junior year, twice if possible (March & May or June).
  • Refine your list of schools. Know each schools entrance requirements (courses, SAT II’s, etc.)
  • Update your sports resume.
  • Make unofficial visits to some of the schools you are interested in. Try to meet with the coach on these visits.
  • Make second contact with coaches expressing your interest at the end of the junior year. Send updated academic and sport info, including schedule of upcoming summer participation.
  • Work on lining up teachers and/or coaches for letters of recommendation.
  • ** If you are a spring sport athlete, you need to make contact with coaches before your junior season so they can see you early on. Also consider a camp between junior and senior year when peak recruiting begins.

Summer before Senior Year/Early Fall of Senior Year

  • Take every opportunity to participate in your sport to maximize your exposure and increase your skills.
  • Fulfill NCAA Clearinghouse obligations in mid-summer to early fall if you are thinking Div I or II.
  • Talk to college coaches about visits (official and unofficial). Be aware of recruiting rules regarding visits.
  • Make sure the courses you have registered for fulfill graduation requirements and meet NCAA Clearinghouse regulations.
  • Keep your grades up. Colleges will be looking at senior year grades and courses.
  • Register for the SAT, SAT II’s or ACT, if necessary.
  • Sit with your parents and coach to list pros/cons of each school you’re considering. Make your final decision based on a meaningful education, good career prep, and a satisfying athletic experience.
  • Attend college fairs, financial aid info sessions, and sign up for college admission visits in the guidance office.
    • Consider info about Early Decision or Early Action admission to college and Early Signing (of the National Letter of Intent) for athletic participation and/or a scholarship (
  • Decide which colleges to apply to and make sure to meet their deadlines.
  • Send completed applications and transcripts to colleges, preferably before winter break.
  • When you decide on a school, notify all schools recruiting you and thank them for the opportunity.