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Post Graduate Year Admissions

ZoberistZoberist Posts: 20Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in Prep School Parents
Are admissions to a Post Graduate Year just as selective as a regular 9th grade admission? For those private schools that admit Post Graduate Students, how many Post Graduates are the private schools allowed to accept each year? Looking for parents whose kids were good students, B+/A- with 2000 college boards and outstanding athletes and strong support from the private school coaches. Coaches seem to have a number of slots but I am not sure how much weight they have in the decision process at the private schools (Andover, Exeter, Choate, Deerfield, etc.)
Post edited by Zoberist on
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Replies to: Post Graduate Year Admissions

  • alextwoofouralextwoofour Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    We know quite a few PGs. It is still selective but not quite as selective as the admit rates for freshmen, which percentage wise can be in the low teens or even single digits. There's no techinical limit to the number of PGs, since they aren't all athletes. However, the school can only support so many of them. There are handshake agreements on the number of PGs that can be fielded, such as in football. Some PGs arrive at boarding school already signed by a college, but that college recommended a PG year either to become a year stronger, or a year better academically. All the coaches at the schools you list are outstanding in their own right. However, athletes don't typically rely heavily on the high school coach for 'strong support'. Rather, most elite athletes do the work on their own, play on travel teams, etc.
  • mhmmmhmm Posts: 1,176Registered User Senior Member
    "However, athletes don't typically rely heavily on the high school coach for 'strong support'. Rather, most elite athletes do the work on their own, play on travel teams, etc." -- I would disagree with this statement. The reason the athletes are doing the PG year is to either mature physically or academically. The primary reason they need to do that is b/c they either did not get into the college of their choice, or didnt apply to a college knowing they need an extra year. They are also relying on the coaches of the school they are PGing in for college support.
    "Some PGs arrive at boarding school already signed by a college, but that college recommended a PG year either to become a year stronger, or a year better academically. " -- Once an athlete is signed, they have to go to the college, they cant take a year off.
  • PelicanDadPelicanDad Posts: 515Registered User Member
    ^^but they CAN make verbal commitments, and the college, in accepting that commitment, is basically indicating they are holding a place for them in the following year's recruiting class.
  • mhmmmhmm Posts: 1,176Registered User Senior Member
    ^^not really. Part of what makes a cohesive team are the various personalities/skill levels mixing together. A coach doesn't have a clue who he or she may have next year, due to many factors, other schools wooing athlete, injury, how many people dropped out the previous year. They will never commit to a student for the following year, unless its a sport where they make a commitment in the junior year. And even then, a verbal is nothing till the written letter. So there is actually no chance for a senior to have a guaranteed spot and spend the following year doing anything else but playing a sport at the college where they signed up.
  • alextwoofouralextwoofour Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    "They are also relying on the coaches of the school they are PGing in for college support."
    Depends on the sport. In some sports, the high school season is marginalized by the travel teams. It's not the high school coach's responsibility to get their kid/s recruited. That is primarily the kid's responsibility. And I say that as a coach who's sent a few kids to D1 schools. But certainly, the boarding school coach can certainly help; but that person isn't someone you'd want the athlete to solely or primarily rely on.

    "They will never commit to a student for the following year..."
    Well, the PGs and parents we know would disagree with you. Maybe they are all misinformed, but that's unlikely. I agree that most PGs haven't commited to a school. But a few do come in with their college acceptance in hand but deferred. Are you assuming the college coach is holding athletic scholarship money or there's an NLI involved (for colleges that participate in the NLI)? That would be different. Doesn't cost a college coach anything to get an athlete accepted that doesn't need any money, but elects to defer a year to get bigger/older/faster/stronger/etc. Not counting the PGs at our kid's school, of the top of my head we know of 3 athlete families who have done exactly that: defer enrollment for a year [the 3 went to high power D1 schools for their sport; unsure if D1/2/3 makes a difference]. I wouldn't be so quick to paint the college athlete process with a single brush stroke.
    In any event, it's not just athletes that defer enrollment.
  • mhmmmhmm Posts: 1,176Registered User Senior Member
    I am not assuming about athletic scholarship money or NLI. Neither the Ivys nor D3 give athletic scholarship money. -- "Doesn't cost a college coach anything to get an athlete accepted that doesn't need any money, but elects to defer a year to get bigger/older/faster/stronger/etc" -- Actually it does. An Ivy coach only has a very few slots where he can give a Likely to an athlete, where it virtually guarantees acceptance, a D3/Nescac coach is even more stymied. They are not going to waste that spot on someone who will defer. I am not sure about D1 schools, but since they do give scholarship money I would assume the process is even more stringent, since the money pot must be divided between athletes of a particular team in a particular year.
    In terms of not relying on the coach at BS - who else would you rely on? Obviously yourself and your need to get "better", plus the coach. What travel team can you be talking about at a BS? The nature of a BS is that you do not join a travel team. You play for your BS. You may do showcases, etc during breaks and summer, but those are not travel teams.
    I think you may be confusing receiving college acceptance, deferring and doing a Gap year vs. not being happy with college acceptance/not applying for college in senior year and doing a PG year for a better result.
  • kellybkkkellybkk Posts: 384- Member
    ^^I wonder really how much of a difference a PG year makes in terms of improving college odds. First, don't colleges look for a more interesting use of a "gap" year than just more school? Also, when compared with a prior four year record of high school, just how much can one semester of BS grades really matter? Finally, when seeking recomendations, how can your PG teachers really know you in comparison to those they have taught already for a number of years? You probably really need to come into BS with a wink and a nod from a college coach who knows you need a bit more academic rigor; if you go in with nothing more than academic ambition and no hook or nod on the other side, you will probably end up no better than where you would have gone otherwise out of high school. This opinion may be not apply, however, to some mid-tier LACs (Lafayette, etc.) who may be delighted to get an Andover or Exeter or Deerfield grad, whatever the grades, just because the LAC would want to establish some sort of relationship with quality schools they rarely get apps from.
  • Linda SLinda S Posts: 1,570Registered User Senior Member
    A PG year is not the same as a "gap" year which is more traditionally travel or community service. Colleges don't look at it like a gap year.
    Most schools don't allow you to "technically" do a PG year at the same school you attend, so students interested in that option can go to another Boarding School (happens) or they "repeat" their junior year and spend 5 years at the same school (also happens).

