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My son is a 2012 player and he is currently in the thick of finding the right school. He is getting lots of interest from some quality D3 teams and some interest from mid tier D1 and D2 schools.

I learned last night how important a visit can be. I was pleasantly surprised by how much a university could offer my son.

My son is undecided on a major but has indicated a interest in engineering. I think this interest might be because of the high goals of his fellow AP classmates. My husband and I have decided to go to an outside source that offers career counseling. In our son's case it will be important to know if the major is going to be engineering.

To add to finding the right school mix. I would say our son is a late bloomer not in size but his quality of play is still on the rise. So it seems we might be waiting until the spring time for his decision on a school.

I would like to hear about other families story on what it took to find the right school.
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Thanks for posting. I guess I'll kick it off and possibly others will reply as well. Most of us could write a book on the subject of "finding the right fit". Some of the real old OldTimers (> 5000 posts) could write a trilogy on this topic. I applaud the question, and your search to find out how other approached finding the right fit

First everybodys fit is different. I think it starts with a goal statement. Just as everybodys fit is different so is their goal. Second, I think you have to have a genuine honest assessment of your son's baseball skills to know what is possible and what is probable. Third, you have to be willing to make mistakes, say "no" to offers that don't fit, and keep searching. Recruited = passion + skill + persistence + luck

It took us 18 months to eventually find our fit, and by no means was it easy. We modified our search along the way as we succeeded or failed. Also, my son's criteria changed. At first he was only interested in D1 engineering schools in Virginia. That is a short list. So we expanded it to be D1 engineering and hard sciences majors on the East Coast. That universe is a little bigger. He went to showcases, camps and tournaments while communicating to college coaches. His travel coach helped us with some schools and we reached out to others on our own until we found the right baseball program and engineering school for him. In our case, my son was willing to forego baseball if it meant getting into the best engineering school possible. Some of his travel teammates wanted the best possible baseball program/coach possible as they intend to play professional baseball. Others are hoping to develop enough before their junior year so they can hopefully get drafted. That was NOT part of the plan or right fit for us.

Going back to my earlier was a lot of work to finally arrive at a college that allowed him to play D1 baseball and study Engineering and Material Science. We found there are very few D1 schools that offer that combination (based on our criteria) and even fewer that recruited him. He was offered various financial packages (full rides all the way to 25%) by schools he had little interest in as well as so called "baseball factory" schools. To his credit, he stuck to his guns. As you may find out, it is very tempting to take that full ride or the 25% from a baseball powerhouse. Additional criteria was that my son wanted the "realistic opportunity" to start as a freshmen. With no professional career on the horizon, he wanted to play college baseball for 4 years. Others look at it differently. But it absolutely factored into our decision making in finding the right fit.

I tried my best to keep it short. If you have any specific question, please feel free to PM me.
Thanks Fenway, that helps chef jr and us, as we begin this journey as well. He knows what he wants to do for a living (he thinks anyways- he IS 16 Smile ). He started with only DIV 1, but after my being here and showing him some of these, he has been willing to expand. The most important part for him, is he wants to be able to play (if he earns it) right away. Which may mean, Div2, 3 etc maybe. we have begun to look at what is a "baseball factory" school in his geographic area requests. His #1 choice is a specific D1 close to home, but a private school, which we could in no way afford, without significant scholly money. He is a very good student, so that will help tremendoulsy I would guess. THanks to you Fenway, and all who have been thru this that are helping those of us beginning in our journey
Fenway nailed it. Fit is about having a plan and working it for one and one half years or so. This starts with figuring out what majors you son may be interested in, what schools have those majors, visiting some, and then matching up the baseball side. (notice this comes last) Grades, test scores, family finances, distance from home, school size, weather, as well as individual baseball skills come into play. You may also find that your "ideal fit" school is loaded with kids at your son's position, so suddenly it does not fit anymore.

Visits are a critical part of the process as well as getting the attention of baseball coach at the school. These are the showcases, tournaments, camps, emails, videos, etc. Now if the coach is not interested then move on. (don't take it personal he is looking at hundreds of kids) As fenway pointed out you may have schools that do not fit make an amazing offer, but as difficult as it may seem, move on. As important as baseball is in the selection process, your son will be spending 2/3rds of his time in class, in the dorm and away from the field. Don’t forget this when visiting and ranking a school.

Your list will narrow down and then the real fun and sweat begins. Always have a back up plan, and keep working it. For some this goes all the way into the summer after he graduates. Also be aware that many highly competitive and ranked D1 schools are not places that match well with difficult majors. Some work, most don’t. I am a broken record on this one, but there is more academic money available than athletic. (and BTW it is available for 4 years)

When it finally happens a little light bulb will go off and he and you will know it is the right place.

