As high school seniors approach the end of their high school careers, many are faced with the daunting task of figuring out how to pay for college. With the rising costs of tuition, room and board, and other expenses, students and their families often turn to scholarships as a way to alleviate some of the financial burden. And for those who excel in track and field, a track scholarship can be a game-changer.
But what about seniors who may have just discovered their passion for track and field or have only recently started to excel in the sport? Is it too late for them to secure a track scholarship? In this article, we will explore the possibility of getting a track scholarship during your senior year of high school.
The Recruiting Process
The recruiting process for track and field is similar to that of other sports. Coaches typically start scouting potential recruits during their junior year of high school, if not earlier. They attend track meets, review performance records, and communicate with high school coaches to identify top prospects.
However, this does not mean that seniors are automatically excluded from the recruiting process. In fact, many coaches are still actively looking for talented athletes to fill their rosters, even during the senior year. So, if you are a senior who has just started to excel in track and field, there is still a chance for you to secure a track scholarship.Read:Is Northwestern University a Provider of Merit-Based Scholarships?
Factors That Affect Your Chances of Getting a Track Scholarship
While it is possible to get a track scholarship during your senior year, there are several factors that can affect your chances of securing one. These include:
- Performance: Your performance on the track is the most critical factor that coaches consider when recruiting athletes. If you have consistently performed well throughout your high school career, you have a better chance of catching the attention of college coaches.
- Academics: While track and field is a major factor in the recruiting process, academics also play a significant role. Coaches want to recruit athletes who not only excel on the track but also in the classroom. So, having a strong academic record can increase your chances of getting a track scholarship.
- Timing: As mentioned earlier, coaches typically start recruiting during a student’s junior year of high school. However, this does not mean that seniors are automatically excluded. If you have just started to excel in track and field, it is essential to reach out to coaches and let them know about your achievements.
- Competition: The level of competition in your area can also affect your chances of getting a track scholarship. If you are competing against top athletes in your state or region, coaches are more likely to take notice of your performance.
- Networking: Networking can also play a significant role in the recruiting process. If you have connections with coaches or other athletes who are already competing at the college level, they may be able to put in a good word for you and help you get noticed by coaches.
Steps to Take to Secure a Track Scholarship During Your Senior Year
If you are a senior who is interested in securing a track scholarship, here are some steps you can take to increase your chances:Read:Can d2 schools offer full ride scholarships?
- Reach out to coaches: As mentioned earlier, coaches are still actively recruiting during a student’s senior year. So, it is essential to reach out to coaches and let them know about your achievements and interest in their program. You can do this by sending them an email with your track and field resume, including your personal best times and any other relevant information.
- Attend track camps and showcases: Track camps and showcases are great opportunities to showcase your skills and get noticed by college coaches. These events allow coaches to see you compete in person and can give you an edge over other recruits.
- Focus on your academics: As mentioned earlier, academics play a significant role in the recruiting process. So, it is essential to maintain good grades and take challenging courses to show coaches that you are a well-rounded student-athlete.
- Consider smaller schools: While Division I schools may be the most well-known, there are also many opportunities for track scholarships at Division II and III schools. These schools may have less competition for scholarships, making it easier for seniors to secure a spot on the team.
- Be persistent: The recruiting process can be long and challenging, but it is essential to stay persistent and keep reaching out to coaches. Even if you do not hear back from a coach right away, do not give up. Keep sending updates on your performance and expressing your interest in their program.
While the idea of securing a track scholarship during your senior year may seem daunting, there are many real-life examples of athletes who have successfully done so. One such example is Sydney McLaughlin, who secured a full-ride scholarship to the University of Kentucky during her senior year of high school. McLaughlin went on to become an Olympic medalist and world record holder in the 400-meter hurdles.Read:Can ncaa divIsion ii offer scholarships?
Another example is Grant Holloway, who received a track scholarship to the University of Florida during his senior year of high school. Holloway went on to become a national champion and record holder in the 110-meter hurdles and is now a professional track and field athlete.
While it may be more challenging to secure a track scholarship during your senior year of high school, it is not impossible. By focusing on your performance, academics, and networking, and being persistent in reaching out to coaches, you can increase your chances of getting noticed and securing a spot on a college track team. So, if you are a senior who has just discovered your passion for track and field, do not let your grade level discourage you from pursuing a track scholarship. With hard work and determination, anything is possible.