College Recruiting - Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start my preparation for college recruitment?

A student-athlete should start in their Freshman Year (9th grade) of High School. Sufficient time is required to properly prepare for all necessary steps, which need to be taken to properly prepare you for your college years. Athletic and academic preparation takes years until you are truly ready for college in all belongings. You will need to add a buffer for repeating tests or an unexpected setback, whether academically, athletically, or both. The more time you have to work with us, the better your chances of being offered scholarship opportunities. Coaches will start to look at players as early as their freshman year in High School and send out scholarship offers as late as a few months before the new school year begins. As a client you will have access to a detailed view at the ideal scholarship timeline. Please note that the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA may use different grading scales especially for foreign students. Beginning the process early (in your freshman or sophomore year in High School) will help avoid grading-scale related issues, which may jeopardize your eligibility.

When can I start college?

The U.S. school calendar starts in August and ends in May and that is usually when students will start. However, since the college system is broken into two main semesters, you can start college in January, as well. Please contact us for further details regarding this matter.

Can I participate in organized "competition" prior to college?

Generally, yes, but it is restricted. To be safe, within 6 months of your High School graduation date, you receive a grace period, which allows you to play as much as you want (NCAA Division I). Some sports and NCAA Division II colleges still may offer a 1-year grace period. If you compete in any organized competition after your grace period is over, you automatically become subject to losing a year of NCAA eligibility!! However, it is strongly advised that if you do participate in organized competition to always register as an amateur.

20-Year Age Rule for Division I NCAA (minority number of sports still apply the 21-Year Age Rule).

In Division I only, if a student-athlete has participated as an individual or as a team representative in organized sports competition (that kind of participation during each 12-month period after his/her 20st birthday and prior to initial full-time collegiate enrollment) will count as one forfeited year of varsity competition in that sport. Any participation in organized competition during time spent in the U.S. Armed Services will be accepted.

The NCAA and the NAIA both offer "resources" on their respective websites with the exact regulations covering all amateurism related questions. Those rules have changed as recent as Summer 2012. You can also contact us for further information. All our clients always receive the most up-to-date information, as we constantly keep track with the ever-changing regulations of the NCAA and NAIA.

How long are the degree programs?

  • NJCAA (Junior College) offers a 2-year associates degree

  • NCAA/NAIA colleges offer 4-year bachelor degrees; most also offer graduate degrees; 2-4 year post bachelor degrees

What can I study?

Each school offers different areas of study and is dependent on a school-by-school basis.The most common areas of study in the U.S. are as follows:

  • Business & Management (20%)

  • Engineering (17%)

  • Physical & Life Sciences (9%)

  • Social Sciences (9%)

  • Mathematics & Computer Sciences (9%)

  • Fine Arts & Applied Arts (6%)

  • Health Professions (5%)

  • Intensive English Language (5%)

  • Education (3%)

  • Humanities (3%)

  • Agriculture (2%)


In 2012, the most popular Bachelor (4-year) degrees were (in order from 1 to 10):

  • Business Administration

  • Criminal Justice

  • Psychology

  • Nursing

  • K-12 Education

  • Engineering

  • Health Administration

  • Computer & Information Sciences

  • Accounting

  • Human Services

Where will I live?

Most students will choose to live on campus in the residential halls during the first 2 years. This is the most common option and is recommended for logistic purposes as well as social atmosphere. Rooms/suites usually house two to four students, most commonly teammates. Student athletes mostly choose to make use of the on-campus cafeteria facilities by choosing an available meal-plan option.

A less common option, especially in the first two years of college, is to live off campus. Housing may appear to be less expensive, however requires transportation not provided by the college. Although, a on-campus meal plan is still offered at some colleges, most students then choose to buy groceries and cook at home. This may in turn result in being the more expensive option than staying on campus. Also, living off campus may be very time consuming and present challenges in getting to classes and practices or competition, especially if you do not have personal transportation. It is more common for students in their third and fourth year to move off campus.

What test-taking is required?

  • SAT or ACT - all college applicants EXCEPT when a school is "test optional"
  • TOEFL (sometimes the IELST is also accepted) - for all non-English native college applicants

It is highly recommended and needed for any student-athlete to have at least an intermediate level of English proficiency. If not, it will be extremely difficult to pass the required SAT/ACT and TOEFL exams. If you are from an English speaking country, you will be exempt from the TOEFL/IELST exam in most cases.

What recruiting costs should I expect to incur?

  • Travel expenses for tournaments and club games/matches

  • Club membership fees

  • Showcase events and camps for college exposure purposes

  • Sports equipment (varies by sport)

  • Private and group training & coaching sessions

  • Recruiting video expenses (production and editing services)

  • Scholarship and financial aid consulting services

  • Test taking preparation and actual test-taking expenses (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELST, etc)

  • Postage for documents/communication with college, coaches, eligibility centers

  • Recruiting visit costs (official vs. unofficial)

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Tarek Merchant

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