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					                          CHARLOTTE FLIGHTS COLLEGE PLANNER
                                         Updated June 2007

If You Fail To Plan--You Plan To Fail: College planning is no joke. A cheap college education will
cost $16,000 over 4 years, while some cost more than $150,000. Books alone will cost nearly
$1000 per year (used books). Every year several Charlotte Flights high schoolers and parents seek
college advice or athletic scholarship information. Unfortunately some athletes haven’t planned it
out and have difficulties. This handout is an aid to get you on the right track. It’s never too early
to begin planning, but this handout is targeted to our high school athletes. The first portion of
this guide applies to all college-bound high school students while the last portion applies to
college-bound athletes. I’ve included a list of resources mostly web resources to assist you.
However, if you’re a book person, I’ve included some good ones. I’d recommend College
Planning for Dummies. Hopefully, this information gets you thinking about what you need to
do to get to the college of your choice.

Do Your Part: Take the tough college prep courses (honors, AD, AG, AP & IB), take SAT or ACT
early (11th grade), retake it if necessary, study hard AND DO YOUR BEST. Students in the tough
academic courses are exposed to more material, will usually score better on SAT/ACT tests and
are better prepared for the rigor of college work. College is not the 13th grade. College
admissions officials say that typically, 85 percent of college selection decisions are based on
academic performance.          Additionally, you need to be involved in a few meaningful
extracurricular activities to demonstrate leadership and civic commitment. Find a few activities
that you like and stick with them so you become a major contributor with that group. You will
gain valuable experience, demonstrate leadership and have something to talk about during those
all important college interviews. Then, visit colleges, attend college fairs, make some decisions
about majors and college preferences. Check out,. Its’ a
website run by a national organization of college guidance counselors. Click on your grade, it
will advise you what you need to do by month. You can also use other college planning
calendars. There is no substitute for a strong academic record. The better your grades, the more
scholarship choices you have.

Make Some Tough Decisions: Decide what major you want to pursue—what career you may
want to have. This is tough for many high schoolers. Making some decisions now will save you
time and money later. It will help you avoid spending years at a college that doesn’t offer what
you want to study. Remember, you are young, you can change your mind later, but you need a
starting point. Your major should be your starting points in deciding what colleges you’re
interested in. Do you prefer small or large college? How far from home are you willing to go?
Do you prefer a rural or urban environment? How important in the having a small teacher to
student ratio? Refer to a college planning manual (at guidance office) such as College Planning
for Dummies for a list of college considerations.

Research, Act, Write: Nobody will knock on your door and hand out college scholarship money.
The billions in college scholarships given every year will go to those who are prepared
academically, who’ve researched, tested, written the essays, visited the colleges, met the
deadlines, and, flat out, pestered officials to get the information. Use college scholarship sites like Many scholarships require that you submit an essay or essays as part of the
process. If you are serious about going after scholarships, consider going to and writing out the essays they require (a great summer project of the

rising senior). Edit them, revise them and get them proofed. You will find that many of the
college applications and scholarships ask you to write the same essay questions or something very
similar.   If you’ve already written out the essay, it’s easy to tailor it for a specific
admissions/scholarship application. Scour your counseling office for college planning information
& pester your school counselor for college scholarship information. Take the initiative. Make an
appointment with your guidance counselor and express your desire to go to college and your
need for help. If you are serious about pursuing

Apply & Follow-up: One mistake many college-bound students is not applying or applying early
enough to colleges. In the October through December timeframe, you should apply to the
colleges of your choice. Find out the deadlines for applications, some colleges will not consider
applicants who apply after certain dates for scholarships etc. Some schools just have early
deadlines. Consider at least three colleges, preferably five or so. I know it costs money; however,
acceptance at your college may trigger the best scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Keep
copies of your college applications (printed out your online applications) and money orders or
credit card statements. Ensure you follow-up with colleges you’ve applied to either by phone or
using their online services. Colleges are flooded with thousands of applications, sometimes they
misfile something.

Financial Aid: All entering freshman should complete their FAFSA forms for financial aid. Even if
you don’t think you’re going to be eligible for financial aid, complete it anyway. Many
scholarships require you complete it. For example all Florida A & M University academic
scholarships require it me completed. Get a paper copy at you guidance office or complete it on
line. Its website,, has the online application and will identify several
scholarship opportunities that may appeal to you. Remember financial aid is time-sensitive, since
most colleges receive a lump sum of financial aid funding. When its gone, its gone. Get cranking
on this with your parents in January and February since it relies on your parents tax documents
for completion. Despite the fact that the forms says the deadline for completion is July, most
colleges and the state of North Carolina have deadlines in March.

