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early access to college counseling?

hoopsorsoccerhoopsorsoccer 23 replies4 threads Junior Member
I'm wondering if any of you with kids at private schools who are also athletes spoke to the CC office earlier than normal to formulate a list of schools to target?

Not sure posting this in the athletic recruit section makes sense because it's really a private school issue.

@cinnamon1212
I think your kids went to BS right?
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Replies to: early access to college counseling?

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3295 replies62 threads Senior Member
    edited January 14
    My kids used independent counselors, as the HS process not only starts too late for athletes, the counselors know nothing about athletic recruiting (at a highly ranked public HS). Of course, we did work with the HS counselor for application processing, LoRs, and other operational items.

    Edited to add: You do seem on top of things, do you feel you can create the target list on your own?
    edited January 14
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  • GoatMamaGoatMama 1321 replies12 threads Senior Member
    My kid is an athlete at a BS and a recruited college athlete. She talked to the CC office in her sophomore year to vet her college list. At her school, CCs have a lot of knowledge about athletic recruitment for some sports and little to no knowledge about other sports, hers including. It was on her and her club/school coaches to determine where she would be competitive athletically, but the CCs had an early look at this list to assess it from the standpoint of her academic profile. They also helped with NCAA Eligibility Center registration, transcripts for pre-reads, early SAT testing, etc. Bottom line: they were aware that she is on an early timeline and made accommodations.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 748 replies8 threads Member
    edited January 14
    Yes, my son is at a boarding school. The college counseling office is helpful in general but not at all with regard to specific sports. They can't possibly know the ins and outs of all the conferences, coaches' reputations, style of play, all the sports, and for boys and then girls. I reached out to the CC office sophomore year with general recruiting questions, like my son got X on the SAT, should we send it out junior year. (Their answer was unless it was a 1400+ not to send it out on the early side as if it was lower (and it was!) then the score wasn't a selling point). They confirmed my son's GPA made him an attractive candidate at whatever school was recruiting him, so that was good information to know.

    As others have mentioned, the college counseling process starts way too late for athletes at BS. Our school is only now assigning a counselor and starting. But my son has been emailing coaches, doing ID clinics, visiting colleges for 2 years now.

    Everyone says make a list of target sports schools and then target academic ones and see where they overlap. We didn't have a great sense of how my son would end up as a student in 9th grade, so we focused on the soccer piece first. Now that we have 2 1/2 years of grades and one SAT score, we have a better idea of how the academic piece will play into the process.

    edited January 14
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  • CTMom21CTMom21 530 replies2 threads Member
    I agree with the above. My son is a junior and has worked with his club coach (an experienced recruiting advisor) since the beginning of sophomore year and has been doing recruiting events for longer. He had a broad list of schools and we had visited a number of them before junior year started. I understand that the coaches at his school will be helpful, but the actual college process doesn’t start until now (mid-junior year), which is too late to just be thinking about schools. (Also, a lot of the school focus is on D1 but DS hopes to play D3). I think timing depends on the sport, but for DS, he would hope to have an offer before senior year starts and would be expected to apply ED. He will be done with testing this spring/summer. Of course, the school is very helpful with the mechanics — coordinating testing, applications, and they have the kids start writing essays spring of junior year, so that all works with his personal planning.
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  • hoopsorsoccerhoopsorsoccer 23 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Mwfan1921 wrote: »

    Edited to add: You do seem on top of things, do you feel you can create the target list on your own?

    What I don't know is what GPA colleges will accept from my daughter's school. It is one of those schools where very few kids have a 4.0 (possibly none?) so I am unsure if that will make her unattractive/unacceptable for some of the colleges. That is where I need the CC advice since they will know what GPA range is actually necessary from our school for the colleges she looks at.
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  • GoatMamaGoatMama 1321 replies12 threads Senior Member
    @hoopsorsoccer They should be able to tell you that, and perhaps give you some target GPA and SAT thresholds for schools of interest based on previous cycles. You/your kid may get some sense of that on your own as well, by looking at your school's college matriculation list from the previous few years and knowing the approximate academic standing of your kid. I know that BS don't rank, but kids do have a general idea of where they are - top, middle, or bottom third of the pack.
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1230 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Hey guys, hope this helps. We started formulating a college list for recruiting and sports early on - like Spring of Freshman year whilst playing a Varsity sport. We looked at college sponsored camps, clinics & prospect days. Also started attending showcases and tournaments for appropriate grad years. The travel teams/club teams (if applicable) can be of great help. We also listened/watched online seminars @ the recruiting process. Our coaches are pretty much hands-off and so many athletes kick start the process on their own early and speak with older teammates, as well as their parents.

