Why College Hockey?
The Incredible Journey
For more than 100 years, college hockey has been a breeding ground for outstanding hockey players and people. Today college hockey players make a bigger impact in the NHL than they ever have, with more than 30% of the league in 2011-12 coming from the U.S. college ranks.
NCAA hockey is made up 59 member schools across six conferences: Atlantic Hockey, Big Ten, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East, NCHC and the WCHA. The member teams range as far west as Alaska and as far south as Alabama.
There are a number of reasons to consider the college hockey path:
- Pro Opportunities: From Martin St. Louis to Jonathan Quick, college hockey consistently produces NHL stars and its presence in the league continues to grow.
- Player Development: With its style of play, emphasis on practice and opportunity for strength and conditioning, college hockey provides an unparalleled environment for player development.
- Education: Some of the finest institutions in the world offer college hockey, providing young players exposure to elite educational programs while pursuing their hockey careers.
- Student Life: The off-ice experience of life on campus, surrounded by fellow students in a supportive environment, is unmatched and often considered the best time of a person's life.
- Special Events: Holiday tournaments, conference championships, outdoor games, the Beanpot and the NCAA Frozen Four provide college hockey players the opportunity to play in intense, high-profile special events.
- History: With traditions unique to each school and a history that traces back to the 1800s, today's college hockey players carry on a proud legacy.
College Hockey, Inc. believes there is no better place to build your skills than college hockey. That said we know young hockey players face difficult choices, and we hope this site helps answer questions you may have about such subjects as:
- Recruiting: The college recruiting process can be exciting, nerve-wracking and - sometimes - confusing. We provide some background.
- NCAA Eligibility: To play college hockey it's important to succeed both athletically and academically. Find out what it takes to maintain your academic eligiblity.
- FAQ: We offer answers to many other common questions about recruiting, major junior, advisors and more.
Every Friday and Saturday night during the college hockey season, teams play in college arenas full of hyped-up fellow students, friends, family members and fans. Thousands of fans sing their school fight song after every goal. School spirit creates an atmosphere not experienced anywhere else in the world.
Those are memories college hockey players carry into their NHL careers and beyond. And all terrific reasons to Play It Smart. Play College Hockey.
Top 10 Recruiting Tips
Our very best advice when trying to attract a college coach's attention.
It’s incredibly hard to make an NCAA Division I hockey team, and the deciding factor in landing one of those coveted positions typically comes down to your hockey ability. That said, there are a number of things young players and parents can do to catch the eye – and the interest – of college recruiters.
Here are 10 ways you can help your cause at the rink, in the classroom and beyond:
1. Be Proactive
College coaches are limited in when and how often they can contact recruits, and they can’t reach out to a player until after his 10th grade year. Players, however, can contact coaches at any time. It can help to let a school know that you are interested with a reminder of where they can see you play. See More: Writing a Winning Hockey Resume
2. Be Studious
The better your grades and standardized test scores, the more options you will have. Only 59 schools offer Division I men’s hockey – you don’t want to narrow your field further because your marks aren’t up to par.
3. Be Aware of Eligibility Requirements
Two key elements are part of determining a student-athlete’s NCAA eligibility: their academic achievement and their amateur status. Review the requirements at eligibilitycenter.org to understand what classes and standardized test you need to take. Don’t jeopardize your amateur status by signing a CHL contract or playing in a game.
4. Be a Character Player
Coaches constantly have to make tough recruiting decisions between equally talented players. What often breaks the tie is what they can see of a players’ character in a game. Is he a good teammate? How does he respond to a bad shift, or a bad call? Always assume that someone’s watching you – they probably are.
5. Be Committed to Improving
Many young players get wrapped up in playing every showcase event that they can. Coaches recognize, however, that development comes in practice, not games. Instead of signing up for every showcase, spend time working on a part of your game that has room for improvement – then show off those skills when you are back in the spotlight.
6. Be Consistent
Colleges have three coaches each who can watch recruits – they don’t employ scouts. Therefore, they can’t be at every game and they may see you on an off night. Do your best to give a consistent effort and rest assured, they see recruits multiple times before making any decisions.