    One semester of boarding school grades can make a tremondous difference if they are really good.

    Recommendations - depending on what kind of school you came from it is very likely that in a couple of months at a small boarding school those teachers may have actually gotten to know you better than any of the teachers a a large public high school. Just because you attended a high school for 4 years, you may not have had any teacher in high school more than once, class size is usually very large, you are not living with them, etc. I know several public school students who were really worried about their recommendations because, as they said, the teachers and counselors don't know them. The college counselors at boarding schools typically take the time to get to know each student and really write very thoughful recommendations for each. Whereas in many public schools, the student is one of hundereds of kids.

    We too know several students who had commitments from colleges and deferred to do a PG year. And we know several who had commitments and deferred to go a "gap" year.
  • mhmmmhmm Posts: 1,176Registered User Senior Member
    Its entirely probable and possible to do either "gap" year or a pg year (although why you would want to pay 45K if you already have a college acceptance is another story) after you have college commitment. Its not possible as an already accepted RECRUITED athlete, unless you want to make your acceptance null and void and try for another school during your pg year.
  • alextwoofouralextwoofour Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    @mhmm: that’s simply isn’t true 100% of the time. There are PGs at Deerfield, today, with their college acceptance in hand as a recruited athlete, but have deferred for a year. Regardless of the reason, it is being done. Even the NLI, and I know quite well that the Ivies don’t participate in the NLI (thank goodness), has provisions to allow a two semester deferment [ie. 1 year] before the athlete needs to attend the school. Why would the NLI allow that if, from what you say, it isn’t possible?

    And yes, many athletes participate in travel teams while in boarding school. Squash and tennis players travel all over for US Squash and USTA sanctioned events. Lacrosse players play travel in addition to the scholastic Spring team. Soccer players travel with their premiere teams. Ski racers in the boarding schools have their weekends free so that they can train with their home mountain, and race all over the country in USSA/FIS events [boarding school ski racing schedule is setup that way; no weekends]. Hockey players skate in the Fall with outside teams before the ice is laid down. A few athletes will miss school days for their sports extracurricular events. The goalkeeper on DA’s Girls Hockey team last year would be a well known example (at least in the Hockey circles).

    Most of the schools Deerfield plays against, such as Andover / Exeter / Loomis / Taft / Hotchkiss / NMH, all have scholastic athletes that participate in ‘travel’ teams or individual competition outside of the boarding school environment. We see these athletes in our ‘travels’. Just curious: are you a boarding school parent or coach? Unsure why anyone in the boarding school athletic environment would think otherwise.
    Granted, most varsity athletes don’t do ‘travel’, but there’s a few that do in each sport @ DA, typically the athletes that hope to be recruited.

    @kellybkk raises a good question: does it really make a difference in improving odds for college [at least for those who aren’t in deferment]? Perhaps not. What it does do, at least for athletes [male or female], is give them a chance of doing better in their college sport. And perhaps an extra year of maturity doesn’t hurt either.
  • alextwoofouralextwoofour Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    The latest edition of the DA school newspaper has a short article on the current captain of Girls Hockey. She will also be captain for Girls LAX this Spring. Article says "...plays on a year-long outside travel hockey team, serves as the captain of the girls’ varsity ice hockey and lacrosse teams..." It's online, if anyone is interested. There's a couple of dozen athletes at DA that do 'travel' in addition to their scholastic teams.
  • PelicanDadPelicanDad Posts: 515Registered User Member
    ^^Pretty sure LC's women's hockey goalie is a Chinese national who was invited to national team tryout in Canada. She was allowed to miss quite a bit of school because the school valued the experience. (BTW, think maybe she's a freshman!)

    Yep...here's a link:

    Freshman Emily Yue Joins Team China in Women's Hockey
  • alextwoofouralextwoofour Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    Wow, a freshman!
    Yes, we've seen quite a few kids in the New England prep school league who are on the national teams of their 'home' countries. Their 'home' countries are too far for regular practice. They make that up by playing year round in local travel teams. DA's girls hockey goalie last year played on the USA U18 national team:
    DA Girls Goalie Wins International Gold Deerfield Academy
  • ZoberistZoberist Posts: 20Registered User New Member
    Admission decisions are just around the corner. Is anyone waiting for a PG decision? Will all PG applicants receive fedex Saturday, the 10th? For recruited athletes, do coaches call? If you are a PG applicant and apply for financial aid, are your chances for admission greatly diminished? I guess this is not like college admissions where you go to a web site and see whom admitted you.
  • ZoberistZoberist Posts: 20Registered User New Member
    Looks like admission to Andover is on the way .....
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