High school student-athletes should follow a slightly different college application timeline than their peers who don’t play sports. Whether they plan to participate in a sport in college or not, their responsibilities to their teams while still in high school require that they adjust the standard application process to accommodate their sport’s season.
• High school juniors who play a Fall sport will take the PSAT in October of their junior year, followed by the SAT/ACT and SAT Subject Tests (SAT IIs) sometime towards the end of their junior year. These students can take the SAT in January, March, and/or May of their junior year and the SAT IIs during the June test administration.
But as rising high school seniors the process gets a little more complicated because the college application process normally begins during the Fall sports season. To reduce the stress and ensure that all the requirements and deadlines of applying to college are done correctly and on time, these student-athletes need to have ideally established a college list, started filling out the college applications, and begun working on their college essays before the season begins. The
summer before junior and senior year is the best time for students to complete these tasks.
This is especially true for those who are considering applying Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA) or Priority. Some colleges require that students who are recruited apply Early Decision (ED).
• High school juniors who play a Spring sport also have to adjust their application timelines. They will have no conflicts when it comes to the PSAT (given in October). However, seeing as they are at the height of their season during the more traditional SAT/ACT and SAT Subject Test (SAT II) test taking period – normally towards the end of their junior year – these students have to schedule their standardized tests midway through their academic year in order to avoid the conflicts during the season.
These students can take the SAT during Dec. or Jan. of their junior year and retake if needed during their senior year. The SAT IIs can still be taken at the end of junior year (June test administration date).
Once seniors, this group can then follow a regular college application timeline during the Fall semester of their senior year. They still need to be well organized if interested in applying Early Decision or Early Action.
Note: ALL high school juniors take the PSAT in October of their junior year. Test date for the 2012-2013 academic year is Oct 17th.
Regardless of whether these student-athletes will be playing Division I, II or III caliber college sports, they must:
• Submit an application to the college or university. Signing a ‘letter of intent’ does not replace the application.
• Rising senior student-athletes who have already verbally committed to a college cannot now relax academically during their senior year. Colleges can take back their offer IF the student-athletes grades & GPA/class rank fall sharply during senior year, even if it was a stellar sports season.
Student-athletes must focus on both their academics and their sport. The conventional college application timeline is stressful enough, but having to adjust it to fit the sport’s season is not impossible but does require planning ahead.
If your student would like to continue playing sports in college, college recruiting and athletic scholarships are very important to start during 10th or 11th grade. Click here for College Promoters of Texas- Houston Facebook page or their website for more information.
Good luck to all the athletes!