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Academics in Ivy League Admissions

A1InvestmentA1Investment 1 replies2 threads New Member
I have good academics (5.05 WGPA, 4.15 UW, 1580 SAT, 36 ACT) as well as decent extracurriculars (internship, etc.). From what my college counselor tells me, I can compete in most pools in those fields fairly well. However, I'm also an ok (nowhere near All-American but a Varsity starter / major contributor for a competitive league in CA) Lacrosse player. What are my chances at getting recruited at Ivies for largely my academics and not so much my athletic ability? How should I proceed?
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Replies to: Academics in Ivy League Admissions

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23661 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Your stats seem fine to meet the academic index. Now you need to connect with the coaches and get recruited.

    The Ivy league coaches don't recruit for grades and then hope you'll be a good player - they expect any recruit to make the AI, and then from that huge pool of very good lax players and top academic kids, they pick the best players.

    Do you have any coaches with connections? (they ALL know each other) A good word can mean a lot. Have you played in any east coast tournaments? Attended any camps? Each school will have a recruiting questionnaire on the website, but having a personal connection also helps, especially as you are from the west coast and the coaches may not have heard your name before.

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  • tdy123tdy123 1005 replies18 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    I have good academics (5.05 WGPA, 4.15 UW, 1580 SAT, 36 ACT) as well as decent extracurriculars (internship, etc.). From what my college counselor tells me, I can compete in most pools in those fields fairly well. However, I'm also an ok (nowhere near All-American but a Varsity starter / major contributor for a competitive league in CA) Lacrosse player. What are my chances at getting recruited at Ivies for largely my academics and not so much my athletic ability? How should I proceed?

    If your question is "are my academics so outstanding that a coach will be interested enough to recruit me even if my athletics would not otherwise warrant recruitment? The answer is no.

    If your question is, "Are my academic stats so great that I'll be recruited as an academic star even if I'm not recruited as an athlete? Then, based on the info you provided, the answer is no.

    You might, or might not get accepted, but there is nothing in the information you provided that is so outstanding for the IVYs that you'd be one of the relative handful of kids who are academically recruited (likely letters + invited campus visit, etc.) in the same way an athlete is recruited.



    edited December 2019
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  • EmptyNestSoon2EmptyNestSoon2 60 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Hi there and good luck. Looks like you have better than “good” academics ;-), congrats. Maybe it would be helpful if you provided more background like what grade you are in. That would inform next steps. If you are a strong contributor to a competitive league in California, but not at the All-American level, you might still be way up there. The ivies have players who are not AA. And I will tell you that I know most of the lacrosse players at my son’s ivy do not have 36 ACTs or anywhere near it. But it is true that they will only take players who they want to play for them. So even though you hear that they like a few top academic kids to pull up the team averages, I wouldn’t count on getting recruited for lax if you aren’t a strong enough player for the coach to actually want you on his/her team as a player. Good luck
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  • BobcatPhoenixBobcatPhoenix 142 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Are you playing for a club in Fall/Summer? If not, I suggest you try to find one with some Ivy connections as that will greatly increase your odds.

    The rest of the advice is correct; if you want to be recruited, you need to focus on your lax and keep up the grades. The good news is that you already have one part of that equation where it needs to be.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 756 replies75 threads Member
    edited December 2019
    I know nothing about lacrosse, to take this fwiw.

    You sound like a great candidate for a top D3 school. They tend to get the extremely good student and very good athlete types, where the Ivies get the extremely good athletes and very good student types. I'm overgeneralizing, but it's largely true.

    If your sport can get you into a NESCAC school or something similar, I wouldn't shed a lot of tears for missing out on the Ivies. You can probably get admitted with those academics on a Tip rather than needing a Slot, a distinction that doesn't occur in the Ivies.

    Although on S's Ivy team (different sport) there are kind of 2 classes of athletes. Some were clearly recruited for athletic ability, and some probably will never crack varsity but have really high scores. I don't think the "barbell" strategy is used as much anymore, but it still does exist to a certain extent. If a coach gets 8 slots, you may pick up on the last one so he can recruit that great goalie who only has a 25 ACT score. Kind of a long shot, but you never know.
    edited December 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35111 replies398 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    You haven't told enough for US to give an opinion on your competitiveness for an Ivy. Without that, we might wonder if the GC is focusing on stats, when that's just a fraction of what it takes.

    You suggest you're not recruitable. What do your own coaches say? You list very few activities on the other thread. How much have you dug into what Ivies value and look for, the sorts of energies and follow through that impress? What choices are meaningful to them?

