From a Rural Area, Child accepted to Ivy & top LAC , how to choose without visiting

@financialaidgirl Thank you for sharing how you went about your decision. I bet it was a tough one, and I don’t think you truly could go wrong as you were accepted at so many excellent colleges. Congratulations on your achievements! I hope you have the best time ever at Amherst! Amherst itself is a lifetime opportunity!

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“Walk ons are quite common at Amherst” – are you quite sure about this? I just know men’s soccer; Amherst is ranked #2 in the country, and I guarantee you, it is impossible for anyone to walk on that team. (Unless, of course, the player is on the youth national team, and somehow missed going through recruiting).

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Welcome to many years of friendly Little Three competition (on and off the athletic field): Little Three - Wikipedia

I have heard them referred to as the “potted Ivies”. :grin:

Perhaps “quite common” was a poor choice of words. “More common” would be more accurate. 35-38% of students at Amherst are varsity athletes, and Amherst is in Div III. As I recall NESCAC rules permit ~2 athletic factor admits per sport (except football), which might be thought of in a similar way to recruited at Div I Ivy (no scholarship at Ivies). Much of the team is instead composed of “coded” athletes who excelled in the sport during HS, but still meet Amherst’s usual admission criteria. Only a small portion of athletes are true walk-ons, with the exact number varying significantly between different teams. I have no idea how many walk-ons occur in soccer if any, but it is important to note that Div III soccer is not the same as Div I soccer. If Amherst is ranked #2 in Div III soccer, that doesn’t mean they’d rank well in Div I.

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@Data10, I think you inadvertently made my point. Your link is to UMass Amherst, a D1 team. I got to know Amherst men’s soccer pretty well, and I know there are no walk ons. In fact, their best player is taking a leave and playing professionally in Ireland.

As to whether the #2 D3 team is as good as some D1 teams – well, that is a discussion many people have in soccer, with many agreeing with you and many not :slight_smile:

I think the thread is sidetracked enough. Let me add my congratulations to the OP, and confess that her post updating us brought a tear to my eye! I hope she has a fantastic time at Amherst!

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So very happy for you! And was so impressed with all your choices!!! Wishing you the very best of experiences during your college years!!!

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Yes, I posted quickly without reading the link. Sorry. Walk-ons have little relevance to the quality of the best player on the team. Far more relevant is the quality of the worst player on the team, who might not actually see any time in games. If 35-38% of students are varsity athletes, and the conference rules only allow 2 athletic factor admits per team (except football), that typically results in being easier to be a member of the team. This doesn’t mean it’s easy to be the best player on the team who tours professionally in Ireland… instead easier to be a non-star players who is on the roster, but sees little time on the field. And Amherst absolutely does have significant walk-ons on some teams, but I don’t know specifically about soccer.

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Congratulations!!! You had fantastic options and made a great choice!! All best wishes moving forward.

Congratulations! I hope you have a wonderful four years!

I kept quiet, because I did my masters with an Amherst prof, then I worked at Wellesley college. You had such good choices, that I knew you’d be fine wherever. Still, i loved Amherst area.

Best of luck to you on your journey!

Agree. I was keeping quiet but there was no way I would pick the other schools over Amherst! I went to school in the area (like my anonymity). Its the perfect mx of everything. Plus, when I went to school in the area, there was some sports team of guys at Amherst from Scotland that wore kilts with no underwear.

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@financialaidgirl I just found this thread and read it beginning to end all at once. Thank you for coming on and letting the community know what you chose - it’s nice to know what the happy ending is! From your post, I can tell you are gonna do great there and I love that you told your mom you LOVED her on a forum. Well done. You are awesome.


That’s the authentic way it’s done in the UK.

Congratulations to you! I was rooting for Amherst. And can I just say, awwww…you showed your mom the love and this Mammoth Mama is happy for you and @RuralCityMom. #tusksup! :purple_heart:

Congrats!! I hope it is everything you are looking for. You had such wonderful choices that I don’t think you could have gone wrong with any of those schools.

And, I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of more than just name, ivy v. non-ivy, and ranking. At CC posters get obsessed with choosing the ivy or highest ranked school, often forgetting that it is all about FIT. I admire your thoughtful consideration of your wants, needs, and comfort level til the very end.

Best of luck to you!