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College Planning and Placement -- Creating a "road map"

Before you ever sign with a college, start with a preliminary list of schools that you want to attend and strategically mark them off your list until you get to the school of your choice.

By Scott Treibly, Recruiting Education, Athletic & Personal Development program

When beginning the college selection process, the crucial first step is to create a list.At IMG Academy, we call this the "road map" to college.

It sounds simple, but it can help you narrow down your list of prospective schools. It can be constructed in your freshman, sophomore, junior or senior year, but we suggest starting your freshmen year and refreshing your list each fall.

At IMG Academy, we encourage our student-athletes to first make a very broad list that spans the entire country and allows our students to think and research about a diverse number of universities and colleges. The list that we make has a minimum of 25 schools and by the time a student is a senior we like to have a short list of 8 to 10 schools.

Students can whittle down their list by meeting with college coaches, playing in front of college coaches, visiting campuses and having their SAT and GPA's evaluated by the universities. This is how both the student-athlete and school can determine if it is the right “fit.”

Please keep in mind that the very elite colleges and universities require advanced planning. If you wish to attend a university ranked in the top 50 both athletically and academically, you will need to have stellar results on the playing field as well and “A” average in school with very strong SAT/ACT scores (and SAT subject tests).

Since college coaches are recruiting students as freshman and sophomores, we encourage our student-athletes to make contact with coaches in their sophomore and junior years and take unofficial visits to their favorite campuses.

The more you see and do, the better your result will be. Remember, going to college is a process not a race.

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