What can boosting SAT by 150-200 points do for student athletes?

student athletes

January 31, 2020

Streamline Tutors recently started offering point-based improvement packages, wherein parents can choose to purchase either 150 or 200 points of improvement. We are excited to offer these results-oriented packages, and we urge you to read more about them here. As a follow up to this momentous announcement, we plan to publish a series of blogs that outline what exactly 150-200 SAT points can do for a student in terms of college acceptances and scholarships! Today, we’re going to focus on student athletes.

We work with tons of student athletes who hope to play their respective sport at the D1 and D3 levels. Regardless of division, you will have to meet certain academic requirements for admissions and NCAA eligibility— no matter how bad the coaches want you!

The NCAA uses a sliding scale to determine academic eligibility for all athletes.  This scale takes into account factors like your SAT or ACT scores and your GPA. If you’re worried about your GPA, a high SAT/ACT score can offset that. You can play around with the scale on the NCAA website.  If you’re worried about eligibility, don’t wait to get tutoring.  Schools and coaches will be less willing to work with a student who may not even be academically eligible.  

If eligibility isn’t a concern for you, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about your SAT or ACT score.  There are lots of reasons why your score still matters!

We know that many of our student athletes use their athletic prowess to find their way into schools where they wouldn’t be as competitive among the normal applicant pool.  For these students, getting recruited is largely about self-advocacy. Most students are going to have take the lead and reach out to coaches to share their athletic and academic accomplishments (the main two being GPA and SAT!). Having academic numbers that a coach knows they can work will be an impetus for the whole recruitment conversation. In other words, don’t wait to get your SAT score where you want them— having an already high score will make what comes next more seamless.

Down the recruitment timeline, when committing comes into play, many student athletes are told that their current academic profile is good enough for admission, but that they’ll need a certain SAT score to unlock academic scholarships. Even at D1 schools, athletic scholarships can be accompanied by academic money, the value of which is generally proportional to your SAT/ACT scores!

For D3 schools, athletic money isn’t offered, so unless you get academic money, you’re out of luck in terms of scholarships.  D3 athletes will also be afforded less of an admissions boost than their D1 counterparts. For this reason, aspiring D3 athletes should be intently focused on raising their SAT/ACT scores! In fact, D3 schools generally don’t have a formal commitment process. Instead coaches will work with the admissions officers and communicate about the applicants who are prospective athletes. For this reason, your academic profile will need to be pretty similar numbers-wise to any other prospective student.

Because student athletes generally get a more transparent look at admissions and financial aid, coaches can openly offer information regarding the relationship between SAT score and academic money.  Many of our students have been explicitly told something along the lines of “If you receive a 1350 on the SAT, you will get $XX in academic scholarship!” Definitely have this kind of conversation with your coaches so you understand where you stand, what’s realistic for you, and if the school truly fits into your athletic and academic plans.

Ultimately, it never hurts to improve your SAT or ACT score.  College coaches will certainly be more interested in recruiting prospective student athletes who fit the academic profile of their institution. Even once you’re committed, it’s worthwhile to put in the time and effort into preparing for standardized tests, especially when it leads to scholarships later on. Whether you’re worried about eligibility or making the most of academic scholarships, 150-200 points can make all the difference!

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