#22 The College Bound Student Athlete Process Transcript



It’s a great to take those first two years and grow, like sometimes for kids who need to grow a little more, especially in boys, they’re still growing into, into college. 18, 19 years old, they’re still shooting up or it’s like putting on weight. Rowing girls pretty much have grown. There is all, is there a shift by the time they have, but the boys are so growing.

So. To just buy yourself some time doing the JCN thing can be wonderful. Whether you know, your teen wants to continue their sport in college, or you’re still on the fence. My guest, Katie Anderson will give you the insights and tools to help you figure it all out. Katie brings a unique combination of perspectives to advising student athletes.

She was a D one soccer player at duke university has served as an alumni interview. And as an independent college counselor in Dana point, California, after listening to this episode, you’ll have a proven timeline for the process ahead of, you know, what questions to ask of coaches, student, athletes, and colleges, and you’ll have gained insights to help your team make informed decisions on balancing the academics with athletics at the next.

I’m Lisa marker Robins. And I want to welcome you to college and career clarity, a flourish coaching practice. Let’s dive right in to another great conversation.

well, it is my pleasure to welcome Katie Anderson of college fit to the podcast. For this episode, she specializes in working with student athletes and the more I talked to Katie before we got started, the more Irish. How much, I don’t know. Katie, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much. I know we’ve got a lot of high school students who start thinking early on.

They love their sport that they want to maybe consider playing in college. And so you’ve got so many things to share with us, but let’s just start with, when is the appropriate time for a high school student to begin thinking about. Do I want to carry this on to the college years? That’s a great question.

Because a lot of families sometimes I’ll meet them even as early as eighth grade saying, you know, so I know that my child has an interest in this and to be honest, Eighth grade. If, if you’re gonna even have the inkling that you want to start planning college, that’s an okay time to say, okay, let’s start putting the ducks in a row.

About what sports are you going to play in high school? I mean, those are kind of appropriate things to be talking about at that time. Your freshman year in high school, again, thinking through, okay, how am I spending my time? Am I playing two or three sports at the high school? Am I just really focused on one sport at that point?

Lots of times, by then, depending on the sport, that’s kind of the specialty, right? You play your sport for your high school and then you might also play for a club team and that takes up your whole year. Well, the reality is. You might know what kind of student you are in terms of, are you that student who’s on the AP track on the honors track?

Are you doing those kinds of things? But from my perspective, a lot of times I talk to kids who are eighth graders and freshmen in high school. They’re still very lost in the, just the, getting the transition into high school. Right. To answer your question. It’s really kind of that midway through sophomore year, you’ve now had a year and a half of high school under your belt.


You kind of understand what sort of track you’re on with your classes, where you are with your sport. If you’re going to consider maybe consolidating, if you were playing two or three sports, maybe you’re going to cut it down to one by your junior year. Those kind of thoughts are, are starting to be part of the conversation January of your sophomore year.

That’s a time to start having this conversation about. Okay. So let’s take it to the next step and talk about what kinds of schools would be an appropriate fit for you. Do you want big, do you want, you know, small, do you want medium? Do you, and lots of times, even then it’s a little too early, but what it does really targeting that just after the holidays, second semester of sophomore year, it gives you plenty of time.

And if you are looking at division one and division two schools, it gives you that semester prior to when the coaches are allowed to talk to you to start pulling together some materials, some realizing that you need to have recruiting video, putting together a resume, starting to create that target school list of schools that you would like to eventually contact.

That’s a good amount of time to start that process. But the reality is. It’s from June 15th for most sports between your sophomore and junior year is when coaches can kind of start talking to you. So that’s why that second semester of sophomore year is, is important. Is if you are only starting this process during your junior, It’s oftentimes not too late, but it’s just that you could have had more time.

Well, and they’re going to feel overwhelmed. Right, right. Yeah. They’ll do a lot of this. There’s so much information that you’re going to have to absorb. And there’s so much about the process that maybe doesn’t make sense upfront and you kind of have to let it takes time to sink in. Right. And by giving yourself time, putting time on your side.

You give yourself time to let that whole process sort of sink in a little bit and realize that there’s a role of it that this process has. You’re going to send some emails. You’re going to fill out some forums. You might talk to some coaches, how the process actually rolls out going forward. That’s so funny.

We didn’t talk about this before, but we’re so aligned in that timing. As a specialist for helping students figure out the college major and future career that they’ll go into. People ask me all the time. When would you want to start with people? And I always say, well, in my utopian society, that doesn’t necessarily exist.

