College Program

College Preparatory Program (CPP)

The College Preparatory Program is an ongoing, club-level program that is available to every high school age (U-15 and above) player in the club. The CPP focuses on three main areas: player and parents education, support tools, and exposure.

The program is led by Jeff Schofield  – Older Girls Director of Coaching and Jamie Harvey –  Older Boys Director of Coaching. They’ve seen the college recruiting process from the perspective of player, club coach, high school coach, and college coach.

While the club can assist with recruiting, the player and parent are responsible for making everything happen. This means targeting specific programs, making contact with the staff, communicating with them about where and when to see the player, and all the other major steps in the process.  The LAGSB staff offers expert guidance and support but will not do those tasks the player and parents can and must do for themselves. Success in this process requires accountability, diligence, commitment and a true passion for the game.

Player and Parent Education
Throughout the year, the club hosts several meetings and workshops for our parents and players to learn about the college process, recruiting, academic eligibility, scholarship and paying for college, and college selection to mention a few. The club arranges college game visits and provides tickets for our U-15 and older players to watch mens and womens games at each of the four college levels (NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, and NAIA). Depending on timing and availability, these visits may also include campus tours.

Support Tools
As part of your membership with LAGSB, all high school age players are provided access to College Fit Finder, a college search engine and recruiting tool created to maximize the player’s success during the recruiting process. It assists players in researching and filtering colleges based on their own criteria, look up coach contact information, track communications with college staff, keeps notes, provides a calendar, and supports a player profile. Here’s a quick YouTube overview. The club also hosts a kickoff meeting where players and parents can set up their College Fit Finder profiles and learn how to navigate the feature set.

Exposure 
Our teams participate in Surf Cup, Las Vegas College Showcase, National League, California Regional League, November Nights and many other top college showcase events.  LAGSB adopts a comprehensive approach to player development and college placement.  Players are exposed to excellent college preparation resources throughout the year that provides a detailed roadmap through the college search process.

Click here to find out more about the College process

Contacts:

College Process

The college process for youth players within LA Galaxy South Bay should be a well thought out and detailed one. We firmly believe that the players need to take ownership of their collegiate future. The LAGSB staff is there to guide the players in the right direction with a specific and realistic approach to what a college bound player should be doing in the college process.

So what should a player be doing in the collegiate process?

U15-U19 Create a Player Profile Now!
Each player U15-U19 in LAGSB has access to a College FitFinder account FREE of charge (www.collegefitfinder.com). College FitFinder is an excellent resource for all players to create their own player profile to allow college coaches to view their profile online. The profile allows players to describe themselves as a player, upload video highlights, Show their highs school GPA etc. College FitFinder has access to every college coach in the country. It is important that ALL players keep their profile updated.

When to get started?…
To understand when to get started, you need to work backwards. Coaches build their annual recruiting process around the official signing date (February 1st).

By February, many coaches have identified and talked with the players they want to be a part of their program. Because college soccer is a fall sport, most, but not all, recruiting takes place over the spring and summer months. However, there also is a flurry of recruiting that does take place after the fall collegiate soccer season is over between November and December.

With the above in mind, it is recommended that your child begin the process during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school. He/Her should develop a list of schools that interest him/her both academically and athletically.

Note: NCAA regulations permit coaches to respond to prospective student-athlete inquiries, but the coaches cannot initiate contact until July 1 of the summer leading to your child’s senior year.

Sample Timeline:
Summer before the start of junior year:

  • Develop list of schools
  • Meet with coach to discuss viability of playing college soccer, appropriate level, list of schools
  • Thoroughly research schools and soccer programs
  • Draft letter of introduction
  • Draft resume
  • Finalize letter and resume
  • Send letters and resume

The Decision Making and Guidance
To play soccer at the collegiate level organizing your search and understanding academic and athletic standards, knowing exactly what options are available to you should be a key focus.

