In the college admissions process, there is nothing more important than your high school academic record.
LET ME BE CLEAR - If you have great grades and test scores, your percentage of getting a basketball scholarship or landing on a college basketball team roster improves over 50%. The benefits never end $$$!
THE PERFECT BASKETBALL PROSPECT - Great grades of straight A’s or straight A’s and B’s and above average ACT/SAT scores. An excellent player who is coachable and is skilled in basketball fundamentals with an outstanding basketball IQ.
Colleges use some, if not all, of the information listed below when determining whether or not to accept an applicant. Individual colleges, however, differ in how they evaluate this information. For example, one college may place a great deal of importance on test scores. Another college may focus more on other factors.
GPA (grade point average)
Strength of subjects
Even though individual colleges use their own criteria when evaluating prospective students, colleges generally consider the grades earned in college prep course to be the most important criteria for college admissions.
GPA ~ GRADE POINT AVERAGE
A student’s GPA is an indication of how well the student is performing in high school. A student’s GPA is included on every transcript, and it is one of the first things that colleges look at.
GPA is simply the average grades of a student's semester, or end of term, starting with the freshman year in high school. Although there are variations, most high schools use a 4.0 scale (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1).
Some high schools have “weighted grades” for honors, AP (advanced placement), or IB (international baccalaureate) courses. If a school has weighted grades, then a grade in a weighted course is worth more than it is in a non-weighted course. For example, an A in an honors course might be worth 5 points instead of the usual 4 points.
A variety of methods are used to calculate GPAs. Regardless of the method used, the higher the grades, the higher the GPA --- and the higher a student’s GPA, the greater the college opportunities.
Approximately half of the high schools in the US rank their students. Class rank shows where a student stands academically in relation to the other members of his/her graduating class. The student with the highest GPA is number one, the student with the second highest GPA is number two, and so on.
While class rank is sometimes expressed as a percentile, it is most often written as your standing / number of graduating students (i.e.: 25/189).
Because GPAs are used to calculate class rank, a student must have a high GPA in order to have an impressive class rank. Class rank is one of several factors colleges use in the admissions process.
HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT
A transcript is a document detailing a student’s academic achievement. Although the information included on a transcript varies from school to school, high school transcripts often include the following information:
Courses, grades, and credits for each semester completed, beginning with grade 9 (high school courses taken in middle school are sometimes included)
Current cumulative GPA and class rank
Anticipated graduation date
College test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT)
State graduation test scores (if required)
A transcript provides admissions and scholarship committees with important objective data. All colleges and most scholarship programs request that an official transcript be submitted with each application. Unless they are electronically transferred directly from one institution to another, official transcripts must have a signature, stamp, or seal verifying authenticity.
An unofficial transcript is exactly the same as an official transcript, except there is no signature, stamp, or seal. Students and parents can usually obtain an unofficial transcript from their guidance office to check credits or to take on a college visit.
Many high schools have a school profile which they send with every transcript. A school profile is a one- or two-page document that includes pertinent information about the school and the community. School profiles usually include information such as the size of the school, the percentage of students who go on to college, the average ACT/SAT scores of the previous graduation class(es), and information on how the school calculates GPAs.
While the transcript provides colleges and scholarship committees with information about the student, the school profile provides information about the high school the student is attending.
Colleges are looking for students who have something that makes them stand out. Colleges call these “hooks.” A hook could be a special talent or achievement, unique characteristic, or something that brings diversity to a campus.
By itself, a hook will not get a student admitted. It will often, however, get a student some extra attention.
Colleges use test scores to help them assess a student’s readiness for college-level work. Test scores also give colleges a way to compare applicants. Most four-year colleges require that students submit ACT or SAT scores. For advice on which tests you should take, talk to your counselor.
PSAT / NMSQT
Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a practice test for the SAT. This test has been redesigned and now includes assessments in Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. The PSAT/NMSQT is given in October, primarily to juniors.
All college-bound juniors should take this test. It is good practice for the SAT, and students find out how their skills compare to the skills of other students. Exceptionally high scores during the junior year can also lead to scholarship opportunities.
The ACT is a college entrance exam that students generally take during their junior and/or senior year. The ACT is offered in September, October, December, February, April, and June. Students receive scores in English, Reading, Math, and Science, along with a Compositive (average) score. There is also a Writing Test. The Writing Test is optional, but some colleges require it. Register for the ACT at www.actstudent.org.
The SAT is a college entrance exam that students generally take during their junior and/or senior year. The SAT is offered in October, November, December, January, March, May, and June. The SAT has assessments in Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. The SAT has an optional essay, there are no penalties for guessing, and scores range from 400-1600. Students can register for the SAT at sat.collegeboard.org.
SAT SUBJECT TESTS
The SAT Subject Tests are one-hour tests that measure a student’s knowledge in specific subject areas (biology, French, calculus, etc.). Some selective colleges recommend or require that students take two or three SAT Subject Tests for admission and/or placement.
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