Academics play a critical role in the college recruiting process. College coaches are looking for student-athletes and must feel confident the player they are recruiting will be able to handle the academic demands of college. To put it simply, the better a student-athletes grades, the more options that will be available to them.

Here are some key factors to consider when it comes to the books.

GPA: A student's GPA is the most important academic factor in the recruiting process. Colleges want to see what student's have done over a long period of time, as it gives some indication as to how they will perform in college. For more insights on the GPA & recruiting, check out the following blog:

Course Rigor: Your course rigor counts!

Almost as important as your GPA, are the classes you take during high school. Colleges will consider your course schedule otherwise known as your "course rigor" by looking at your school profile. If they see that you have taken the easy route, meaning that you have consistently opted for less challenging classes, that probably won't work in your favor.

Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are another important academic factor in the college recruiting process. While a student's GPA and Course Rigor carry the most weight, the SAT/ACT are important. Colleges will typically accept either the SAT or the ACT. From a recruiting perspective it may make sense to take the test earlier in your junior year in order to determine a baseline score. Note that each school is different. More selective colleges will often require SAT subject tests, and at other schools standardized tests are not required at all. Check out the link below for a list of subject tests and requirements at various schools. A link to schools which are "test optional" is also there.

Meet the Requirements

If you want to play NCAA D1, D2 or NAIA level athletics you must minimum academic requirements. NCAA D1/D2 schools require students to complete a minimum of 16 core courses during their high school career. This is known as the "Core Course requirement." NCAA schools also require student's to meet the "Sliding Scale" requirement. The higher your GPA, the lower your tests scores need to be and vice versa. Students must also maintain a 2.3 GPA (or higher) and graduate from high school. For some helpful information on NCAA Eligibility check out this link. The NAIA has its own (more simple) list of eligibility requirements which can be found here.