                             TIPS FOR COLLEGE BOUND ATHLETES
Get Real! Track scholarships are competitive. Only 1 in 77 high school track athletes will receive
any type of scholarship for a college. Most are partial scholarships. (Source:
You need to ask yourself a couple of crucial questions. Am I that good? Am I willing to do what
it takes to become that good? Am I disciplined enough to undergo the intense athletic training
(two a day practices are common) and sit up late to complete my studies each day? Start talking
early with your coaches about what you need to do to become a college athlete. Get Real! If you
bag a full ride scholarship, you’re incredibly fortunate. So, prepare to enter college as a non-
athlete also. If you’re already accepted to a college through the normal process, it shows the
coach that you’re serious and may move you up on their offer list. A student who’s already
accepted at their school is much more valuable to a coach than someone with similar athletic
talent, but who is academically questionable.

What Is An Athletic Scholarship? Athletic scholarships are one-year scholarships. They are
renewable based on performance and circumstances. They may be partial or offer a ‘full ride.’ A
partial scholarship might be $500 or it might pay 90% of all your costs. If you accept a partial,
make sure you and your parents can afford to pay the balance. My son was offered an 85%
scholarship to a major out of state university. When we did the math, we’d still have to pay

$4200 plus books ($800-1000) per year. We negotiated with the head track coach. My son’s
track performances continued at a high level and they upped it to a full-scholarship. These
scholarship offers are negotiable. It’s vital that you understand the National Letter of Intent and
Aid to Athlete Statements which you and your parents must sign and complete before being
accepted as a college student athlete.

Beef up Your Academics: College coaches are limited in the number of scholarships they can give,
especially in a non-revenue generating sport like track and field. So, they don’t have a lot of
scholarship money to throw around. Athletes with strong academic averages and SAT/ACT scores
are more attractive to them because they can help find other sources of scholarship funds for
them and save some of their athletic funds to spend on other athletes. It’s common for an
academically strong athlete to get a partial academic scholarship and a partial athletic scholarship;
together these scholarships may amount to a full ride. A full ride refers to a scholarship that pays
all tuition (classes & fees), books, and room and board (housing & meal plan). I cannot
emphasize enough that you must do your level best academically in high school. Also, coaches
know strong academic athletes stay eligible in college and are more valuable to their teams.

Get Cleared: Only athletes cleared through the NCAA Clearinghouse are eligible for athletic
scholarships. Several athletes every year get their scholarship offers denied because they didn’t
meet the academic and college testing standards of the NCAA Clearinghouse. To be cleared,
athletes must graduate high school, complete a set number of college preparatory courses, and
attain a certain cumulative grade point average and SAT or ACT score. Ensure you’re taking
college prep courses—Active Physics, Intro to Math and Tech Math—aren’t recognized. The
lower your cumulative academic average the higher you must score on the SAT or ACT test.
Remember the lower your cumulative GPA is the higher you must score on the SAT to meet the
Clearinghouse standards. Apply for NCAA Clearinghouse eligibility at the end of your high
school junior year. There is a small processing fee, however, fee waivers are available based on
income.         See    a     counselor    or    search      or   to for the Guide For College
Bound Athletes for the details to ensure you’re squared away. I recommend you check this out
by your junior year. When you take the SAT or ACT tests ensure that you check off that you
want your score sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse. Also, the site will tell you the
does and don’t of the recruiting process, so you can avoid any recruiting scandals.

Sell Yourself: There’s a lot at stake here. Below you will find an example of an academic/athletic
resume. You can use it as a guide to send to track coaches at colleges you are interested in. As
with any kind of resume, ensure it’s 100% accurate and grammatically correct. Don’t guess what
your grade point average is, go to guidance and ensure that what you put on the resume is
current and correct. I can’t stress this enough. Even single fact must be 100% correct. Your
credibility is on the line. Hijack a computer word processor and get cracking. Have some one
you trust with good English skills proofread it. Also, you can call or visit college track
departments or make informal visits (at your own expense). Many schools have a questionnaire
on their website devoted to perspective athletes.

Respond Promptly: When you receive mail from colleges interested in recruiting you, if you are
the least bit interested in that college, respond quickly. It forms a lasting impression. Organize
your college materials. Get some files and keep your materials where you can find them. Keep
copies of any paperwork you send to colleges.

      Make A Video: College track coaches don’t have big travel budgets to see all the athletes they
      want to, so ensure you have some video of your performances, especially for technical events
      such as hurdles, throws, & jumps. It doesn’t have to be a major production, just borrow a
      camcorder and get going. College coaches want to see your technique. Video played an
      important part in the athletic offers for both of my sons’ athletic scholarships. Coaches and
      teammates can help.

