So you’ve been told by the head coach of your dream school that he wants you to play for him next year. Congratulations! There’s only one problem:
You didn’t get past admissions.
So long, quality education! So long, full-ride scholarship!
Playing your sport is a great way to get a tremendous education. I say that because often times, a school is willing to lower the admissions standards for recruited student-athletes a little bit.
A LITTLE BIT. If you’re getting a 2.3 GPA and scored a 950 on your SAT, that’s not going to be good enough for a school like Harvard, or Northwestern, or UCLA.
From an article in The Daily Bruin:
“For football players to come in and compete in that (academic) environment, they have to be good students,” UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said. “Otherwise it’s not fair to them. That doesn’t mean they all have to have the same scores … but they have to be able to compete.”
The average freshman at UCLA had a 4.3 GPA in high school, Field said, and many athletes do not meet that standard. Instead, the school’s admissions department considers recruits on an individual basis.
Neuheisel said that the most important factor is getting to know the recruit; his family, teachers and coaches, and making sure he is aware of the academic standards.
Even still, the admissions department often flatly rejects recruits.
“It can be frustrating at times when you don’t get to recruit somebody that you have to play against, because you know what they’re capable of doing on the field,” Neuheisel said. “But I trust our admissions people in making those evaluations.”
So a coach can try his darnedest to help you get into school if your grades aren’t as high as what the college generally looks for, but if you’re not even close, don’t expect to get past admissions.