7. Be Our Guest
The best way to find out whether a school is right for you is to take what’s called an unofficial visit (official visits are paid for by the school and only available once you are in 12th grade). An unofficial visit can allow you to see the campus, tour the facilities and even take in a game. Reach out to the coaching staff before you go and let them know you’ll be on campus. See More: The Benefits of Unofficial Visits
8. Be Inquisitive
As much as coaches want to find the right fits for their programs, they want to be sure their recruits are comfortable where they end up as well. They want to hear recruits asking questions – insightful questions – of the coaching staff, players, professors and others around their program.
9. Be a Supportive Parent
Never forgotten in this process are the parents and their significant role. It shouldn’t be too significant, however. Your son should be the one writing letters and reaching out to coaches. Coaches want to know that it’s the player’s ambition, not their parents’. Be supportive but not overbearing – coaches have to be sure they want you in their program for four years as well.
10. Be Patient
The last – and often hardest – piece of advice is to be patient. The recruiting process takes time, and prospective student-athletes can commit to schools anywhere from 15 years old to 21. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t one of those select few who get an offer while playing minor midget hockey. Follow these other nine steps and the recruiting process can be a rewarding, exciting experience.
NCAA College Hockey vs. CHL Major Junior
Talented college hockey players face a choice at a young age as to where to pursue their dreams - two paths that can both lead to the NHL, but have a number of differences between them.
On one hand is college hockey, more specifically the 59 teams that make up NCAA Division I. On the other is major junior, or the 60 teams in the OHL, QMJHL and WHL that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
"That debate's always going to be there," said Ron Wilson, longtime USA Hockey and NHL head coach and a former player at Providence College. "I think the chances of playing in the NHL are just as great playing college hockey as they are playing junior."
With that in mind, here are a few things for players and parents facing that choice to consider:
Because the CHL includes players who have signed professional contracts, the NCAA considers it a professional league. Therefore, players who have played a game - even an exhibition game - in the CHL are deemed ineligible for NCAA competition.
There are paths to have NCAA eligibility reinstated for players who have played a limited number of CHL games, but they are not guaranteed and must be initiated by an NCAA school.
A big reason college hockey is producing more than 30% of all NHL players is its success in player development. That stems from a number of factors:
Coaching and training staffs: College coaches are dedicated to their players and helping them achieve their fullest potential. Staffs include assistant coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers and equipment managers who give players the ideal environment to improve.
Facilities: College facilities are first-class and constantly being constructed or renovated to meet the needs of the student-athletes. College facilities typically include weight rooms, video rooms, hydrotherapy tubs and other features to help development such as off-ice shooting bays.
Practices and conditioning: The college schedule of approximately 40 games allows three or four days per week to focus on practice and off-ice conditioning work. Practice - with players getting more ice time and having the puck on their stick - has proven to be a much better environment for talent development than games. The additional time in the weight room allows players to add significant weight in muscle during their college careers.
Intense games: With fewer, more meaningful games, college hockey is intense and hard-fought. Alums often marvel at the intensity of their college games relative to their pro experience.
Older competition: College hockey features players ages 18-24, rather than 16-20 in major junior hockey. That older, faster, stronger competition helps players elevate their games.
Additional time: Since college players can remain in school until graduation - as opposed to having to sign pro contracts at 20, like major junior players - they have more time to develop. That allows players like Chris Kreider to jump right from college into the NHL, and also gives players who may not be ready at 20 more time to pursue their hockey dreams in a development system.
"In a word, maturity," Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said of what he sees from former college players. "On-the-ice maturity. You get a player that’s had longer to develop physically and mentally.”
College hockey is played at some of the finest institutions in the world, and the NCAA model allows student-athletes to progress toward their degree while pursuing their hockey dreams at the same time.
While the CHL's education program has made strides in recent years, it comes with restrictions that families need to consider. Expenses covered can be limited and packages can be eliminated if players sign certain pro contracts or fail to begin pursuit of their education in a certain timeframe.
A recent NCAA study showed that 88% of men's hockey players earn their degree. Published reports have shown that fewer than 20% of major junior players go on to earn their degrees.
College students - not just hockey players - often call their time on campus the best years of their life. NHLers who played in the NCAA are no exception.
