The better student you are, the easier it is for a college coach to make a case for awarding you an athletic scholarship. College coaches are better able to convince the athletic department and financial aid office to allocate precious scholarship dollars to high school students with good grades.
Colleges and universities want their students to graduate. Concern over the low graduation rate in some collegiate sports programs and/or the failure ofstudent-athletes to accumulate substantial academic units during their years at the university has put pressure on athletic departments not only to select the best athletes they can possibly recruit, but to ensure that these recruits have the potential, through a proven academic track record, to be graduated from their college.
For example, a college lacrosse coach who needs a midfielder with certain skills is recruiting from a list of candidates, all with similar high school stats. All other factors being equal, the scholarship award will most likely be made to the best student, the one with the most potential to do well academically in college. You could be the one selected if you have a history of academic achievement.
Athletes must keep their grades up in order to maintain eligibility and continue to play. A coach’s nightmare is to lose a highly recruited goalie for a season because that athlete is placed on academic probation by the college and is, not eligible to compete.
It is true that at some schools admission requirements may be relaxed for the student-athlete, there is only so much leeway allowed, and it is usually allotted to the most talented and/or the most highly recruited prospects. While it is possible that a coach will be able to pull some strings for you in admissions, you cannot afford to expect this treatment. Remember: if you can not get through admissions, it doesn’t matter how talented you are as an athlete. By getting good grades, you will position yourself as a strong candidate for admission to college on your own, without having to rely on assistance from a coach.
Just as you practice lacrosse and workout to increase your athletic skills, you must prepare yourself academically while in high school. For most colleges, your grade point average, class standing and your SAT Reasoning Test (Scholastic Assessment Test) and/or ACT (American CollegeTest) scores are carefully reviewed when you are under consideration for admission, as well as for a scholarship.