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Academic Index, Ivy's, Measuring course load?


Replies to: Academic Index, Ivy's, Measuring course load?

  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    I guess it depends on what you see as important in high school education and college prep. My personal feeling is to always ask my children to challenge themselves as much as they can, while providing all the support that they need. D got injured in junior year and had to give up her sport, but because she always pushed herself to take the most challenging course load, she still managed to get in a top HYP on her own. My younger S is now a nationally ranked athlete and has a busy training/competition schedule, I still asked him to do the same. I see it as an essential prep time for a life as a competitive student athlete in a demanding college program, as well as an insurance for anything unexpected.
  • POmaniPOmani Registered User Posts: 453 Member
    Hey guys, I recently received an email from a HYP coach saying that he knows admissions 'enjoyed' my arts submission. Now I know I'm not getting a likely am not a top recruit (in fact, I don't know if I'm being recruited at all) but does the fact that he knows how it fared and that he told me to send it to the sports team's liason in the admissions office mean anything? Is it any indication of support?
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    ^POmani, that's an interesting topic that I've not seen discussed before. Can a coach or team liaison add any value to an arts submission in the eyes of admissions? You may want to start a new thread on the subject.
  • POmaniPOmani Registered User Posts: 453 Member
    Will do. 10char
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    Admissions Admits. Not coaches.

    Admissions officers look at the high school profile and the courses offered. At HYP they want to see that an applicant took a rigorous courseload based on what that hs offers...
    so if a student took mostly regular and honors when there are AP courses...it is NOT a rigorous course load.

    Don't confuse the two separate jobs

    Admissions is looking at coursework, GPA, SAT/SAT2s/ACTs/APs etc

    Coaches are interested in the athletic stats.

    Yes sports are demanding..and yes D1 coaches know the kids are working to keep up with academics plus sport...
    for admissions....HYP as the example here..they must admit scholar-athletes with the same stats as the avg admit in that incoming class.

    Our students' hs only allows APs for Jr and Sr yr...
    our K1 student graduated with 12 AP courses. It was a lot of work...
    and a top athlete in that sport. So the sport=social time.

    In the end, the admissions decides whether they felt their was "rigor" by what the school profile lists as available APs etc

    Lets also remember that EVERY student who gets into HYP gets in "on their own"...the thread here is about if the EC was athletics vs opera, trombone, being a math savant or being a URM etc...
  • anothermom3anothermom3 Registered User Posts: 275 Junior Member
    It is nice to say that admissions knows about rigor, but sometimes, that's simply not exactly true. At my kids suburban HS, 3 APs is a highly rigorous load - guidance has been asked "why so few APs"? The answer is each means something, and few, if any, students could manage more. Students do not take 5 APs here, though, we have learned, at some schools that load exists.

    Guidance here modified the school profile to detail exactly how many APs were taken by exactly how many students each year to make the point clear. I am not sure in the speed of evaluations, that's always clear.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    ^ That makes sense.
    According to the GCs at our private...The most important stat on the high school profile are the AP test scores chart....how many are taking the test each year...how many pass--and not only pass -- yet score a 5.

    Then the SAT2s and others.

    The GCs at our school have said that AP test rate is more important than GPA/grade or taking the course.
    For example, there are lots of kids who Take the AP course in a local "nationally ranked" public --which has that ranking based on how many take the AP course and test...
    however they aren't necessarily passing.

    In our K1's experience, the AP 5's correlated with 780/800s on the SAT2s of the same subject...
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    My kid's school doesn't offer any AP's at all. The catalog will sometimes state that "This class prepares the student to take an AP test" but not with any regularity. Also, most of the kids apply to schools that don't award credit for AP classes, so I imagine from the school's perspective, AP's limit teacher's curricular choices with little benefit for the students.

    At my kid's school it would be very difficult to take a course load that lacked academic rigor, and I think colleges do know that--and I'm not sure that an athlete could take more than one or two of the most rigorous courses available without something giving, athletically or academically. At any rate, their admits seem to not depend on it. Anyway I just don't think there's a simple answer to this one! If I were concerned about it, I'd approach the coach.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    ^ fwiw, HYP scholar athletes take a few course load each term...not one or two...
    plus handle demanding sports schedules...

