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Is skiing a good differentiator

Collegechoices10Collegechoices10 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hello
My daughter is a rising junior with all a solid GPA 3.8 unweighted with 70% honors classes and 30% regular classes. She would have taken more honors classes but is very busy with tennis (varsity tennis), piano (competes and has performed at carnegie) and mostly alpine skiing. She has not taken her SAT/ACT but she is not a good test taker. We are hoping for a 33 or 34 on her ACT. She misses one month during the winter to attend a ski academy and is gone every weekend to race. As most competitive skiers know, it is really competitive out there! The best skiers go to full time academies. My daughter is good and competes with them all over the east coast and is clearly not as strong. She also skis for her NJ high school varsity team on the weekdays.
She is very busy! She would consider skiing in college but 100% sure. Our challenge right now is to decide how much more time we commit to skiing. Junior year is the most important academic year. But it is also important for skiing - she needs to start FIS racing which demands more time and travel (and money!). There is no way she can ski for division 1. We know there are very few spots and they go to the best. She could ski division 3 but there are not academically strong division 3 schools (no offense to those schools). So, we want to use skiing as a "differentiator". But we don't know if it really is a valid one. So are we wasting time (she could use to study), money and safety (dangerous sport!)? Harvard has a division 1 ski team. They are not the best and arguably my daughter could ski for them but there is no way she would get in academically. If anyone has any suggestions on how to guide my daughter, please chime in. Her ski coach is trying to get her to go to Europe to train in November and we don't know what to do!
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Replies to: Is skiing a good differentiator

  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 364 replies25 threadsRegistered User Member
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm also always in the camp of letting the student be the driver of this decision based on what she enjoys and wants to do, not based on if it can help her get into college.

    There are thousands of schools in the US that would be happy to have her based on her grades.

    Also, if she gets an ACT score of 33/34, that is the top 99th percentile and would be an excellent score. High enough to not have to retake.

    Lastly, there are some fabulous academic DIII schools with ski teams - Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Babson, Middlebury, etc....
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5596 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    D3 schools in new england with alpine skiing include Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Middlebury, and Williams. Not sure how you came to the conclusion that there are not D3 schools with strong academics.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38873 replies6866 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited August 16
    there are not academically strong division 3 schools (no offense to those schools).
    I respectfully disagree
    Lastly, there are some fabulous academic DIII schools with ski teams - Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Babson, Middlebury, etc.
    Bowdoin is only nordic., although there is an alpine club. You can also add Williams.

    I'm with @momofsenior1 ; what does your daughter want? Skiing is a great EC, and colleges value sports as ECs , but she should continue because she enjoys it, not because it would be a differentiator (which not knowing your DD, but based on what is written, it probably won't be). And if she wants to step it up, that's a different conversation that you and she need to have based on time and money.
    edited August 16
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22688 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think that schools will look at her skiing as a very good EC and recognize that it takes a lot ot time so will excuse her not having other ECs. However, if she's not a recruited athlete then it is just another EC. Will her skiing make her stand out? Probably. Will it get her into college if she's not a recruited athlete? Probably not.

    It's very hard for 16 year olds to make the decision to go all in for a sport. My niece was asked to attend a 'skier' high school where she'd ski every day and would have received a full scholarships. It was about 45 minutes from her home and she would have trained at her home ski resort. She was a jr. Olympian. She decided just to stay at her regular high school, train after school with the kids she'd been skiing with since she was 5 years old. She ended up in college in Hawaii and her ski racing days were over.
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  • HazeGreyHazeGrey 219 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My two cents from a very small data set - three racers on my S17/S20's HS ski team were very successful HS racers (state champ, NEPSAC team/individual champs). None of the three ended up being recruited any where for skiing nor did any of them end up at schools with ski programs where that kind of background might have added some kind of value.

    Only person that I know who was successful there was someone who attended SMS and ended up skiing at BC.
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  • momofzagmomofzag 640 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    skiing at Williams is a NCAA Div I sport despite the majority of sports there being Div Iii. That might also be the case with some of the other Nescacs located in New England ski areas. So OPs daughter might not be a strong enough skier to be recruited there.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3953 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Piano at Carnegie Hall? Do we have the correct differentiator in play?
    Also I think it would be hard for her to just stop skiing. Her coach wants to her to train on Europe. That's awesome! Great life experience. I totally believe you try to do your best to your best potential as long as she can keep her grades up. Who knows how much better she will become. Don't think the coach would want to waste her time. Maybe she's a bit better then your letting on? 😉
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  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving 139 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ....She misses one month during the winter to attend a ski academy and is gone every weekend to race. As most competitive skiers know, it is really competitive out there! The best skiers go to full time academies. My daughter is good and competes with them all over the east coast and is clearly not as strong.

    ..... So, we want to use skiing as a "differentiator".

    .... Her ski coach is trying to get her to go to Europe to train in November and we don't know what to do!
    My kids raced out of Beaver Creek, but stopped late middle school because they couldn't stay competitive with the locals. My knowledge comes from talking to the other parents, so take it for what it is.

    Where does your daughter rank nationally? Has she skied any major events to gauge herself against the competition? Especially in Colorado, Utah, California?

    One parent mentioned to me that they were told by an admissions officer that skiing is a nice EC, but it's viewed more as a vacation/ fun EC. Obviously it's a ton of work, but that's what they were told. My oldest daughter found it to be an interesting thing to talk about during interviews.

    Going all the way to Europe to ski in November sounds questionable. I'd want to know the snow conditions because regular skiing can be iffy in November. If there is a course with snowmaking because of a race that's great. My kids often raced the Birds of Prey course at BC before/after the races even when the rest of the mountain was iffy.

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  • Collegechoices10Collegechoices10 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thank you everyone for your valuable opinions! Still have not made a decision but will take everyone's thoughts into consideration!!
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22688 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    skiing at Williams is a NCAA Div I sport despite the majority of sports there being Div Iii.
    The NCAA holds a single, all-division championship for men, and a single, all-division championship for women.

    Williams isn't D1 for skiing, it's just that the NCAA only has one division for competition. Most schools also train as a co-ed team but they race against those of the same sex.

    A division 3 school can have one women's and one men's team designated as D1 (like Hopkins has lacrosse and Colorado College has men's hockey/women's soccer) but if they do that they have to follow the D1 rules for that sport, including recruiting. Since Williams gets the benefit of D1 skiing without the rules, why subject itself to the D1 rules?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41760 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If she's not a good test takers she's unlikely to score 33-34 since 99% don't. (A poor test taker with mostly honors courses would score 20-24, a good test taker 27-30. So, not sure whether your expectations are off due to this site's slant or if you're way underselling your daughter.)

    I have trouble seeing how she manages high level tennis, national level skiing, and piano competitions with Carnegie performances. Typical this type of profile comes from kids puffing up on the Chance me threads.
    That + no AP IB AICE DE + 33-34 used as a projected score for a poor test taker, make it hard to give good advice.

    She could just apply ED at a good D3 college (or a D1 if he's reached out to the coach and s/he's replied positively) and be done.

    I wouldn't ski in Europe in November. Best snow is February (Dec-Jan, March are good too). Often there's not enough snow in November.
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