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CAC COLLEGE PREPARATION INFO: ACADEMIC AND SWIMMING

  • Do I want to swim in college?
    • Things to consider
      • There are programs for everyone!
      • College swimming very much like HS swimming (TRUE team)
      • Can I balance the schedule?
  • Choosing a college
    • Things to consider
      • Academics- what kind of school do I want academically? Does it matter? (ex. Medicine, law, business, film)
      • Swimming- Do I want to be a big fish or little fish (pros and cons); what kind of coach do I want? What kind of team do I want?
      • Location- where do I want to be geographically? Does it matter?
      • School size- Big, Medium, Small?
      • Cost- Need to identify this now w/ parents. Money should NOT drive the decision: there are lots of financial assistance opportunities (scholarship, grants, loans, etc)
  • The Process
    • Junior year
      • Take the SAT or ACT (ACT if planning more math based career)
      • Get your current class rank and GPA (weighted)
      • Make sure you are planning to take AP classes next year (if not already this year
        • But don’t overdo it!
      • Put together a “resume”
        • Needs to cover academics and swimming
          • Personal info
          • Academic info
          • Times
          • Important info- doubles, weights, etc.
        • Don’t need to cover extracurricular stuff here
        • Advantage over questionnaire
      • Need to identify interests you may have in school
        • But not necessarily pick your major: average college students change majors 2-3 times throughout school
      • Need to identify colleges that you MAY be interested in (for academics, location, or swimming); this is NOT your list that you want to narrow down, just to identify!
      • Mail out “resumes” with cover letter to schools
      • Complete NCAA Clearinghouse at end of Junior year (at school or online, small fee
  • College Info
    • Academics
      • Most colleges have at least one strong major or school
      • Academic support varies school to school
        • Starting to take frontline at schools
        • Academic Centers
      • Tutors
        • This should be available!
      • Study Hall (or “tables”
        • Most programs have this; amount of time needed by swimmer varies greatly, but an important area!
      • Academic advisors
        • College should have full-time (although they will say it’s not that important), half have GA’s as academic advisors
      • Know what minimum SAT is to get accepted
        • This can be waived by coach in certain situations
    • Swimming
      • Programs are either men only, women only, or combined
        • Pros and Cons of all
      • 3 NCAA levels
        • Division 1
          • Larger schools
          • Scholarships allowed
            • Costs of these schools vary widely!
          • Usually more competitive
        • Division 2
          • Smaller schools
          • Limited scholarships
            • Costs are usually a bit more as these schools tend to be a bit more academically inclined
          • Not quite as competitive depth-wise
        • Division 3
          • No scholarships
          • Small school size
          • Usually rather expensive as focus is academics
          • Competitive top end, but drops off rather quickly!
      • Scholarships
        • Also known as Letter of Intent, or NLI’s
        • NCAA allows a maximum of 14 women’s scholarships, 9.9 men’s scholarships (this is called “fully funded”)
        • Only large D1 schools are fully funded
        • Scholarships can be broken up any way coach sees fit
  • Scholarships are awarded to swimmers that meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • Are in need of assistance
    • Aren’t a liability to program
    • Can help team point wise
      • This vary according to college
    • Coach feels has potential
  • Scholarship can be increased each year
  • Scholarships can’t be decreased due to performance (NCAA rule)
  • Scholarships CAN be taken away for:
    • Academic ineligibility
    • Certain incidents
  • Practices
    • Most start mid-September, gradual increase
    • Most colleges break into multiple training groups
      • Sprint, Mid-Distance, Distance, Strokes
        • Some more specific!
        • College training usually more anaerobic than aerobic
          • CAC background prepares for that!
    • Swimmers training varies
      • Most go every afternoon
      • Most go at least 2 mornings, up to 4
      • NCAA rule is 20 hours per week for training, rest is “voluntary”
    • Weights, dryland
      • Usually a great deal of this done, more than club (due to time)
    • Training trips
      • Many schools offer this at new-years to provide training opportunity and have fun!
      • Costs of swimmer vary!
  • Meets
    • Colleges uses mainly dual meet format, sometimes invitationals
      • Dual meets
        • 13 or 16 event format
        • Decided on by coach
        • 13 events- swim any 3 events
        • 16 events- swim total of 4 events, 1 HAS to be a relay
        • Meets are scored individual 9,4,3,2,1 (Can’t 1-2-3-4)
        • Meets are scored relay 11-4-2 (Can only 1-2)
        • Teams will “exhibition” when they have accumulated enough points to win meet by default
          • Done to be “gracious” to other team, similar to not running up the score in football
        • Dual meets are combined with 2 diving events, usually take 2 hours tops!
        • If school has large roster, swimmer may be “exhibitioned” if not very good (potential redshirt)
        • Some schools, dual meet wins NOT that important, some it is!
      • Invitationals
        • 2-3 day meets with multiple college teams
          • More opportunities to swim different events
        • Doesn’t count in dual meet schedule
    • Conference meets
      • Usually mid-February
      • Meets can be combined or separate depending on conference
      • Only 18-23 men and women can attend (varies by conference)
      • Those not making it can swim USA invites and shave
        • Important factor!
      • Goal is to qualify for NCAA’s!
    • NCAA Champs
      • Held mid-March
      • Complicated system of qualifying
        • “A” cut- automatically qualify
        • “B” cut- minimum time to be considered for meet, allows “A” qualifier another event
        • app. 20-27 swimmers taken from the seasons top times
          • Goal to have met certain number!
  • Recruiting
    • Process
      • Letters
        • Swimmers can be contacted by mail Junior year (personal letters)
      • Phone Calls
        • Swimmers can receive 1 telephone call from coach in the month of March
        • This rule may change again!!
        • Swimmer can receive calls after July 1stof their Junior year
        • Can only receive 1 call per week
          • Call week is Sunday through Saturday
        • Swimmer can call coach unlimited amount of times
        • Instant message counts as a phone call
        • Swimmer / Coach can communicate through email unlimited amount of times
        • A call with parents longer than “hello” counts as a call!
        • Frequency of calls varies program to program
      • Personal visits
        • Swimmers can be visited ONCE by a coach in April
          • ONLY at High School!
          • This rule may change as well!
        • Coach can talk with you at meets
          • ONLY at the end of a meet!
      • Home visits
        • Coach can watch practice, visit family and swimmer at house
      • Recruiting trips
        • Official and Unofficial
        • Swimmer can take a maximum of 5 official visits
        • Officials offered by most programs, depends on financial budget of program
          • School pays for travel, room and board, and meals
        • Anyone can take unofficial
          • School can’t pay for it
        • Opportunity to see college life, meet the team, coaches, academic advisors, professors, etc
        • Coach can make unlimited calls the week before official visit
        • Coach Fabio to prep before that trip
          • Trips can be trouble!
  • Signing periods
    • There are 2 signing periods
      • Early- 2ndweek in November, one calendar week in duration
      • Late- 2ndweek in April, lasts until the beginning of school
    • Pro’s and Con’s of each
      • Early
        • Scholarship money is offered to ensure roster
        • Get decision out of the way to eliminate stress
      • Late
        • Most scholarship money awarded
        • Opportunity to go faster and possibly get larger offer
    • Scholarship amounts
      • Most colleges now try to “package” an athletic / academic scholarship package
      • Many states have “Hope” scholarships
        • Ends up helping out of state swimmers
  • NCAA Rules
    • Important!
    • NCAA rulebook as thick as phonebook!
  • Final Decision

Coach Fabio and advisor to consult with swimmer and family

  • I will not tell them where to go, it’s their decision!
  • This is a stressful time, don’t focus on process!