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MIT or try for Ivies?

TheValidityTheValidity Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Athletic Recruits
So I'm fairly familiar with the standard recruiting process, but not so much with Ivy/high academic D3 processes. I'm a D1 caliber soccer player, but academics come first for me. I've been heavily recruited by D1s with average academics and ended up deciding on MIT as my best choice. I visited Boston in September and was told by the MIT head coach there that I would definitely be an impact player my freshman year and that he would be pushing strongly for me in admissions.

Stats:
33 ACT (35 E, 35 M, 34 R, 29 S)
4.0 UW GPA
Most Rigorous Course Schedule
Student Body President
3 years varsity basketball as well as a few other ECs
Interested in Engineering

I have a number of questions, so just answer any/all that you feel comfortable with.
1. Should I have backup plans for MIT? Or how likely is my admission considering I'm a top recruit? Does anybody know how much weight a coach's recommendation carries with MIT admissions?
2. While one of the attractive aspects of MIT for me was the laid back attitude of the team/coach and the focus on academics, I would still rather attend an Ivy/top 25 academic D1 for fear of settling athletically. I've been in correspondence with a few Ivy coaches and they want me to visit and play at their winter camps to get a further evaluation on me. Would I be able to get their help with admissions for RD, or would I be on my own?
3. The MIT coach has told me that he is meeting with admissions the second week of November and needs to know if MIT is my top choice by that point. I left it open by letting him know that at the moment it was my top choice, but that I don't have the backing of my parents yet because of financial issues/distance from home and that I'd get back to him. While those reasons are not true, I just need some time to evaluate my options. My dad says that I should make sure I'm on the list he gives to admissions, but then to pursue other options. How would it look if I told head coach that MIT was my #1 choice, I was accepted, and then decided to attend an Ivy?

I hope I was clear on everything. Please ask with any questions. Thanks.
Post edited by TheValidity on

Replies to: MIT or try for Ivies?

  • lioness4lioness4 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    are you a senior? cannot imagine ivies still recruiting for college class of 2017....
  • TheValidityTheValidity Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    Yes - I'm a senior
  • stemitstemit Posts: 525Registered User Member
    MIT gives no assurances of admission. When my S went thru the process, the coaches were very up front about that. The coach even shared the story about the kid (baseball) who was recruited by a PAC 10 school and MIT and the player chose MIT. Unfortunately, MIT did not chose him - leaving him to find a college after April.

    With that illustration, my son went to the Ivy league - which can assure admission (virtually) with a Likely Letter.

    In your case, I don't believe you are acually being recruited for any Ivy league school - if you were, you would have already been on OVs. So, you are a potential backup plan for the Ivy schools.

    I would say you are on your own UNLESS one of the coaches recruites doesn't get in or goes elsewhere and a spot opens.

    As an aside, for those D1 schools who recruited you, no matter what the schools potential academics, playing at that level really makes majoring in some areas (like the areas which MIT specializes) very, very difficult.
  • stemitstemit Posts: 525Registered User Member
    While you can hear of a story here and there of D1 athletes majoring in science/engineering, those stories are rare. On this board, Fenways son is an engineering major at an Ivy. My S lasted a week as a potential chemical engineer and his last science class was in his first semester. The problem is not the difficulty of the material; the problem are the labs and the ability to do labs around the team schedule. On my Ss team, many matriculated with science in mind; few graduate with a degree outside of social science. And, this is at a school which is pretty close to the top of the desirability academci pyramid (by CC terms).

    While my knowledge is not right on point in soccer, soccer is a major sport and requires an enormous time commitment. Enormous time commitments and academics seem to have difficulty mixing. There are three things an athlete must do in college; but only two of those things can be done well: athletics, academics, and social life; you get to chose which two.

    All this having been said, every athlete has a different experience.
  • TheValidityTheValidity Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks stemit, and wow, what a scary story about that baseball player. I got involved very late in the recruiting process, but with the help of a recruiting video and a stellar senior season I've attracted some interest from many schools (including Ivys) even if they have already completed their recruiting for my class. I think your last point is talking about the problem of majoring in engineering while playing D1 sports. Is it too much to handle?
  • OstruckOstruck Posts: 120Registered User Junior Member
    I'm curious because I'm hoping to play soccer at MIT and have met with the coach (I'm a junior) are you looking at the men's or women's team?(:
  • YouKnowWho13YouKnowWho13 Posts: 253Registered User Junior Member
    If my thread ever gets any movement, perhaps consider sharing your thoughts or asking a question here: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/massachusetts-institute-technology/1415931-mit-athletic-recruits.html
  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth Posts: 950Registered User Member
    TheValidity,

    stemit has told you like it is. I would only add that I know the parent of an MIT baseball player who is an engineering major. It is very tough but doable, as the travel & practices are a reasonable burden away from studies. I presume soccer is similiar at MIT.

    My son is a junior Ivy engineering major and baseball player. It has also been rough, but it has been manageable as he is a (weekend) pitcher not a positiion player. As a weekend pitcher the weekday practices, travel in the Spring, labs, study time and classtime is a balancing act. It would be next to impossible if he was a baseball position player as that requires even more of a time committment. My son has found a manageable balance.

    I think it is real important to understand how much importance your potential schools put on sports, and how much time would be required away from class. I know MIT and Ivys do a pretty good job at it (compared to traditional D1 schools), but those details will be critical IMHO. I would also consider how much playing time you will get. Do you have a better chance of getting playing time at MIT vs another school? My point is your athletic time has a "price". If you are sitting on the bench during the soccer season waiting for your chance to play, how patient do you think you'll be? Will you be more willing to sacrifice your valuable time away from engineering actually playing soccer.....my guess is yes.

    I totally agree with stemit's statement that every athlete has a different experience. It can be the "road less travelled" sometimes, but I wouldn't go down that road unless you have a plan and do you homework about what you are getting yourself into. I also think it would be very prudent to have a backup plan. YOu have excellent grades that will get you in just about anywhere. However, you are dealing with some of the most competitive schools in the world, and the world is a big place.

    Good luck, and please let us know how things work out.
  • lioness4lioness4 Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    Stemit: While your point is worth stating, more than a rare ivy/top academic school athlete manages to succeed socially, athletically, and academically! It ain't easy but these kids have been managing this balancing act for years by the time they matriculate and continue to do so even if some stumble.
  • stemitstemit Posts: 525Registered User Member
    Lioness, of course they can succeed - but it is the rare one that succeeds in majors which require labs in a D1 program which aspires to win.

    Whatever these kids balanced in HS (with some very limited exceptions), doesn't come close to what awaits in college. Balance in HS was always over watched by parents; not true in college. Learning how to juggle competing priorities in college for many students has a learning curve; add 25 hours per week in the off season and 40+ hours per week in season, and the learning curve really steepens.

    I am specifically referring to sports for which there is pro potential after college. Show me a few D1 schools, which aspire to win, and which list athletes majors that are representative of the majors of the student body as a whole. I would suggest you look, for example, at Rice and Vanderbilt's baseball teams and compare those majors to the general student body. The same is true at the Ivys, the SEC, ACC, MWC, PAC 12, etc.

    The privilege of playing collegiate sports carries a price. To most that price is well worth it; but better go in with eyes wide open.
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