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Coach's support?

limdelbartonlimdelbarton Posts: 88Registered User Junior Member
I'm a potential recruit for swimming, and I was invited by the coach to go on a recruiting visit next weekend. My times from junior year were around the 2nd fastest times for the team in my best events, so the coach told me she would support my application.

I've been hearing however, that this only helps as much as any other extracurricular. If this is true (is it?), then that would not be very good for me because I competitively swim for 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, and 54 weeks a year, every year since I was five.

That being said, along with other activities I do that I really enjoy (Debate, Math Club, Economics, etc.) and my rigorous school schedule (Scored a 5 on 6 APs total, taking 4 more APs senior year and 1 Post-AP course [Lin. Algebra], maintained a transcript of all A's with 0 A-'s or lower at a very competitive private school in NJ, high rank, etc.), I have pretty much had no time to do heavy extracurriculars in Math/Science. If swimming really is just another extracurricular, would non athletes who show dedication in such clubs/leagues be at an advantage in the admission process?


Oh, and just throwing it out there (lol) - I'm about to finish a first draft of the MIT short answers/essays application part. I'm looking for people to proofread/criticize it.

Thanks
Post edited by limdelbarton on
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Replies to: Coach's support?

  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,290Super Moderator Senior Member
    I've been hearing however, that this only helps as much as any other extracurricular. If this is true (is it?), then that would not be very good for me because I competitively swim for 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, and 54 weeks a year, every year since I was five.
    Yes, it's true -- MIT values athletic participation and excellence, but not more than other things in which applicants can participate or excel.

    But I don't think it's problematic for you as you seem to think it is. Everyone has a limited number of hours in the day, and there's no reason you have to participate in math/science ECs if you enjoy swimming and are excellent at it. It's not the number or type of ECs that matters, it's the quality of each experience.
  • PhoestrePhoestre Posts: 139Registered User Junior Member
    There are only 52 weeks in a year..
    :D
    Anyways, athletics are considered just like any other EC but its importance seems to be increasing each year.
  • limdelbartonlimdelbarton Posts: 88Registered User Junior Member
    haha Phoestre, you're right. just had a brain freeze when i was typing this

    and thanks for the replies everyone
  • snipersassnipersas Posts: 679Registered User Member
    haha Phoestre, you're right. just had a brain freeze when i was typing this

    That's too bad - had you actually built a time machine MIT would definitely admit you.
  • GrudeMonkGrudeMonk Posts: 106Registered User Junior Member
    Do you enjoy swimming or is it only a means to get into a school you aspire to? If it's the latter then you are probably in trouble. It would show that your priorities are out of whack and that kind of thing will show up in your essays and interviews. If you enjoy swimming, as I'm sure you do, then your passion for it can come across and that can help you even if you aren't a top recruit for your class. I think you should take a deep breath and relax. There's nothing you can do now to change your swimming EC into another one that can help you more than swimming.

    I know you have extremely competitive grades and test scores for an MIT applicant. With that and only that you would still have a greater chance of getting rejected than accepted at MIT. But you have more. The coach is going to recommend you for admission and that's definitely going to help you. It does not cinch an acceptance, but it does make it much more probable.

    So try to relax a little and have fun with your essays. And have fun at MIT in a week and a half. Let us know how it goes.
  • iceui2iceui2 Posts: 887Registered User Member
    Believe it or not, MIT actually does recruiting, just not as openly as some other schools. You are most likely in. If you choose to go, just be prepared for the academics - it's not easy.
  • PiperXPPiperXP Posts: 2,856Registered User Senior Member
    ^ How are you defining recruiting? MIT's pretty open about what it does. You can contact a coach, the coach can put in a good word for you in Admissions, but this isn't an overwhelming factor that makes you a shoe-in (nothing really is at MIT). You still must meet the same criteria of academic excellence and such. To my knowledge, there are no spots held open for athletes.

    If you have stats otherwise stating that athletes are most likely in (I'm reading this as an over 50% admissions rate), you're welcome to share them.
  • limdelbartonlimdelbarton Posts: 88Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks everyone.

    GrudeMonk: Sorry haha, I definitely sound way more nervous than I actually am. But yes, I've been competitively swimming since I was 5 and never stopped. I firmly believe that if I truly didn't love it with every ounce of my being, I would go mentally insane from having to do something I didn't want to do 3 hours a day, only to come home to cram in schoolwork and other activities. Your advice was great to every potential applicant, though. And yes, I am very very excited for next week.

