Chad is now a scholarship athlete running at Shorter College, a Baptist institution in Rome, Georgia. “We wanted a school that emphasized spirituality, had good academics and wasn’t too far away,” says Chad’s father, Dwight White. “We wouldn’t have found it without Mike.”
Powell’s company, Mike Powell & Associates, helped Chad get the attention of coaches by putting together a video to share with several colleges and ultimately resulted in Chad being offered a scholarship from Shorter College.
Powell founded his company four years ago, after 16 years as an associate director of admissions and assistant director of financial aid at the University of Florida. He was an advisor to many athletes and helped set up a mentoring program under former head coach, Urban Meyer.
Powell also assists many non-athletes in obtaining academic scholarships at schools that fit them well. He works with high schools and community groups to present workshops about NCAA eligibility guidelines, college matching and general college admissions.
Powell has a sense of mission stemming in part from his frustration at the lack of guidance he received as a student at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, who ultimately went on to play football at the University of Georgia.
“My biggest job is coaching parents and helping them have realistic expectations,” Powell says. “Many parents want their kids to do better than they did.”
Powell warns parents to be careful when dealing with internet-based scouting services that focus on sending videos to coaches for relatively high fees, saying that he provides much more personal attention to each student than these services do.
Mike Finnegan, an educational consultant from melbourne, recommends that parents verify that a consultant belongs to the Independent Educational Consultants Association, an organization in which Finnegan and Powell are members. “You should choose someone who’s focused on making a realistic fit and doesn’t make promises he can’t keep,” Finnegan says.
Dwight White, the father of the Buchholz runner, is pleased with the value he received. “He worked with us week after week, and his charges were very reasonable,” White says.