      If All Else Fails—Walk-On: What do you do if you're an athlete who isn’t offered a scholarship
      offer? It’s not necessarily the end of your athletic dream. If you’re serious about your sport and
      your personal situation is right, you might make a great walk-on candidate. Many of the athletes
      you will see on a college roster are walk-ons. Walk-ons are college athletes who are not on
      scholarship. However, many of these walk-ons will make themselves so valuable to their team
      that they may be offered a scholarship later.

      Think It Through: Let’s say Podunck University offers you a great scholarship. Think about it
      before you sign up. Am I really going to be OK at a huge university 100 miles from the nearest
      city where I have to practice in 20-30o F much of the year and won’t be able to see my family
      but once a year?

                                           FAVORITE RESOURCES:
1.       High School Counseling Office. Put your counselor to work!!! Arrange an appointment with
         your counselor. Read their scholarship bulletins & college catalogs weekly. Snatch up those
         college planning brochures/magazines. Sign up when college recruiters show up.
2.       Public Libraries. Seek college catalogs. College Handbooks, and pamphlets.
3. ACT schedules/registration. Practice tests.
4. College planning calendar. Select your grade. It will
         tell you what to consider by month.
5. NC college applications, financial aid/scholarship. College planning aids
6. This is a common application which is accepted by many colleges.
         Call the colleges you’re applying to they may accept it. So you may just have to fill out one
         application. Writing out the essay questions are great preparation for other
         admissions/scholarship applications.
7. SAT schedules/registration. Practice tests. Several Short College
              planning articles.
8.       College Planning For Dummies by Pat Ordovensky (book). Hard to find in bookstores, you
              may have to try
9.       A Parent’s and Student–Athlete’s Guide To Athletic Scholarships Ride by Dion Wheeler (book)
10. A great source of information about the NCAA rules & procedures and the
             NCAA Guide For The College-Bound Athlete
11. College search site.
12. Home page for student financial aid.
13. Scholarship & college search site.
14. Essential source for applying for student financial aid

Notes About This Guide: I put this guide together based on my experiences with both of my sons’ college
preparation (each was offered athletic and academic scholarships), working with scores of Charlotte Flight
college-bound athletes and high school cadets/students, discussions with high school guidance counselors,
college admissions personnel and coaches, and from researching the subject. Feedback/Comments/Help: If
you find this guide useful; have suggestions; or if you need some help in college planning, please let me know.
Duane Orr at 704-597-9942 (home) or

                                                                                      April 6, 2005
                                     EXAMPLE ONLY
Johnny B. Good
1 Heartbreak Lane
Charlotte NC 28262
704-123-3456 Email:
                                                                               Head and
DOB: 12-25-90        Age: 17
                                                                           Shoulders Photo
                                                                           (Its best if it’s in
                                                                               your track
Outdoors (thru Soph Year) 110MH(14.1)/300MH (37.8)/
400MH (57.1)/400M (49.4)/400MR (42.3)/1600MR (3:20.1)
 Indoors (thru Jr. Year) 55MH (7.8)

Hardknock Life High School, Charlotte NC
International Baccalaureate Advanced Program
Present Grade: Senior Graduation Year: 2006
High School Track Coach: Coach Drill Sergeant 980-343-1234
Charlotte Flights Track Coach: Coach James 704-987-6543
Grade Point Ave:         3.4                    Class Rank: 66 percentile/Top Third
SAT Test Result: 1150 (Math & Verbal) 385 (Written)
Academic Counselor: Ms Shiningstar, IB Counselor, 704-343-6007
Academic Awards: Honor Roll
Other Awards/Achievements: Elected Jr. Class Prince (popularity contest)/Law internship/Star
Rank Boy Scout/Model UN member/Singer, Rock & Roll band

PROBABLE COLLEGE MAJOR: Communications -- Radio/Television/Mass Media Production

 High School Team MVP
 4X 4 A State Outdoor Championships Medalist—2X Silver Medalist 300MH 2004 & 2005—
   Bronze 110MH—2005
 4A State Indoor Runner Up State Champion – 55MH 2005
 4X State Regional Championships Champion – 2X 300M & 2X 100MH
 4X 110 & 300MH Champ Mega 7 Conf 110MH Record Holder (14.6)
 2X Nike Invitational National Championships Qualifier/Participant
 2X East Coast Classic Championship Qualifier 110MH/400MH/400MR/1600MR
       2004 3rd 110MH
 USA National Age Group Qualifier -- 2005 3rd 110MH & 400MH
 2X USATF National Jr. Olympics Qualifier 110M H/400MH/400MR/1600MR
       400MH 2003 5th (15-16 age group)
 3X AAU SE Regional Championship Qualifier 110MH/400MH/400MR/1600MR
       2004 110MH & 1600MR Champ/2nd 400MH
 3X AAU State Championships 110MH/400MH/400MR/1600MR
       2004 110MH & 400MR Champ/2nd 400MH