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Non-athletes at Haverford

enonimouseenonimouse 39 replies23 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited December 2013 in Haverford College
My son is extremely interested in Haverford, loved it when he visited but the only people he knows who got in/are going are athletes. Can anyone shine some light on strong student/non-athlete acceptances and culture for non-athlete?
edited December 2013
18 replies
Post edited by enonimouse on
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Replies to: Non-athletes at Haverford

  • lillypodlillypod 198 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    S was accepted to Haverford last year and is an academically strong non-athlete. He visited twice and absolutely loved it, did not get the impression that it had a strong athletic feel at all! Ultimately he turned Haverford down but it was a VERY difficult decision indeed. I still have a soft spot in my heart for Haverford, I know S does also...too bad he could not attend 2 colleges...
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  • HC AlumHC Alum 570 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    /\ what a nice post!

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/haverford-college/485949-why-haverford.html#post5706572

    Post #8
    "About the social life at Haverford...What people say is true - it is whatever you make of it. You hang out with as many and as few as you like. You can constantly keep expanding your circle or just maintain the same little group. There are people who are politically active, apathetic, quiet, outgoing, nerdy, athletic, weird, rich, poor, nice, white, black, brown, etc. You can find a wide range of people here. I would say that there aren't that many "extreme" people and that most people have respect for the Honor Code (or at least for the ideal Honor Code). Most people also care about their academics, and you won't find "dumb jocks." Most of the sporty people are also smart, or maybe I should say that most of the "nerdy" people are also quite athletic!

    If you like to party, you will find plenty of people to party with, as long as it's Thurs, Fri, or Sat. Other days people are busy studying and doing other activities. There are always parties on weekends, often several going on at the same time. People also attend Bryn Mawr and Swat parties regularly as the buses/vans still run on weekends, making it easy to get back and forth. If you dislike partying, there are also many people you can hang out with during those party hours; watching a movie together, playing guitar hero, attending a concert/show, going to a special event like Tasty Bites (yum yum), just talking to people, or going into Philly!"
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    Haverford is a perfect place for non-athletes. It's focus is on academics more than athletics, so those who are not so graceful on the field should fit right in. They have plenty of opportunities to fulfill the phys ed requirement as well, including bowling, walking, fencing, and badminton.
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  • haverfoodhaverfood 2 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Coming from a background where sports just like were not a thing, I was really surprised by "athlete culture" at Haverford, but I'm sure it's pretty normal or subdued compared to other FLACs
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    There's an "athlete culture" there? Where? Maybe for the athletes, but not for everyone else.
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  • LucieTheLakieLucieTheLakie 3899 replies164 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just keep in mind that if an athlete (or legacy for that matter) from your particular school is applying, it could very well affect your particular outcome. Also, even though Haverford's viewbook says that ED applicants can be accepted, deferred, or denied, we were told by a couple different folks in admissions that they try really hard to avoid sending out deferrals. I'm guessing, based on that old New York Times series about Haverford athletics/admissions (see below), that they reserve deferrals for athletes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/ref/sports/2005_RECRUIT_SERIES.html
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    You just described how every college in America deals with athletes. I'd be willing to bet, though, that it's far worse at a school that is heavily based on athletics. Haverford doesn't even have a football team! However, they do need to recruit athletes just like everyone else, or they stand to lose every game they play in every sport.

    But that doesn't mean that they have an "athlete culture", and they do allow for walk-ons. In fact, one of the varsity coaches told us that although he doesn't really like to take kids with no experience because his team is then weaker, he has to do it because it's Haverford, and that's the nature of the school. Everyone is considered equal and needs to be given an opportunity.
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  • noseringnosering 80 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    megan12, Haverford does not "need" to recruit athletes. They want to recruit athletes, because they don't want to "lose every game they play in every sport". To them, students winning games in sports many of them will never play again after college is more important than a fair admissions process that gives equal opportunity in admissions to students who stand out in the arts, speech and debate, journalism, or any other extra-curricular activity, including academic ones like science fairs.
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  • ADadADad 3985 replies936 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It is useful to recall that athletic competition has been recognized and admired throughout history as a distinctive and constructive form of human achievement.

    http://www.iisoh.org/discusa3.jpg
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  • noseringnosering 80 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ADad, are you saying that student athletes deserve more recognition than student musicians, actors, debators, scientists, etc? The only way you can defend recruitment of athletes is by saying that athletic achievement in high school is superior to any other sort of achievement, even academic achievement.

    When upper class athletes whose parents have been paying for private athletic coaching for a decade only have to be "in range" to be admitted, but their nonathletic classmates have to take their chances in a system that is essentially a lottery, even if they have academic records above the 75th percentile, that's exactly what you are saying.
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    No, I said that right - they need to recruit athletes, just like all the other colleges, but probably not as heavily. If they have losing teams, then why would an athletic kid want to go there? I assume they are not bending the admissions rules that much because it's more of an academic atmosphere, and the kids still have to have a fairly high GPA, but I don't know that for a fact. I don't think there's too many stupid kids there.