When beginning your college search, think about the following items that may influence your decision to attend a particular school, or not:

  • Local vs. Distance
  • Urban vs. Rural
  • Commuting vs. Residential
  • Large Campus vs. Small Campus
  • Student life – campus activities
  • Meeting admission standards
  • Majors – area of academic interest
  • Expense

Meet with LA Galaxy South Bay Staff
Once you and your child have developed a list of schools, your child needs to set-up a time to meet. At the meeting the player and Coach/Director will review the list of schools and discuss appropriate division of play for the player. The coach’s role at this point is to help guide your child to realistically achieve his goal to play soccer in college. The college coaches count on the club to be realistic about the division where a player can have the biggest impact for a team be it DI, DII or DIII, NAIA etc…

NCAA Division I Coach: “How can coaches’ best help players?”
“Know the level of the program.  Do not oversell a prospect if they can’t play at this level.  Being a ‘great kid’ and ‘hardworking’ aren’t distinguishing enough to be recruited.  I consider those minimal attributes.  To be honest with the player…if the coach doesn’t think they can play at the D1 level, he needs to tell the player and his parents before they begin the process.  To this degree, the player must sit down with his club and ask the question ‘what is an appropriate level for me to pursue”

Cast a wide net when considering the types of colleges and universities that might be available, this is especially important as a high school freshman or sophomore. As you progress through your high school career and refine what it is you do want in a college, you will find your idea of the perfect college fit becomes more concrete, and your list of schools more concentrated.  By the time you are a senior, you most likely will have a defined list of 5 to 7 serious schools of interest.

Consider the different types of Colleges and Universities available

  • Public
  • Private
  • Service Academy
  • Military
  • Junior College

Campus Visits
Campus visits can never start too soon, and if you have yet to take one, now’s the time. Take the opportunity to establish dialogues with admissions counselors early in the college planning process, and request media packets from those schools that you want to learn more about.   Connect with the Department Head in your projected major to find out about the depth of the degree program you are considering, as this can be a good indicator of whether a college or university will satisfy your academic pursuits.

Arrange visits prior to, and well before your desired date to make a campus tour.  This gives admissions a chance to organize an itinerary so that you can sit in on a class, speak with current students, visit a dorm, dine in the cafeteria, and maybe even stay the night on campus.

Be sure to check out student bulletin boards, posters, the school newspaper, message boards, and find out what is going on in and around campus.  Make a mental note of what campus groups are available, student concerns if any, and upcoming social activities.  These can offer a wealth of information and give you insight into student life and the social side of college.

Tuition, Scholarships and Paying for College
Tuition will vary depending on whether the college is public or private, and if you live in state or out of state.  Service Academies are tuition free, but do require a military commitment after graduation.  Although public universities are traditionally less expensive than private ones, consider all factors that may impact your total tuition expense

Tuition will be much lower for an in state resident, than for one who is not.  Tuition fees for non-residents can often be on par to private college cost, so consider which is the best option for you, your family, and financial situation.

While private college tuition is consistent in expense for all students whether they are from in state, out of state or even out of country, private colleges can also have a very selective admissions process.   Admission standards usually apply to both public and private institutions, where a minimum GPA/ test score(s) are in place and must be met in order to be considered for acceptance.

The majority of colleges and universities will offer academic scholarships, with many having athletic scholarship opportunities as well (Ivy League schools will not have athletic scholarships).  When thinking about the expense of, and how to pay for college, consider this; a great high school GPA, advanced or honor courses, SAT and or ACT scores can reap dividends when you begin applying for college.

Your grades = Money
College and universities will offer academic and merit scholarship money awards dependent on your high school GPA and SAT/ACT test score(s).  The better your GPA and test scores, the more money you could receive in scholarship monies.  Have a GPA of 3.5+ and an SAT of 1800+?  You could earn a Presidential or Provost Scholarship!

What’s even better?  The amount awarded will usually be offered for each year you attend (up to 4 years total), as long as you maintain the designated GPA set forth by the college to keep the scholarship. This means your college education, or a good part of it, could be paid for due to the great grades you earned in high school.

Additional opportunities to garner scholarship monies can often come from these categories:

  • Community Service work
  • Religious affiliation
  • Athletics
  • Work Study
  • Endowments and Grants
  • Departmental Opportunities
  • Fine Arts
  • Leadership
  • Environmental or Green Club
  • ROTC

Each college or university web site will have information on the scholarship/grant opportunities they offer, guidelines for eligibility, and the process for application.  Be mindful of application and scholarship deadlines, so you don’t miss out on money to help fund your college education.

