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Coach’s pre-read/early read feedback

dadof3and1dogdadof3and1dog 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
I apologize in advance for inadvertently posting the question below on a different thread.

I wanted to see if anyone could give me some feedback and/or past experience on some recent happenings in my D21’s recruiting process.

My D21 is going currently through 3 pre-reads. My D21 has a strong GPA and transcript from a highly competitive and ranked private high school. My D21 took the ACT at the beginning of her junior year and scores a 32. My D21 took the ACT on whim (ie no studying or preparation for the ACT) as she planned to focus on the SAT. However, at the advice of our college counselor, my D decided to shift her focus on the ACT and then covid hit.

My D had planned to retake the ACT but and her last 3 ACT tests were canceled. My D plans to major in science on the pre-med track and scored a 29 on the science section of the ACT. My D was admittedly not well prepared for the science section of the ACT as she had been studying for the SAT which does not have a science section. This 29 was the lowest section score (and only score below a 31). However my D has performed well in all of her science classes in high school and has taken a full load of honors and AP science classes. We believe the 29 score in science is an anomaly that my D can raise if she gets to take the ACT test again

Because of the ACT test cancelations, my D decided to submit her 32 ACT score and grades to her top choice of school for a pre-read. This school is a T25 and the college within the school that my D is interested in attending has a 8-9% acceptance rate.

The feedback from the coach from this top choice school was that my D’s grades and transcript are solid but that there were concerns on the 32 in light of my D was applying to a highly competitive college and major.

The coach told my D that the school accepts super scores and that my D will have a chance to raise her ACT score. Then the coach asked for my D’s senior class list for next year. The coach asked my D to stay in close touch to re-submit all updated information.

Again we are new to all of this and wanted to ask a couple of questions. Why is the coach interested in my D’s senior class info without any grades?

Also my D’s 32 ACT falls within the 50% of the overall acceptances. Is the coach is asking my D to improve the her ACT score for acceptance into the specific college or possibly indirectly asking my D to switch colleges (or majors)?

Any input would me most appreciated. Thanks
15 replies
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Replies to: Coach’s pre-read/early read feedback

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5523 replies93 threads Senior Member
    edited June 27
    It would help if you told us the college/major.

    It is common that AOs want to see senior year classes for pre-reads, I am surprised they even did it without that info....basically they want to see the rigor, and if it's a math-y school or major, the math and science classes the student is taking senior year. Is this coach new?

    Is your D scheduled to take the ACT again?
    edited June 27
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  • dadof3and1dogdadof3and1dog 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My D is planning to major in neuroscience on the pre-med track in the college of arts and sciences. My D has taken a full load of honors and AP sciences and math classes throughout high school and has been able to maintain a high honors GPA on all of her high school science and math classes.

    The coach is not new and is a seasoned coach who knows the recruiting process well.

    My D does plan and is ready to re-take the ACT when it is offered again. We are just waiting to see how covid affects the standardized testing on the go forward.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 1101 replies89 threads Senior Member
    There could be a different standard for different majors. S was told that he needed to get his Math score up a few points if he wanted engineering (he was certainly capable but didn't want engineering, so he didn't see the point in trying to bring up the score). His school was ok with his major, which was submitted as part of the pre-read.

    If she is pre-med and that is what is important, she could start in something other than neuroscience and still get the pre-med classes done. I don't know the school and their specific policies, but most likely if she is getting good grades she could change to a neuroscience major down the road.

    However, if she is pre-med and they have a concern that she won't be able to do the work, I would at least consider whether they may be right. I don't know that the science score matters particularly, as it is really just reading comprehension under time pressure with graphs. But if the average premed is a 34 or 35, she may struggle coming in with a 32. You know your kid and her abilities better than me, just something to consider.
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  • dadof3and1dogdadof3and1dog 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Dadof4 thanks for the input. My D has always been strong in science classes and you are correct that the science section on the ACT is a variation of reading comp.

    We hope that my D can score higher on the Science section when she is able to re-take the ACT
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  • HPuck35HPuck35 2148 replies17 threads Senior Member
    For a T25 college with a very low acceptance rate most applicants will have decent to very good GPAs and test scores. So it become all the other factors that the acceptance decisions are made on. Strength of schedule is one. Therefore, the senior year class list is quite important for the coach to know.