The ability to socialize with thousands of other students the same age, to make lifelong friendships and to live on their own makes for a great experience, and prepares college hockey players to be more mature when they move on from school.
10 Steps to a Great Hockey Resume
Creating a simple hockey resume can help get the attention of college coaches.
First impressions are important, in hockey as in life.
For many young players interested in playing college hockey, your first impression won’t take place during a game. You’ll need to take the initiative and introduce yourself.
That introduction can take many forms, but the best is likely a “hockey resume” that is either e-mailed or mailed to the coach. College Hockey, Inc. recommends that prospective players do their research, identify 6-10 programs that interest you, and reach out to those coaches.
Here are 10 steps to creating an effective hockey resume:
1 – Highlight your vital information
Make sure the information that would be most important to a coach is mentioned first: Name, Address, E-Mail, Phone Numbers, Height, Weight, Date of Birth, Position and Left/Right Handed.
2 – Include your academic background
Academic performance can be a big factor in NCAA recruitment, so be up front about your ability. Include the name of your school, your grade/graduation year, your average and SAT/ACT scores (if you’ve taken them). If you have attended more than one high school, include previous ones as well.
3 – Spotlight your recent teams
Include the name of the team and the league where you currently play. Be sure to note your sweater number. List your coach, along with his contact information (e-mail, phone number).
List the same information for each team you played on in the past few years as well.
4 – Connect to the web
If you plan to email your resume, you can include links to your team’s web site, upcoming schedule (where coaches can see you play) and any media coverage you may have received. If you have video highlights online you can link to them as well, although it’s not necessary.
5 – Highlight your numbers
Stats don’t tell the whole story about a player but coaches will be eager to see them. List the teams you played for in each of the past few seasons along with your GP, G, A, P and PIM. Be sure they are accurate and resist the temptation to embellish them – a quick internet search will reveal any inconsistencies.
6 – List honors and achievements
Highlight any all-star selections or awards you have received. Also note any selections in junior drafts (USHL, CHL, etc.) or participation in select tournaments or events (including College Hockey, Inc. summits).
If you have honors or achievements outside of hockey you should list them here as well (honor roll, recognition in other sports, etc.).
7 – Include some personal information
It’s important to include your parents’ names. If they or a sibling played college hockey you may want to mention it as well.
8 – Highlight hockey references
List two or three coaches or others who could speak to your hockey ability. Include your relationship to them and their contact information (phone, e-mail).
9 – Don’t go overboard
Keep your resume to – at most – two pages. With everything you include, consider this: will it help a coach get a better understanding of me as a player and/or a person. Along those lines, photos may look nice, but don’t add to a coach’s understanding of what you offer as a prospective player. They aren’t necessary.
10 – Proofread!
A typo in a hockey resume is like a turnover in front of your own net – not what any coach wants to see. Take the time to review your work and have someone else look it over as well.
Follow those 10 steps and you’ll be in great position to make a good first impression on a college coach – often the first step toward a spot on a Division I team.
What is the NCAA?
The NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, was established in 1906 and serves as the athletics governing body for more than 1,280 colleges, universities, conferences and organizations. The national office is in Indianapolis, but the member colleges and universities develop the rules and guidelines for athletics eligibility and athletics competition for each of the three NCAA divisions. The NCAA is committed to the student-athlete and to governing competition in a fair, safe, inclusive and sportsmanlike manner.
The NCAA membership includes: 326 active Division I members; 281 active Division II members; and 421 active Division III members.
One of the differences among the three divisions is that colleges and universities in Divisions I and II may offer athletics scholarships, while Division III colleges and universities may not. There are 59 schools competing at the Division I level in men's hockey.
The NCAA Eligibility Center
The NCAA Eligibility Center in Indianapolis, Indiana - sometimes referred to as the "clearinghouse" - certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in NCAA Division I or II athletics.
NCAA Eligibility Center
To assist with this process, the eligibility center staff is eager to foster a cooperative environment of education and partnership with high schools, high school coaches and college-bound student-athletes. NCAA regulations are set by NCAA colleges and universities and require all incoming student-athletes to meet a prescribed level of academic performance while maintaining their amateur status before entering college. The eligibility center will collect data from high schools, sport-sanctioning bodies and, most importantly, high school student-athletes in order to make eligibility decisions. Ultimately, the individual student-athlete is responsible for achieving and protecting his or her eligibility status.
