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Lower SAT Scores For Athletes?

swimaholic66swimaholic66 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited April 2010 in Swarthmore College
I'm a Sophomore swimmer whose looking at going to Swarthmore, Amherst, Williams and other LACs in the upper New England area. For an athlete like myself who will be very competitive with the current teams at those schools, will a lower SAT score be ok? And if so how much lower on average?
Post edited by swimaholic66 on

Replies to: Lower SAT Scores For Athletes?

  • gc414gc414 Registered User Posts: 267 Junior Member
    So compared to others around this forum I know pretty much nothing but I'll give this a shot anyway. Historically, Swarthmore isn't big on catering a lot to athletes (e.g. when they cut football because the number of bids it was taking up was ridiculous for such a small school). So I really wouldn't count on having athleticism counteract more than one weak spot in your application. I would really make an effort to get inside of the range, just in case... How low are we talking here? Also, you're still only a soph, so you can try realistically projected scores. Have you looked into the ACT at all? Talk to your counselor or someone about exploring that as well 'cause that test can be more appropriate for certain kinds of students.

    Again, I don't really know as much as others about this, at any rate, more information would be helpful for myself + others trying to help you figure this out.
  • dadx3dadx3 Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    I don't have a pipeline to admissions, or anything, but I would guess that if you are in the 25%-75% range of SAT scores and the coach thinks you'd make a significant contribution to the team, you have a chance. If you are below the 25th percentile in the SAT distribution you would probably need an additional hook beyond being a swimmer who could be competitive in the Centennial Conference. If you were an URM or from Rwanda or something, that would help.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    All of the schools you mention have athletic "tips", a number of admissions slots reserved for "impact" athletes whose average to below-average academic qualifications would not otherwise get them accepted.

    Whether or not the coaches would use one of the "tips" on a particular athlete depends on how many tips that team is allocated by the athletic department and how much "impact" the athlete is likely to have.

    How low will they go? It's not a simple matter of SAT. The schools use some variation on academic reader ratings, which is a number expressing each applicant's academic qualifications. Valedictorian, 750+ SATs, toughest course load, would be an Academic 1 and so forth.

    I know that Williams will go as low as about 1200 SATs (on a 1600 point scale) and a B average for impact athletes in certain sports. They go low most consistently for football and ice hockey, sports where it's just about impossible to field a team if you don't go low. Would they go that low for swimming? Maybe. Swimming is, I think, one of those sports where colleges can get impact athletes with the academic qualifications to get accepted without a tip. Athletic departs might just take their chances and give all the tips to the ice hockey team. Without hockey or football, Swarthmore spreads its tips around a bit more evenly across all the teams.

    I can't point to any evidence to say for sure how low Swarthmore will go for a athletic tip. Swarthmore is a bit different in that their tips still go through the normal admissions process. Most of Swarthmore's athletes are Swatties to start with. Pure guess, I imagine that Swarthmore has gone that low on SATS for recruited athletes, but I doubt they'd go as low as B average with a middling course load, just because that athelete would have big struggle academically at Swarthmore.

    Anyway, at least that gives you a little background. I guess the short answer is "yes, if you are an impact varsity athlete and the coaches decide to use a "tip", you can be accepted with below average academic stats. Your mileage may vary...."
This discussion has been closed.