My ideal time would be second semester, sophomore year. You’re not going to feel rushed. You’ve got time to do all of the things you’ve got. It’s a process. Let’s let it organically play out and take the proper steps. So I think for a lot of things that second semester you’ll, let’s let eighth graders and freshmen be kids.


Let’s not rush them, but there are some critical deadlines that, like you said, June 15th is June 15th. That’s not going to change. I’m curious. What are, so you said it’s that way for most sports was the exception. So there is a, there is a document that is on NCAA publications.com. It’s called the NCAA guide for the college bound student athlete.

The NCAA produces this guide every single year. Usually they do it in the summer, but this past year it got rolled out a little bit late, but usually by August, you’ll see a new one coming. You just download that PDF file for free back. When I used to meet with kids in person would get the nicely printed booklet.

Now it’s just so much easier to get it as a PDF file, but in the back, it details all the rules for especially basketball, football, ice, hockey. I mean, there’s some sports that just have some different deadlines. So I don’t want to get into those. That’s perfect, but just know that you have to pay attention to, there are rules, the NCAA places, rules for D one and D two type schools about when the coaches are allowed to contact the kids.

The again, part of this timing issue is when are students allowed to contact coaches? And the answer is really anytime. So pro you have to distinguish between when are you allowed to have a conversation with the coach? When can they write back to you? And again, if you started in April, may, June of your sophomore year to send things towards coaches via email and social media, They could be potentially looking at you.

Right. And if you’re a really hot athlete, who’s at the top of your game, that’s X. I mean, they probably had eyeballs on you even earlier than that through showcase tournaments or through other types of media. So again, this is all about the distinction between the rules that the NCAA plus on coaches about communication and things that are allowed from a student perspective, to be able to going forward towards.

Perfect. Well, we’ll link to that in the show notes. So we’ll take them directly there. So families can get that in download that, cause that sounds like a super valuable resource you differentiated between D one and D two. And then there’s D three schools talk a little bit about considerations for families.

Our listeners are parents of students and sometimes the students themselves, but what are some of the considerations? How will the student athlete experience actually be different in college between that D one D two D three, what should they be considering? Because really they first need to figure out, like, is this even something I want to do?

I talked to a lot of kids who are like, well, I’m considering maybe swimming in college, but I don’t know yet. So how’s that going to look different for each of those schools? Right. And I’ll even add in. So there’s another layer, which is the NAA, which is another group of colleges that are outside of the NCAA.


And I don’t know if you work with any junior college families, but occasionally I have a student athlete who doesn’t get recruited at a four year college, but they realize that maybe the community college or junior college route. Is a reasonable one. And so we can talk about that quickly as well. So just very high level.

I will say that there is another website. That’s a great resource called scholarship stats.com. You can look up your sport. It starts with a page of all the lists of sports, and you can look up your sport and you can kind of dive into some details around how many schools offer your sport for men and women.

The scholar. Limits all that sort of stuff. And there’s a list of schools there too. So that’s a reasonable place to start division one schools typically are the bigger schools, the bigger budget, athletic budgets, more time commitment on the part of the student athlete. In that document. I mentioned earlier on NCAA publications.com.

They’ve got some wonderful infographics on what does that commitment really look like in terms of time and money? Stress. How do you, how do you spend your time outside of your sport and school and all of that? They’ve got lots of great information there about this. Okay. So, but your D one schools are typically a range of academic options, but definitely includes some high academic options.

Right? That’s where the Ivy league is located. D two schools. Those are schools that also offer athletic scholarships as do D ones, but D two schools are maybe a little bit lower on the academic range. So when I have a student athlete, who’s maybe got a 3.5 GPA, which is not a bad GPA at all, a 3.0 GPA. I even have athletes within the two point something GPA range.

Division two schools just typically have a lower academic threshold for admissions. We have a lot of schools here in California, Cal state programs that are in the  category. Like I said, they just don’t have the, they don’t have as big of budgets. They don’t have as many sports. They’re just there in that  category, there’s actually a reason there’s classifications as to why schools aren’t part of a D one or D two or D three, but that’s just a very general description.

And for some sports, there is a distinction between when that, how the athletic scholarships work. Football’s one example of that, but I got, I’m not going to get to sports specific. At, oh, I will also mention D ones and D choose can range in size as well. Many of them are bigger schools, but you can also have some smaller schools.

