My name is Alyssa Sobolik and I live, breath and sleep soccer. I’m from Northern California and played soccer in college at Santa Clara University from 2001 to 2005. I currently live and coach soccer in San Diego where my main focus is helping prepare athletes for the opportunity to play soccer in college and then help them through the process. Because of my experiences and first-hand knowledge of playing college soccer, coaching college soccer and coaching club soccer, I am able to better prepare athletes for what steps and efforts need. I aim to help athletes not only get seen by college coaches but to ultimately make the right decision on what school to attend.

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Picking a school to go to is tough enough without factoring in playing for a team. Do I want to go to a big school, small school, east coast, west coast, private versus public etc?  These are decisions that every college bound student must make.  But, as an athlete you have to take it one step further and see if the sports program is right for you.  Each prospective athlete is allowed five official visits that each school pays for. I definitely recommend taking all five to get the best perspective on each school. I took my five to Santa Clara University, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Connecticut and Boston College.

Here is a check list of major questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a school as a student athlete:

1.       Do I want to go to a big school or a small school? How big a school is can greatly affect your college experiences. University of Michigan has roughly 27,000 undergraduate students. University of Santa Clara has 4,000. A smaller school is going to give you a more intimate college experience where a larger school will provide surprises every day.

2.       Which areas of the country would I be happy to live in? Growing up in California, I wanted to go away for college to experience a different lifestyle. Ultimately I ended up choosing a school 20 minutes from where I was raised. The reasons were simple in the sense that Michigan was too cold and I didn’t want to play in the snow, Florida was too hot and humid for me. Both schools I LOVED, but didn’t feel I would be happy there.

3.       What is the cost of the school? This is of course a conversation that needs to be discussed openly with your parents. But understanding how much a school costs needs to be a major factor in your decision-making. Reality is that not every one gets a scholarship and most definitely not a full ride. It is also important to understand the difference between in-state tuition vs. out of state tuition. All state funded schools are less expensive to attend if you are a resident of that state. Also, private schools are very expensive and tuition is increasing every year. University of San Diego, and most WCC schools are around $45,000 a YEAR  to attend.

4.       If you were to get injured would you still be happy at that school? I feel this is the most important question the athlete needs to reflect on. Even though you are ultimately choosing your school based on your sport, you still have to attend the college and be a student there. You want to choose somewhere that you are happy to be and experience and not just there for your sport. College is a great experience, playing a sport but being a student as well. Don’t choose a school solely on the sports program. Treat this decision as if: “If I get hurt, will I still be happy here?”

Remember, there are over 300 Division I schools with women’s soccer programs and hundreds of Division II, Division III and Junior Colleges. If playing soccer at the next level is something you want to do, the opportunity is there. Narrow down where you would love to be an athlete according to the four actions plans above and then visit those schools!

One Response to “Selecting the College That’s Right for You”
  1. Adidas NMD says:

    I really like your writing style, wonderful information, thank you
    for posting :D.

  2.  
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