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Athletes: admissions questions

CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
edited January 2016 in Prep School Admissions
We have a friend whose son is being recruited for a sport by several prep schools. Two of the schools are considered in the very top tier. The boy apparently has straight As but low 70 s on the SSAT. Do high level athletes at the better schools all have 90 level SSAT scores and mostly As? We have heard a few stories about kids with less than stellar grades/scores at the very best schools. Just curious about myth and verses reality.

Replies to: Athletes: admissions questions

  • panpacificpanpacific Registered User Posts: 1,300 Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    Many kids at top schools have test scores lower than 90%. Remember it's a holistic process. Similar to college admissions (if you have gone through it), there are many other factors that can make up lower test scores, including and not limited to recruitable athletic talents, URM, URS, development cases, and even top grades on a rigorous curriculum from a reputable school. The schools are trying to build a diversified student body. As long as they believe the student can handle the academics in their school, they "find good reasons" to accept them. Of course, the imbalance between demand and supply means low admit rates for top schools, but in a sense, one mainly competes with those with similar profiles. Certain subcategories of the applicant pool (e.g. recruited athlete pool, qualified URM pool) may well be the other way around in terms of supply and demand.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    Thanks. Actually I was rally wondering about grades.
  • panpacificpanpacific Registered User Posts: 1,300 Senior Member
    Same thing as test scores. Every piece of puzzle are movable within range for good reasons hence the name "holistic".
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    Thanks. Very interesting.
  • SculptorDadSculptorDad Registered User Posts: 1,806 Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    Every piece of puzzle are movable within range
    Sounds like "holistic" in college admission, where piano and GED were all Conrad Tao needed for Columbia.
    http://columbiaspectator.com/2012/01/19/conrad-tao-between-music-and-academics
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    Sculptor Dad: very funny.....:)
  • SculptorDadSculptorDad Registered User Posts: 1,806 Senior Member
    edited January 2016
    That's an uncommon case of course. Conrad Tao was an uncommon applicant. I randomly remembered the news that I read years ago. It must left a strong impact on me.

    Going back to OP, I feel that gap between low 70 and high 80 can be covered by determination and character, which I think is shown by sports achievement and GPA. I would love to hear how it turns out at March 10th.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    Agreed. Yes I guess it is fluid. More fluid than I realize. Hi scores, lower GPA, uncommon EC, lower scores hi GPA, uncommon or stellar EC. As pan pacific said, can they do the work? Will they contribute ...?
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 2,815 Senior Member
    Hello: my son went through this. Before he had his SSAT scores we spoke to several coaches at the TSAO schools. The lower bound of what they would take is flexible depending on much badly they want you.

    One coach said to me that he "can work with 70s" and another said that slightly below the school median was possible but not much beyond that. The coaches were actually more concerned about lack of Cs and minimal Bs in the transcript. It seems that consistent good grades is more important.

    It turned out to be a non issue as we later found out his scores to be well higher than all of the schools averages.

    My son also received attention from hidden gem schools. The coaches at these schools seemed like they were much more flexible with SSAT.

    Andover was the strangest. Almost no interest from the coach until Feb. then all of a sudden several emails and even an invite to meet him on an open house weekend. We met the coach and was surprised to see Headmaster Palfrey with him. No hard sell but it was clear they wanted him.

    So bottom line: there is flexibility with scores but no so much with grades.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    I am learning that it is different at every school. Much depends on the sport, whether a kid would play two sports and the power of the coach as well as and the relationship between the scores and the grades.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    oh...and full pay v. FA
  • panpacificpanpacific Registered User Posts: 1,300 Senior Member
    So bottom line: there is flexibility with scores but no so much with grades.
    Ironically, grades are not a better indicator of academic readiness than test scores as we all an A from school A and an A from school B can mean very different things. Grades + test scores, IMO, is not perfect but is still the best indicator.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,456 Senior Member
    Panpacific. I agree completely.

  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 2,815 Senior Member
    Yes grades are imperfect. The coaches however almost always said that they view grades as a measure of motivation, organizational ability, and determination. Scores on the other hand were more a way to estimate raw intellectual "horsepower".

    Not a great answer but this is how it goes.

    I personally know of one international athlete who attended a top BS with a 30th percentile SSAT and low TOEFL scores. He was Olympic level in terms of athletics however. Ultimately the kid flunked out and went back to his home country.
  • hoggnosticatorhoggnosticator Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Top multi sports athletes are pretty regularly accepted at the very best prep schools with SSAT scores in the 70s. My child and a friends son met that profile, and were both admitted to HADES schools with in the mid-high 60s (and yes they were A students when they applied).
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