Navigating Your Future In Pandemic: Our Covid-19 FAQ
Advice for Students and Families
Well, it seems the “Covid-19 FAQ” has now become a monthly (and last month – bimonthly) newsletter. With high schools and colleges back in session in various ways, college coaches are working hard on putting their 2021 rosters together and college bound student-athletes are taking concrete steps to avoid having their college ambitions sidelined by pandemic.
One important piece of information is what you do NOT have to do: there is NO need to chase down an SAT or ACT score for 2021. You can click here to read the NCAA Covid-19 testing waiver for 2021 grads. There are other arguments for testing, but each day access remains disrupted these become less persuasive. That has not stopped the testing companies and the test prep industry from developing 2020 quality, scare-tactic talking points, which I address in our test optional explainer.
In many regions “return to play” is happening in some fashion, at least with training and local competition. It is unlikely that national tournaments and competition will resume until spring at the earliest, but there will be opportunities for most student-athletes to practice and compete in late fall/winter going forward. NCAA Division 1 coaches will remain restricted from traveling to watch competition, but all other levels have removed any association wide bans on recruiting travel with an eye towards allowing local coaches to observe matches within their home recruiting areas where feasible.
In this environment, it is critical that student-athletes are proactive with their communication of interest to college coaches. Making sure coaches (including NCAA coaches who may not be able to respond to sophomores) are notified of opportunities to watch you play online, receive well considered highlight videos and access to unedited video of competitions is critical. Avoid any service that requires coaches to log in. You can most easily share videos via YouTube links whenever possible. Also, no one cares about the music you add to your highlight video… that discussion is all about selling you and your family, just make sure your music does not DETRACT from what coaches are watching (imagine a coach with young children trying to watch your video and don’t include music that could make him/her turn it off).
With the disruptions to recruiting, testing, and academic programs, we have some specific advice for students at different phases of their recruiting timelines. These actionable items can empower you to keep your college search moving forward regardless of the level of disruption you are experiencing.
For high school seniors
- Embrace this crazy moment and the virtual search process! You certainly do not have to love it, and it IS different, but it is what we have! So get on your virtual tours, make sure you meet with the college reps doing virtual visits with your school, etc.
- In early October, fill out your FAFSA application so you can efficiently determine your actual costs at various colleges. Once you know your EFC, you will have better information!
- Approach potential references and develop a resume you can give them to focus their letters on areas that help your applications!
- If you are still hesitating to reach out to coaches and schools, please call me or reach out to your coaches and school counselors. It is time!
- Think about whether you have a first-choice school and want to apply Early Decision/Early Action, those deadlines are hurdling towards us.
- Take our self-assessment and work to identify colleges that are a 360º fit for you and where your fit is mutual! The goal is to identify 6-12 colleges to target with specific outreach.
- Visit some colleges and engage directly with them. The great news is virtual visits are low cost and once you’ve virtually toured a campus you can easily connect with coaches and admissions counselors in an authentic way. Use what you learn about THEM to begin a meaningful conversation. Attend virtual college nights and put effort into this process now!
- Remember that whatever academic progress you make in this moment is valuable! Whether you move your GPA from 2.2 to 2.4 or 3.6 to 3.8, you are increasing your attractiveness to schools and reducing your potential costs!
- Register for a free account with the NCAA Eligibility Center. You can pay later, but get an ID number, it will help you later!
- Make sure you are progressing through the NCAA core course requirements.
- In this environment, dual enrollment courses are probably preferable to AP, IB, or honors classes. They are clearly at the collegiate level and you can avoid the standardized test issues that will likely continue into spring.
- Talk to your coaches to discuss how they can support you being “seen” and whether they have contact with college coaches.
For high school freshman
- Make sure you are enrolled in a college preparatory curriculum, as outlined in this graphic
- Work with your school counselor to develop an academic plan that aligns with your educational and athletic goals
- Take advantage of this disrupted moment to explore your interests. Between pandemic and the November election coming up, there are nearly infinite opportunities for service and exploration of a wide variety of interests (want to connect with campaigns on social media? Phone bank? Contact Trace? Create educational materials for public health?)
- Remember to engage as fully as possible academically. This is a great time to connect with teachers, counselors, and content while some peers are focused on what they are missing. Try to find ways to make meaningful connections with the people who will be facilitating and inspiring your education!
As always, if you are looking for individualized or institutional consulting help, check out our services here! You can make an initial appointment through the link on our homepage! School counselors access our free resources, appointments and programs for school collaboration here.
For more information, contact Dave Morris, College Counselor & CEO, College Athletic Advisor, email@example.com or phone: (719) 248-7994
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What is the impact on College Athletic Advisor's operations and my access to my counselor?
As we are online natives and committed to a virtual model to serve clients, our service to you continues UNINTERRUPTED. We were social distancing before it was cool 🙂 And we are uniquely experienced to help clients and professionals in this dynamic and uncertain environment!
The NCAA and NAIA have both issued blanket waivers so 2020 graduates can be eligible immediately without taking the SAT/ACT, and so that students will not be penalized for pass/fail grades.
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I would like deeper insights into all this... can we chat?
Of course!! You can call, chat with us through our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CollegeAthleticAdvisor/ or set up a time to talk virtually here https://calendly.com/collegeathleticadvisor/initialconsult