**Please remember this: Throughout the entire process, you may initiate contact (via email, instant messenger, fax, phone and/or letters) as much as you want. Phone message (except specific camp related questions) can't be returned until July 1st of their senior year.**
The beginning of your high school career should coincide with the beginning of your college search. This is a time for assessment. You need to begin to ask big questions at this juncture. What do I want to get out of college? Academically, where do I fit? What do I want to do when I graduate? More than likely, there will not be definitive answers to these life questions and they may change, sometimes radically from month to month and even day to day. The most important part of this assessment is not the answers but the thought processes behind the possible answers.
Freshman Year Check List
Freshman/Sophomore year is a great time to make initial contact by letter and/or email (Initial contact should be done through the mail, then update through email and/or letterform). Players should begin to formulate a list of 20 or so schools, varying in division and level. This list is variable. Division I and II schools can only respond to the introductory letter with a general questionnaire and/or a summer camp brochure. By making contact, it lets the prospective school know of your genuine interest. It is also recommended to continue this initial contact with schedules (club and high school) and tournament updates, recent awards, academic awards/scores, odp stuff, etc. Update as often as you feel is necessary.
The cover letter should stress your interest and awareness of the specific program. In other words, personalize each letter. It is ok to be creative! This is done by reviewing their past successes, i.e. season record, tournament bid, player awards, etc, demonstrating you are well researched! Your graduation date should be very clear to the reader as well as additional contact information, i.e. mailing address, email address, etc. It should also highlight personal and/or team successes, both club and high school. Also included in the letter should be a complete athletic and academic resume along with any pertinent club/high school schedules. A request for further information about the soccer program and the university/college as well as summer camps should be made at the closing of the letter. See attached outline and samples. Please be aware that the only correspondence you will receive in return for your letter will be a general questionnaire, a camp brochure and a letter explaining general recruiting rules pertaining to your specific graduation year.
It is also recommended to take as many unofficial visits as possible to as many different types of schools during your freshmen/sophomore years in high school. You have an unlimited amount of unofficial visits. Most coaches are more than willing to meet and talk. Campus tours can usually be set up through admission and/or a visitor's center.
Sophomore Year Check list
Attend “College Nights” and any other additional informational sessions held by
Obtain information via internet sources, college guides, counselor
Sometime during the sophomore year, it is also recommended to enter the NCAA Clearinghouse. Please see NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Athlete for further details. High School guidance counselors should also be of assistance in this process. It is also wise to evaluate your CORE courses and grade point average (refer to the NCAA Guide). www.ncaaclearinghouse.net will be your best source of information on NCAA eligibility.
NCAA rules for Freshmen and Sophomores
As of September 1st of the junior year, prospective student-athletes may begin to receive letters, media guides and other official soccer/university information from college coaches, faculty members and students (not boosters). Your "Top 20" list will vary from week to week or even day to day. Therefore, it is a good idea to continue your research and recruiting! You must also begin to research the academic side of schools in great detail.
Your recruiting should continue along the same lines as your sophomore year but with some more focus and deliberateness. Even though the high school season coincides with college soccer season, you should watch as many college games as possible, all different divisions. This will help you greatly in your athletic education. Continue to request further information as well as take more unofficial visits.
As of March 1st, you may receive one phone call from a Division I coach. It is limited to one phone call for the entire month. During the month of April only, a Division I college coaches may meet with you and your family on your high school’s campus. This is only for the month of April.
Take the ACT/SAT tests during the fall and as many times as you can. Don't wait until the fall of your senior year. Most academic packages from colleges are put together in the fall of your senior year based upon your earlier scores and early deadlines.
Junior Year Checklist
NCAA Rules for Junior Year
As of July 1st of your senior year, you may receive phone calls from coaches, Division I and II. Division II may begin calling after June 15th. Coaches are limited to one phone call per week. Messages don't count as a phone call. If your parents speak with the coach about the university and/or soccer program, that phone call will count for that week even if they did not speak with you directly. Letters, emails, faxes, etc. are unlimited. Also, beginning your first day of class, you can begin to take official visits. You have five total! These visits are by invitational only! Official visits are expense paid visits.
Senior Year Checklist
(this is extremely important because of 40/60/80 Continuing Eligibility rule)
NCAA rules for Senior Year
year. Division II coaches may begin on June 15. You may contact coaches as often as you like.
send you faxes and email messages as often as they like.