    The other factor for the coach to consider is what other potential applicants does he have and do the athletic skills compliment or overlap. If it is an overlap, then he must choose who to support.

    While it doesn't seem to be an issue with your D, the coach must also have some assurance that the student will be able to maintain a college GPA that will keep her eligible within NCAA rules in order to play. That is where he wants to see the GPA and test scores.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 1101 replies89 threads Senior Member
    edited June 29
    While eligibility is a concern to an extent, I think the reason he wants the updates is so he can pass them along to someone in admissions and see if that is enough to change the pre-read to a green light, or whatever terminology is used at that school. It sounds like she is at a yellow right now. Even if he can't formally get an update (and he might be able to) he probably knows what he needs to see for admissions to be ok with her application, especially if he has been at the school for a while.

    I think that the athletic considerations are important but not really in the context of what we are discussing. I assume OP has some familiarity with the recruiting process, which is a different animal entirely than regular selective admissions.

    OP, you will probably get a bit more feedback from people familiar with the recruiting process in the athletic recruits subforum.

    Not important for your situation, but D21 did pretty much the same thing and got a 32 on what she thought was going to be a practice test that admissions never saw. Then COVID hit and she has been shut out of her chance to improve. She is signed up for July and as of right now they are having the test at her locaton. Fingers crossed. Her problem wasn't science, but we have a block schedule and she was a year removed from a math class when she took it. So without any studying for the math, she was just too rusty and slow in that section.
    edited June 29
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  • waverlywizzardwaverlywizzard 217 replies0 threads Junior Member
    What Division, what conference and what sport? Answers to your questions are affected by all of the aforementioned. In generalities athletic recruiting comes down to a coach receiving a certain number of athletes they can request support for during the admission process. Having a pre read means that your child would reach that level. Until you get an affirmative on a pre read you can't assume your child is a recruited athlete at that school. It is a really fraught process where parents have to educate themselves as to the college, the conference and the sport intricacies of NCAA compliance and recruitment process. Best of luck,
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1669 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited June 30
    I would tend to think the coach wanting her to get the 29 up is more about his ability to position your D vs whether she can do the work in college. If this is a school with bands for recruits or an Ivy needing to meet an AI hurdle for the sport, getting your D's scores up gives the coach more flexibility with other recruits. It is possible that if the school admits by major, an ACT subsection score may matter to the AO. However, ACT Science is a weird one because it really doesn't test science vs an SAT2 or AP test in a science subject.

    Coaches always ask for Senior class lists to check off the rigor box for the AO.
    edited June 30
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  • CaviteeCavitee 184 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Coach told my son he needed to get a 27 or higher to gain acceptance. He got a 24 and because he was such a strong player they accepted with that score.
    After 2 years, left the school because of the academic rigor and stopped playing the sport. It was his foot in the door to a really good school but he was still the same student...
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  • eb23282eb23282 888 replies25 threads Member
    Cavitee wrote: »
    Coach told my son he needed to get a 27 or higher to gain acceptance. He got a 24 and because he was such a strong player they accepted with that score.
    After 2 years, left the school because of the academic rigor and stopped playing the sport. It was his foot in the door to a really good school but he was still the same student...

    Love this response! And I do hope your son found an appropriate landing spot. Kids (and parents) need to see your comments because far too many are chasing schools that just aren't an appropriate match.
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  • dadof3and1dogdadof3and1dog 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for everyone’s input

    Bk, your take is an interesting with regard to positioning my D’s scores on the ACT in relation to other recruits.

    My D plays tennis and wants to attend a large D3 school in the University Athletic Conference. The message from the coach was that the feeling is my D’s transcript is solid but there are concerns with the ACT score, especially if my D applies to one of the science or pre-med tracks. Then the coach stated that the school does super score the ACT, so my D will have an opportunity to raise that score.

    The coach knows my D had been planning and trying to re-take the ACT. It appears to us that the coach is asking our D to better her composite ACT score through an entire re-taking of the test and/or better her science section of the ACT by super scoring.

    Assuming my D is able to improve her composite and/or science score, do you think that the coach then has more flexibility with other recruits with maybe lower test scores or GPA?


