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SAT or ACT Scores Count for Athletes

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My daughter, a high school freshman, is really struggling with her grades. She is an outstanding athlete and has an excellent opportunity to go on to college with an athletic scholarship. I think she feels her athletic ability will get her into college, but I've explained to her that even the best athletes will not make it without good grades. Could you suggest something that will make her realize she has the world at her fingertips, but without good grades none of her dreams will come true? Are there any study guides and tips that we could apply to make our lives less stressful?

A: Your daughter is right about her athletic ability helping her get into certain colleges. However, it's her grades and SAT or ACT scores that will determine whether or not she'll be eligible to play as a freshman in Division I and II schools. Have her go online to NCAA Website and read the NCAA Guide for the College Bound Athlete section on academic eligibility. She'll immediately discover that high school grades do matter. In fact, your daughter's grades in certain core courses already count in determining her future eligibility.

Prospective college athletes, like your daughter, need the valuable information on the NCAA Website. They can find out about required core courses, college recruiting, financial aid, and all the rules and regulations student athletes must follow to participate in college sports.

More than most students, athletes have to know how to manage their time, since team practice and athletic events seriously shorten their available study time. It's absolutely essential for your daughter to follow a formal study schedule that shows the athletic events in which she will be involved and the exact times she will study. Each Sunday, she should determine her study times for the coming week. But making a schedule is only half the battle; she must also commit to following it.

Your daughter probably needs to learn how to study more effectively. We recommend that she attend a study skills class this summer at a learning center or a local college. This approach is better than reading a book about how to study. By next term, your daughter will gain the skills to make her a more efficient learner.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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