College Prep 101

Group of student-athletes in their college shirts stand together around stable with a cake in a library

With the spring semester in full swing, reality begins to set in and the whisper of graduation and college starts to become a scream for seniors. It’s impossible to ignore the future, and not being prepared for what lies beyond high school can be alarming. Many seniors in their final semester of high school begin to have what is affectionately called ‘senioritis’. Assignments become more difficult and reality begins to set in. Choosing and committing to a college is an exhausting process that involves lots of paperwork and long conversations, and when you find one that clicks it can feel like things are looking up.

Before a student-athlete gets to that last semester of the senior year, underclass students will set up unofficial college visit after talking with a school/coach as the next step for learning more about the university and the golf program. Once a coach has recruited a student to be a part of their team it is an important decision to verbally commit and sign a letter of a intent that balances the student’s goals and priorities.

Fortunately, being a part of IJGA gives student-athletes many advantages when it comes to finding a college that fits golf and academic goals. The College Placement Team at IJGA works around the clock to help students turn the daunting process of looking for a college into something exciting. When looking for a college, it is important to have different options and to not be discouraged. Communication is vital during this process and keeping up with your emails from prospective colleges and coaches has never been more important. Along the way there may be bumps in the road but remembering the student’s goals and being realistic about the options available within golf and academic development.

Useful Tips:

  • Don’t go at it alone! There are always going to be people by your side willing to help with the college process. Make yourself responsibility, but don’t feel like you have to do everything by yourself.
  • Ask lots of questions. When meeting with a college coach or advisor, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can. Find out what is important for you in a school, and make sure you don’t leave the campus wishing you would have asked more questions.
  • Research colleges, as well as the location, how the campus looks and feels is important in choosing a school, but so is the surrounding community. Many colleges encourage their students to become a part of the community during your four years, so you want it to have things that are appealing to you!
  • Make grades and your golf score a priority during high school. It’s easy to get distracted when a class mate is doing better, or some in not being nice to you today, take on that challenge to focus on positive character and goals, making your college resume and search appealing to college coaches. Your hard work and determination in high school will improve your college search.
  • Take advantage of college prep courses, workshops, and good advice from others.
  • Be Organized. Keep your schedule, and work environment organized. This will reflect how you plan your approach to the game of golf as well as you college search. If you start early, it will become second nature and you will be grateful that you are organized and not frantic. During the college process you will receive lots of information and important paperwork, and it is important to know how to work through the application process just as much as it is for course management and reading greens.
  • Be Challenged. As your advisors and guidance counselors are here to assist you, as well as deadlines. Challenge yourself to give these tasks priority as much as you would to your new swing and that big project due for class.
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