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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vic's Declassified School Survival Guide {Prospective Athletes}

We're back again with the next installment of our guide to the college process, this time focusing on all of you student-athletes out there.

First off, if you've decided to continue your sport in college, WAY TO GO! It is no easy feat, but it's so rewarding if it's what you truly want. Another thing is, if you're a senior this year, it's probably a little too late to start on the whole process. But a junior or younger? This is the perfect time.

First step - start looking at different divisions. Division I is your BIG schools, like the University of Tennessee or Georgia. D1 schools also have smaller counterparts, like Davidson or Drexel. D1 is typically the most demanding of the divisions, but you can receive partial or full scholarships to play. D1 is also the most elite of the divisions, rather, the most talented athletes are most apt for this division. D2 schools are not quite as easy to find, but they have some of the benefits of D1 like scholarship opportunities. They're a great middle ground between D1 and D3, which is the level I compete in. D3 is still demanding, but the focus is on academics over athletics. D3 athletes cannot receive scholarship money for athletics, but can still qualify in other categories.

Your first big step is to figure out which division is best suited for you. Your second, which is in conjunction with the first, is to be realistic about your athletic abilities. For me, there was no way I could swim D1. I simply wasn't fast enough, and that's ok. I liked what D3 had to offer, and that was the best choice for me.

Thirdly, you need to check out some schools that fit your criteria (i.e. Greek life, academic opportunities, various programs, etc.). Most athletic web pages have a prospective student questionnaire, and that's the first place to start! You'll likely hear something from the coach soon after.

From there, the coach will start talking to you if there are spots available on the team and if you both think it's a good fit.

If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me! Good luck!

xx, Victoria

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