At some point or another a great deal of youth baseball players dream of earning themselves a baseball scholarship. For some, that dream can become a reality and somewhere in between the path will include interaction with a recruiter, often a member of the coaching staff.
If you are fortunate enough to be in this group, keep dreaming big but also plan for the more likely. Just in case you don't become the next multi-million dollar superstar, make sure you leave with an education that makes sense for you and your non-baseball goals.
So what are some good academic questions to ask when speaking with the recruiter? Well this is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are 5 suggestions:
1 - "Does your school offer a degree in _______?"
This might sound like an easy question, but it has been known to happen. If you have your mind set on a post-athletic career of some sort, make sure that the school offers degrees that make sense for your goals.
2 - "How often do your players graduate on time?"
This can be a good clue as to how important the baseball program values academics as part of the student-athlete balance. It is in their best interests to maintain their athletes' eligibility for sure, but maintaining eligibility and graduating on time are different subjects. You want to avoid being left with a partially completed degree when your scholarship runs out.
3 - "Does the program have a dedicated academic advisor?"
Again this goes towards the student-athlete balance. The time demands of a student-athlete versus a general student can be much tougher and academic support will come in handy.
4 - "What are the school's admission requirements?"
This is important to get out of the way early in the process. If your grades and SATs are far below the school's requirements, then it is best to not waste time going down the road with that school. Liekwise, if the admissions requirements are far below your academic standing, the school may not be the correct academic fit for you.
5 - "What are the qualifications required for an academic scholarship?"
Contrary to popular belief, baseball programs do not have unlimited scholarships to hand out. Thus, it is very unusual to have a full athletic scholarship as they will divide them up and hand out partial scholarships. But if you are a very good student, then it behooves you to also seek out academic money in order to offset the full costs of the school.
So if you are in the process of being recruited, these are some good questions to get you off on the right foot. As stated, it is not an exhaustive list so we'd love to hear some other good questions from our readers.
And good luck!