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Tricked by College Admissions and Coach

tennis98tennis98 10 replies2 threads New Member
Hey Guys,

I am an international student applying to college in the US as a student athlete.

A few months ago, I got in contact with a coach from an elite US college who wanted to recruit me as a student athlete. They said that I passed the academic pre-read and I would have to apply Early Decision in order to guarantee a spot on the team. As financial aid is a big consideration for me, I informed the coach of my reluctance to apply ED. However, they informed me that I could first apply Early Action and receive a Financial Aid Pre-Read, and if I was happy with the financial aid package, I could then switch my decision to ED.

I decided to do this, and after submitting my application, I received a letter from the Financial Aid office that I would only need to pay around 1/3 the total cost of attendance, which exactly matched up with the number I put on my expected family contribution on the financial aid sheet. I was overjoyed by the letter, as I naively took this to be a sign that I would be admitted and that I would be receiving this generous package. Thus, I decided to apply Early Decision to this college, rejecting offers from many other amazing schools, including Ivy Leagues and Top 10's.

Fast forward 2 months, and a week before EA/ED admissions were due to be released, I received a call from the coach. They informed me that unfortunately, the admissions committee reviewed my application and although I was accepted to the university, they were now offering me $0 in financial aid. They assured me I was accepted to the college, and considering the change in circumstances, they offered me to switch my application from Early Decision to Early Action. Since I believed that there was no harm in doing so, I decided to switch to EA in order to keep my options open.

A few days ago, I opened my application decision and was shocked to see that I had been deferred. I have no idea why this happened, as the coach reassured me I had already been admitted to the school a week earlier.

Overall, I feel extremely manipulated by the admissions and coach at this university. This is especially considering that I rejected many other outstanding offers from other schools. Now, I am left with only 10 days until most schools admissions deadlines are closed, with little essay preparation done due to a belief I would be admitted to the school.

I know this is my fault for being naive, but I am just wondering if there is anything I can do about this. Has anyone else heard about this, or had the same experience? Should I email the coach or admissions office? Or should I just leave it and hope for the best in the Regular Decision cycle? I am currently grinding out essays for other schools, but I feel very sad and disappointed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
29 replies
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Replies to: Tricked by College Admissions and Coach

  • HippobirdyHippobirdy 673 replies1 threads Member
    It sounds terrible.
    Do you have anything in writing from Admissions at any point? Even a Finacial Pre Read is from Financial Aid office, not Admissions.

    One cannot rely on coach's word for admissions.
    The coach may have found another recruit.
    Perhaps contact the Admissions office- most don't want coaches misrepresenring what the Admissions office will do.
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  • tennis98tennis98 10 replies2 threads New Member
    Unfortunately I have nothing in writing other than the Financial Aid Pre-Read and emails that imply I will be accepted. Even when the coach informed me I was accepted it was through a call, not email.

    However, in the Financial Aid letter it states the author is the 'Director of International Admissions' from the 'Office of College Admissions', which might be compelling.

    I will write a letter to the admissions office and see what they say, thank you for the advice. I feel just very lost, as I sacrificed my ED slot at this school, and out of honesty, I told the other coaches that I will be applying to this school and have subsequently not contacted them. Now, I face the cold reality of perhaps not being accepted at any school.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3272 replies75 threads Senior Member
    Your story isn't adding up. You may have turned down offers to apply to other schools (which means very little, since anyone can apply really), but you could not have turned down offers of admission. Ivies and T10 schools have REA or ED options, which would have ethically prevented you from applying to them AND this school ED, and unless it is a state school, you couldn't have ethically applied EA either.

    So you used your one ED shot at this school. Everyone gets one, and only one, ED shot. So while unfortunately it didn't work out, I am not clear why you have cause to feel wronged. Perhaps this was a misunderstanding? Coaches can put in a good word for you with admissions, but no coach can offer acceptance.

    Admittedly, you aren't the first person to have been confused when getting involved in college sports recruiting. You could feel free to call the admissions office and ask for clarification on your status and where the misunderstanding happened.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 210 replies6 threads Junior Member
    How disappointing! I can understand feeling misled. Unfortunately, an admissions decision has lots of pieces that need to fit together. In your case, each department (coach, admissions, financial aid) all have their own roles and while they do communicate, their decisions are made independently. Perhaps the coach can only give full support during ED. Perhaps you would have gotten the FA in ED but their international funds were depleted for EA. Or maybe your academic record wasn’t as strong when they saw the rest of the applications that came in for EA. It could even be that all the changes from EA to ED to EA make them question your commitment to attending.

    At least you were deferred and not flat out rejected. I would let coach and admissions know you are still interested in attending and reach out to financial aid and ask why the preread amount was different from what you were actually given.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30280 replies59 threads Senior Member
    I’m sorry this happened to you. The athletic recruiting process is fraught with risks. Things like this happen all of the time. Coaches and athletic directors are not the final word on Admissions and financial aid. They get “stiffed” as well. The coach, and any coach should have made that clear

    Did you really get bonafide acceptances with awards from other colleges? I don’t think so, any more than you did with this one. Any one of your “offers” could have ended up like this.

    I suggest you get moving to find another spot on a team IG you want to go to school here in the US next year. Unless the school can give you an athletic scholarship, it’s all up to financial aid, so you had better get a number of applications out. What is coming up as your need in Net Price Calculators? As an international students, it’s a big deal just to get need met.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9851 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Something similar happened to a friend’s child. Coach pulled his support so late in the game that the student ended up scrambling to submit other applications. Unfortunately it happens.

