ED1 athletic recruiting, the pre-read, and TO policies

I’ve read many, many posts regarding athletic recruiting and see somewhat conflicting information regarding athletic recruiting and the pre-read. I recognize that AOs want to see an applicant’s materials as part of the pre-read process, sometime around June/July, to determine if an applicant is or is not a sufficiently strong student for the school in question (and, consequently, if they should be encouraged to apply ED1, with a coach’s strong support [i.e., a “slot” admit]).

As part of the pre-read, AOs (apparently) request transcripts, list of senior year classes, and the school profile…and…test scores. Yet, if a school is test optional, I have read that they STILL appear to request or even require test scores as part of the pre-read. Can anyone dis/confirm this? Obviously, requesting (i.e., requiring) test scores seems a violation of their own TO policy. I would love to learn more about the practice, from someone who may know. Looking at NESCAC and UAA schools primarily.

Yes, coaches wanted test scores at nescac and uaa schools. (My son graduated in 2021). All the schools were test optional. My son’s score wasn’t great (he took it after sophomore year intending to take it again junior year, but covid hit).

He passed the preread everywhere, and got 5 offers, including at the most selective nescacs. When he submitted his ED application, though, he did not submit his test score, even though the Admissions Office had seen it as part of the preread.


Just went through this with S22. As @cinnamon1212 mentioned, every coach asked for transcripts, scores, etc. whether or not it was going to be part of the official pre-read or application process - that part will be school-specific. Our experience was with highly selective NESCACs and other D3s, also.

The pre-read process varied. At some NESCACs, it was pretty lax - the coach sent your info to Admissions and he got an up or down. If you pass, you’d continue the process to see whether you had solid coach support later in the process. One highly selective D3, had a much more formal process. Once you had solid coach support (and that’s the trick), there was a ‘pre-application’ (complete with essays) submitted directly to admissions through a special portal. The Admissions Office then issued one of three outcomes: a likely letter, an ‘encouragement to apply’, or a ‘you might do better elsewhere’ letter. You still had to submit a formal application later.

Though all our schools were TO this year, S22’s scores were good (SAT 1540) so they were submitted for the pre-read. Coaches will tell you whether or not to submit your scores with your formal application.

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Agree with the feedback above. It does happen but I don’t think many coaches at these schools will require a test score for the application. As stated above, they may ask for it during the pre-read, then communicate to the potential recruit whether or not they should apply with or without the test.

The coach will request the pre-read items from the potential recruit, at some schools a resume wil be needed. The student will not have contact with admissions.

NESCAC pre-reads start 7/1.

Good luck.

We just went through this with D22. Each school handles their pre-read process a little differently. Some had portals to submit documents and/or writing sample. One was a timed portal to respond to writing prompt and submit documents. Some coaches request documents, and they send on to admissions. Most required: transcript, senior course list, test scores, resume, some required writing.
Even if they ask for test scores, in our experience, you were asked whether or not you intended to apply TO.
One portal asked if we would apply for financial aid and where was that school on her preference list.

Same experience for my S22 - every coach (NESCAC, UAA, and other conferences) asked for test scores, if available, to be submitted as part of the pre-read, even if the score wouldn’t ultimately be submitted with the application.

After the pre-reads, different coaches had different thresholds for whether to submit the score or to apply test optional.

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With my D22; every coach who had shown mutual interest asked for test scores for the pre-reads or for the reads. These coaches are from D1 & D3 schools; from various conferences including NESCAC. D22 ultimately has committed to a T10 school.
My D22 found out later out of all the recruits her coach has given support via ED’s, 3 recruits were not issued likely letters & ultimately they’re not offered admissions; all 3 recruits applied ED without test scores.