TrackI had a great conversation one night with a man who has dedicated his life to helping student-athletes land at the right school… with the right scholarship.  We agreed on a number of points:

1.  Unless you’re a Blue Chip athlete, you will likely not be “found” by college coaches.  You need to take your scholarship efforts into your own hands as a family and get out there to be seen by college coaches.  Not only that, but you must do the right things.  A shotgun approach to this will not work.  You’ll be disappointed.  You need to have a game plan, just like you do when you’re competing as an athlete. Continue reading

Thanks for the rBasketball arenaecruiting and athletic scholarship questions you’ve presenting lately.  These are questions many parents and student-athletes are wrestling with, so I thought I’d dig into a couple more in this post.

Q: “My daughter and I would like to attend local D2 tournaments games in our area. I know we can’t approach the D2 coaches, so how do we make contact with them? Send a email stating her interest in the school and that she will be in attendance watching the game? Will my daughter be allowed to hand a coach her player profile while at the game? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.”

A: The nice thing about recruiting is that the contact rules apply to coaches.  The parent and student-athlete can make contact with the coaches anywhere and anytime.  You can visit a school, meet with the coach, tour the campus, deliver information, etc.

The same is true for attending these tournament games.  Yes, your daughter can go and approach the coach.  However, it may not be very effective at the game itself.  The coach is “in the zone” before and during the game.  The best time to approach the coach is after the game.  She can hand the player profile to the coach then, but I would also highly recommend sending the complete Introductory Packet by mail or email.  A coach has a lot on his or her mind during competition.

I think it is a good idea what you have planned.  She’ll make an impression on the coach that will make a difference when he or she gets the Intro Packet from your daughter. Continue reading

NCAANational signing day is Wednesday.  It’s a day that gets an incredible amount of hype.  It elevates many but discourages more.

If your kid isn’t an elite athlete, national signing day can leave you cold, worried, anxious.  Of course, tomorrow is just football’s big day, but this kind of hype can send chills down the spines of parents whose athletes compete in other sports.


Because the air of uncertainty creeps into your mind and emotions.  What if my kid doesn’t land a scholarship?  What if all our effort isn’t rewarded?  What if we can’t afford college unless my son or daughter gets a scholarship?  What if…? Continue reading

10 Recruiting questionsHere are 10 of the top questions parents are asking about athletic scholarships.  As we close out 2015 and turn the calendar to the new year, I hope the answers to these questions will keep you pointed in the right direction.

Before we get into them, I want to remind you that my free Recruiting Mini-Course will take you step-by-step through the things you need to do in 2016.  I encourage you to watch this three-part video tutorial.

And now, here are the questions:

ONE:  What’s included in an athletic scholarship?   It depends on the offer, but a scholarship can range from a full ride to a portion of a student-athlete’s college expenses.  Your kid may be offered tuition, or room and board, or books, or a combination of these things.  Each sport has a limit on the number of scholarships it can offer, so the coach has to divide the dollars between the scholarship athletes.

TWO:  How do I get my kid noticed by college coaches?  The most important thing is to take the initiative.  Don’t wait for college coaches to find your son or daughter, because it probably won’t happen.  Sure, the elite athletes get discovered easily.  However, in most cases, kids need to take the first step in order to get the attention of college coaches.  What you should do is put together and send a good, short introductory packet that makes a good first impression on coaches at the schools you have interest in.  You’ll be surprised how this simple step can produce amazing results.

THREE:  Are athletic scholarships guaranteed for four years?  No.  Scholarships are usually awarded year-to-year, although the NCAA allows multi-year offers.  If a student-athlete performs poorly, he can lose his scholarship the next year.  Behavior and grades are other factors that can affect an athlete’s scholarship renewal.  It is important to read the language of the scholarship agreement and ask questions.

[Special Note:  I wanted to alert you to the $60 Off Sale on any Recruit-Me Premium Membership.  Check it out.  Sale ends January 5.]

FOUR:  How common is a full-ride scholarship?  Full ride scholarships are only offered in “head count sports.”  The remainder of the sports are called “equivalency sports,” where coaches divide the scholarships among the scholarship athletes.   These athletes receive “partial scholarships.”  Full-ride sports at the D1 level are  football, men and women’s basketball, and women’s gymnastics, volleyball and tennis.

Continue reading

Basketball in hoopGetting an athletic scholarship isn’t all about the money.  Parents and student-athletes can let their pride get in the way of the best choice.  They put the scholarship offer at the top of the list and the kid ends up at a college and program that aren’t the best fit.

In my case, I transferred after just one year.  I really enjoyed my first choice, the University of Minnesota.  But it wasn’t the best fit athletically or academically.

