COLLEGE... And Rugby
(Below: Saint Mary's College, Moraga, CA)
Deciding what college you are going to go to is usually a long, tough decision. There are tons of factors that go in to picking which school you are going to spend the next four years at.
Do they have the academic program you want? (That's the most important!)
How much does it cost?
What is the campus life like?
How far away from home is it? (Sometimes too far and sometimes not far enough)
Public or private school?
What types and number of scholarships are offered?
What is the acceptance rate?
Sounds lame, but what is the weather and climate like? Do you want to live in a blizzard for 4 months out of the year or be on the beach?
And maybe, DO THEY HAVE A RUGBY TEAM?
All great questions.
If you know or even think you want to play rugby in college, look up the schools you are interested in and see if they have a team. Chances are they do. On usarugby.org* there are 9 PAGES of colleges with men's rugby programs. And there are 7 PAGES of colleges with women's programs. As you are doing your research on schools reach out the teams. When you go to visit a school, go to a practice or a game if you can. Even bring your cleats, they'll ask you to jump in and practice with them! Start communicating early, there are some schools that even offer scholarships! The ones that don't offer scholarships sometimes have other ways of benefiting you like getting your books paid for, helping you get other scholarships, some that even give you in-state tuition (that is huge, you want that). If you talk to a team they will do what they can to help you, they want you to come to their school. Recruiting is hard at the college level just like it is for us in high school. Many people don't learn rugby until they are in college, so you have an advantage having already played in high school, they appreciate that, trust me.
So, don't be scared, reach out and talk to people. Remember, rugby is an accepting and welcoming community wherever you go! You will love your new school and rugby team wherever you end up! If you have questions, talk to your coaches and the men's club players. We went to college, we went to different colleges, we have insight, opinions and advice we are all willing to share!
* Go to usarugby.org - scroll over 'College' at the top - Click on 'Conferences and Teams - Then choose either Men's teams or Women's teams
(Above: United States Air Force Academy, Colorado)