Student-athletes share collegiate sports aspirations


A common question amongst high school athletes is whether they plan to compete at the college level.

Many factors go into making this decision. For example, some students seek athletic scholarships to pay for school. Others play with the goal of becoming professional athletes.

While collegiate sports are more intense physically and mentally, they’re also more challenging to get into. Students may question whether they have the level of skill required to play in college. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a member-led organization that regulates student-athletes from over 1,000 institutions and organizations across North America. They categorize schools into three divisions, with over 100,000 athletes in each division.

Division I and II athletes are required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Eligibility Center reviews academic records and standardized scores, and ensures that student-athletes follow NCAA rules. Athletes are required to graduate from high school, complete a number of approved high school courses, earn a minimum grade point average in these courses, and earn a certain minimum score on the SAT or ACT.

The NCAA states, “Of the nearly 8 million students currently participating in high school athletics in the United States, only 495,000 of them will compete at NCAA schools.” 

So, do high school athletes want to train in college?

Girls soccer player Deizha Jacinto (’25) plans to play soccer in college “because I am trying to reach professional level soccer and college will really help me get there.”

When choosing a school, tuition is a priority and receiving an athletic scholarship would be a positive factor for Jacinto financially. “I just want to keep playing. Probably the main factor is my love for playing soccer.”

Dayten Baptista (’22) says that receiving a soccer scholarship would be an important factor in his decision to play for any school. It’s more difficult to make NCAA teams because oftentimes, “in college you’re trying to make a career in that sport,” Baptista says. 

Track athlete Jasmin Jackson (’22) has received athletic scholarship offers from schools such as University of Oregon, University of Notre Dame, and Penn State University. “A four year [scholarship] would be ideal,” Jackson says, but as of now she’ll receive scholarships covering two to three years of school. 

Baseball player Danen Nishimura (’23) decided that he doesn’t want to play baseball in college. “I just want to focus on my studies and focus on my life in college. I don’t want baseball to get in the way of my life,” Nishimura says.

Whether student-athletes decide to play or not in college, they’ll always have their memorable high school athletics experience.