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School with D3 NESCAC Athletics vs. Ivy League School with no Athletics-- how to decide

mathandswim19mathandswim19 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
Hi, I am a high school senior trying to decide where to ED. I have been stuck between my two favorite schools for some time now. Both schools are HIGHLY selective and I will have difficulty getting into either, so I truly need the admissions advantage that applying ED will grant me. One of my top two schools is an Ivy and I have a double legacy here. I have been visiting the campus and wearing apparel from the school's bookstore since I could walk. I have always loved the atmosphere of the school, the surrounding area, the distance from home, the unique academic programs... and really... EVERYTHING! Except, I am a year-round athlete. I have been playing my sport (swimming!! :) )since I was 10 and my ultimate goal has always been to play my sport in college. At this IVY league school, I know I would not be offered a spot on the team (I have looked into it, communicated with the coach, etc.), so this is my only "con"-- but it is a pretty significant one. At my other top choice school, I have been offered a spot on the sports team. This school is also highly selective and has the perk of D3 athletics. If I apply ED, I will have the coach's backing/ support which is supposed to help me in the admissions process. I have visited the school already and plan to go back for a recruitment overnight. I am really excited for this and I cannot wait to meet the team. I would LOVE to go to college and be a part of a sports team. In truth, I do not know what I would do without some type of athletics in my life. I like the campus, the school is a good distance from home, and the social scene at the campus seems to be in line with what I would want in a school. I know less about this school's particulars compared to the school I first mentioned, however. And, this D3 school (while excellent) does not carry the same cachet as the Ivy league school. So, I have a few questions:

Am I wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I do NOT ED to the Ivy? What is it like to be on a D3 (specifically NESCAC) athletic team? Is the experience (of being on a team) unmissable/ not something to forsake? Does anyone have experience giving up a sport in college-- if so, what are the perks and drawbacks of this? And, in general, is there any advice anyone could give me on this decision? Is there anything else I should be heavily considering?

Replies to: School with D3 NESCAC Athletics vs. Ivy League School with no Athletics-- how to decide

  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 1,020 Senior Member
    Can you post some stats? SAT/ACT, GPA W and UW, etc?
  • mathandswim19mathandswim19 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    SAT: 1470
    we have no formal GPA (our school is highly selective-- 9th in nation-- and therefore decides to only give letter grades) but my school counselor has informally calculated my GPA UW to be ~95-- if it helps I take all honors or AP courses and get all As with the occasional A-. Other stats I should post?
  • 57special57special Registered User Posts: 504 Member
    Being recruited as an athlete with a coaches backing gives a big advantage when it comes to admissions. Would you be fine if you applied ED to the IVY, didn't get in, and also didn't get in to the NESCAC school because your spot at said school has been taken by someone else? Some of the NESCAC's are near as hard to get into as an Ivy if you are relying simply on academics.
  • mathandswim19mathandswim19 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    If I did pursue that option (apply ED to IVY, get rejected from both IVY and NESCAC), I believe that I would still have other schools holding a spot on their swim teams for me in the RD round. However, those schools are also highly selective and there is a chance I could get rejected at them as well (especially in the RD round). I am also less interested in them. I would be okay if this was the case, but my chances of acceptance would be much smaller/ more up-in-the-air. I am not too sure what exactly I would do... but I think I would be able to navigate the situation.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,252 Forum Champion
    Am I wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I do NOT ED to the Ivy?
    No, especially if competitive swimming is important to you.

    Is there a club team at the ivy? Would intramurals satisfy you?

    Are you a man or a woman? If you are a woman, the chances of winding up on some other team are much higher - schools are almost always looking for more female athletes.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,252 Forum Champion
    Also, why do you keep calling Brown "the ivy" instead of just referring to it by name? It's pretty clear that's the school you are talking about given that you did not post this thread anywhere else and you even previously created a chance thread for a Brown legacy applicant.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,840 Senior Member
    If you like swimming enough to have pursued recruitment and could swim at an excellent school (no academic compromise ) you should think through how you would feel giving up swimming and whether it's worth the mystique of the Ivy. . However, if you can easily envision your life without swimming, then that doesn't matter.. Only you can answer the question of how much swimming matters.

    Your stats are good so you would have a lottery chance anywhere. And of course, there are people who get in without hooks. But a hook really helps and you have one at the NESCAC school. It's really a question of how bad you'd feel if you got into neither. You will certainly have options, just maybe not these two, if you play it wrong.

    To me, if these are your top 2 choices, one of the other big questions is how big the gap is between these schools and the rest of your list. If you would feel lousy about most of them, certainty is valuable. If it didn't really matter, the consequence of a miscalculation doesn't matter that much.

  • profdad2021profdad2021 Registered User Posts: 485 Member
    Just two comments. First, at some D3 schools, there are different "levels" of coach support in admissions. As an example (a fabricated example): a coach might be able to provide heavy support for 4 recruits and then just limited support for 4 more athletes. In other words, a highly qualified applicant might have a really high odds of admission with that heavy support but more of a "lottery" odds with a small boost with the limited support. It would be helpful to read up on exactly how the admissions office at your D3 school handles coaches' input and if there are these different levels of support, then find out from the coach exactly where you stand.

    Second - I don't really think that your future is affected at all by going the D3 route in that conference versus going Ivy. You will get a quality academic experience either way and either choice will help you get into graduate school, etc.

    If you DO choose the Ivy school and get in, then you CAN still do sports. Maybe it won't be swimming or maybe it will - but there are lots of options for sports participation.

    Good luck!!
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,950 Senior Member
    Not sure that 1470 is enough for Brown. How would you feel if you didn't get in Brown ED and gave up your D3 spot? Where does that leave you? How much of a risk taker are you?
    After the overnight it may become more clear
  • potentialtransfer2018potentialtransfer2018 Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Which NESCAC school is it? If it's Williams, Amherst or Tufts, the most comparable schools to Brown out of the NESCAC, and if swimming is important to you, I'd go with the NESCAC school. Also, a degree from any of the three aforementioned schools will get you as far in life as a degree from Brown.
  • SwimDad99SwimDad99 Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    My DS was a recruited swimmer at a couple of Ivies (Dartmouth and Brown) and a bunch of top D3s. He ended up at Williams and, so far, LOVES it. And swimming is a big part of that -- the challenge, the camaraderie, the sense of belonging. Brown is a lovely school, but so are the many top liberal arts colleges in the region -- especially in the NESCAC. And I agree with the post immediately above -- these top liberal arts colleges will certainly provide a very similar level of professional advantage to that you'd get from Brown.
  • Sunny66Sunny66 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    edited October 2017
    Did the Brown coach say he would not support you in admissions or that you would not have a roster spot? If you were accepted at Brown on your own (as legacy), would your swimming times allow you to walk-on? Coach may not know at this point -- not sure if your times are way too slow or if the roster limit would not allow for you. Something to consider. But, as noted above, if you are talking about a top NESCAC and swimming is that important to you, the NESCAC route may be best, especially if you could not swim at Brown or would be so far away from being a contributor in terms of points at meets.
  • Sunny66Sunny66 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    I also agree that, while your grades are outstanding and the SAT is good, in this ultra-competitive environment the SAT may hurt you. As noted, if you do not get into Brown ED, have you missed out on your top choice D3 option?
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