    Some kids we know requested early access to college counselors to discuss taking standardized tests early and to review their profile pages, as well as inquiry pages. Kiddo did email a couple of coaches early to be a blip on the radar and to inquire about prospect days/camps. This was done within the online forms provided by each college.

    To answer @hoopsorsoccer question about GPA factor. We have a similar situation at a rigorous BS where few students get above a 93 on anything, so we were stressing. What I have been told is that colleges know the schools - also know the team history and coaches. If there is a college your interested in but are concerned that your BS or prep school is not known to them, counselors submit a school profile.
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  • 417WHB417WHB 191 replies4 threads Junior Member
    My kids do not play basketball or soccer (making assumption based on user name) but in their sports the first step is to figure out where you fit athletically, based on tournaments/college showcases/prospect days and coaches insight (both club and school) and then figure out if any of those make sense to pursue academically. Only after that I'd engage with college counseling. For my older one, she soon realized there was a mismatch between the schools she could play at and the ones she wanted to attend academically. So that was the end of recruiting, plays club at her college and is very happy with that. My younger one is a stronger player so should theoretically have more options but doing the showcase/tournaments circuit this year to see where there is interest to come up with a list. It is much harder to meet the athletic requirements than the academic ones (unless your kid is a superstar impact player in which case the academic requirements are a lot lower, particularly for basketball).
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1808 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @417WHB Good point about the matching. My kid figured out the same. Realized that most schools that appear to be of interest don't match athletically. And honestly, a single afternoon with a family friend playing DI sort of took it off the rails. Kid realized that college was going to be time to learn and didn't want to pursue being on a bus/plane out of school to be on a college team. Good thing to realize early. But it was a real turn. We have heard from the coaching staff at BS, that it has to be a fit both ways and many kids apply with the idea that they might not actually play when they go to college. Unless it's Div I, that's not really a problem.
    My kid was likely more of a Div II player but I'm glad we sorted it out early as there is now more time for other things. We were also attending lots of weekend and Summer club events and tournaments.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6261 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Our BS has a CC who works specifically with recruits and their timelines. You might want to start by reaching out to the head of college counseling and simply asking what their process is for working with athletic recruits who have a different timeline than their classmates.

    There may be a resource dedicated to this or a well-honed process for athletes. Most schools go through this every year with several students.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6542 replies115 threads Senior Member
    edited January 18
    My kid's school started working early with athletes. They met with all students starting in sophomore year and those who needed to do early work for recruiting and other purposes had additional meetings..

    Of our 4 college counselors three were the assistant varsity football coach, head coach of girl's varsity soccer, head varsity baseball coach, head girl's varsity tennis coach, and assistant boy's varsity hockey coach (some CC's coached two seasons). The fourth CC was heavily involved in the arts. All of the coaches played their sports in college at the types of schools students were aiming for (a lot of NESCACs and similar) so they knew the recruiting scene.

    This was at a NE boarding school.

    I don't remember the process as clearly with my other BS child but I remember that their coach was speaking with colleges coaches early on and offered to film my child. This child eventually chose not to go the recruiting route.
    edited January 18
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1808 replies13 threads Senior Member
    The head of sports said about 10 kids get recruited per year (maybe that was the DI figure?) but it seemed like the head of sports and the guidance counselor were working closely together. They were both at a meeting to talk about college recruiting and testing and other factors were discussed. It seemed like no parents had any idea how the process worked unless they had older kids who had gone through the process beforehand (esp. with the same sport).
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 748 replies8 threads Member
    Just got back from the parents' weekend for introduction to the college process. One thing I was glad to learn was that once the athlete believes s/he has an offer from a coach, the CC contacts the coach to make sure the kid understood what the coach was saying, and then after that they contact the admissions rep in the AO to double- double-check there was no misunderstanding, and the kid had passed the preread and did in fact have an offer. I am happy for that safety net!
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3295 replies62 threads Senior Member
    the CC contacts the coach to make sure the kid understood what the coach was saying, and then after that they contact the admissions rep in the AO to double- double-check there was no misunderstanding, and the kid had passed the preread and did in fact have an offer. I am happy for that safety net!