Davidson is an example of a  program. That’s pretty tiny. So when I get kids who are high academic, want a small school, want to go to the east coast? I mean, schools like a Davidson are an interesting twice. Then you’ve got division three. Now division three is a little different. Their focus is student first athletes.

They are typically small private schools. Some, there are definitely some publics that are in the division three category, UC Santa Cruz, as an example of one schools that, that the only UC in California, that’s in the division three category. They do not offer athletic scholarships, but they offer financial aid, both merit and need-based aid to student athletes.

Now. Again, this is all how they label their aid. Um, the trick with  is understanding what kind of family are you? Are you a full pay family? Can you afford $80,000 a year? Because if you can. And there’s a, definitely a layer of the division three, usually super top academic schools will use university of Chicago as an example that offer zero merit aid and 100% need-based aid.

They can’t recruit kids who need the merit money because they don’t have it to give, or I shouldn’t say they don’t have it to give. It means it’s more like, that’s just not how they do things, right. If you that’s not how they fund things, right. So there are either full pay or. Significant need, that’s going to lower the cost of a U Chicago, correct?

Correct. So in that case, you, as if you’re looking at division three schools, which personally I’m a huge  fan, I think division three really has it right when it comes to that focus and the stress on the kids. But you have to understand what kind of schools you’re talking to and make sure if you’re, if you’re not a full pay family and you really want that to bring that price down, you have to eliminate some of those schools off your list, because you’re just never going to see the merit money out of them or vice versa.

I’ve got some kids who can pay the full price and they have the grades maybe. As strong of an athlete, but because they’re a full pay student, I say, you’re all the schools you want to contact and tell them upfront. You can phrase it as I very lucky to come from a family who you, I will not be requiring financial aid to attend.

Yes. Right. There’s various kind gentle, and not in your face way of saying I can afford $8,000 a year. But to a coach, those words mean that. Oh, okay. So now I’ve got a student, cause I promise you, these coaches are on their end are having to balance out the need-based aid, the full pay kids and the coaches that are at schools like that know this.

And they typically try to address it fairly upfront because if they get too far down the recruiting process with a kid who they are. Oh, wow. They needed, this was never going to work. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. Right. So you’re really giving them a gift by saying an upfront. Exactly. So those are just some tips around that.

And then, and again, those are typically smaller private schools in the division three category. So that has to be the right fit for you. If you don’t want. There are some larger D threes. There aren’t many of them, there are a few, but you just have to really kind of understand what types of schools are typically in those groupings.

And then Nia, those are typically small private religious schools. Again, there are some exceptions to that. There are in fact, on the NAI website, I think you can even select. Non-religious institutions as a filter RFU yes. If that’s not part of your criteria, but they do offer athletic scholarships. So great option that you are looking for that religious component to be part of your experience.

And then junior colleges, which junior colleges in California has its own community college athletic association. And then junior colleges outside of California have a whole separate athletic association. And the trick with the JCS is those coaches can own. Proactively recruit you if you are in their zone, if you live in proximity to your local community college, who wants to maybe go even out of state or go out of, you know, if I, I live in Southern California, but if I want to attend a community college, that’s in Santa Barbara because they have dorms and everybody wants to everybody who goes there and wants to get into UC Santa Barbara.

You as the genetically have to proactively approach the coach, but yet email. That is the door. Once you’ve opened that door, then they can talk to you. But. Correct. They cannot proactively recruit you outside of my, so my daughter, she’s a sophomore in college and she’s got a good friend that plays for the university of Cincinnati, his baseball team.

He started out at a JC and transferred. How common is that? Very common. A lot of these kids, if you look at the athletic programs that are at JC they’re all over the country and they offer a wonderful opportunity to keep the cost down, right? Because for many JCS, the cost is just almost free. And JCS outside of California can offer athletic scholarships, which they don’t do in California.

They don’t offer athletic scholarships, but again, the cost of attending a community college here in Canada. Yeah, pretty low anyway, so yeah, it’s a great option. And to be honest, those coaches that are at GCs besides just coaching their team and a second source of pride that they have is where did your kids go on them on their websites?

We’ll say we send kids to these top universities. We are a feeder for these programs because that is bragging rights for them as to where their kids go on to place. It’s a great way to take those first two years and, and grow like sometimes for kids who need to grow a little more, especially boys, they’re still growing and to, into college, 18, 19 years old, they’re still shooting up for or getting it’s like putting on weight.