I have to admit that I transferred to Indiana University for athletic reasons, but other factors fell into place to make IU the best fit overall.  I’m glad for my Minnesota experience, but I’m thrilled for my Indiana experience.

I could have saved myself and my parents a lot of stress and expense had I known then what I know today. Continue reading

NCAAWhat’s the #1 question you wish you could ask to college coaches about recruiting?

Now’s the time to ask it and get a candid answer.

I’m about ready to start a series of college coach audio interviews and I’ll include your question in one of more of my interviews.   Once I have the audios produced I’ll make them available in my upcoming new podcast, in my blog, and more completely inside Athletic Scholarship University.

There’s no reason to walk in the dark when it comes to getting clear information from the people your son or daughter needs to have an impact on.  I hear from a number of parents who have some good questions.  I can give my answers, but there’s nothing like hearing from coaches themselves.  I think it will save you a lot of time and money as you go through the recruiting process.

So go ahead and write your question in the comments section below and I’ll bring it to the coaches.  Then I’ll let you know when I’ll be posting their answers. Continue reading

[NOTE:  The Athletic Scholarship Mini-Course is now open!  To learn the five steps to an athletic scholarship, I invite you to get started by registering for the free Mini-Course and watching the first video.  This course is a must for any family pursuing an athletic scholarship.  The course is designed for parents and is just three lessons.]

TrackSummer is going to end soon, and my question for you is this, “What are you going to do to be ahead of the competition this fall?”

I’m not talking about your son or daughter’s athletic competition, but I’m talking about competition for an athletic scholarship.  If you’ve seen the calendar turn to August and the urgency has hit you, that’s a good thing.

These are urgent times.  The recruiting world is highly competitive, and you need to be proactive as a team with your son or daughter.  If you’ve followed me at all, you know that I’m the guy who pushes you to get in the game.  Don’t wait for college coaches to contact your son or daughter.  It may never happen.

First, as I said up top, make sure you’re going through my free Athletic Scholarship Mini-Course I opened yesterday.  It’s a jump-start opportunity.  You go at your own speed and you can start today, right now, by registering and watching the first video lesson.  This is a 3-part Mini-Course and I teach each 20-30 minute lesson.  This is a slam dunk.  You and your student-athlete need to get registered for this online course.  Do it and you’ll be miles down the road in just one week. Continue reading

There are some important websites that will help you in your scholarship pursuit. I’d like to recommend five of them for you to bookmark and check on a regular basis.

NCAA1. NCAA. Of course, this is the daddy of them all, and it’s well worth checking regularly. They have news that often pertains to recruiting, and a number of resource pages within the site.  One of these pages is the recruiting calendar.

2. NAIA.  The NAIA is an association of schools throughout the country which have similar recruiting rules, but some key differences.  One difference is that a recruit can actually work out with the team Continue reading

After Tuesday night’s teleseminar, honestly, I was exhausted.  But it was such a good event, and I’ve gotten excellent feedback on it.  The free audio download is available through tomorrow night, March 31, so I encourage you to download and listen at your convenience.

Get “Five Steps to an Athletic Scholarship” Download

How can you do the recruiting process right if you don’t know the foundational truth?  In the video at the top of this post, I reveal that truth and give you a real-life example in one family’s successful recruiting experience.

In the video, I mention that I offered a free Recruiting Checklist to everyone on the call the other night.  This Checklist will help you go deeper into the recruiting experience and is a follow-up to the five steps you’ll hear on the teleseminar.  Listen to the download and you’ll find out how to receive the Checklist.

The free checklist and offers explained on the teleseminar expire tomorrow night (Tuesday) at midnight.  I hope you’ll capture the urgency to get your recruiting program into high gear this spring.

College campusWith twin sons on their way to college over a decade ago, my wife and I were facing the prospect of huge college debt.  Our daughter was already in college and we were stretched to the max.

If it weren’t for the scholarships our boys received, I think we’d still be paying off college debt.

You may be in a similar situation, so you know how important it is for you to pursue an athletic scholarship for your son or daughter.  In fact, your student-athlete doesn’t realize how important this is.  Continue reading

Although most athletic scholarships are one-year renewable scholarships, there is a move towards four-year guaranteed scholarships.  That’s good news for student-athletes.  According to the Indiana Business Journal, the Big Ten made a startling announcement late last month:Track

“The Big Ten Conference said [Tuesday] that it supports guaranteed four-year scholarships and improved medical coverage for its athletes.

“The league announced in a statement signed [Tuesday] by its 14 presidents that it proposes working within the NCAA structure to provide greater academic security for its athletes by guaranteeing scholarships for four years, even if an athlete can no longer compete or has left for a professional career. Athletic scholarships are typically awarded on a one-year renewable basis. Continue reading

FacilitiesI read a fantastic article published by the NCAA and I wanted to share it with you.  The author lists 10 benefits athletes receive by competing in sports in college.  Whether you receive a scholarship or not, you can receive some of the benefits.  Parents and athletes alike will be pleased by what you read in this article.