If you plan to participate in intercollegiate athletics at an NCAA Division I or II institution, you must have both your academic and amateurism status certified by the eligibility center before representing the institution in competition.
When you register with the eligibility center, you will be asked about benefits and activities that might impact your status as an amateur. The information you provide about your athletics participation will be reviewed and a determination will be made as to whether your amateurism status should be certified or if a penalty should be assessed before certification. If a penalty is assessed, you will have an opportunity to appeal the decision.
The following precollegiate enrollment activities will be reviewed:
1. Contracts with a professional team.
2. Salary for participating in athletics.
3. Prize money.
4. Play with professionals.
5. Tryouts, practice or competition with a professional team.
6. Benefits from an agent or prospective agent.
7. Agreement to be represented by an agent.
8. Delayed initial full-time collegiate enrollment to participate in organized sports competition.
Additional information regarding NCAA amateurism rules is available on the NCAA Eligibility Center's resource page.
What requirements do I need to be able to practice, play and get a scholarship at an NCAA Division I or II college or university?
You need to complete the following:
1. Graduate from high school;
2. Complete a minimum of 16 (for Division I) or 14 (for Division II) core courses;
3. Present the required grade-point average (GPA) (for complete details, see the Freshman Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet for Division I or a minimum 2.0 GPA for Division II);
4. Present a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT (for complete details, see the Freshman Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet); and
5. Request final amateurism certification (beginning April 1 for fall enrollees or beginning October 1 for spring enrollees).
How do I know if the courses I am taking will count as core courses?
You need to look at your high school's list of NCAA courses. Follow these steps:
1. Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website at www.eligibilitycenter.org;
2. Click on the "NCAA College-Bound Student-Athletes" link to enter;
3. Click on "Resources";
4. Click on "U.S. Students";
5. Click on "List of NCAA Courses";
6. Input your high school's CEEB code (if you know it) or search by your high school's name and state; and
7. Review the list.
*Very important: If a core course you took is not on the list, it will not be used in your eligibility determination. Courses that appear on your transcript must exactly match what is on the list.
What do I do if a core course I took is not on the list?
See your high school counselor immediately. Someone at your high school is responsible for keeping your high school's list updated. It is important your high school does this each year to make sure the core courses you are taking appear on the list.
What is the lowest grade that will be used for a course to count as a core course?
Follow your high school's policy regarding its lowest passing grade. If the NCAA Eligibility Center does not have this policy, the lowest passing grade that will be used is D.
Will credit-by-exam courses meet core-course requirements?
No. Courses completed through credit-by-exam will not be used.
Are vocational courses acceptable?
No. Traditional vocational courses (e.g., typing, auto mechanics, driver's education and health) are not acceptable.
Do pass/fail grades count?
Maybe, these grades may satisfy your core-course requirements. The NCAA Eligibility Center will assign your high school's lowest passing grade for a pass/fail class so long as the course receives credit toward graduation.
May courses taken in the eighth grade that are high school core courses (e.g., Algebra I, Spanish 1, Freshman Composition) be used to meet the core-course requirement?
A high school course taken in the eighth grade may be used if the course is on the high school transcript with a grade and credit and if the course is on the high school's list of NCAA courses.
May independent-study, Internet and correspondence courses count as core courses?
Yes, if the following four conditions are met (beginning August 1, 2010):
1. Courses that are taught through distance learning, online, credit recovery, etc. need to be comparable in length, content and rigor to courses taught in a traditional classroom setting. Students may not skip lessons or test out of modules. The course must be four-year college preparatory.
2. All courses must include ongoing access between the instructor and student, as well as regular interaction for purposes of teaching, evaluating and providing assistance. This may include, for example, exchanging of e-mails between the student and teacher, feedback on assignments, and the opportunity for the teacher to engage the student in individual instruction. Any course taken must have a defined time period for completion. For example, it should be clear whether the course is meant to be taken for an entire semester or during a more condensed time frame, such as six weeks, etc.
