How Do You Know When You Have Found the “Right” School?

Column By Rick Paine, Director of Swimming and Jessica Berkowitz-Minier, Assistant Director of Swimming, American College Connection

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 7. AMERICAN College Connection has been helping swimmers and parents with the college recruiting process for the past 11 years. Being former college coaches, we understand what the coaches go through as well as the parents and the swimmers.

Getting recruited is a long frightening and arduous process filled with many questions, but the most important question is, "How Do You Know When You Have Found the Right School?"

It is a special feeling when you are lucky enough to find the "right" school. Some student-athletes describe the feeling as "gut instinct". To help you determine if you have indeed found the "right" school, ask yourself the following questions about each school:

• Are you excited about the academic possibilities?
• What are the employment opportunities with a degree from this school?
• Do you feel that you can reach your athletic potential and your expectations?
Can you envision yourself spending the next four to five years of your life with the student-athletes and coaches…. and being happy?
• Can you afford it? You and your parents should have an agreed upon price range that everyone can live with. Stick to it!
• Do you share in the team's expectations?
• Are you comfortable with the surrounding community? If you experience a full college career, you will become part of the community. There is no better feeling than to be considered a local hero and role model, but be prepared for the responsibility that goes along with it.
• Can you handle the academic and athletic workload?
• Do you feel there is enough help available from the coaches and the academic support personnel?
• Do you feel secure? You can expect to be homesick for the first few months of college; however if you feel secure and have enough support at the school it will make it easier to be away from home.

Follow your instincts!