Is HADE+CL a good fit for recruited athletes looking to go Ivy?

Hotchkiss has its own golf course, which kind of weaves throughout the campus. I think it’s weird, but it would likely be great for your child!

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Totally agree! Coaches don’t need to know about the grading context of each school and do indeed sometimes say things that are alarming to those of us coming from environments with harsher grading. Sometimes admissions folks will say the same in a more public forum, either because of the audience or because they are new and were assigned to do info sessions or because they don’t know your region.

If the coach likes the kid as a player, the application will get a pre-read. And they’ll know your school. Really!


I am not sure the Ivies are currently using the AI calculation, as many recruits are applying TO and 2/3 of the formula uses test scores which renders the index moot, at least for TO applicants. While TO schools can still require athletic recruits to submit a test, I haven’t heard of any Ivies doing that. In terms of the 1/3 of the AI formula that uses grades…the input is unweighted grades on a 4 point scale, no ±, core courses only. I am sure AOs know the grading policies at most HSs.

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For golf:

  • Hotchkiss (best golf-centric campus IMO)
  • Taft
  • Canterbury (golf nearby)
  • Stevenson (hey - you are basically in the epicenter of world class golf being in Pebble Beach!!)
  • Deerfield has a strong golf team and golf simulator (Brendan Wu went there)

I am sure I am forgetting some other schools in the NE….but if you are a serious golfer seeking a boarding program, and want to realistic practice all year, as well as academic stimulations, you should look at boarding schools in FL, CA & SC. There are programs specifically for serious golfers in the Hilton Head, SC, area and also around Orlando. There are also a prep schools Boca Raton and one in Ponte Vera with a small boarding program that produces very strong recruitable golfers.

Check out JPGA - they have boarding & PG programs too!


Helpful info! Do you recommend IMG academy for golf?

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Hey @kjbest76

This student seemed to do OK playing golf at Deerfield. You should connect with the coach for more information about practice opportunities on nearby courses and also pursuit of excellence time off for your tournaments. As I mentioned in a previous post, you might be a student who would want to check out Stevenson in Pebble Beach.

Good question @Mwfan1921 - it depends on what you’re expectations are for a high school boarding program. I know golfers and other students who have gone there…we obviously didn’t choose it - even through it would have been closer to our home in the swamp :golf: :crocodile:


I think people on this thread overestimate the impact of academics in Ivy etc. recruiting. From what we have seen, the biggest/hardest step is to get the coach interested in you, and that is based on seeing you play and believing you can help their team win. If you are in their star/top band, the academic credentials expected can most definitely be satisfied by average student at one of the top boarding schools. And if the coach is not really interested athletically the perfect GPA and scores are not going to change that. There may be situations on the margins where they need to round out the team and want to bring up team academic credentials so they would take a kid lower on their board athletically to boost the academic side. But this really depends on the team and may only apply to a handful of spots if at all. By and large coaches will pick the best players willing to play at their school that they can get through admissions. So the grades/scores are always secondary.


“That the coach really wants.”




Everyone we are here to support you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:……if you are a top athlete….it will all be ok.

We do know student-athletes who (even this year) have been asked for test scores. We also know a couple of kids from non-HADES schools who got offers with ACTs of 25 or below….but they had good grades :thinking:……they did not have Mr. 89!

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This is the area where being at a demanding boarding school can hurt. At some of them it is very hard to practice your sport year round and to go to ID or prospect camps or tournaments where coaches can see you and decide they want you. This is especially true at schools with Saturday classes. That is the main challenge IMO, not the GPA.


There is an athletic recruit sub-forum here on CC. Definitely suggest you pay a visit. They know the specifics of the recruiting process. Here is a link:

Its great that your child is getting attention at this young age. My son was an athlete at Lville who ultimately did not end up getting recruited for his sport. The Saturday classes along with the inability to travel to tournaments on the weekends killed his ranking. Lville has a beautiful 9 hole golf course right on campus. But very few golf recruits. This should tell you something.

IMHO I think you’d be better off going to a public school or somewhere else where its easier to get high grades to satisfy the AI requirements. As soon as COVID is over, the ivies will go back to requiring standardized testing for applicants.

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Lot to learn in coming years …best wishes in your journey.

My understanding in speaking to parents whose children went through the process last year is that Ivy recruits were required to submit a test score even if the school was test optional.

This is consistent with what I have heard - but I was also told the minimum acceptable academic criteria (AI) are higher for sports like golf.

I know a number of Ivy recruited athletes at several different schools who applied (and were accepted) test optional last year, so no option for school to calculate AI.

But, as I said above, not surprised to hear that some schools and/or specific coaches still wanted scores from recruited athletes, even if the school was TO. It happened at some non-Ivy TO schools too.

This is definitely the safer approach if the priority is admission to target colleges, and this was our plan until some of the coaches at those schools reached out this summer and expressed interest.

I guess once we realized DC26 was on their radar already, our emphasis shifted from maximizing probability of being recruited to thinking about how DC26 should spend the next 5 years to prepare for college as well as have the best high school experience possible to develop as a person overall.


My son’s writing and reading skills really blossomed while in boarding school. He wouldn’t have gotten nearly the same attention at our local public school. The academic rigor at boarding school really set him up for success in college. The first year of college was very easy for him.

But as pointed out above, attending a rigorous private/boarding school can make it difficult to get top grades. The Academic Index is very formulaic, and no adjustment for level of difficulty in grading. Fortunately the AI weighs heavily on standardized test scores.

For sports like Golf, Squash, Fencing, Sailing, etc. the coaches rely on high academic indexes. This offsets sports like football, hockey, basketball where the AIs are lower. So having a low AI in a sport like golf could cause problems.

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I am new to this and don’t understand how the AI is calculated but in reading the thread, I would appreciate people’s thoughts on if a rigorous academics at these boarding schools would help naturallywith higher standardized test scores or if it would be better to “study for the test”? I know this is not a “black and white” issue, just curious.

The answer is "it depends " But in general, I am unaware of any BS where the curriculum alone negates the student’s need to at least review the format of the test.