Each year, thousands of gymnasts and parents like you search for colleges that offer a great gymnastics program and academic scholarships. We’ve received several questions from parents about this concern and we’re more than happy to share our answers with you!
Q: When is the right time to start searching for colleges with my child?A: Ideally, you should begin looking at colleges by your child’s junior year — or even sophomore year, if you really want to get a headstart. There are plenty of online resources to help you find the colleges that have a gymnastics program, such as The National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W). Visit http://nacgcw.roadtonationals.com/teams.
Q: How do I know if a college is right for my child?A: The best way to get a feel of a college’s gymnastics program is to attend a meet with your child. If you cannot do so, you can always watch competitions on TV or online. You’ll also want to consider these factors:
- the strength of the college’s gymnastics and academic programs
- your child’s academic eligibility for a scholarship
- the size and population of the college
- distance from your home
- additional expenses for living arrangements
After you’ve researched colleges, narrow down your choices and discuss them with your child and their coach.
Q: My child wants to get a scholarship. How do we go about this?A: Getting a scholarship really comes down to this: how well they are able to compete in different gymnastics disciplines and your child’s academic eligibility. The former can be highlighted in a video which you can send to coaches or recruiters to evaluate your child’s abilities. You can even produce several copies and send them to other colleges of your choice. Make sure that your child’s video is well-shot—no room for shaky cameras here!
To know your child’s academic eligibility, it is recommended to get the information straight from your choice of colleges but here are some basic requirements set by the National Collegiate Athletes Association for Division 1:
- Your child must graduate from high school.
- Your child must complete 10 out of 16 core courses before your senior year and receive a minimum GPA of 2.3 for each.
- Your must must score a minimum of 400 on the SAT or 37 on the ACT.
- Your child’s combined GPA and SAT/ACT score must meet the minimum requirements set by the NCAA.
Each college divisions have different academic requirements. For a complete list, head over here: http://www.athleticscholarships.net/academic-requirements.htm.