3. Nontraditional courses should be clearly identified as such on the high school transcript.
Nontraditional courses completed prior to August 1, 2010, will be reviewed under NCAA standards in place prior to August 1, 2010. It is important to remember that all courses need to be rigorous and four-year college preparatory in nature. Students should be encouraged to take courses that are quantitatively and qualitatively the same as courses offered through traditional means, and to take courses that will prepare them for the academic rigors they will face at a four-year college or university.
To read more about this new rule, go to www.eligibilitycenter.org and click the "High School Administrators Enter Here" link, then the "Resources" page and read the documents related to online/virtual/credit recovery courses.
May college courses count as core courses?
College courses may be used to satisfy core-curriculum requirements if the courses are accepted and awarded credit by the high school for any student and meet all other requirements for core courses. For NCAA Division I only, such courses must be placed on the student's high school transcript. Courses taken at a college will NOT appear on the high school's list of NCAA courses. The high school's list of NCAA courses will include only those courses taught/offered by the high school.
How are courses taken over two years counted?
A one-year course that is spread over a longer period of time is considered one course and will receive a maximum of one core-course credit. (Example: Algebra 1, spread over two years, would receive one unit of credit.)
May my study in a foreign country help me meet core-course requirements?
If you attended a secondary school outside the United States for all or part of grades nine through 12, different evaluation procedures will be applied to your international education documents. You must submit original-language documents with certified translations for NCAA Eligibility Center evaluation.
How is my core-course GPA calculated?
Your core-course GPA is the average of your best grades achieved for all required core courses. If you have taken extra core courses, those courses will be used in your GPA, only if they improve your GPA.
Can weighted grades for honors or advanced-placement courses be factored into the calculation of the student's core GPA?
A school's normal practice of weighting honors or advanced courses may be used, as long as the weighting is used for computing GPAs. Weighting cannot be used if the high school weights grades for the purpose of determining class rank. Additionally, in no instance may the student receive greater than 1.000 additional quality point for purposes of calculating the GPA for initial eligibility.
How is the NCAA core GPA different from a student's overall GPA?
The NCAA core-course GPA is calculated using only NCAA-approved core courses in the required number of core units. High school GPAs generally include the grades from most or all courses attempted in grades nine through 12.
There are many more questions addressed at the NCAA Eligibility Center site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am a 16-year-old sophomore in high school and have written numerous emails to college coaches - why haven't any of them written back to me?
A: Division I college hockey coaches are not allowed to initiate contact with prospective student athletes until June 15 of their sophomore year (Grade 10) in high school. That means they cannot reply to emails, text messages, or return phone calls prior to that date.
Q: Is there a way for me to speak with a college coach prior to June 15 of my sophomore year?
A: Yes. You may reach out to college coaches as often as you would like prior to and after June 15 of your sophomore year, but in order to speak with them you must reach them by phone or speak face to face on campus. If you are unable to get them on the phone you should keep trying until you succeed.
Q: Why can't coaches call me back prior to June 15 of my sophomore year?
A: College hockey coaches must comply with NCAA rules, which prohibit coaches in all sports from actively recruiting players at that age.
Q: How do I get noticed by college hockey coaches?
A: College hockey coaches spend a tremendous amount of time and energy scouting and recruiting potential student athletes. If you play for a competitive midget minor, midget major, junior, or high school team, and are an elite player, there is a good a chance that the college coaches know about you.
We highly recommend that American players try out for the USA select festivals that are held in Rochester, N.Y., every summer. We also recommend you make a list of the schools you are interested in and visit their respective web sites and team pages. Most college hockey teams have a "recruiting questionnaire" on their team web site and it would be beneficial to fill out a questionnaire for each school that interests you.
It can also be worthwhile to create a "hockey resume" to introduce yourself to college coaches. Click here for tips on writing a hockey resume.
Q: Where should I play to prepare to play college hockey?
A: More than a dozen junior and high school leagues sent players directly to Division I in 2011-12 - so in simple terms, there is no right answer. If you are good enough, college coaches will find you.
Q: Can I go straight from high school and play college hockey?
