Getting into the college of your choice involves countless steps and decisions, such as studying for the next chemistry test or taking an SAT prep test. Every day of your high school life presents you with opportunities to improve your chances of entering the schools on your target list.

While athletic ability is an important part of the college admissions process for the high-school athlete, it will mean little without the academic strength to back it up.

Your job is to earn the very best grades you can. You will need every “A” you can get. Not only do top-tier colleges and universities face an avalanche of applicants, many schools that were once “easy acceptance” for B-average or below students now have more stringent admissions requirements, thanks to an increase of applications over the last several years.

If your grades do not pass muster, you need to take an inventory of the tools you’ll use to get ahead. If certain subjects are hurting your GPA, and more study time is not raising your scores, it may be time to get a tutor or other special assistance to address learning disabilities. The most important message here is to identify the challenges you face and to develop strategies, both personally and with your school, to overcome the roadblocks to academic success.

Outside of coursework and grades, your scores on standardized tests, either the SAT or the ACT, will affect your chances for college admission. In your junior year, you you should be taking SAT and ACT preparation courses and practice tests. This will give you an idea of what you need to concentrate on to boost your scores when you take the official version of these tests in the fall of your senior year.

Remember, though, that in the end colleges are looking at the whole student. Grade-point-averages, SAT and ACT scores, your athletic abilities – these are the major pieces of the puzzle. However, the fact that one summer you organized t-ball games for disadvantaged tots, or demonstrated compassion and leadership in some other way, will never cease to be the icing on the cake that admissions officers just love to eat!

– Contributed by Worldwide Baseball Prospects. WBP takes a realistic and balanced approach to the individual academic baseball development process that empowers the player for possible future advancement to the college level using professional knowledge and experience.

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