College Soccer
If pursuing collegiate soccer, there are well over 1300 men’s soccer programs available, and approximately 1400 program options for women.  Athletic scholarship awards will vary by affiliation, division of play, and the individual funding that each college provides to the coach for that particular athletic program however not all will be fully funded.  You will need to check with the coach of each program you are interested in to determine the number of athletic scholarship options available to you.

Keep in mind, that the coach will use his or her available scholarship funds to cover freshman through seniors for the upcoming year.  In addition, student athletes awarded athletic money usually only receive those funds for a one year period of time.  This means that at the discretion of the coach, he or she can do the following for your return to the program the following year; renew your scholarship for the same amount, withdraw the scholarship altogether, increase or decrease it.

Connect with the Coach
Connect with the coaches of the programs you feel would be both a good academic and athletic fit with, as soon as possible.  Although athletic affiliation, division of play, and your age will impact what communication can or cannot take place with a particular college coach, being identified as a potential recruit early on is important.

Opportunity abounds everywhere, if you know where to look – consider all affiliations, the divisions within each, and what they have to offer:

  • NCAA
  • NAIA
  • NJCAA
  • USCAA
  • NCCAA

An introduction of yourself via a cover letter along with your player profile is ideal.  If you are participating in an upcoming showcase or tournament where college coaches may be attending, provide your game schedule as soon as possible.  This gives those attending coaches you contact a good indication of your interest in their school, an opportunity to see you play, watch you develop as a player, and determine if your abilities could fit well with their program.

The Differences in NCAA and NAIA…

What’s the difference between the NCAA and NAIA?
Every year students applying for a soccer scholarship ask one question: Which association is better?

The NCAA (The National Collegiate Athletic Association) and NAIA (The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) have a few key differences setting them apart. Which association is better for you depends on your goals as a student athlete.

NCAA
The NCAA was formed in 1906 and is a larger association representing bigger schools and universities. NCAA schools are organized into three divisions, D1, D2, and D3.

Division 1 schools are typically the largest universities, and compete in a minimum of 14 sports for both males and females. These schools often have world-class facilities, attract the top athletes in the country, and receive the most media attention.

Division 2 schools are smaller than D1 schools, and student athletes usually finance their education with a combination of athletic and educational scholarships.

Division 3 schools are the smallest of the NCAA institutions. D3 schools are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships.

NAIA
The NAIA was established in 1937 and is a smaller association. It is made up of smaller 4-year colleges throughout the United States, and competitive levels are comparable to NCAA D2 schools.

There are equally talented players in the NAIA and NCAA D2 schools, and both have excellent opportunities for education and athletic achievement.

Scholarships
NCAA Division I men’s Soccer teams have an average roster size of 28 players but only a maximum of 9.9 athletic scholarships to award per team. This means the average award covers only about 35% of a typical athlete’s annual college costs – and this assumes the sport is fully funded at the sponsoring school. Soccer is an equivalency sport for NCAA limits, so partial scholarships can be awarded as long as the combined equivalent awards do not exceed the limit. For example, an NCAA Division I school can award 21 women soccer players each a 2/3 equivalent scholarship and still meet the limit of 14 per team.  For more information see our page on scholarship limits.

(2) Average Athletic Scholarship is the average amount of athletically related student aid per athlete for ALL varsity sports sponsored by the specific school. Some athletes receive full awards, some receive partial and many receive none. Additionally some sports within a school may be fully funded, some partially and some sports provide no athletic scholarships. Private schools generally have higher tuition than public schools and the average award will reflect this.

(3) Financial Assistance to all undergraduates includes ALL forms of student financial assistance including athletic and academic scholarships, grants and other financial aid. “% receiving” is the percentage of all undergraduates who received some form of financial assistance. “Average $” is the average award to those undergraduates who received some form of financial assistance during the year.

College Checklist for January

For freshmen
Here are some factors to consider as you make your course choices for your sophomore year:

  • Select classes that are both challenging and appropriate.  You want to choose the most difficult class you can handle, but you also want to do well.  Your teachers can assist you.
  • Find elective courses that will allow you to further your interests.
  • Talk to older students about the classes that they have found beneficial.

What Coaches can and can’t do….

