When should I reach the required recruiting standards for track and field recruiting?

I’m a high jumper in 11th grade right now. At the moment, I can jump 6’3. The marks listed on school websites, and the marks reached by high jumpers at the schools I would like to go to (UCLA, Cal, Stanford) usually hover around 6’8-6’11. I am rapidly improving though, and I believe I can reach these marks sometime in my senior year. My question though, is when is the latest that I can meet these marks and still receive recruitment? Is it possible for me to be recruited after February-March of my senior year?

By February-March of your senior year, RD results are already coming out, so by definition it’s already two late. You need to be recruited with enough lead time that the coach can slot you in for ED.

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A lot of track programs will still be recruiting seniors in the spring, and a fair number of athletes get recruited after the state meet their senior year. It really just depends who has scholarship money available at that point and what they’re looking for.

Having said that, most of the PAC 12 schools usually aim to get their top targets committed in the fall, and then fill out the rest of the recruiting class in that Feb-March period. And the Ivies and selective academic schools generally—but not always— look to get their recruits admitted during ED in the fall. But there are a lot of other schools out there looking for jumpers so I wouldn’t assume recruiting ends in the early spring. You might just have to be flexible with the type of school you’re looking at.

6’3” is a great start. I’d see where you are at the end of the season and then start emailing coaches. They know how athletes develop so they can project where you’ll be.


Also FYI there is very limited money available for T&F scholarships, so the benefit you would get at your target schools by hitting those marks would admissions help but very little or no $. You may qualify for need based scholarships based on family income, but none of those schools give any significant merit scholarships.

DS had a good friend being recruited at all of top T&F schools, but he was offered only a couple thousand dollars of scholarship because they had to spread 12 scholarships among 50 or more athletes, and all of them were excellent. He ended up taking a full ride (some merit money, some athletic money) at a Mid-Major school who really, really wanted him.


Yes, recruitment still continues into spring of the Senior year for some schools. Also, here is a list of schools and the average track and field scholarship for men/women… you’d be surprised at the range of scholarship allocations across Div 1 and Div 2 schools, so it’s worth the time to do the research and fill out the recruitment form featured on the track and field athletics page at your schools of interest! Best of luck! Track Scholarships & Chances of competing in College | Scholarship Stats.com


@Napafolie I may be wrong but I believe those scholarship amounts are not specific to the sport but the average for all scholarship athletes at the school. I believe they are derived from the published common data sets. That data includes the total scholarship amount and the number of scholarships given. They don’t differntiate the differences by sport so it could be a little misleading.

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Good morning… These amounts are actually specific to track and field for each particular school— they do not reflect scholarship monies designated for other sports at the school. But like with any average, it’s just that… and average, not a determined amount. There is a pool of money that ends up being distributed across individuals, so the average has to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s a very helpful site that gives you a sense of athletic programs by division, region and gender.


In addition to looking at recruiting standards, it makes sense to look at some additional information that is available online: (1) rankings for your event on milesplit or similar websites; and (2) the heights athletes at your target (and other) colleges typically clear, which is available on https://www.tfrrs.org/. The 2020 and 2021 seasons can be misleading, so going back to 2019 and looking at the top 50 high jumpers in the Pac-12 will give you a good idea of what your target schools will expect.

From milesplit, for the 2021 outdoor track season, an 11th grade HS high jumper clearing 6’3" seems to rank roughly 30th in the US (against only other 11th graders). And, the outdoor season has only begun in warm-weather states. That might suggest the answer to your question is “the sooner the better.” But remember academic fit and other considerations still apply.

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@Napafolie It’s not really even an average amount it’s more of an approximation. It assumes that the school treats every sport by gender the same way it’s also based on the NCAA scholarship limits for that sport Still really useful and you can refine it a little more if you know how many scholarships they actually do support for each sport. Best of luck. Here’s how they come up with the numbers.

How much of this scholarship money goes to each sport? Unfortunately we don’t know for sure as schools are only required to report the total dollar value of athletic scholarships awarded by gender (for Title IX purposes). Schools are not required to – and don’t – report the amount of scholarship dollars awarded annually by sport.

However we can arrive at a reasonable estimate for each sport by allocating the total amount of athletic scholarship money awarded by the school to each official NCAA I sport sponsored by that school using the NCAA I scholarship limits as the allocation factor:

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Obviously work as hard as you can this spring to get as high as possible. IF you aren’t already, keep training and try and compete this summer thru either USATF or AAU meets with club teams to get as high a mark as possible. My D hit her best marks the summer after her junior year that achieved the offers she was looking for.

This is probably a late response but I got injured during the season and wasn’t able to jump again until august, and I have still not jumped higher than 6’3. I think that because of FA, I wouldn’t really need much of a scholarship or any at all, so if I am just looking to get recruited to help me with admissions at a selective school (although I also really want to continue competing as an athlete), am I in a position to start emailing coaches now, or should I wait until later? I’ve been improving since returning from injury and I think I should get some pretty good marks in within the first few months of the winter season.

Sorry to hear about the injury. Yes, I’d fill out recruiting forms and email coaches at any schools of interest ASAP. Let them know your story and see if there’s interest. I’d cast a wide net, including conferences like the mountain west and D3 schools if those schools would fit your plans. Things can be sort of hit or miss even for good athletes so don’t get frustrated if not every coach responds. And if you improve in the winter there’ll be options then too (though less so at selective academic schools like Ivies).


Are UC’s still recruiting in winter/early spring?

Or if I contacted them later in the year, would they still be willing to take me in a as a recruited walk-on?

Yes, absolutely. They add track recruits into the summer sometimes. I’d go ahead and contact them now. Just tell them your story and marks and that you’d like to learn more about the recruiting process. They know what that means. If they aren’t interested at this point they’ll tell you so or ignore you. Most likely is that they tell you to “keep in touch” or let them know when you hit a particular height. You might get a chance to chat with the jumps coach at some point. Even if they ignore you for now, you can reinitiate contact when your marks improve. This is a process not a one-time yes or no kind of thing.

Are you set on UCs? I’d encourage you to think wider than that, including schools across the west that might not jump to mind at first, such as CPSLO, Utah State, Colorado State, Montana State, etc. Honestly, you’re going to get more interest at this point from D3s. And for the selective D3s where you might want admissions help it’s getting fairly late in the process for admissions support at most of those. But if none of those options work due to academics or finances or something else, it’s good to recognize that up front.


Thank you so much!