For a sport, please indicate intended level of participation

<p>If I select club for this question, does that look bad on the application? Like I'm not good enough to be on the team?</p>

<p>During the first week of school, Harvard has try-outs for “walk-ons” for their Division 1 teams (basically the school’s varsity teams). However, most high school athletes ARE NOT good enough to play competitively at a Division 1 level, so few student’s are chosen. Therefore, the only alternative to playing a sport is at the club sport level (basically JV) or the recreational level. Whatever you select will have no bearing on whether you are accepted or denied, so just be honest. </p>

<p>If you were good enough to play Division I, you would already be in the recruitment process with the coach. There are tons of Harvard students who were HS athletes who now play club and House sports teams. </p>

<p>Crew is one sport where they happily take walk-ons. Of course, to be successful you need to have the size and strength typical of the heavyweight or lightweight rower. </p>

<p>Fauve’s post reminds me of a local baseball coach who was approached by parents who wanted to pay him to evaluate their son’s likelihood to be recruited down the road, possibly sign up for 1-on-1 coaching etc. He is an honest guy, and he told them that most likely, if the kid were in that category, he would have heard chatter about the kid since early in elementary school. Save their money and let the kid enjoy baseball as long as he can. </p>

<p>As always, honesty is the best policy. </p>

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Extremely unlikely, especially for spring sports. By NCAA rule spring sports cannot hold any official practices until a designated date long past the first week of school. There are, of course, optional “captain’s practices” that start a few months before official practices, but even these don’t start the first week of school and, by rule, the coaches are not allowed to attend these pre-season practices, much less evaluate walk-ons.</p>

<p>As an aside, captain’s practices truly are optional, much to the consternation of some captains and probably all coaches. There is no leverage to force the athlete to attend, since you can’t take away a non-existent athletic scholarship.</p>

<p>To the OP: Go ahead and list your club sport. Nobody’s going to hold it against you… Good luck with your applications.</p>

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Fall sports have open tryouts during use the first week of school (in September). Spring sports have open tryouts during the first week the second semester (in January).</p>

<p><a href=“http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/11/27/football-feature-riegel-walk-ons/”>http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/11/27/football-feature-riegel-walk-ons/</a>

<a href=“http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/12/5/the-lines-they-walk-on/”>http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/12/5/the-lines-they-walk-on/</a></p>

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This too is unsourced, for the simple reason that it is unsupportable.</p>

<p>Gibby, I admire and respect most of your advice and I consider you one of CC’s most knowledgeable contributors. But when it comes to anything related to athletic recruiting, you seem to just make stuff up and present it as fact (such as your claims of a non-existent League GPA rule, your insistence that one cannot get coach’s support without an official visit and that recruits must “try out” at a captain’s practice, etc., all of which are simply false). This is a disservice to those we’re both trying to help and it undermines your credibility.</p>

<p>To set the record straight, yes, all Ivies allow walk-ons; yes, walk-ons need to try out for a spot on the team; yes, the likelihood of making a team is low, will vary by sport, and is performance driven.</p>

<p>But…the assertion that try-outs for walk-ons are conducted only the first week of school (or as you’re now claiming, only during the first week of each semester) is unsupported and, frankly, ludicrous. Consider the realities. Sports don’t follow an academic calendar. But they do follow very precise NCAA and Ivy League calendars.</p>

<p>As we all know, Harvard is in the Ivy League. The Princeton team captain tells me the official Ivy League fencing season is Oct. 17- March 23. The only logical time for walk-on try-outs would be very early in that window, which doesn’t line up with the first week of either semester.</p>

<p>Bottom line, please stop making stuff up and presenting it as fact.</p>

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<p>The Harvard crimson article I quoted had cross country sprinters at Harvard (traditionally a spring sport) trying out in September. I’m not making things up sherpa. You’re the one who is saying “extremely unlikely” when in fact it’s true. Things don’t work the same at every college.</p>

<p><a href=“http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/12/5/the-lines-they-walk-on/”>http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/12/5/the-lines-they-walk-on/</a>

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<p>Thanks for all the replies. So, I was NEVER even considering putting team as my intended level of participation. I am very familiar with the athletic recruitment process and I know that I could play Div II or III but a Div I school would probably not recruit me. I was just wondering if it looks bad on the application if put club for 3 of the sports I play…what do you think? Does Harvard/and other colleges care about that stuff? I hope they understand that I am very dedicated to my athletics, but more to my academics. </p>

<p>Except for folks who might play Division I athletics, Harvard sees your sports participation at any level as another extracurricular activity. </p>

<p>If you’re not looking to be recruited as an athlete, I don’t think that Harvard really cares very much whether you played at the club level or the varsity level. They’re not looking at admitting you for your athletic prowess. For them, when they look at your extracurriculars, they’re trying to get better insight into your other attributes other than whether you can get good grades and test scores. They’re looking for things that illuminate your character as a person. Are you hardworking? Dedicated? Capable of sustaining commitment for long periods of time? Are you effective at using your talents? Are you a leader in the things in which you participate? Are you the first guy to show up to get something done and the last guy to leave, making sure it’s complete? Are you a decent person? Motivated by care for others? Do you display maturity and good judgment? Are you inner-directed? Are you capable of being a team player?</p>

<p>Those are the sorts of questions that more selective schools will try to answer from your reports of extracurricular activities, your essays, your letters of recommendation.</p>

<p>For schools like Harvard, the easy part is rustling up a couple of thousand really smart kids for admission. The harder part is deciding in whose futures the school wishes to invest.</p>

<p>They want people to be involved in ECs in college, including club sports. So if you plan to participate in club sports, say so. It will be a positive.</p>