    You have time to catch up, learn more and fill in mssing blanks. That decision is yours.

    And lots of kids this season are emphasizing their total SAT or Composite ACT. It's not total, it's what each component score is. You'd also need to tell us Sat 2 and any AP scores. The competition is nutso fierce. There are next to no gimmies.
    edited December 2019
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23661 replies17 threads Senior Member
    If a coach gets 8 slots, you may pick up on the last one so he can recruit that great goalie who only has a 25 ACT score. Kind of a long shot, but you never know.

    That just doesn't happen. The Ivy coaches don't get 8 slots and the coaches don't need to take the great goalie with the 25 ACT because there are 3 great goalies available with 30-32 ACT.

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  • politepersonpoliteperson 415 replies4 threads Member
    You should fill out the recruiting forms and follow up with an email to the coaches at Ivies (and relevant D3s as dadof4kids suggests). Talk to your own coach also. As twoinanddone says, it helps to have an advocate. Your coach might also be able to help you determine if Ivies or D3 are a better athletic fit. You’re in good shape on the academic side. You just need to figure out where you’d fit athletically. Coaches are usually focused on athletic talent far more than academics, although that mix can shift based on various factors you don’t need to think about. One thing is certain: no coach at any school frowns at good grades and test scores. Recruits who can sail through admissions mean less hassle and one less thing to worry about.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 756 replies75 threads Member
    If a coach gets 8 slots, you may pick up on the last one so he can recruit that great goalie who only has a 25 ACT score. Kind of a long shot, but you never know.

    That just doesn't happen. The Ivy coaches don't get 8 slots and the coaches don't need to take the great goalie with the 25 ACT because there are 3 great goalies available with 30-32 ACT.

    I don't know what to tell you. It does happen at least in some sports, I've seen it on my son's team as well as others. Two kids in his class have virtually zero shot to hit varsity ever, due to an excess of top recruits in their positions in their class and the classes immediately above and below them. But they bring a couple other things, including high scores, to the table. And a different coach told me during the recruiting process if you are a star you can have a 26-27 ACT score, but if you may never make varsity I need a 35 or 36.

    Having said that, those kids are still very good, and just a sliver below the starters. Good enough to start in many D1 programs. And I think it isn't as common as it used to be, probably because the number of slots is lower, but I don't know.

    Also as I said, I don't know lacrosse specifically. No idea how many slots they get, and whether this strategy is used there or not. But it occurs a bit occasionally in some sports for kids who are on the cusp, good enough to play in a pinch but not good enough to recruit. If you are in that category, your odds are slim with near perfect scores and non-existent without.
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  • EUgirlEUgirl 21 replies4 threads Junior Member
    A star football player can have 26 on ACT. But that’s a top player in his class.
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  • EUgirlEUgirl 21 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I have heard this before that the coaches make average of a recruiting class. They might take a player with outstanding academics so they can get in a star athlete whose academics are ok but below average. Not sure if it’s just rumors.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23661 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I know a superstar lax player. Top 10 in the nation, #1 from our state (named Mr. Lax). He's from a very academic high school with many students (including some athletes) headed to Ivies every year, but he was an average student with average scores.

    None of the Ivies had any interest in him. Many other top programs were falling all over themselves for him, but not Ivies.

    Other kids I know were recruited by Virginia, Maryland, Duke, but no interest from the Ivies because they didn't have the grades/scores. These were kids who had gone to good high schools, could have done the academics, but that's just not how lacrosse recruiting goes.
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  • arbitrary99arbitrary99 125 replies5 threads Junior Member
    @twoinanddone
    That’s surprising he wasn’t recruited as the “helmet” sports gave more freedom academically to deviate from the mean. I would think if he was that good the Ivys would be all over him. The son of someone I know was offered both at Harvard and UVa, going to UVa where he was an All American. Plays pro now. He was rated top at his position so the same top 10 as your friend.

    OP: First, your academics are amazing and you should be very proud. Really amazing! The NESCAC suggestion is great and also seeing whether you can be a preferred walk on with a coaches letter to your preferred Ivy’s.

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  • jhchicagojhchicago 26 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think the coaches apply different academic and athlete selections method when allocating their precious slots: for academic is a qualification process - as long as meet the cut off requirement (ivies bar apparently lower than a lot of other top schools). Extra higher qualification don't get extra point in most situation. For athletic, it's a competition model where he picks from the top. At end of the day his focus is the sports, not the academics.



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