Good Luck!
Last edited by BOF

I agree on the academic $, I have 2 sons in college, they don't play college ball and it was never an option for them, However they were/ are good students. Academic $ is there for those that work at finding it, get good grades, and maintain them.

He has done/begun the summer showcase tournaments, begun teh email process with those on his list (and added a few from those that have emailed him). We will do a video this spring and camps in summer/ next fall. question for current HS son (2014) is about visits. How does that work? when do we start? We as a family have done have done campus visit before for older sons, but none involved athletics
We are also in the middle of our college search. My son has said that he wants to go into Engineering but he really hasn't explored his options. Right now, his plan is to get an undergraduate degree in Physics and go onto grad school for a masters in Engineering.

We are going this route for a few reasons:

1. He wants to play baseball and the small liberal arts colleges are the ones that have approached him. (Of course, he didn't follow my advice and the advice of these message boards about what he had to do to for contacting and following up with college coaches which kind of limited things for him.)

2. I don't feel that he has really explored his options and a liberal arts college will give him some additional time to make sure that he wants to really pursue Engineering. Previous to college, school is basically Math, Science, English, and History. College opens up other areas of study.

3. I can't get him to look beyond the schools that have contacted him about playing baseball for them.

4. It's his decision, not mine. (The biggest reason of all.)

He wants an academically challenging school (he also has taken many AP courses) and I ask him the same question for each one: "Would you still want to go to school there if you could not play baseball?"

Good luck with the college search. I know that I will be glad when everything is settled.
Ahhh Physics…. Engineering without logic…. Cool

They are not going to find him, so he better get moving. A small liberal arts and science school is a great idea, but I am biased.

Mike our first trip was to various schools in between Chrismas and Nyears 1-1/2 years before he graduated. He was close enough to be of interest to some schools, but not too far away to waste their time. My son emailed the coaches (with a profile so they knew what they were dealing with) that he was visiting and some actually came and met us, some said they could not be there and helped us organize our visit and some never responded. So we hit 5-6 schools in a few days and made a mini vacation out of it. There was not much campus activity but it helped him formulate an opinion. We had also casually visited some campuses the summer of his Soph year on our own with no contact with anyone We also visited some schools while doing combines, camps, and tournaments his Jr summer, and he then did some official visits in the fall/winter of his Sr season. (he committed on May 1st)
Last edited by BOF
"Would you still want to go to school there if you could not play baseball?"

Don't be surprised if the answer to this question changes once your son is on campus. There is no way most kids can answer this question until they have experienced the campus and coach for a semester or so. My son answered this question "yes" then transferred to a JC when he was told he wouldn't be a starter. He also changed his major from engineering to econ....
Fenway and BOF, Thank you for responding to my post.I have followed the different recruiting stories for some time now and I know for sure that you put in a lot of effort and planning to help your sons find the right fit. I applaud you for your efforts.

We always told my son take care of your grades it will pay off. After visiting a private school this week we found he can get half off the tuition just from his grades.

I've learned so much from this website and we are now putting that information to use.

Today his travel team is putting on a exposure camp and 4 schools that have interest in him will be there. It should be a fun experience.

We go to career visions in a couple of weeks I think this will help shorten the path. It may very well be that if engineering is his major he won't be playing college ball. The D3's that have engineering are probably out of our price range and the ivy league is probably out of his academic league. The Public D1's that have engineering aren't looking at him for baseball. Time wise I don't think it would be a fit anyway.

I'm sure when your son's made their final decision it must of felt like a big weight was taken off your shoulders.

Thanks again for your response.
Varhpmom, Is your son a 2012 grad ? One of the schools our son is looking at has the 3-2 program. I asked the coach if they had any players go that route and they indeed did have one. He said if you look up the word time management in the dictionary you would see this kids picture. He said the young man completed the program and is doing very well for himself.

Good luck in finding the fit.
Yes, my son is a 2012. We have asked about the 3-2 program at each school but I don't see the point in getting two bachelor degrees when one more year will give him a bachelors and masters degree.

He has always planned on going onto grad school and with Engineering, it is entirely possible to go on a full grant (my husband did for his masters degree in nuclear engineering).

My son already has an academic scholarship offer from one D3 school where the baseball coach is very interested in having him play. His grades and SAT scores (especially the latter) went a long way into bringing the price down. We don't really qualify for need-based aid, so if he wants to go to a private college he'll either have to get a scholarship or take out loans.

Have you looked at Rose-Hulman? They are a top notch Engineering school, D3 with baseball, and have academic scholarships.

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