    Iceui2: As much as I wish that were true, I've been hearing that recruiting isn't a guarantee in any way whatsoever. And one of the greater things of DIII is that the time commitment wouldn't be overbearing, so I'd have more time doing those fantastic MIT problem sets I've been hearing about from friends compared to if I swam at an Ivy.

    PiperXP: Yes, this is what I've been hearing. When you say "You still must meet the same criteria of academic excellence and such," what do you mean? I have a chance thread showing all my stats, and I'd like to think I'd be among the top applicants overall (without swimming). In this case, would recruiting help more than if I were a student who wasn't quite as qualified?
  • PiperXPPiperXP Posts: 2,856Registered User Senior Member
    ^ Hearing from where? I think your source might be misinformed, or perhaps explained it to you incorrectly.

    Anyway, the point is that you have to be a qualified student either way. If you're an Olympic-level swimmer with a string of D's and 300's in your SAT topics and do nothing else, you're not going to get into MIT because you're not a match for MIT :P If your stats are on par, the having a coach tell Admissions that s/he likes you is a bonus. But so is being a great musician, or having a nice art portfolio, or competing in academic tournaments. There's nothing inherently extra special about athletics.
  • GoodFItGoodFIt Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    If you are a good match for MIT, if you have good grades and scores, if you have a passion for math/science and if you are being recruited, your chances of getting in to MIT will jump from like a 9% to like almost a 35%. Same happens if you were like a special musician or artist. Your chances of getting in to MIT are higher for sure! My daughter was in the same situation as you are now, she applied EA, got deferred, than waitlisted. :( At the end, she got out of the waitlist. Her test scores were great,she loves math and science, got 4/5 in all sicence/math APs, but because she dedicated too much time to her sport, she never participated in any science/math research/competition. But, guess what? On her freshman year at MIT, she passed all her classes 1st semester, got 4 As and 1 B, second semester, and now it looks like she will get all As first semester of her sophomore year (she is taking 5 classes). So, she clearly belongs there! :) And she is happy! So, show your passion for math/science, make sure you understand MIT fit, and believe and show that you belong there! Good Luck!
  • PiperXPPiperXP Posts: 2,856Registered User Senior Member
    your chances of getting in to MIT will jump from like a 9% to like almost a 35%

    Can you provide your source?
  • GoodFItGoodFIt Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    @PiperXP+> It was a post by MITChris around August/2010. 900 AMA (applicants identified as they can bring a great contribution in arts, music or athletics) applied, 300 got in. So I conclude that, acceptance rate of AMA applicants was like 33.33% where the overall acceptance rate that year was like 9.7%.

    "Originally Posted by MITChris
    19% of the class were identified as being art, music, or athletic stars. These are people who may have played major concerts as soloists, or who have been recruited to be varsity athletes. One of our art stars has designed several US stamps and a major art installation at the UN, and has been supporting his family since the age of 8. Same as with the academic stars, this helps, but isn't a meal ticket: of the 900+ AMA stars who applied, around 300 got in."
  • GoodFItGoodFIt Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/massachusetts-institute-technology/882019-statistics-mit-2014-admissions-cycle.html


    I am not sure if this link will work for you Piper, but that is the thread where it talks about AMA and acceptance rate. I hope it helps!
    Thank you
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Posts: 6,685Registered User Senior Member
    There is a very high correlation between musical ability and mathematical ability. For instance, at my high school many of the members of a state-winning math team were also all-state orchestra (or similarly distinguished at piano.) This correlation is not present with athletic ability.

    Therefore, a high percentage of the musical stars may get in, and will skew the acceptance of AMA stars (art, music, athletics.)

    Frankly, I think there is a correlation with artistic ability and high-end scientific ability as well.

    Being a recruitable athlete may increase your chances significantly, but surely it doesn't triple it. Looking at statistics with only athletes is necessary to make a viable hypothesis.

    Remember the cardinal sin of statistics is to assume correlation implies causation.
  • PiperXPPiperXP Posts: 2,856Registered User Senior Member
    @GoodFIt - Ah, okay. It would be helpful to mention the context of those stats, since failing to mention that the same applies to art and music superstars contributes to this idea that athletes are super special.
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