    That is a great service! I agree it's great to have that safety net, and experience person involved in the process.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 2007 replies34 threads Senior Member
    A friend is the parent of a boarding school athlete who is in high demand recruitingwise. Their battle? The parent wants to use the athletic hook to get into the most selective college possible, the kid wants the school with the strongest team in his sport. These are NOT the same schools. I don't envy the discussions they must be having!
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  • Sue22Sue22 6542 replies115 threads Senior Member
    The "strongest team" thing can backfire. It can mean the kid is part of a national championship team but it can also mean a kid who was a superstar in their community or even state can ride the bench for 4 years.

    One kid who was one of those "best anyone had seen in 10 years on a states winning team" in our community went off to a powerhouse school and got injured. By the time they rehabbed and were fully back six months later the coach had recruited another superstar for her position and she never got back to starting. At a weaker sports school she would have retaken her spot.

    Hopefully the school college counselor can provide some good neutral party counseling.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 2007 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I think the challenge is that even "the strongest team where the kid would actually play freshman year" is several tiers lower in selectivity than the parents would prefer ;-)
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1230 replies21 threads Senior Member
    edited January 29
    Thanks to the parent who posted above @ their student seeing the reality of D1 sports life. Personally, I played a D1 sport and also had classmates playing on D1 teams. We did not have a typical college experience - we missed out a lot on classes, majors, learning and social life. It is true that many parents & students seek and/or need the sports hook to get into schools, as well as to get $$ for school.

    Keep in mind that many students who start out on college teams, later leave - either by choice, by injury, or they are cut. I wish I had the stats on this. So my advice (as a former collegiate athlete) is to love the college more than the sport.

    The story posted above @ CC and BS Coach being involved has not been our experience for womens/girls sports at BS. The varsity coaches we know for girls sports at our school will not put their rep on the line for a student unless that player is a sure winner or absolutely great. My observations (from at least 4 NE schools and one Southern BS) is that the boys coaches and CC’s get more involved in giving advice, educating parents on the recruitment process, talking to college coaches, as well as get involved earlier in the recruiting process. I do think there is still a “boys network”. On the other hand, our experience has been that girls club/travel team coaches probably give out more advice, education, and supportive communication high than the high school/BS team coaches. For example, we know 2 girls this year whose parents had to seek out early college advising for recruiting at the BS, while at least a dozen boys in same sport were already on track with college advising. I do know that different sports have different time lines for recruiting. However, we also know more girls who seek out private recruitment advisors because their coaches and counselors/advisors give no help - or don’t get involved.
    edited January 29
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  • 417WHB417WHB 191 replies4 threads Junior Member
    It does seem like the BS coaches are more involved in boys' sports but still not enough IMO, most families going down the recruiting path are doing the work themselves or with the club coach. I am not expecting much but I do wish the BS /HS coaches would be at least willing to give you honest assessment whether your kid is good enough to play in college and at what level. Club coaches tend to be a tad too encouraging of you to go through the process as they want you to continue to spend more to play club and go to their tournaments and showcases and what not. Your high school team coach should be more of a neutral party who knows you well enough to make the call about if or where you can play, and what needs to happen in order to make it possible.

    Maybe it is just me but I have grown so cynical of the entire industry that has sprung up around athletic recruiting and it seems like good boarding school coach could provide proper grounding. But maybe they are afraid you would not work hard enough to get better for the HS team is the college option was off the table?
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 745 replies17 threads Member
    From my observation, and it makes me sad, it seems as if more highschool coaches are "professionals" on the boys' side vs "teachers coaching" on the girls' side. I think this hampers the recruitment process for girls, a lot.

    I also agree that the $$$$$ in club sports and therefore the impetus to have 5 layers of teams and take anyone is totally ruining the sports and the process. I am more and more cynical the more I see. When we play a team and find out the starting 5 are all D1 committed and they just aren't that good it really throws the whole system into question. So much who sees you on your best day vs actual quality and consistency of play.

    I think this is a big part of the reason that my daughter is walking back from recruiting. She sees who's getting looks and thinks it's absurd - to the point of "I scored 20 pts on that girl in practice. She couldn't defend me at all and was getting totally frustrated, how on earth is she going to play D1." So my daughter's reaction is to just remove herself because it doesn't seem worth the race.
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