Planning for College Your High School Path

How Does a Student-athlete Get Recruited for College Admission?

Written by CB Experts

College coaches are not everywhere at all times. They actually do not see most high school student-athletes. So how do you get noticed by a college as a high school athlete?

It starts way before your senior year!!

Here are some ways to get noticed so you can be recrutied for college.

  • Be in touch with either the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), select teams, or traveling teams to see if they need players. Often there are upcoming events that need players. Because some coaches scout these sporting events, you raise your chances of being seen. There are also athletic showcases around the country which you can attend to be rated by a group of various college coaches.
  • Use websites of college teams to request a recruiting form. Now they will know you exist.
  • Write to colleges, the coach, and/or athletic department you have an interest in.
  • Include an Athletic Resume and/or an athletic portfolio. Your resume should include your athletic experience in high school, your stats, and comments by high school coaches. (See “Sample Athletic Resume.” ) It’s also wise to include a schedule of your up-coming sports events in case a coach does have an interest in scouting you.  A portfolio should include a 3 to 5 minute video of highlights of your athletic ability. (A whole game of you will hit the trash.) Be sure to start the video with an introduction for the coach, telling him who, what, and where. Also label the video with your name, school, year(s) of play, your uniform number, and your high school coach’s telephone number. It’s best to have a professionally done video.
  • Always follow up written contact with a phone call.
  • Call the coach at a school you are interested in. Ask him or her about the program and its needs, and ask if s/he has any fall or winter scouting plans at prospect camps you might attend.
  • Visit a campus during the summer after your junior year or the early fall of you senior year and attend a game to talk to the coach and their players.


Be Aware:

  • Recruiting levels go from form letters to personal letters to phone calls to a scouting visit to your school to paid invitations to stay overnight at their college. Recruitment can not begin before July The level of recruitment goes up with the level of interest. Don’t assume a form letter or even a personal letter means you’re a shoo-in.
  • Don’t allow a coach to pressure you. It’s okay to tell a coach you’re not interested in his/her offers. It won’t hurt you with other coaches. If a coach persists, notify your guidance counselor.
  • Don’t get caught in the Early Decision Squeeze. Some coaches will ask you to apply for Early Decision and guarantee your admission, but there are drawbacks. Once you are accepted, you are committed, and you are cut off from applying to other places. It can really limit your choices.
  • You should know coaches are salespeople making sure their own nests are feathered. They will take coaching opportunities at other colleges, or their influence can wax and wane depending on their season. They can not guarantee what they promise you.
  • Make sure any athletic scholarship you are offered is clearly defined. Few offer a full boat any longer. Also make sure to ask if the scholarship will continue if you have an injury that keeps you from playing the whole season.


  • Make sure you are eligible for the colleges you are interested in. If you are an athlete, you still must meet certain academic requirements for recruitment and for participating in a college sport: grades, test scores, and course work.
  • Before the end of your junior year submit your high school transcript to the NCAA Initial Eligibly Clearinghouse. They will check to make sure you have had the correct core curriculum, that you have a minimum grade point average, and that you have minimum scores on either your SAT or ACT tests. If you fall short, you still have your senior year to try to meet the requirements.
  • If you are considering Ivy Leagues schools and certain Division III schools, you will have to submit a transcript to the Academic Index. Meeting the NCAA Clearinghouse does not guarantee you have met Academic Index standards.

About the author

CB Experts

Content created by retired College Admissions consultants.