A: Yes. If a college coach thinks you are physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of college hockey then they will recruit you straight from high school. College coaches will sometimes recommend that a player take an extra year, following his graduation from high school, to play junior hockey so that player can mature both physically and mentally prior to jumping into the college game.
Q: What is the difference between an official college visit and unofficial visit?
A: An official college visit is a 48-hour, expense-paid visit. An official visit cannot be taken until the first day of classes of the prospective student-athlete's senior year in high school. A student athlete is allowed (5) five total official visits but only (1) one per school. An unofficial visit is paid for by the student athlete, can take place at any time and can last any length of time. There is no limit to the number of unofficial visits a student can take. During an unofficial visit the coaching staff may meet with a prospective student athlete and provide him with a tour of the campus and facilities. Read this story for more about the benefits of unofficial visits.
Q: What kind of grades do I need to play college hockey?
A: In order for a prospective student athlete to be academically eligible to play in the NCAA he must have graduated from high school, fulfilled a core curriculum of at least 16 courses, and met a minimum index score that combines standardized tests scores (SAT, ACT) and GPA. A prospective student athlete should regularly meet with a college counselor, provided by their high school, in order to ensure they meet these requirements. All certified high school college counselors should be familiar with the necessary steps and minimum requirements set forth by the NCAA.
Q: What's the 21-year-old rule?
A: If you play a junior A hockey game after your 21st birthday you will lose one year of NCAA athletic eligibility, leaving you with three years remaining (this rule applies only to Division I competition).
Q: What is the NCAA Eligibility Center (or clearinghouse)?
A: The NCAA Eligibility Center, often referred to as the "clearinghouse", certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in NCAA Division I or II athletics. Prospective student-athletes should register at eligibilitycenter.org by 11th grade to help ensure that they are on the right path to qualify academically. Click here for more information on NCAA eligibility.
Q: I need to take the SATs. Where can I find more information about them?
A: The SAT is a standardized test used by colleges and the NCAA to help determine college admission and eligibility. Visit the College Board web site for more information on the SAT, including test dates, registration and study guides. Many companies offer customized tutoring or instructional books to help students prepare to take the SATs.
Some schools also accept the ACT, another form of standardized test. Click here for more information on the ACT.
Q: I was recently drafted by a team from the CHL (which includes the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL) and they want me to sign a contract immediately. Is it okay for me to sign a contract even though I won't play for them this year?
A: No. Signing a contract with any professional team (that includes Canadian major junior teams) results in the loss of NCAA eligibility even if you never play a game for that team.
Q: I have been invited by a CHL team to their Rookie/Training camp and they have offered to pay for all my expenses, will this affect my eligibility?
A: You can attend (1) one, 48-hour, expense-paid visit per professional team. The 48-hour period begins when you arrive at the team's facility and ends exactly 48 hours later. While in attendance the team can supply you with expenses that include travel, hotel, food, equipment, and all costs associated with practice and off-ice training. You must leave the facility once the 48-hour time period has expired in order to receive an expense paid return trip home.
Click here for a checklist of all you need to know before attending a CHL camp.
Q: Can I stay at a CHL rookie/training camp longer than 48 hours?
A: Yes, provided you cover the cost of all expenses incurred, including cost for the return trip home, following the initial 48-hour time period.
Q: I attended rookie camp for a particular CHL team and now that same team has asked me to attend their main camp as well - will this affect my NCAA eligibility?
A: If the team covered your expenses at the rookie camp then you must cover your expenses at the main camp in order to remain eligible for NCAA hockey. You are only allowed to accept (1) one 48-hour expense paid visit/tryout per CHL team.
Q: I am going to a CHL camp and we are scrimmaging another team - Can I play in the scrimmage?
A: No. While in attendance at a CHL camp/tryout, you may not participate in any scrimmages or exhibition games against outside teams. You may participate in an intra-squad scrimmage (i.e. a blue and white game).
Q: I was drafted in the in CHL and received a jersey, hat, and t-shirt in the mail - am I allowed to keep these items?
A: No, you cannot accept jerseys, hats, t-shirts, or any material benefits from professional teams without paying for them. If you have received items in the mail your options are as follows: Mail it back or send payment for the items received and request a receipt.
Q: How do I hire a family advisor? And who should I hire?
