A Coach's Perspective
WILL BOYLAN-PETT: Former Head Coach - NYU; Former Assistant Coach - Columbia University
One of the biggest misnomers in Cross Country /Track and Field recruiting (and non-revenue sports in general) is the fact that so very few athletes are on full ride scholarships. When you break down the numbers it makes sense; a fully funded men’s team has 12 scholarships and a fully funded women’s team has 18. Add that to the fact that very few colleges actually fully fund their track and field teams and you can see why few athletes are getting that much scholarship money. Now while this reality may seem harsh, it does not mean that there is not plenty of opportunities to use your abilities to better your college opportunities.
One of the most underutilized use of college recruitment is when an athlete gets into a school that they normally would not because they can run fast. Specifically, coaches in the IVY League and all Division 3 schools, neither of which give merit-based scholarships, can help you gain admission to their schools. The average SAT score in Harvard’s incoming class is 2260, yet IVY League rules would allow for a coach to take an athlete with a score as low as 1500. While the guidelines are not as clear in Division 3, the application is still the same, a coach can help you get into a school that you may otherwise not be admitted.
Now let’s get to the best part: IVY League schools all offer great financial aid packages and Division 3 schools offer financial aid and are allowed to offer non-athletic scholarships. Not only can you use your athletic prowess to get into a great school, it could also end up being the best financial option. Unless you are in the rare group that is getting offered full ride scholarships the IVY League or Division 3 schools will many times be the best financial option; beating out partial scholarship offers and in-state tuition options. Further, most schools offer financial aid calculators so you can get an idea of what the cost would be, there is no waiting game on a coach saying they may be able to give you 25-50% scholarship but are not sure.
The most important part of all of this is making sure you put your name out there! Let Fast Track Recruiting help you identify which schools would be viable options for you and tell your story to ensure maximum attention from those coaches. Knowledge of the process and putting yourself out there are the two biggest keys to a successful college recruitment process; let Fast Track lead the way for you and get you results you desire.