    So if a student cannot handle a heavy academic load plus a heavy athletic commitment...then its a bad match.
  • 5amriser5amriser Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    Same thing for Stanford. It was one of the first things that the coach asked (non-helmet sport). It's a matter of fit between the athlete and school in the case of HYPS.
  • fogfogfogfog Registered User Posts: 4,056 Senior Member
    ^ Exactly

    "few" - typo - meant it to be FULL course load
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    I don't mean to argue that in a school, public or private, where there are students with a mix of abilities, taking the most rigorous load isn't important. Padding a GPA with easy classes is of course not a good idea.

    My point is that there are high schools where ALL of the classes are academically rigorous (for example, my kid who's smart enough but no genius took an AP with very little self-study after his regular, sophomore level, history class for the heck of it and got a 5). In a situation like that, the hardest, accelerated classes are for kids who have a particular passion for a subject, not those who want to prove that they are HYP ready. In that case, GPA matters more than the particular course load because it's literally impossible to fulfill graduation requirements with "easy A" classes--there's just no such thing, and all of the kids come out well prepared for the most rigorous colleges--sometimes overprepared for the first year. I suspect anothermom's kid's school might be something like this.

    Again, just making the point that while of course the kids should be taking academically challenging coursework, whether that means all AP's or 3 or none is highly school dependent. Paying attention to the matriculation patterns of particular students at a particular school is, in my opinion, a better way to assess what's needed than comparison between schools.

    There's a big difference between kids making choices because they want to take the easy way out or boost a GPA and kids who are already taking highly rigorous courses requiring hours of homework who are trying to squeeze an ounce of life between study hours and athletic practice. Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I think that if my kid's misery is required to get into a particular school, then that school is NOT a good fit. Fortunately, so far, his misery hasn't seemed to be a requirement anywhere. :)
  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    Fogfog said this on a recent post:

    “for admissions....HYP as the example here..they must admit scholar-athletes with the same stats as the avg admit in that incoming class.”


    From an article in the daily Princeton (Getting in: Athletes? road to admission - The Daily Princetonian) :

    “Deputy Dean of the College Peter Quimby said the determining factor for a student-athlete’s admission is whether his or her academic abilities are in line with those of the student body.

    “Student-athletes at Princeton have to be within one standard deviation of the mean of the academic population as a whole,” Quimby said of the entire group. “In other words, the student-athlete has to look like the rest of the undergraduate population.”

    The Ivy League requires that the average of athletic recruits’ scores on the Academic Index, a 240-point scale that combines SAT scores and class rank, must fall within one standard deviation of the mean score of admitted students.”

    And from the New York times article “Before Recruiting in Ivy League, Applying Some Math”:

    “Over all, there are hundreds of teams with A.I. averages well into the 200s. In a response to a commissioned report on Brown athletics issued this year, the university’s president, Ruth J. Simmons, said that for the four most recent admissions classes throughout the league, Brown had seven sports with average A.I.’s under 200; Dartmouth and Penn had 5; Columbia 3; Yale 1; and Harvard and Princeton none. Simmons did not mention Cornell in her written response.

    In the end, Beckett, Yale’s athletic director, said the Academic Index was another competitive mechanism — not unlike a referee — that helped eight longtime rivals fight it out in the recruiting wars in a fair and readily apparent way.

    “Any one of the eight can go after some superstar athlete if he or she qualifies according to the Academic Index,” Beckett said. “Whoever gets that athlete, we tip our hat to them. Then we go back to trying to beat them by as many points as we can the next time we see them.””
  • anothermom3anothermom3 Registered User Posts: 275 Junior Member
    "Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I think that if my kid's misery is required to get into a particular school, then that school is NOT a good fit" Just wanted to say, I loved that line.

    I think that the rigor of the athletic schedule must also be clear, at least to schools outside the student's geographic area who are not familiar with the practice patterns of teams. I watch my D practice 12+ hours a week, but commute to do so - using up another 12-15 hours of time. It is a part-time job no-doubt, added to one other EC, occasional babysitting, a family or friend's event, and 3-4 hours of HW per night and her week's well scheduled. And then some. Any added stress in the week can throw the pattern way out of wack - we've talked about balance, and how, in college, she will at least practice at school and have no commute !
  • RowmomRowmom Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    Along those lines, my friend's D (recruited athlete) now attends an Ivy. She was a 1960 SAT, 3.8 WGPA, exceptional athlete and very good student. Her Mom says she is doing better than ever, because she is finally getting enough sleep at college. Her practices are limited to 2 hours daily, on campus, and the class time is about half of what of her daily time was attending high school. I mentioned this to my son and he thought her schedule sounded like heaven. She does take a full courseload and is doing very well. There's hope.
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