There are many college playing opportunities for high school graduates. There are many schools with soccer programs.  The colleges and universities vary widely in size, location, and academic offering, and the soccer programs sponsored range from moderately to very competitive.

Steps in the process include these points

  1. Preparing academically
  2. Preparing athletically
  3. Completing administrative preparations
  4. Identifying realistic college options
  5. Generating contacts among these options
  6. Following up on contacts
  7. Making a selection and committing

For players of equal academic and athletic ability, those who have the opportunity to create more contacts, and those who are more diligent about communicating effectively, do better in finding good opportunities to attend school and play soccer.

Special Opportunities for Women

The tremendous increase in the number of women's college soccer programs has exceeded the rate at which information about recruiting, scholarships, college soccer, and college life for student athletes can be presented to potential college players. In response, many college and youth coaches and club programs have worked hard to prepare information for players that is presented in person, through newsletters, in brochures and guides, and recruiting pages on web sites. This information is intended to help provide a good understanding of the level of play in college, the various types of college programs, schools, and conferences, to explain the recruiting process, and to eliminate misunderstandings and myths.

A great many web sites and printed publications are available to show the prospective student athlete through the recruiting process, and to help the student make a good college decision. Some of these resources are identified here.

Communicating with the Coach

Good communications are essential. Complete forms carefully and return them promptly. Follow up by mail and phone. Return phone calls immediately, and remember that the NCAA coach can not usually call more than once a week. If you have a message, call back and keep calling until you get through.

If you fail to return phone calls promptly or to return paperwork or get your paperwork into the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse, the coach will have to move on to other players, giving your playing opportunity and financial aid to another player who was prompt about returning paperwork and phone calls.

When the coach calls, the coach wants to present the school and soccer program, to learn more about you, the player, and to arrange to move you further along the recruiting pipeline, possibly to a home visit or to an official visit to the school. If you are not interested, save everyone time and be honest about it. However, if you are interested, there's a lot you need to find out about the school and program so that you'll be able to make a good decision. See What to Ask.

For access to team web sites for many NCAA and NAIA schools, see the team links on the College page.

Recruiting Guide to College Soccer Teams and Coaches

For a printed guide to all soccer programs, Sports Source offers The Official College Athletics Guide, a popular paperback handbook for college bound soccer players published by Charlie Kadupski in Plano, Texas. Charlie's paperback, about the size of a thick romance novel, describes each women's program, and gives mailing addresses, names, phone numbers, and program information (style of play, conference, scholarships) about each soccer program and academic information about each school. This guide also gives an excellent and realistic explanation of the college recruiting process and gives practical instructions on preparing a resume and contacting college coaches.