The first three benefits are:

1.  A college education.  This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many high school students never go to college.  A college degree has a direct impact on a person’s quality of life.

2.  Academic success.  The NCAA’s most recent data indicate that more than eight out of 10 (82 percent) Division I student-athletes are earning their degrees.

3.  Scholarships.  More than 150,000 student-athletes receive $2.7 billion in athletic scholarships each year from NCAA member colleges and universities.

For the complete article and some surprising information, continue reading.

RunnerIMPORTANT:  Make plans to attend the Free teleseminar, The 7 Most-Asked Recruiting and Scholarship Questions by Parents and High School Student-Athletes.

Tuesday, April 29, 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Call-in number: (605) 475-4700
Access Code (Pin Number): 450246#

Please RSVP to so we are sure to have enough lines open.


So how much money is really out there for athletic scholarships?  The number may astound you, but keep in mind that this is divided among tens of thousands of athletes:

NCAA Division I and II schools offer athletic scholarships. Division III schools offer academic scholarships only.  NCAA members provide more than $1.5 billion in athletics scholarships annually.

NAIA members provide more than 60,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earning $500 million in scholarships.

If you read my previous post, you saw how these dollars are divided by sport.  And in most cases, the scholarships are not full rides.  However, student-athletes can combine athletic scholarships with other grants.  As stated by the NCAA:

“Thousands of student-athletes benefit from academic scholarships and need-based aid, such as federal Pell Grants. In addition, there is money available from the NCAA’s own Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund. Sometimes student-athletes cannot accept Continue reading

NCAA ConferencesA question which comes up often regarding scholarships is, “How many scholarships are available?”  There are a number of ways to answer that, but I thought it would be helpful to look at how many there are per school per sport.   The following information is for the NCAA.

First of all, the data I want to share with you is the maximum allowable scholarships.  It all depends on funds available at that particular school as to whether the maximum is available for the program.   For instance, if a golf coach is not a good fundraiser, he or she may not be able to fulfill the maximum allowable scholarship limit.  It would be good to ask the coaches how many scholarships he or she has for their sport.  Continue reading

BasketballStudent-athletes across America have athletic scholarships on their mind, with many of them focusing on the schools they’re seeing this month competing for the NCAA basketball crown.  March Madness is a powerful recruiting tool for schools, especially the Cinderella teams that keep plugging along, upsetting the favorites.

If you’re a student-athlete, and you’re pumped about the chances of getting an athletic scholarship, transform the enthusiasm into action.  You certainly won’t get any closer unless you turn watching basketball into focused steps.  

Your first step is to make a list of schools you’d like to compete at.  Consider your athletic ability and which Continue reading


This in from the NCAA–

The Division I Board of Directors has adopted adopted five new football recruiting rules, including one that will allow football coaches increased access to student-athletes in the summer. The measures are effective immediately for Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

The new rules emerged after months of research into recruiting issues identified by football coaches. That research included surveys of both student-athletes and coaches and was conducted by a subcommittee of the division’s Leadership Council.

The new rules:

  • Allow football student-athletes to participate in preparations for the season during an eight-week period each summer. Those weeks can include eight hours per week of required weight training and conditioning. Up to two of the eight hours can consist of film review. Student-athletes who participate in the summer activities must be enrolled in summer school or meet specific academic benchmarks. The model is similar to those adopted by men’s and women’s basketball in the last two years. Both the Football Bowl and Football Championship subdivisions supported this change.

Read more…

D1 SchoolsAlthough you don’t have to be an expert on everything to do with recruiting, it’s helpful to know some of the key terms.  This knowledge will help you as you move through the process.  Here’s my short list of terms:

Here are some basic terms to be familiar with as you move through your scholarship and recruiting journey.

Contact.  If a college coach has any in-person contact with a high school student-athlete or parent away from the college campus, and says anything more than “hello,” it is a contact. In addition, if a college coach has any contact with the student-athlete or parent at the athlete’s high school or any location where he is competing or practicing, that is also a contact.

Contact Period.  This is the period of time a coach is allowed to have an in-person contact with a student athlete or his/her parents on or off the college campus. The coach may also watch an athlete play or visit his/her high school during this period, may write or telephone, and have the athlete and parents visit the college campus. Continue reading

The NCAA guidelines state that full-ride scholarships will cover fees and tuition, board, room, as well as all books related to a particular course. But these scholarships are only offered to students who participate in “head-count sports” such as basketball, Division 1-A football, women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics, or women’s volleyball. All other sports fall under the category of “equivalency sports”, which allows a coach to determine the allotted scholarship amount for many players. Some of these scholarships may be partial while others are full-ride.