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  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 603 replies3 threads Member
    Your D has not been given a true green light for her pre-read. As you described it, it sounds like more of a yellow light, but you need to drill down on the meaning of the pre-read results. You need to be sure that the coach is not giving a red light in a polite way. A candid conversation would help. Ask questions like, what happens if there are no more ACT tests come October? Some schools are proceeding test optional. Is this possible? What are the chances for admission if she does not raise the science score? Will the coach support her application for admission, even with this ACT score? Will the coach simply move onto the next recruit on the list?

    Is this a school to which applicants apply separately to a school of science at the university? Perhaps, ask the coach whether the result would be different if she applied to a different school within the university. Look into how difficult it is to transfer within the university. Many students (including pre-med) change their majors once admitted anyway. Also, I have known math majors who were pre-med, and are now physicians. They simply made sure that they fulfilled the science requirements.

    Beyond that, she likely will raise the science score. I fully agree with @BKSquared that the ACT science portion is a speed/reading test, not an achievement test. Ask your daughter whether she completed the science test, as it took me a while to understand that failure to finish often is responsible for inconsistent results in the ACT subparts.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1669 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited July 1
    It could well be that if the school admits by major, that the AO is looking for a certain minimum ACT STEM score before green lighting a pre-read.

    I am not personally familiar with the recruiting academic standards for the UAA, but if they are similar to the NESCACs or the Ivies, with which I am familiar, the recruits are either placed into academic bands or receive an Academic Index score. Coaches are sometimes given slots by bands (more slots for higher bands) or have to meet an internal AI average for the team. This creates a situation for coaches where if they have high band/high AI recruits, it gives them more flexibility to recruit superior athletes with lower academics who can either use a lower band slot or whose lower AI's can be averaged against high AI recruits. There are also situations where a coach may not use a "slot" but a "tip"/"soft support" for a high band kid to try to maximize his/her recruit class at the risk that the recruit will be rejected. A tip or soft support means that the AO will consider a recommendation from the coach. A good way to think of this is that it supercharges the athletic EC, but it is not like a slot which is an almost guaranteed spot if the recruit passes the pre-read, applies ED/REA and does nothing stupid prior to acceptance. There is a thread on the dangers of soft support.

    In any event, whatever the motivation of the coach, and it could be multiple, it sounds like your D needs to get her ACT Science score up to optimize her chances. I would highly recommend though at some point if this or any other coach makes an "offer" that your D asks if it is for a "slot" or is just soft support. The coach should also be able to give you historical acceptance rates of similarly positioned recruits in the past.

    Also agree with @gointhruaphase 's other steps your D should be taking.

    Best of luck to your D.
    edited July 1
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  • PickleParentPickleParent 14 replies4 threads Junior Member
    This was decades ago and undoubtedly things have changed A LOT, but I was the top recruit for an Ivy League team. My stats were good, not great. The coach asked if I could get my scores up to help her overall recruitment flexibility for that class. If I were able to bump up my scores (they actually took my first semester senior grades and through out a weaker semester to calculate my GPA), they could move me down the list that they gave to admissions and move a weaker student up to #1. That's what happened, and we were able to get a girl in who otherwise would not have been admitted. Incidentally, that girl went on to the Olympics and I did not ;). Not saying that this still happens or that this is what's going on in your situation, but that's how it worked back then. It was a win-win: I kind of knew I was in, and I was honestly more concerned with my sport than academics at that point so the thought of helping my college team motivated me to be a better student. I suspect a lot of high school senior athletes are a lot like I was.
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  • dadof3and1dogdadof3and1dog 70 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Pickle thanks so much for your unique insight. My D responded to the coach that she intends to re-take the ACT and is very confident that my D can raise her ACT score. We hope that the ACT tests actually take place which has been one of my D’s biggest hurdle with regard to testing.

    My D then plans on submitting her new scores to the coach again. My D even told the coach that she would be open to changing her major/college on her planned college app should that be necessary.

    While we provided ACT scores to the coach, this school, like many others, has gone test optional. Thus it appears that my D has the option of applying without providing any ACT test scores and rely on her strong GPA, ECs and essays.

    All of this is really new to us and new to everyone in light of the covid situation. We just don’t seem to have a definitive direction on how to handle the application process and testing in light of the athletic recruitment objective.
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