    Of course it's not fair to non-athletes. My son got totally shut-out of the Ivies for just that reason, as well as the fact that he was the wrong sex, the wrong color, and in the wrong part of the US. But that's the way the game is played. A 4.0 and a 2300 SAT score don't mean a whole lot at the top schools.

    Luckily, for my son, Haverford obviously doesn't follow the same rules as everyone else.
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  • noseringnosering 80 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    At selective LACS, which tend to receive more applications from young women than from young men, being male is an advantage, not a disadvantage. Also, it's Asians who are at a disadvantage when applying to college, not whites. megan12, is your son Asian?

    The percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in top colleges is lower than their percentage in the population. Even if the ones who apply get an edge in the admissions process, their admission does not explain why so many whites are not admitted.

    If colleges did not favor sports over non-athletic extra-curricular activities and ignored race in the admissions process, the percentages of Asian students on elite college campuses would be much higher and the percentage of whites much lower.

    I've never understood why colleges don't seem to feel they "need" to have the best orchestra, enroll the next great actor, compete in speech and debate, or recruit student journalists who will win the next Pacemaker award for the college, but yet they "need" to recruit athletes.
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    And being female is an advantage when applying to an engineering or tech school. What's your point? I believe that anyone is at a disadvantage when applying to a college that has a lot of that type of student applying. It's simple supply and demand. It's also what they call "sculpting the class" to keep it diversified.

    How do you know that colleges aren't looking for actors, journalists, etc.? Just because they're not recruiting them, doesn't necessarily mean they're not looking for them. But there's no money in it either.

    Personally, I think the whole college admissions process is awful. Someone with a perfect GPA and SAT/ACT score can be passed over quite easily at the top schools because of the way it's carried out, and kids who are good at athletics but have lower scores have a better chance. All I'm saying is that I don't think Haverford is as biased as some other schools because athletics are not their main focus.
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  • noseringnosering 80 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My point is that you were erroneously claiming that your son was at a disadvantage due to gender (and, possibly, due to race) when applying to Haverford, and I wanted to correct you. I agree that it is easier for girls to get admitted to engineering schools. I am sympathetic to the desire of colleges for gender balance, and I appreciate the efforts of engineering leaders who encourage high school girls to apply to engineering schools.

    We all agree that it is not possible to get admitted to a top college without extra-curricular activities. Athletic recruitment started as a way to keep Jews out of top colleges. It has an ugly history, and I don't think it makes any sense. Even if athletes decided not to attend Haverford because the teams were not good, Haverford could still attract top applicants without them. I find it tough to believe Haverford needs winning teams to attract alumni donations. Quite frankly, I would be more inclined to donate to my alma mater if the school's arts or journalism programs gained national prominence. I don't donate, at least in part, because I do not like my alma mater's determined efforts to recruit athletes despite being a division 3 school.

    Most athletic programs are very costly, even at division 3 schools, and athletic programs add to the cost of tuition much more than arts programs, which tend to be part of academic departments. I do not regard promoting athletics as essential for a liberal arts college the way promoting art is essential. Music, theatre, writing, and even studio art are academic endeavors. Liberal arts colleges nurture artists of all types. Most college athletes stop playing soccer, volleyball, or rugby after college. School athletic programs from nursery school through college should be about helping young people develop healthy habits, not about nurturing the top athletes to the exclusion of everyone else.

    At my daughter's high school, they have tryouts even for junior varsity teams. Not everyone gets to participate. When the teams compete, junior varsity competes last and sometimes time runs out, and the junior varsity teams do not even get to compete. However, the junior varsity athletes are told that they are important for "supporting" the team. The varsity athletes are allowed to leave competitions early after they have competed if they are driving themselves or have a ride. They are not expected to "support" the junior varsity teams in any way.

    Some people say that if you play an uncommon musical instrument like the oboe or the French horn, you have an advantage in college admissions. But an article I read years ago in the NYT suggested that this is a hit or miss phenomenon. The French horn player has to have the luck of applying to a school that is looking for her. She doesn't know in advance the way an athlete knows. She might apply to colleges A, B, and C, not aware that equally desirable college D wants a new French horn player that year.
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    No. I said he was at a disadvantage at the Ivies and other top schools. Not Haverford. He was even a varsity athlete for 3 years, but did not try to be recruited.
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  • noseringnosering 80 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    megan12, if your son was not a recruited athlete, he would not have had the leg up I complain about that is given to athletes in the admissions process. I am not complaining about the admission of students like your son.
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  • megan12megan12 783 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    I know. I was just putting it out there.

    You're not going to change things unfortunately. You sound as bitter as I was when my son was bypassed many times during the application process. Luckily Haverford appreciated what the others didn't.
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  • noseringnosering 80 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    megan12, your son is getting a better education at Haverford than he would have at Harvard. When Larry Summers was president of Harvard, he was dismayed to realize that many undergraduates did not get to know a single faculty member during their four years at the college well enough to feel comfortable asking for a letter of recommendation.
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