How does the preread process work?

This is mostly curiosity. I know how it works from my end, what I send, who I send it to, when I expect to hear back.

But when the coach sends the info to the admissions office, how does that work.

I anticipate that my prereads will go fine. I have an SAT in the mid 1500s, and a 4.0 UW at a selective program that usually sends like 20% of it’s students to Ivies, MIT, Caltech, or Stanford. So, my grades are good enough, that I think if I applied without a tip from the coach I’d be “in the lottery” so to speak. It’s a reach for everyone, I’m not saying I’d get in, but it could happen. My biggest weakness, I think, is that I don’t do any academic or school extracurriculars. I use all my time outside of class for art, or my sport, or community service with my family.

So, admissions gets my stuff, and they just say “yes”, or are there other options like bands, or complications? I thought I read that there are “slots” and “tips”? Do I need one vs. the other? I also read that someone got recruited by a NESCAC but then the coach decided not to use a “tip” since they thought the athlete would get in on their own. Do I need to worry about that?

Pre-reads for Ivy League look at your your HS transcripts, test scores, and HS profile. I think football in the Ivy League is still doing bands, but the other sports are pretty much either Admissions says you can get in if the coach uses a slot for you or not. Then if the answer is yes, either you are on the coach’s list for an admissions slot or you are not. I have only heard of one school in the Ivy League where there is something akin to a “tip.” I have never heard of an Ivy coach assuming an athlete they wanted could get in on their own or with a tip. They will use their slots on their top recruits who get positive pre-reads. Tips from the one school that has them goes to “nice to have” recruits who don’t quite merit a slot. Again, tips appear to be for only one Ivy, and not the one I think you are interested in. At any rate, a tip is far from a guarantee.

If you get a slot, you still have to apply, which includes writing essays that weren’t looked at for your pre-read. The good news is your essays need to be singles or BB, not home runs.


Thanks @LurkerJoe !

Now, I’m curious which school you think I want, since I’m trying to be vague. PM me if you’re willing to tell me.

I am too new to PM people. I toured a bunch of Ivy league schools in the past few years, and I remember hearing about a particular program that seems to align with your interests. But who knows, I could be off by a factor of eight.

Its worthwhile keeping things vague, but its also hard to stay completely anonymous if you give away any details. I am sure I will out myself soon to anyone paying enough attention, based upon my interests and background. I just hope to conduct myself in a way such that it doesn’t matter.

As an aside - if you are an athlete who is good enough to be considered for recruitment, you aren’t really expected to have a large number of other ECs. Any sport takes up a lot of time, and to be competitive, it takes up most of your time. So even if you aren’t recruited, you should be OK EC-wise for most colleges, especially with really good stats.


From other threads it seems that NESCAC pre-reads happen beginning on July 1 and that students may start to hear back shortly after that.

Does anyone have a sense of the typical pre-read timing in other D3 conferences (e.g., UAA, Centennial, MIAC, and SCIAC)?


Thanks! I’m just a little nervous. My coach keeps telling me it’ll be fine and it’s going the way it should, but I worry.

The one UAA school my son was in discussions with said they don’t do prereads, but that the coach had been there a long time and knew which applicants would pass muster.

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what are d3 families seeing this summer for supported spots in context of covid?

…And in what sport, if people don’t mind sharing?

For T&F, my son is in the pre-read process with some UAA/MIAC schools (we have received results from one) and a few NESCACs (to start tomorrow).

Nothing re supported spots yet.

womens soccer: our daughter is being told 2-4 fewer supported spots by 3 nescac programs and being told that supported spots at 2 uaa programs are normal. still waiting to hear on a few other leagues. she will be A band in nescac reads most likely and coaches suggesting she might apply w/o support because of reduced spots. seems hard to get on board with this unless a pandemic makes things that different.

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I would also be leery about applying without support at any of the NESCACs, especially if you have a full support slot elsewhere.


Can anyone explain the relevance of bands (for NESCACs)?

I assume for '22. Did she ask or did the coaches tell your dd?
Did they mention anything about reduced supported spots
for '23s? Maybe my dd needs to be more cautious when they
are saying she is very high on their list, especially if they are
peddling applying ED(?) with no support. No way.

Good question to ask the coaches. Thank you!

My son was in recruiting talks with most of them, and got offers from 3, and no coach ever talked about bands to him (or me). His sport is men’s soccer.

No talk of bands here either (golf and baseball), within NESCAC and a few other conferences (including certain D1 conferences). I think bands are still a thing in football…in the Ivies, maybe certain Patriot League schools, and some NESCACs. Any current insights @Ohiodad51?

NESCAC schools especially Wesleyan and Bowdoin are not transparent in their pre read process and string athletes along

@simon3, Bands are fairly straightforward, but they are NOT the same as a pre-read or tips and slots. Bands simply are a means of assessing how a recruit compares on academic achievement to non-athletic applicants and enrollees. Bands are categorized as “A Band, B Band and C Band.” If you have a 96% average and a 34 ACT, you fall into the A Band.

Determining the band that a recruit falls into is a bit tricky because the NESCAC schools are different in terms of how competitive admissions is. For example, an 90% average and a 30 ACT might put you into the A Band for Connecticut College, but you might be the C Band for Williams.

The significance of bands is their relevance to the tips and slots method of coach support. NESCAC schools typically have 2 “slots” per team (except football, which has more) for recruits whose academic prowess falls below that of non-recruited accepted students at the school (i.e., the B-C Bands). For example, Trinity College may allow their coaches 2 recruits who fall into the C Band. However, the coach may be allowed to support 3 other recruits who fall into the A Band - in theory, the academic achievements of those 3 recruits would be essentially similar to all the other admitted students.

As I have mentioned in other threads, much of this information may be inward facing. A coach may or may not tell you what band you fall into. We did have a few coaches tell us the band, and we had a few others who told us when they had committed their slots (usually a pitcher or a keeper), but that may not be as significant to the recruit as determining straight up his or her chances for admission. It could be that the C Band impact player is equally likely to be admitted at Williams as the A Band recruit with somewhat less athletic talent.

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How does recruiting work at the colleges in the UAA?