Not many high school students are 100 percent sure what their major will be in college, but most at least have an idea what subjects interest them . If an athlete is a female lacrosse player, and she is interested in majoring in sports management, her options for college that offers both that major and that sport could be narrow. Does the school have a diversity of majors available? Remember that college is a time of exploration and discovery. Students should not limit themselves to majors and careers they have heard about in high school. They are sure to find out about majors and careers they never knew existed and one of those may be the perfect fit.
Student athletes should consider the following questions:
Does the school have a diversity of majors that interest me?
Is the academic level at this college too demanding? Will I be in over my head, or will I be bored because it is not challenging enough?
Are the admissions requirements the same or more rigorous than the NCAA minimum for elgibility?
Will I want or need tutoring , and if so is there tutoring available for athletes?
What is the school’s graduation rate for scholarship athletes in my sport?
Do former student-athletes have interesting careers and good jobs? Are they successful?
Are there many internships avalible?
Jim Goranson was a successfully recruited student – athlete who found out the hard way about the pitfalls of choosing the wrong college. Jim started out with a full footballs scholarships to a big ten university. He graduated high school with a 23 ACT and 3.2 GPA.
Even though Goranson played on a team that went to a sugar bowl he was quickly disillusioned with the “businesses side” of being on such a high-profile team.
“My school wanted me to focus on football” said Goranson “No matter what the sugarcoating was, I was playing at a high level, and my football team was a business with a bunch of money involved. The coaches were paid to have results on the football field, so they discouraged anything that might compromise this. I wanted to take a psychology class, but counselors told me not to because it would hurt my GPA, which might make me ineligible for the team.”
If athletes want to succeed at a high level, they have to be okay dealing with the business side of the sport. Some players are, especially those who want professional careers but Goranson was not one of those athletes. Goranson wanted an academic education and when a coach told him that he should put more effort into football and less into classroom activities, he knew it was time to change. He sough help from recruiting service and transferred to a college that placed a higher emphasis on academics.
Jim went on to graduate in 2005 with a degree in English, a concentration in journalism and a minor in history. And he stresses, “I was able to write a book of poetry. I acted in plays. I had my own television show while I was there. I know I would have never been able to do that at my former college .”
Fast Fact: The average student changes majors four times and will change jobs twenty-five times throughout life, which is why a good education support staff at a student’s college