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Receiving letter of recommendation from Ivy League coach for walk on

dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
edited January 2014 in Athletic Recruits
I am receiving a support letter from an Ivy league coach to run track. How much will this help my application? I am a walk on, not recruited.
edited January 2014
23 replies
Post edited by dasdui on
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Replies to: Receiving letter of recommendation from Ivy League coach for walk on

  • HeightsHeights 109 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Each Ivy school has a recruiting cap of 230. Some, like Yale, have decided to constrain themselves further and not even use the full cap. If a school is at its cap, I cannot imagine the Coach's support letter holds much if any weight with the AO, because if it did it would amount to a circumvention of the cap. If a school (like Yale) has decided to live below its cap, then even more so I would think the Coach's letter would hold almost no weight, because the decision has been made to de-emphasize athletic admits. Perhaps if two applicants stood in equipoise this might tip the scales in your favor, but unfortunately I think I would caution you not to count on it doing more than that.
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  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad 613 replies3 threads Member
    Previous comments by others suggest that support letters carry little weight with admissions. If you have a strong application a letter of support may be helpful.
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  • stemitstemit 544 replies31 threads Member
    First, have you seen the letter? Absent actually seeing the letter, I am skeptical (not at your post, but that a coach would write a letter for a stranger (as opposed to a family friend).

    Second, as Heights pointed out, admissions committees which put weight on such a letter would completely subvert the rules which govern the league. Schools which have strong Ivy athletic programs could dominate the league by making sure there is an alternate to the LL process.

    That having been said, none of us have a line into an admissions office which give clarity into the machinations of the process. There is no harm in getting the letter, but I would continue to cast a wide net.

    The way it stands now, the coach will claim the credit if you get in, and hide behind the LL process should you not get it. A win-win for the coach!
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  • varskavarska 1406 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Heights, that cap of 230 is specific to Yale, I believe. The league has a formula based on the number of varsity sports the school fields and the size of the travel squad for each sport -the league enforces a uniform travel squad limit for each sport. The total travel squad numbers are added together and multiplied by 1.4 to get the grand total for the total number of recruits that may be admitted over a rolling four year period. Each school can allocate where to use their recruit spots - but the overall number is controlled by the league.
    So Harvard with 42 varsity sports is allowed more than say, Dartmouth with 34 varsity teams. And since it's a rolling 4 year number - there is some flexibility in any given year.

    That said, how much weight will a coach's letter carry in admissions? I tend to agree with the rest of the replies that it's impossible to know without seeing the content of the letter and knowing the relationship of that coach with the admissions office, but my guess would be it's not going to be a huge factor in the admissions decision.
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  • HeightsHeights 109 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Varska, you are correct, my mistake. The point I was trying to make remains, but I had forgotten that each school's cap differs.
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  • dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
    Thanks for the responses. I have met him personally, and he said that in the EA round, admissions assembles a larger group than they can admit EA. they then take people out to meet the quota, ~800 people. He said that his letter will be able to keep me from being picked out, but I'll need to get in on my own. Last week, my counselor received an email from the admissions office at one of the Ivies, asking for my first quarter report card. My counselors think this is a good sign that I've moved up in the process, but how does my situation look now?
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  • dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
    bump..... also, does the Ivy League send out Likely letters to non-recruited people EA/ED?
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Why would you send out a LL when ED is binding? I could see maybe EA schools doing so.
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  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad 613 replies3 threads Member
    To help build trust between an athlete and a coach.
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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 threads Senior Member
    To entice athlete to completely disregard recruiting communications with other schools. Even if athlete applied ED nothing stops him/her from cancelling an application and committing to a more prestigious school that suddenly contacted him/her in the last moment. If LL is issued then this would be completely unethical.
    Regarding LL for athletic walk-ons - it seems they exist. You can occasionally see early commitment announcement from an athlete who is below the level of typical recruits. Assume BIG HOOK outside of athletics.
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  • dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
    Ccdd14- I am a first gen with 2320 sat and multiple sat2 in the 750 plus range- and demonstrated interest in astronomy -when would these likely letters be sent out
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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Does not look like you have a MAJOR HOOK so you will probably not get a LL at this point but it does no mean that you cannot be accepted early or deferred into the regular pool and accepted in the Spring. Majority of accepted students do not get a LL including some recruited athletes. For you athletics is just another EC that demanded many hours of your time; letter from the coach will confirm that you have national level results to show for it. Hopefully your astronomy accomplishments will be of major interest to the admissions especially if you declared astronomy as your possible major. Basically as opposed to recruited athletes you do not have a guaranteed admission but you clearly have a shot.
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  • dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
    Does first gen low income count as a major hook?
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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 threads Senior Member
    By itself probably not but your circumstances add context to your application and magnify your accomplishments. Especially if you are coming from a mediocre high school with low graduation rates that has never sent anyone to this Ivy.
    Did you consider applying ED to highly academic D3 schools with full coach support? If you can be a walk-on at an Ivy shouldn't you be an attractive recruit for D3? Some of them have very good finaid too. Too late now but during EDII or RD I would take full athletic support at a highly ranked D3 over lottery admission to an Ivy.
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  • dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
    Not really, what good d3 academic schools are there and do they give athletic scholarships?
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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Top NESCAC LACs -Williams. Amherst, Midd. etc. Pomona, CMS, UChicago, Emory, MIT, WUSTL, etc. No athletic money. - just like Ivies. Some have merit scholarships and some have great need-based finaid. Check the NPCs for need-based aid estimate. You need to figure out where coaches have pull and can provide real support this late in the game. D3 coaches usually have less leeway to get a marginal academic recruit in but your stats are great. I do not know much about D3 but some of these coaches boast 100% batting average with their recruits (as per emails that we received). If you start a new thread about D3 track recruiting local experts may give you sound advice.
    Good Luck.
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  • dasduidasdui 250 replies60 threads Member
    Thanks! What's CMS
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  • GolfFatherGolfFather 1462 replies57 threads Senior Member
    that cap of 230 is specific to Yale

    And I thought I heard that the administration at Yale wants to lower that cap.
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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 threads Senior Member
    They do not recruit that many athletes. I saw somewhere the total number of varsity athletes at Yale at 805 and this includes walk-ons. Their actual cap is below 200 and probably closer to 180.
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