LacrossePrep: Multi-Part Online Service Forwards Success in College Matching, Financing, Testing Tutorials, and More
For prospective collegiate level student-athletes, the multi-faceted admissions process can be confusing and complex. How do you find the best higher education experience matched to the right lacrosse program for your family? And how do you afford it?
3d Lacrosse has partnered with LacrossePrep, an integrated academic and athletic platform to help families prepare for and simplify college admissions. LacrossePrep includes separate modules for standardized test preparation; a “Fit-and-Match” tool that allows you to create a student profile and search for schools that meet desired criteria for athletics, academics and more; and a cost/financial aid tool that shows a college's merit scholarships along with a financial aid calculator that reveals aid policies at every school enabling unprecedented transparency (all of which help you to get down to the “real” cost of the education your family seeks).
“After much research, we selected LacrossePrep as a partner-vendor to help our students continue their lacrosse journey,” said Greg Waldbaum, President and COO of 3d Lacrosse. “We believe that it offers strong academic tools and valuable insight into the college admissions process from a truly comprehensive perspective – all in a convenient and affordable package.”
Purchased separately, the software components that comprise LacrossePrep would approach or exceed $1,000. LacrossePrep is available to 3d Select team participants at $249. More importantly, there are elements of LacrossePrep that cannot be found in any other tool in the competitive marketplace for college preparation and admissions.
LacrossePrep includes three critical components:
Standardized Test Preparation – Lacrosse Prep incorporates the popular e-Prep online test preparation service. Currently employed in more than 1,000 schools and learning centers nationwide, e-Prep enables students to prepare for and take sample PSAT/SAT and ACT exams. Among other features, wrong answers yield two areas of assistance: a pop-up video tutorial featuring an instructor who addresses the incorrect response combined with suggestions for broader areas of related study (and the accompanying material to embark on this task). Families can set up levels of accountability in an online dashboard for tasks such as study schedules, testing goals and more. Additionally, a student vocabulary booster called Wordsmith offers lessons, quizzes and progress reports.
Student Athlete Profile – LacrossePrep helps families develop an overview and profile of their player’s academic and related achievements in order to help match them with appropriate schools.
“Many college matching programs employ very few profile variables: primarily the student’s grade point average and standardized test scores,” said John Dziadzio, founder at ePrep and AthletePrep (parent of LacrossePrep). “Our profiles use a proprietary algorithm to compile more than 25 variables colleges use to evaluate prospective students ranging from test scores, grades and rigor of current studies to extracurricular activities and more. The LacrossePrep student profile provides a fresh, clear view about where your student athlete fits into a larger admissions picture.”
College Research and Matching – Looking for a good engineering school in the northeastern U.S. that offers a competitive lacrosse program combined with generous financial aid? LacrossePrep can help you research and identify the right school. Users enter desired variables like region or state, public or private school, overall enrollment, distance from home, popular majors, sports programs available and more. It uses your student athlete’s profile to evaluate your family member against each institution’s current freshmen class to let you know if your preferred selections are reasonable while also proposing alternatives.
Dziadzio added, “No other tool in the marketplace offers the built-in ability to compare a prospective enrollee to the current freshman class. It’s an invaluable contemporary yardstick that yields critical information for every family.”
This “Fit-Match” element of LacrossePrep also allows families to go back into their player’s profiles and adjust various factors to serve as decision-making levers relative to school selectivity, appropriateness and future achievement. If an athlete’s goal is University of Pennsylvania but the match is categorized as “Somewhat Difficult” (versus “Good Choice” or other characterizations), a student can adjust their profile elements to see what might boost their admissions opportunity.
Ned Harvey, father to 3d Lacrosse player Jackson, a sophomore at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, signed up with LacrossePrep in June and has been exploring the service’s capabilities since then. Like many parents, he noted the significant challenge of explaining how hard it can be to improve one’s grade point average from sophomore to senior year along with the other elements that go into the college admissions process.
“We have gone back to move around some of the variables in Jackson’s profile to see how it changes his prospective school matches,” Harvey said. “We’ve already had discussions about extracurricular consistency. Should he continue on with choir and cello when sports are taking up more of his dedicated time and energy? LacrossePrep has already helped us discover some Division III schools in the northeastern U.S. that we’d not considered – and some Jackson had never heard of before – and that’s an exciting prospect.”
Harvey has also been using other test and college preparation books and the family has consulted with guidance counselors at Jackson’s school.
“LacrossePrep is ideal for any level of participation,” said Dziadzio. “We don’t preclude or replace resources like college counselors, consultants or other test prep methods, but we know that for dedicated families, LacrossePrep offers both broad and very specific facilities to address all of the key touch points related to college admissions.”
Like the Harvey family, Tom Campbell recently enrolled his son Caleb in LacrossePrep. Campbell, based in Houston, said his ninth-grader has a lot to think about moving beyond this season’s Box lacrosse league in which he’s playing goalie.
“Caleb doesn’t know what level of college lacrosse program might be appropriate yet,” said Campbell. “He wants to be engineer or an architect so academics are the most important thing right now. At this point, we’re using LacrossePrep to better prepare him and to make sure the whole family understands what this process looks like overall.”
Financial Aid & School Cost Information
The backbone of LacrossePrep’s “Fit-Match” and financial assessment and resource identification tool is Betterton College Planning (BCP). Prior to becoming an independent college counselor, BCP creator/developer Don Betterton worked at Princeton University for 30 years. He was the Director of Financial Aid, served on the Admissions Committee, and his role as assistant soccer coach for both the men's and women's teams acquainted him with the special demands student athletes face.
“BCP’s cost/aid component of LacrossePrep is another huge product differentiator,” said Dziadzio. “We have a unique map of every school’s individual financial policies and costs categorized by both ‘merit’ and ‘need.’ Our family financial assessment tool goes well beyond the standard federal forms. Our primary goal is to provide families realistic feedback about the financial implications of the college selection process. It really serves to level the playing field.”
Dziadzio also noted that among the many untold secrets of the financial aid process is that sometimes need-based kids will be more heavily rewarded at costlier schools.
“Families should focus on our ‘Estimated Real Cost,’ which calculates the likely out-of-pocket expenses to attend one year of the particular school under review – taking into account that school’s aid policies and the family’s financial situation versus the institution’s stated ‘sticker price.’”
College costs and aid are also categorized for in-state and out-of-state prospects, totaling what’s available for any candidate. LacrossePrep also connects applicants to individual schools’ financial websites with a single click. The tool allows families to see the details of the merit scholarships offered as well as learn more about individual aid policies easily.
Combined with 3d Lacrosse’s website-based Player Profiles which enable player-to-college coach communications, LacrossePrep offers a complementary view plus practical approaches that point towards the exciting years to come.
Greg Waldbaum added that, “3d Lacrosse hopes to find every player a college home. We’ve always worked hard to support our families and players with stand-out skills and a highly-developed Lacrosse IQ. Now, we are focusing on the extra factors that help make every player college-ready. Over the last year, we partnered with Keith Wilford of The Wilford Movement to help families with their player’s emotional maturity, and with the addition of LacrossePrep to our portfolio we are addressing academic and college admissions concerns. It’s an ambitious undertaking for 3d and our affiliated families. Our final goal is to make every student athlete a better college candidate and a fine young adult.”
Seth Jacoby, 3d Director of Division III Lacrosse, is spearheading the organization’s relationship with LacrossePrep. Interested players and families can register and pay for LacrossePrep online and/or contact Seth for more information at [email protected]. A 3d Lacrosse web-based overview and tutorial about LacrossePrep can be found here. The three-part, six-minute video demonstrates all of the details that make Lacrosse Prep a comprehensive and valuable tool.