Equivalency Sports for Men and Women

Equivalency sport scholarships can be used as a starting point to obtain a full-ride scholarship in future years, or at least an increase in funding as you progress through the program. Sports that fall under this category for men include baseball, Division 1-AA football, gymnastics, wrestling, tennis, rifle, and volleyball. The women’s list of sports includes equestrian, rowing, field hockey, softball, squash, and rugby. Equivalency sports for both men and women include cross-country/field and track events, fencing, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, diving and swimming, as well as water polo. Athletic scholarships through these sports will offer monetary and support benefits that can be crucial for the development of student-athletes.    

Financial Realities

Full-ride athletic scholarships are expected to cover all costs involved in the education of a student. But there remains a sizeable difference between the costs of attending college and the scholarship. Students are not fully covered for things such as incidentals and travel home on vacations, but the scholarship will be a huge factor in saving a lot of money over the duration of your college career.


national-letter-of-intentNational Signing Day is coming to a close, and thousands of high school athletes have achieved their dream.  They’ve been signed to an athletic scholarship.  If this includes you, then congratulations.  There will be many more signings between now and when the period ends, but this is the day that kicked it all off.

Here’s how one of our Recruit-Me families shared their joy with us just days ago, anticipating today:

“Hi Jon, wanted to update you that our daughter  received three very good  scholarship offers and has accepted to St Francis University, 4 time defending NEC Champs and is very excited for next year.  We can’t sign letter of intent until April 17th.”

Well, today she signed.  I can imagine the excitement in that home. 

The Dad went on to write,  “Your guidance with this program was extremely valuable, from sending out her profile to the proper schools and all the steps in between.  The do’s and dont’s, a great help.   We’ll need it again for our son, a current grade nine and into lacrosse big time.  Thanks again.”

Other signing news:

Baseball basketball volleyball footballFrom LSU:  Brian Bridgewater, the MVP in the Top 28 state playoffs for Scotlandville High School, signed National Letter of Intent papers with the LSU men’s basketball team on Wednesday.

From Maui:  Six student-athletes sat at the front table in the high school counseling room at Kamehameha Schools Maui about an hour ago for spring National Letter of Intent signing day.

Volleyball players led the way — two-time MIL Player of the Year Bobbi-Lin Kalama signed with NCAA Division I Sienna College, Sienna Rae Davis signed with Hawaii-Hilo and Anuhea Kaiaokamalie signed with Chico State, where she will also be part of the honors program.

Football players at the table included Dylan Nakoa. who signed with Notre Dame College in February, Acer Pahukoa signed documents with D-III Carleton College of Minnesota, and Bryson Arakaki sat at the table and is deciding between Illinois College and Dixie State.

From Sarasota, Florida:   At Venice, five Lady Indians, including three from the school’s state championship volleyball team, put pen to paper on the National Signing Day.

Venice’s Caitlin Elsadek received an athletic scholarship despite the fact that Florida high schools don’t offer the sport in which she participates. Elsadek will attend SUNY College at Brockport in Rochester, N.Y., on a gymnastics scholarship.

“It’s always been my dream to compete on the college level,” said Elsadek, who competed for Club Horizon Gymnastics in Port Charlotte. “I’m super-excited.”

Wherever you are in the scholarship hunt, let me encourage you to continue to pursue your dream. 


Most people think of National Signing Day for athletic scholarships coming in February.  However, if you are not being recruited as a football player nor compete in field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country, men’s water polo, National Signing Day is this Wednesday. It is considered the Early Signing Period, as there will be another opportunity in the spring.  This video from the NCAA might help clarify things for you:


There’s a lot of nervousness on the part of parents and athletes when the November period comes. However, if you don’t get signed in this period, don’t fret. A lot will happen between now and next Fall. There will be scholarship opportunities.

On National Signing Day (or Period), the athlete signs a National Letter of Intent. The NCAA explains the NLI this way:

“The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution

“A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).

“The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).

“Basic penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement: A student-athlete has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters or three quarters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports.

She was once an aspiring high school athlete like you, and after many achievements in her sport (two sports actually), she has earned an honor far beyond performance.

Meet Elizabeth Phillips, seven-time All-American and biomedical engineering graduate of Washington University in St. Louis − the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year.

Phillips was chosen from among nine finalists during the 22nd annual NCAA Woman of the Year awards program Sunday night in Indianapolis. The award honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.

“Winning Woman of the Year was really exciting! I was so surprised when my name was read,” said Phillips. “It is exciting to put my school on the map in that way and to…   more