During the recruiting process, student-athletes will likely have a chance to meet with a coach on campus and/or have a conversation over the phone. These conversations give athletes the opportunity to ask important questions that will provide them with information they need to determine if a school is the best fit for them.
• What does a typical day, week or year look like for student-athletes?
Asking this question gives recruits a chance to better understand how much time student-athletes spend going to classes, studying, practicing and traveling for games or meets.
• Where do student-athletes live on campus?
Many colleges have dorms or apartments specifically for student-athletes, while other schools integrate them with the rest of the student body. Ask the coach if most athletes room together and if many live in off-campus housing.
• What on/off campus activities do student-athletes engage in?
If you’re looking a Division 1 or Division 2 program, you’ll likely learn that student-athletes don’t have much free-time, while Division 3 and NAIA programs give student-athletes the flexibility to participate in extracurricular activities.
• What is there to do in the city/town surrounding campus?
Whether you’re going to a school in a big city or small rural town, it’s important to know what surrounds the campus to explore.
• What majors do student-athletes pursue on the team?
Being a student-athlete can impact the majors and minors that you are able to pursue in college. In general, majors like business, exercise science and communication are popular among student-athletes. Engineering and pre-med majors are more difficult for athletes to balance while competing, as they are demanding and time-consuming.
• Do student-athletes receive academic support?
Ask the coach if the school/program offers additional services for student-athletes to help them balance their academics and athletics. These services include study hours, academic advisors and tutors and, in some cases, additional support from professors.
• What scholarships and financial aid packages are available?
Student-athletes should wait until a coach has expressed an offer before asking how much athletic aid is available, but recruits can ask for more information about the school’s overall tuition and room-and-board costs, need-based aid, and academic or merit-based scholarships.
• What expenses are athletes expected to cover?
Some programs expect student-athletes to cover the cost of certain things, including uniforms, equipment or the cost of team trips.
• Are there work study programs available?
To make a little extra cash during the off-season that can be put toward the cost of school, some student-athletes will apply for a work study program.
Before ending the conversation, be sure to ask the coach about next steps. Ask if the coach needs any additional information, has paperwork you need to fill out, wants to schedule a follow-up visits or call or knows of any upcoming deadlines you need to be aware of. This can give you a better idea of where you stand with the coach and make sure he/she has everything they need to continue the recruiting process.