right arrow
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: AMALehigh is a rising sophomore at Lehigh University, majoring in Finance. He answers questions about academics, networking, finance, Greek life, or Lehigh in general. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our July Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

D3 with sports or D1 with no sports

jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
Good morning everyone. We were hoping to get some feedback and opinions on a scenario that my child is shaping up to face

My child is being recruited to play tennis in college by a well known D3 school ranked in the T25 and located in a large urban setting. This school is high on the list of our child’s and our family’s choices. However, my child is also considering a few Ivy League and other highly selective schools.

My child loves tennis and would relish in the experience of playing in college. At the same time, my child has a strong academic focus and is considering some T5 schools that offer a balance of academics and social endeavors. The higher ranked academics that some of these T5 schools could override playing tennis for a T25 D3 school.

My child will not pursue tennis as a professional after college but we all think playing tennis in college would be incredibly enriching for our child.

Can anyone offer some insight on a having similar experience?

Do the enriching qualities of college sports, such as prestige, exercise, team, coaches, connections, etc. worth making a relatively small sacrifice in academic ranking?

We feel fortunate to be in this position and would welcome any feedback. Thanks
76 replies
· Reply · Share
«134

Replies to: D3 with sports or D1 with no sports

  • joecollege44joecollege44 413 replies19 threads Member
    I would 100% go where he can play his sport. T25 is plenty respectable and the academics will be as good or better than an Ivy. You are only young once, at the most, and being a college athlete is something no one can ever take away from you.

    Can we hear the specifics about the schools involved?
    · Reply · Share
  • jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Yes the issues your raise are what we are debating as a family.

    Because we are in the recruiting mode, we are a bit reluctant to share the specific schools. But the D3 school we are considering are similar to UChicago, WashU, NYU and Hopkins. On the other side, the Ivy/D1 schools we are considering that may override our D3 schools are Harvard, Northwestern, and Yale.
    · Reply · Share
  • jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks.

    The debate we have in our family is whether the enrichment and benefit of playing a varsity sport in college overrides attending a highly selective T5 school.

    Personally, I view being being able to play sports at a top D3 school as very unique with only 2-4 percent of high school kids being able to do that. In my mind, this 2-4 percent is similar to the low admissions rates to the highly selective T5 schools.

    Can anyone chime into how college sports has impacted their post college life in terms of connections, prestige, or other areas? And whether these areas could possibly be worth forgoing a T5 school?
    · Reply · Share
  • joecollege44joecollege44 413 replies19 threads Member
    Nothing you said changes my mind- I would take the D3 school if it is the caliber of UChicago, JHU, NYU...
    teams are useful for post-grad connections as well, and they keep kids out of trouble.
    · Reply · Share
  • jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Joe and Midwest, thanks for your feedback as they are appreciated.

    We also feel being a college athlete will allow our kid to create unique and singular experiences that our child will cherish long after graduation. To me, these unique experiences will override a “normal” student who even graduates from a T5 school.
    · Reply · Share
  • jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Mw, my kid does not have any hook into these T5 schools.

    Thus we would be applying ED or general admission to these T5 schools which have low admission rates
    · Reply · Share
  • sushirittosushiritto 5346 replies20 threads Senior Member
    edited May 16
    I’d lean “play ball.”

    But I took a brief look at the Top 25 D3 tennis Men’s teams. For me and my kid, it would depend on the D3 school. The majority of those Top 25 D3 teams would NOT approach the prestige and academics of a T5 college and thus wouldn’t tip the scale for our family to play D3. And thus I’d opt for T5 not tennis. Just depends.

    Does location matter?
    edited May 16
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5352 replies89 threads Senior Member
    edited May 16
    jwchoutx wrote: »
    Mw, my kid does not have any hook into these T5 schools.

    Thus we would be applying ED or general admission to these T5 schools which have low admission rates

    Statistically speaking, your kid is unlikely to be accepted to a T5 school and they should all be considered reaches.

    You can only pick one ED or SCEA/REA school and the rest would be RD.

    Some thoughts:

    How would your kid feel if they weren't accepted to any of the T5s *and* gave up the opportunity to play tennis at a good school?

    If they chose D3 and tennis, would they feel bad they didn't take their shot at a T5 (even if they end up not being accepted)?

    If accepted by a T5 would they be happy to give up tennis?
    edited May 16
    · Reply · Share
  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 1174 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I think the OP meant the D3s were top 25 academically, not top 25 tennis programs. S/he mentioned they were schools like Johns Hopkins or the University of Chicago.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7899 replies84 threads Senior Member
    edited May 16
    The debate we have in our family is whether the enrichment and benefit of playing a varsity sport in college overrides attending a highly selective T5 school.
    Thus we would be applying ED or general admission to these T5 schools which have low admission rates

    So, the real question is actually "are the odds of getting into a T5 worth giving up a very high chance of getting into a T25?" Depending on the specific schools that is ~5=7% admissions rate (with no hook) v an ~ 10-15% admissions rate (with a hook)

    Be aware that if the "T-5" powers that be don't smile on your daughter, for the "T-25s" she will no longer a recruited athlete and so no longer has a "hook", and your bet that the 10-15% schools are there for the taking even unhooked could come back to bite her.