    Best of luck to you OP!
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  • tennis98tennis98 10 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks for the help and advice everyone. Really appreciate it.

    I will send an email to the admissions office and continue working on more essays.
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  • Hippo21Hippo21 84 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My advice is to immediately contact the coaches who were interested in you earlier. Coaches understand that recruitment is very fluid and may be very happy to hear you have not committed. Have you looked at Tennis Recruiting.net? I'm assuming, based on your user name, that you are a tennis recruit. Some of the Ivies only have 1 male commit listed right now. Also, since Ivies don't have scholarships, they often have large rosters so they are not limited in the numbers that they recruit. If you haven't already done so, you may want to consider a few D3s which tend to not have roster limits either. Some of them have excellent financial aid too. Have you looked at how your UTR compares to other tennis recruits at the colleges your are interested in? You should immediately capture the coach's interest at a strong academic college where your UTR is at the top of their range.

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  • politepersonpoliteperson 571 replies4 threads Member
    edited December 2019
    Did you email the coach? I’d check in, let him know you were surprised at the deferral as your understanding was that you would be admitted with his support in EA. But I wouldn’t wait to explore the options others have suggested.

    I suspect that there was a misunderstanding here somewhere, although a coach calling to say a financial pre read will not be honored is fishy...unless the info you submitted for the pre read didn’t match the FA app you submitted. Would have been a good idea right at that point to call FA directly for clarification.

    I wouldn’t despair quite yet. Some coaches might have slots left over for RD, and of course there are plenty of less selective schools out there that might have space on the team. Good luck!
    edited December 2019
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 2216 replies28 threads Senior Member
    It looks like you have ten days to get things rolling. Go get 'em! Things always work out and in your case I have a feeling they will work out for the better. Look forward not back.

    You really didn't turn down any great offers - only speculative offers. Offers aren't offers until they are in writing.
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  • tennis98tennis98 10 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks everyone, I understand I did not have any offers, but I still feel it is kind of a wasted opportunity. I am in contact with a number of good schools still, so all hope is not lost. I think I may have wrote this post influenced by the anger of rejection haha.

    I just had a question. I am thinking of applying to some elite colleges, however my tennis level is not good enough to get recruited. My SAT score is 1600, and I scored an 800 on the SAT Math 2 and Physics, and I have a perfect GPA. I also have many major leadership roles. However, most of my major awards are in my sport. I barely have any national extracurriculars outside of my sport, where I am on the national team and have represented the country overseas multiple times.

    In my application to these universities where I am NOT a recruited athlete, does my excellence in athletics matter at all? In my activities and essays, should I focus on my other leadership activities (which are not as noteworthy), or should I still position myself as an athletic applicant, even when I am not recruited?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4145 replies27 threads Senior Member
    We've been told that, if an applicant is not applying as a recruited athlete, then the athletic ECs become like any other EC -- the source for essays etc. So yes, I would use the "ingredients" you have for your apps, which is the leadership and experience from your sport. One word of caution -- try to avoid the cliche essay about the injury/loss which made you appreciate something new about yourself, your sport, your team etc.

    Hang in there!
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4966 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Agree with midwestmom. Beyond leadership, some additional qualities that make athletes desirable students to adcoms: perseverance, grit, ability to function in a team environment, good time management skills, and strong work ethic.

    Make sure to show how you possess these qualities. Of course some non-athletes have some of these qualities as well, but being a successful athlete is typically indicative of them (but you still have to show them in your essays).

    At the schools where you aren't being recruited, is it your intent to play as a walk-on? If so, there could still be benefit in asking the coach to reach out to admissions to say just that.....if admitted, I would love for this applicant to be on my team. This type of 'soft-support' can be helpful in gaining admission.

    Good luck and keep us updated.
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  • jmk518jmk518 347 replies2 threads Member
    In addition to what others have said, I would get applications in at schools that you haven't spoken with the coach yet and reach out to them in the coming weeks. They can't do anything admissions-wise if you don't have the application in, but if you call them in January and express interest and can tell them your application is in, they have something to work with. Remember, coaches are all competing for the same pool of athletes and when THEY get the rejections, they need to start finding others to fill the roster. This will be most fruitful at schools where the coaches have some pull with admissions. At the D3 level, this can vary significantly.

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  • tennis98tennis98 10 replies2 threads New Member
    Ok will do. I am feeling much better about this all now.

    Thanks everyone :)
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  • Sue22Sue22 6926 replies121 threads Super Moderator
    edited December 2019
    never mind...
    edited December 2019
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  • dieselNYCdieselNYC 5 replies0 threads New Member
    If you feel you were tricked and treated unfairly, then write to the Dean of Admissions and Copy the school's Athletic Director with a short clear description of what happened. Certainly there are risks if you still want to be on the team, but you should not let dishonest behavior slide. You'll be helping the next recruit.
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  • mamommamom 3703 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Contact other coaches, as others have said, and ask if they still have spots open. My D was recruited and applied ED. "I" sweated bullets til she got the acceptance mid Dec. D did get a positive preread from admissions and coach support, but until that letter comes in Dec, I was anxious. I know when D reached out to other coaches who were recruiting her to tell them she was applying elsewhere, some told her to contact them if she did not get into her 1st choice and if they still had room they would support her for ED2. It is a game of musical chairs. Recruits and coaches change allegiance all the time and until you get that acceptance letter nothing is cut in stone, imo. Good luck.
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  • daphneheslopdaphneheslop 116 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I have heard of this happening before. I won't name the college. You have to be careful and look out for yourself. You should have applied regular decision at other places.
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