Athletic Recruiting Recruiting Tips Starting Early

Searching for Colleges? This Is the Only Tool You Need

College search tool.

There are more than 5,300 colleges and universities across the U.S.—so where do you start when trying to find the right one? With our College Search tool, you can easily filter through schools based on your specific athletic, academic and college fit criteria. Looking for Division 1 schools close to home that cost less than $30,000 a year? We can help you find them.

Your college search starts with setting up your detailed filters

Your first step is to narrow down your search. Easily set up your filters to get started:

  1. Log in to your online profile. Don’t have a profile yet? Create your free profile now—it only takes a couple minutes.
  2. Click on the “Find Colleges” option on the top toolbar
  3. Click on all the states you’re interested in
  4. Scroll down to the “Advanced Options” to set specific filters, such as:
    1. Collegiate division
    2. Athletic selectivity (how competitive a school is athletically)
    3. Academic selectivity (how competitive a school is academically)
    4. School enrollment (the campus size you’re looking for)
    5. School tuition (select a comfortable price range)
    6. School type (military, Christian, women’s only, men’s only, HBC)
    7. College setting (rural, suburban, urban)
    8. Public, private or both
    9. Select your top majors

Search results page: A list of colleges that meet your designated criteria

Whether you have a free profile only or a paid NCSA membership, you’ll have access to view the following information on the college search results page:

  • The name of the school
  • Location
  • Athletic selectivity
  • Academic selectivity
  • Tuition for in-state and out-of-state students
  • Undergraduate enrollment

Families with a paid NCSA membership will see a few extra fields on their results page:

  • Match Level: Listed as a percentage, this number indicates how well the school matches your athletic, academic and personal preferences. The higher the percentage, the better your fit with that school.
  • Connect: Here, you can indicate your interest in a school by clicking the star icon. This places the school on your list of colleges in the “My Colleges” section of your profile. It’s an easy way to keep track of schools you’re interested in and indicate to those coaches that you’d like to learn more about their program. To immediately start communicating with coaches on your results page, click the envelope button. This opens your Message Center, so you can start sending introductory messages to coaches.
  • Match Analysis: This feature provides a detailed “snapshot” of how your college preferences stack up against the offerings of that specific college. That way, it’s easy to see if a school meets all of your requirements. It also helps families understand if a particular school should be considered a safety school, target school or a reach school.

School profile: Detailed information on recruiting, admissions, academics and campus life

Whether you’re a free user or an NCSA member, you can click on a school in your college search results to get a detailed report. Here’s what our recruits use the most:

  • Match Analysis: Compare your GPA to the average of incoming freshmen and SAT/ACT scores. Free profile users will get a less detailed report than paid NCSA members.
  • Recruiting: You’ll find coaches for your sport at that school, as well as their email and phone numbers.
  • Admissions: Provides all the information you need to know when going through the college admissions process, such as
    • Contact information for the admissions office, as well as the acceptance rate, total number of applicants, student retention rate, and more
    • The online application, application fee and all necessary application deadlines
    • A breakdown of the student body’s primary residence, including which states students come from
    • A detailed look at the average ACT/SAT scores of incoming freshmen
    • financial aid and cost information, including average cost of housing, books and supplies, and meal plans
    • Average scholarship and financial aid awarded to students
  • Academics: View all majors offered, average graduation rate, student-faculty ratio, study abroad availability and more
  • Campus life: See demographic breakdown, a detailed location description and housing available

NCSA members have access to all the information listed above, as well as more personalized data in the Match Analysis to help determine if a school is the right fit. You also have the ability to contact a coach directly from the Recruiting Page via the Message Center, streamlining the communications process and keeping all your recruiting messages in one place. You can see if a coach from this school has viewed your profile, searched for you or opened your messages. This is extremely valuable, especially if the NCAA recruiting rules don’t allow the coach to contact you yet

About the author
Kelly Mantick

Kelly Mantick is a writer at NCSA Next College Student Athlete.