Rowing girls pretty much have grown. There is by the time they have, but the boys are still growing. So if you need to just buy yourself some time doing the JC thing can be. Fantastic overview of the different division. So my curiosity peaks, when you say that D three being such a sweet spot because it’s the student first and the athletics second, and as a college major and career coach, it makes my mind go.

There have got to be. Academic considerations as far as programs of study, what, what you’re majoring in that fit better for student athletes than not? We know there are some like engineering or pre-med very, very rigorous. What advice do you have or considerations should families be giving around the college majors and careers as it relates to student athletes?

This is a really, really important question. So this one that this one comes up quite frequently, and I would agree with you, I’ll just double down on the whole, if you want to go pre-med if you want to study engineering of any kind and how committed you have to be as a student in college to getting that type of academic curriculum finished in four years.

The whole issue of what can you get done in four years becomes a question that a lot of families, I don’t even know how much they really know about. Can I actually do this in four years? But if that’s your goal, you have to ask a lot of questions going into the recruiting process, especially when you get closer down the line.

I mean, it’s maybe not the first question that you want to ask. But say, for example, when you, as a student athlete, go on either an unofficial visit or especially on an official visit where you start to meet the team at an unofficial visit, you’re going to just primarily need the coach, but you could in advance start looking at the roster.

All rosters are posted online. Not all of them will post what majors the kids are on the team are doing, but, but many will surprisingly, and you can learn a lot from a roster. If you can see that kids are doing biomedical engineering or civil engineering are on the pre-med track. I don’t frequently see kids in nursing programs, for example, or architecture or things that have heavy labs and lots of, lots of extra time spent doing.

Whatever program. Those are harder majors now, is it impossible? No. So this is where you, you want to make sure that if you go on an official visit, one where the coaches invited you to the school and you’re meeting, you’re spending 48 hours with the team, with the coach. You want to be saying, okay, so which kids on the team are, have the same major that I am interested in.

I want to go to some classes. I want to ask some serious questions about how doable is. Lots of times when it comes to fitting a difficult major into the mix with an athlete, the academic advisors at the college will they know what those heavy duty times look like when you’re in season and out of season.

And oftentimes they will do what they can to help you out to maybe have a lighter academic load during the season, because you are going to be traveling. You will be on a bus. You will have times that it’s just harder to be there, but then you have to load up on the off season time to make up for that.


And in the summer, this is another trick that a lot of them will use is that you will be taking for in during the four years of your experience, you will be taking summer school classes to make up for. We just have to write or there’s no way to accomplish it. I mean, it sounds like the rigor piece is both how academically rigorous as it like, is it going to tax me time studying, but it’s also the rigor, meaning time outside of class.

So because you know what popped into my mind was even education majors, not academically necessarily super rigorous, but lots of field experiences, student teaching. And that could be challenging. Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and that brings up another topic, which is co-op you’re in Cincinnati and university of Cincinnati, founder of co-op.

Absolutely. So when, when, and I’ve done, actually, I did a really interesting tour, uh, years ago when my son was looking. Stevens Institute and the girl who happened to be giving it was an open house to her and the girl who happened to be doing the chemistry, engineering, something, or weather lab, she was a soccer player.

And she said, you, at this school, you can be an athlete. Because they know a high percentage, and this is true at a lot of schools, a high percentage of kids are athletes. So they know how to work around, especially a school that does offer co-op where you’re having that at least a semester or a year or more of work experience built into your education.

Curriculum. You just have to know, you have to be asking those questions as a recruited athlete. Like I love I’m excited about your co-op program. Can I do that as an athlete? Is that realistic? How do you make that fit in to the four year experience or the five-year experience? Whatever that ends up being, is this really gonna fit in all the areas?

Yeah. So tell me, COVID threw us a big curve ball with testing act and sat testing, California, where you are very impacted. So how does test optional work for student athletes? I guess this probably continues to evolve. So we should say we’re recording this in April of 2022. So what’s true right now that student athletes need to be thinking about as it relates to act and.

The NCAA has basically said they are going to be eliminating sat and act from the eligibility requirements for the NCAA eligibility center that is related to division one and division two schools only. However, if you are applying to schools as a member, you’re still a student, you’re a student and an athlete.