  • No proactive calls or e-mails from a coach. Coach cannot respond to an e-mail with anything soccer specific and can only acknowledge receipt of the e-mail or letter. Coach can receive calls or visits from prospect.

For sophomores
As the month comes to a close, it is time to start considering what courses you will choose for next year.  Look over these factors to consider as you choose your classes:

  • Challenge yourself.  You want to choose the most difficult classes you can handle, but you also want to do well.  Your teachers and counselor can assist you.
  • Courses in English, math, science and foreign languages look good on a college application.
  • Find elective courses that will allow you to further your interests.
  • If you already have some colleges in mind, review the list of courses that the colleges say are required for a student to be considered for admission.
  • Talk to older students about the classes that they have found beneficial.

What Coaches can and can’t do….

  • No proactive calls or e-mails from a coach. Coach cannot respond to an e-mail with anything soccer specific and can only acknowledge receipt of the e-mail or letter. Coach can receive calls or visits from prospect.

For juniors
Consider these factors as you choose your senior year classes:

  • Review your list of prospective colleges.  What courses are listed as “required”?
  • Choose solid academic classes.  (English, math, science, and foreign languages.)
  • Colleges look closely at the list of courses taken during the senior year.  Admissions representatives look for students with strong academic preparation for college.

What Coaches can and can’t do….

  • Coach can call player once a week starting August 1st of junior year and can send e-mails and literature about soccer program. Cannot make any contact including e-mail during tournament play. Any visit cannot be paid for (unofficial visit).

For seniors
Here are a few hints about college interviews:

  • Dress in clean, pressed casual clothes. Avoid jeans. There is no need to wear a suit.
  • Be prepared. Take a transcript and resume with you.
  • Take advantage of this opportunity to “personalize” and update your application.
  • Be yourself. Don’t try to be what you think the college wants.
  • Follow up the interview with a thank you note.

What Coaches can and can’t do…

  • Coach can call once a week (leaving voice mail counts as a call or speaking to a family member). Coach can pay for official visit (no more than 5 can be taken).

SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media – As Social Media grows, new rules have been created. Your comments, posts, etc. on social media is very important in the recruiting process. Coaches and current college players do monitor it.

For parents
Parental involvement in the course selection process is vital. Here are some hints for you:

  • Carefully read all literature sent home by the high school regarding the procedure for course selection.
  • Find a time to meet with your teenager to review all the materials together.  Encourage your child to take challenging courses and be aware of their prerequisites.
  • If you have a sophomore or junior, investigate any Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses that would be appropriate for your child’s abilities.
  • Research college admission requirements.
  • Provide all parent signatures required by the high school on course registration materials.
  • If you will have a senior next year, you might want to request a conference with their counselor to make sure they have met all graduation requirements.

Tips and other events

  • For seniors the FAFSA deadline is March 2nd (fafsa.ed.gov)
  • Testing: Juniors and Seniors, talk to your high school counselor regarding your testing schedule
  • March 18 registration deadline (with late fee) for April 9 ACT
  • April 8 is the registration deadline for the May 7th SAT
  • Eligibility Center – Juniors and Seniors must register for the clearinghouse
  • Player Profile – All players should be creating or revising their player profile to email college coaches prior to showcase events

Important Links:
nscaa.org
naia.org
princetonreview.com
collegefitfinder.com
roadtocollegesoccer.com
fafsa.ed.gov
collegeboard.com
actstudent.org
fastweb.com
bigfuture.collegeboard.org
eligibilitycenter.org

Committments


College Fit Finder

LA Galaxy South Bay provides each player with access to the College Fit Finder. College Fit Finder is a unique and exceptional college search resource designed to assist the college prospect with all aspects of the college search and tailor that college plan specific to individual goals. Please check out the College Fit Finder ‘FitBox’ below including videos on the various topics of the process, commitments list, resource links, login instructions, features, and an overview of the program.

To log on below, go to ‘Login Instructions’ and then input your info on the right hand side:
Username: firstnamelastname   (ex. gregallen)
Password: firstnamelastname   (ex. gregallen)

Again, the website has great tutorials (when you click on the help button) and if you are needing additional information or have any issues please email Stacy at stacy@elitescoutnet.com