Likely Letter ?'s

Without getting too specific my S21 will be applying EA (D3) based on his academics and athletics. His academics are stronger than his athletics, but athletics are up there.

  1. Will admission issue a LL in advance of the actual EA decision?
  2. Are LL binding or is there a date they have to confirm?
  3. When are they issued if applying EA?
  4. Do coaches know in advance of the selection either by LL or EA decision?

Thank you for your time.

The answer will depend on the school and conference. It’s not the same everywhere, although some conferences such as Ivy have established uniform rules. But these are all questions the coach should be able to answer, so I’d have your son ask directly.

Most D3 schools do not offer LLs. That is not universally true but has the coach indicated that this school offers LLs?

I agree that these are things you, as the parent, should be asking the coach. Once there is an offer it is perfectly fine for the parents to step in and get details to make sure that their child has heard everything correctly.

Agree that typically D3 schools don’t offer likely letters. For the more selective D3s, a recruited athlete will generally submit academic materials for a pre-read and, if the recruit gets a “green light” from Admissions, the coach will then decide whether to offer the recruit support in the Admissions process. The quid pro qui in recruiting is typically, the coach offers the recruit a spot on the team and the recruit agrees to apply ED. That way, the coach knows the recruiting need for the incoming class is filled since the admissions offer is binding, barring financial offer not being workable. And, the recruit gets an admissions decision earlier than classmates, and knows they have a spot on the team. Win-win.

Chicago is the “most selective” ranked D3 school which offers EA and ED. I don’t know if Chicago, or similar D3 schools which offer both ED and non-binding EA, would still expect recruits to apply ED rather than EA. Our experience was that schools that offer both EA and ED, such as Lawrence, Beloit etc. realized they could not “compel” students to apply ED to hold a roster spot and were okay with a recruit applying EA app. Then, the coach went to work to convince the accepted applicant to choose that school over others.

But bottom line, as far as I know, D3 schools don’t do likely letters. They may do admissions pre-reads for prospective recruits who would then apply ED, but there is no likely letter.

U Chicago and CWRU are two D3s (there are probably more) that give likely letters to some athletic recruits (as well as to some non-athlete applicants).

@Mwfan1921 – thanks for the correction, truly! That’s what makes the collective wisdom of these boards so helpful.

I think I’ve read about recruits at Chicago getting likely letters, but figured those were RD rather than ED applicants. With December decision dates for EA and ED, the likely letter seems unnecessary if it’s just a means to share the decision sooner, since the decision comes out relatively early anyway. A separate purpose of a likely letter for an EA applicant could be to bump up the applicant’s enthusiasm so that they convert the EA application to a binding ED, getting the coach what they need and the University the yield they want.

Case Western also has both ED and EA, so could involve the similar issue.

Your reasoning makes sense, and agree that the LLs are probably used more for EA and RD candidates. OTOH Ivies with ED do send LLs to those recruited athletes, so I am sure there are always exceptions…that’s the only thing we know for sure!

My child received a LL from UChicago for sports. I’m not sure all athletic recruits do.

You get the likely letter well before the EA/ED application date in November.

The coach will ask you to submit a full application, transcript, recommendations and essays by in our case October 1. We did it ED1 though I understand others did it EA or RD (though to get a LL it has to be ED at that point, and the coach wil tell you to change it if you want the LL. If for whatever reason you didn’t get one you could change the application back to EA or RD). Within two weeks we received a likely letter which said that you are being admitted and your actual acceptance will arrive on the ED1 schedule in December subject to the same provision as other ED acceptances that you maintain your grades etc. This is stronger than it is likely that the NESCACs tell you and it is from the admissions office.

ED is used for the same reason as other schools do for recruits; coaches don’t want to use a recruiting spot unless the recruit is committed to attend.

My child accepted and deposited in October, and the college process was over. Incidentally, half way through the first quarter at uChicago and very very happy with everything about the school.

@arbitrary99 Thank you for explaining how it works at Chicago with LL!

Good luck to all the parents and student athletes for the class of 2021. I hope your kids the best and hopefully they will all land where they want to be.

@arbitrary99 - Do you have information on being on a “priority list” for UChicago athletics? (I tried to PM, but it looks like I don’t have enough posts yet)