A: A family advisor can be a helpful and informative resource, but it is not necessary that you have one unless you are a player who is projected to be drafted in the NHL. If you are going to make a decision on an advisor we recommend you interview at least a few different advisors and as a family decide who you feel most comfortable with. We urge you to contact College Hockey, Inc. and use us as a resource at anytime while deciding on an advisor.
Q: Can I attend a testing session with an NHL team and retain my college eligibility?
A: NCAA regulations allow student-athletes (or prospective student-athletes) to take part in one testing or tryout session per NHL team, at the team's expense, for up to 48 hours. An exception is if a player takes part in the NHL Draft Combine or the NHL Research and Development Camp - those events are considered tryouts for all 30 teams. A player could participate in another tryout beyond those events, but would need to pay his own way.
Q: Can I attend an NHL team's summer development camp?
A: NCAA players may attend NHL summer development camps, or prospect camps, but must pay their own way (transportation, lodging, food, etc.).
Q: What are athletic scholarships?
A: An athletic scholarship is financial aid from a university or college based in any degree on the athletic ability of the student-athlete. Athletic scholarships are formalized by entering into agreements called "National Letters of Intent," which is a written agreement between the institution and the student-athlete.
Q: What is a "National Letter of Intent"?
A: The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is the name of the document that formalizes an athletic scholarship. It is a binding agreement between a student-athlete and a university in which the university agrees to provide athletic aid in exchange for the student-athlete's agreement to attend the university.
Q: What is a verbal commitment?
A: A verbal commitment is a non-binding agreement between a prospect and a coach to attend that coach's institution.
Q: What is covered by an athletic scholarship?
A: Funds for tuition and fees, books, room and board, and certain other expenses. The only required expense that a full athletic scholarship cannot cover is transportation to and from campus.
Q: Are scholarships guaranteed for four years?
A: Thanks to a change in NCAA rules in 2011, scholarship agreements may be made for anywhere from one to five years.
Signing a National Letter of Intent, even for a scholarship promised for four years, commits a student-athlete to that school for one year.
Even those scholarship agreements made for one season are almost always renewed annually; they are very rarely cancelled and never for on-ice performance.
Q: Can athletic scholarships be cancelled if I play badly or the coach doesn't like me?
A: Athletic scholarships may not be reduced or cancelled year-to-year based on your ability or performance, because an injury prevents you from participating or for any other athletic reason.
If you are receiving an athletic scholarship, the scholarship may be reduced or cancelled only if you:
- render yourself ineligible for NCAA competition;
- misrepresented any information on your application, letter of intent or financial aid agreement;
- commit serious misconduct which warrants a substantial disciplinary penalty; or
- voluntarily quit the team for personal reasons.
Q: Who decides if I get a scholarship?
A: Although admissions offices can refuse the admission of any student, thereby effectively refusing an athletic scholarship, coaches and athletic departments typically have a good sense of what to expect from their admissions office. This allows coaches to scout and recruit players who they can reasonably expect to earn admission.
Q: Does every student-athlete receive a 100% or "full" scholarship?
A: Universities are permitted to grant 18 "full" scholarships and typically carry around 26 players, so not all are on full scholarships. In other words, most NCAA teams have some players who receive only a portion of their expenses in athletic scholarship (i.e. partial scholarship) and some players who receive all of their expenses in scholarship (i.e. full scholarship).
Q: What is financial aid?
A: Financial aid is a grant from the university that is not based on athletic ability or participation on an athletic team.
Q: What is covered by financial aid?
A: Financial aid can be granted for tuition and fees, room and board, books and transportation.
Q: How do universities determine the amount of financial aid granted?
A: Although determining financial aid varies between universities, it is typically calculated based on the student and his parents' ability to contribute to the cost of post-secondary education. This is determined by evaluating the current savings and expected earnings of the student over the summer and the student's parents' overall wealth (i.e. earnings, savings, investments, etc.). Based on these types of criteria, the institution makes a judgment on the amount that the student and parents are able to contribute toward a university education. In theory, any shortfall between the expected contribution and the expected university expenses is covered by financial aid.
The document provided by Kyle Lawson, Director of Education and Recruitment, College Hockey, Inc.