When you are looking to get into college and play soccer at the NCAA Division III level, your academics are equally important to a coach as your ability to play soccer. As you look at each college, it is very important to understand the academic requirements for each school that you are considering.
When looking at a college, what are the average SAT scores? GPAs? What percentile rank is the average student? You can find this information out through internet research or on third party websites like The Princeton Review. Most schools also post this info on their website, so it can be found there too.
An important thing is that you need to be realistic. If you have a 3.0 GPA and 1000 on your SATs, it is not very likely that you are going to get accepted at a college where the average GPA for incoming freshmen is 3.75 and average SAT scores are 1800. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try and stretch yourself to the best of your abilities, you should also have a Plan B in the event that you don’t get accepted.
Another consideration is are there other things besides grades that you need to consider. Most colleges will have requirements with the number of math, science, and English classes that you have to take in high school, but they may also look at honors and Advanced Placement classes as well. Outside of the classroom, do they look for community service hours in addition to good academics? Do they want to see leadership positions in any of your activities?
You need to plan ahead to make sure you are taking a rigorous academic schedule. You want to work with your high school guidance counselor, high school coach and parents to make sure that what you are planning in high school is working to meet your needs for college.
If you need to take a bunch of AP classes and do hundreds of hours of community service all in the second semester of your senior year, you may not have the time to get it all done in time to get accepted by your dream school. So you need to make sure that plan ahead so that you can position yourself to get accepted at your dream school but also be realistic if that doesn’t work out as planned.
The bottom line is this— while it is great to be a wonderful, talented soccer player, academics is most important at the NCAA Division III level. In order to be successful at NCAA Division III, you must take care of your academics first and then soccer comes second. Play hard and more importantly, study harder!
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