    Also, remember that while some athletes are happy to stay with their sport all the way through college, many are surprised to find that they don't want to stay with it all the way through. That possibility needs to be on the table as well. And, as others have indicated the primary merit of a T5 over a T25 is bragging rights. Are these equally important to you and to your daughter? These points matter: weighing out the pros and cons as a family is a fine thing, but at the end of the day your daughter will be the one who actually writes the essays and lives the decision.

    And to that end, please don't say "we" would be applying. I know it still feels like it's an 'us', but irl "we" won't be: *she* will be. As a parent, it can take a time to get used to that idea. Might as well start now.
    edited May 16
    · Reply · Share
  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 1174 replies9 threads Senior Member
    jwchoutx wrote: »

    We also feel being a college athlete will allow our kid to create unique and singular experiences that our child will cherish long after graduation. To me, these unique experiences will override a “normal” student who even graduates from a T5 school.

    From this it sounds like you want your child to play tennis in college, and your child is the one not sure if they want to.
    · Reply · Share
  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1640 replies8 threads Senior Member
    They will be different experiences, with 1 experience being better for 1 kid and the other for another. Our family is a good example:

    D was a softball recruit that ended up attending and starting 4 years at a NESCAC. She had a wonderful collegiate experience, and her social network pretty much revolved around her teammates, and she more or less had an intact "tribe" the minute she stepped onto campus. Playing a sport also gave her more structure at school, and it did not prevent her from doing well in her STEM major. She is currently working at a premier research lab in the Northeast. The more intimate LAC atmosphere probably was better for D and her personality. She is the type that likes to have a smaller group of really close friends rather than trying to be "popular".

    S was a baseball recruit who turned down offers from T5 LAC's and applied to Yale SCEA because he wanted a larger college experience than what he saw at the LAC's he visited. S is a kid who is friends with everyone. He was fortunate to get into Yale and has been able to continue playing baseball as a club sport (along with golf which he also lettered in in HS as a fall sport). He also has thrived in college. For him, the decision not to take the bird in hand, included the following factors; already accepted in flagship honors program; GPA/rank/test scores above median for all schools he was considering; legacy hook for Yale; several of the D3 coaches told him he might still have a spot if he did not get accepted to Yale SCEA (I suspect they might have had some "soft" support cards to play). So he had some cushion if he did not get accepted in the early round.

    So is your child more like my D, where being part of something in a smaller school is likely a better experience? A bird in the hand is worth a lot, but he/she will likely have to ED. Or is your child more like my S who really wants a large college experience more than being part of a school team. Is he/she willing to roll the dice a bit on admissions (never a guarantee for a T5 or even a T25 in the absence of an athletic slot). Is there a likely decent back-up in the bag? Those were the key considerations our kids went through.

    Good luck.
    · Reply · Share
  • jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all of the insightful comments. They are very helpful.

    The D3 school recruiting my is a T25 school in academic ranking (not necessarily in tennis ranking).

    We agree that this decision is ultimately our child’s decision and that we, as parents, are merely providing advice to our child.

    Also, we do not have any preconceived notions that our child could even get admitted into a T5 school. While our child has a strong academic and EC record, the 5-7 percent acceptance rates at these T5 schools are not lost on us.

    Also we believe that “bragging rights,” if any, are short lived at best. Our child may put more emphasis on “bragging rights” but that may be because she is still a teenager.

    If only our child was strong enough in tennis to be recruited by a T5 school, then would help solve our dilemma. Lol

    · Reply · Share
  • politepersonpoliteperson 628 replies4 threads Member
    Maybe ask yourselves what’s appealing about these D1 schools. Ignore rankings or perceived prestige. Believe it or not, Yale isn’t right for everyone. In fact, Ohio State and Michigan are probably good fits for more students than are Yale or Harvard. So what makes you think these are good fits, and are those characteristics present in the D3 also?
    · Reply · Share
  • jwchoutxjwchoutx 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Bks, thanks for your comments.

    We do have some strong back ups colleges that my D would be happy to attend should D3 tennis or a T5 school not work out.

    My D is a little more similar to your son’s situation with regard to Yale. We find it interesting that the D3 coaches agreed to hold a spot for your son if Yale had not planned out. That is great and seems to have helped balance out the potential downside of being totally left out in the cold.

    Our potential D3 tennis school is located in a large city and had a relatively large student population. Both the location and school size is very appealing to our D. Even without tennis, this D3 school would be on our list of potential colleges (albeit lower on such list).

    As another poster mentioned, my D is struggling to move forward with “bird in hand” (which we know is not guaranteed) versus the POSSIBILITY to attend a T5 college.

    That sums up our situation exactly
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity