Photo credit: apsabearcats,org
With a goal of bridging the gap between academics and athletics, the Alabama Prep Sports Academy provides an option that many parents and student-athletes don’t know is available to them.
Located in Calera, Ala., APSA is a post-graduate, academic-athletic program for students who want to continue their journey to earning an athletic scholarship to an accredited four-year institution. Many student-athletes choose to attend junior college when they don’t meet certain grade point averages, SAT or ACT scores, but athletes can achieve these goals through a post-graduate program without losing NCAA eligibility.
Through APSA, athletes have the opportunity to be exposed to a college-like academic program while competing at a college level in games against Division III, National Athletic Intercollegiate Association (NAIA) and community colleges, and other prep schools. Student-Athletes’ eligibility isn’t affected because they are not considered full-time students at APSA, only taking SAT and ACT prep courses and basic courses to receive some college credit. Most students are enrolled in the post-graduate program six months or longer.
However, not every student pursues a post-graduate program to meet certain qualifications or gain college credit. Some students may want to further develop as an athlete, gain more exposure at a higher level of competition, or maybe unsatisfied with their chosen college following high school.
APSA President DeWayne Moore says he got involved with the program because he has a passion for helping young people and seeing them succeed. During a time when the cost of higher education is skyrocketing, he believes APSA offers a great experience at a manageable price. “Student-Athletes receive federal funding, but may incur some out-of-pocket expenses. APSA also receives sponsorship from the community, businesses and private organizations,” Moore says.
According to the APSA website, the total cost per semester (tuition plus room and board) for an international student is $15,595 with I-20 Visa fees included. The cost for American students is $14,060 per semester. However, up to $10,000 of financing is available for students. The cost of attendance includes two NCAA approved online courses, SAT and ACT prep courses and materials, athletic fees, uniforms and equipment, transportation, a monitored strength and conditioning program, NCAA clearance evaluation, recruiting promotion and development of a highlight video.
Some necessities that are not covered in tuition costs are enrollment, administration and application review fees, NCAA Clearinghouse registration, a laptop with a built-in camera and individual health insurance.
APSA only has a football program but is looking to add other programs such as basketball in the near future. “Our record is currently 1-3, but our players are being recruited by Division I, Division II and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) colleges,” Moore says.
The Bearcats hit the gridiron at home against Redemption Academy Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the APSA website at apsabearcats.org.