If you are applying to schools that are test. Or are there still schools out there that are test required? So, but if you’re applying to schools that are test optional, the trick there really is to, if you’re a good test taker and you think you can get better than average test scores for that school, remember what, what is good is a, a mix.

It depends on the school’s criteria for admissions. You have to look at those numbers and look at the average. If you’re better than average, then test scores could be helpful for you, especially at a school where you might qualify. If you’re not going to be offered much athletic aid, but you could qualify for merit aid.

Those scores could be helpful. I am finding that a lot of coaches, they want to be able to go at the end of the, at your junior year students junior year, when typically coaches are trying to solidify their rosters. And they’re asking kids for their transcripts through the end of their junior year. And they’re asking for test scores because in June, they’re going to walk your information in and do a preread in their admissions department because they want to verify that with our admissions department before they tell you, yeah, let’s move forward in the recruiting process.

Many times coaches will just push for. I know I’m in a test optional school, but where are your test scores? Right. And your test optional school, you as the student have the right to say, no, I’m sorry. I didn’t take the test or, Nope. I don’t think my test scores are really going to help me in this situation.

You just have to be up front with a coach on that one, but just know that test scores can help and test scores can hurt. So you have to understand. What kind of school you’re talking to and where you fit within that range and talk through it with a coach openly. So they know the best way to present your transcript and information to their admissions department during inquiry process.

So just because the NCAA has made this move, you really need to look at what fits for you. I would also add when I think of rigorous college. That for those universities, don’t just ask what the averages for the university, but the engineer or the average act, or sat for the engineering students admitted or whatever their most favored and rigorous major is, could be very different than the university.

I’m a whole, so. Uh, you know what I’m getting out of this ask lots of questions. Like even more questions if you’re a student athlete and I always advocate for lots of student questions, well, Katie, you’ve been amazingly helpful. I’ve learned a ton so much so that I’m like, I need to have you back. We need to talk about more with student athletes in the future.

So I hope you’ll come back at some point in the future. Absolutely. So where if families, I know you work directly, you’re an independent educational consultant and you have a specialty with student athletes. We’ll put it in the show notes about where can people find the, the best way to reach me is through my website, which is www.collegefitoc.com.

I have two ways of working. I have a certain number of kids about 10 kids per class that I do both academics and athletic recruiting, but I also have another method of working. I have a, what I call a co-counseling program. And if you have your own academic advisor, someone local, who you’re happy using.

You can hire me on the side of that for, I think a fairly reasonable price considering what other people charge in the industry and just use me for the athletic consulting piece. And then I partnered together with your academic counselor and work as a team. I’ve got those two methods. Great. Well, thank you, Katie.

And we’ll put all of those links in the show. Take care. Thank you so much. I thought I knew a lot about the student athlete journey, but Katie answered questions. I didn’t even know to ask. What I do know is building a college list for student athlete is complicated over my two plus decades as an independent college counselor.

I have directed my student athlete clients to treat this like creating a Venn diagram. If you don’t know what a Venn diagram is, Google it V E N N diagram. And look at the image in front of you. Essentially, your family will make a list of colleges that fit the four main components of a healthy college list.

First is the academic fit. Can you get in that’s a hell of Diane, cause you have to be able to get in. Secondly, is there a financial. Can your family afford all four years at this university while you have all of the children in your family in college, that will be their next college major and career fit has a college major and career specialist.

You know, that I feel this is as important as the academic fit and the financial fit because the intent of college is to begin with the end in mind and set the student up for the career ahead of them. Next is the F. Then, if you have a student athlete, you’re going to add a fifth list, which is the athletic fit.

The student athlete fit. Ultimately the schools I recommend the student apply to or where the overlap exists among these four or five lists, whether you have a student athlete or not, your family’s weekly college bound challenge that I give every week is to create your college list. Venn diagram by the very next week.

Pt in the schools you have now and assess what work you still need to do to round out that list that fits. If you’re heading into your senior year, applications are right around the corner. In juniors. It’s a super busy year where you’ll be wanting to do visits and the show notes. I’m going to link to some previous episodes to further guide you on the components of a college.

I hope you’ll share today’s episode, not only with other families with student athletes, but also your coaches and your athletic director at your high school, college and career clarity aims to help not only families, but those who work with college bound teens. So help me get the word out. We also get the word out by listeners, following the podcast rating and reviewing, and I hope you’ll do this for me to thank you for listening to the college and career clarity podcast, where I help your family move from overwhelmed and confused to motivated, clear and competent about your team’s future.