Preread came back positive but not eligible for likely letter Hopkins

I am a prospective student-athlete in the Class of 2024, being recruited by Johns Hopkins. I am in the process of navigating the recruitment.

My pre-read with admissions came back positive, indicating that I should have a good chance of being admitted. However, I’ve been informed by admissions that despite my pre-read results, I won’t be eligible for a “likely letter.”

I find this a bit perplexing, given that my academic stats are quite strong, even for a Hopkins applicant: a 1550+ SAT score and a 4.0 GPA, along with a rigorous course load (all they look at for pre read). This leaves me curious and admittedly, a little worried about what’s to come.

The coach has been incredibly supportive and is resubmitting the pre-read in the hope that admissions will reconsider their stance on the likely letter. But, the uncertainty of the situation has been stressful and I am hoping to find some understanding through shared experiences.

Does anyone have experience with a situation like this, or any insight into how these processes generally work? I’m particularly interested in knowing why a strong pre-read wouldn’t result in a likely letter, especially when academic and athletic qualifications align so strongly.

Any advice, thoughts, or similar stories would be greatly appreciated.

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Did you speak with admissions or was this thru the coach? I assume we are talking about one of JHU’s D3 sports…are you sure they give LLs to all athletes who passed pre-reads and who apply with full coach support?

This is a question to ask the coach. Who in turn will ask admissions. Is your 4.0 GPA an unweighted GPA?

Ask the coach if the AO’s stance has ever been reversed before. If this decision stands, ask them what proportion of recruits in your situation (had a positive pre-read, decline to provide LL) have been admitted when they applied (assuming ED).

Are you in the recruiting process elsewhere?


I’m sorry to hear that. College recruiting can be an excruciating process, with a lot of uncertainty. In our limited contact with JH athletics, who reached out to my S24 early in the recruiting process last year, they seemed the most “strict” as far as requirements - stricter than HYP. They emphasized he NEEDED to get ALL As his Jr year (last year for him) - even though he is at a private college prep school, taking APs & honors classes, and had a weighted GPA of 4.3 at the time. It seemed other high academic schools were ok with not “perfect” grades in high rigor classes, and also would take into account ACT/ SAT scores to get a whole picture of the student. If you are really interested in playing your sport, it may be a sign that there is possibly a better fit out there athletically and academically. I personally would not want my child at a school that would be unduly stressful for them, especially as an athlete. If Johns Hopkins is the dream, then I wish you all the best and hope it works out !! Keep up the good work !


Does the coach have other higher ranked recruits that have been promised likely letters? They may have reached their limit for your sport.

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the coach should be able to report

  • how many recruits he’s targeting for 2024 admission, how many LLs admission has agreed to send it
  • how many LLs his recruits have been given for 2024, and how many 2024 recruits aren’t receiving LLs
  • how many 2023 recruits he had, how many received LLs in 2023
  • how many received strong coach support but not LLs in 2023
  • how many received strong coach support without LLs in 2023, and got admitted.
  • How many received strong coach super without LLs in 2023 and didn’t get admitted.

These stats should give you a clear idea of his “probabilities” with JHU recruiting. If that is the unfortunate situation, would he consider reaching out to other schools in order to secure a lock on a spot at another school?

As others have said, I think it would be good to get some further clarification from the coach and also confirm with the coach that JHU provides Likely Letters for your sport, and if so, how many LLs does the coach get to request from the AO, and how many have been offered to athletes.
I am also curious, have you had interest from other high end academics? Are the Ivy’s or HYP recruiting you? Academically you sound like you would be a very strong candidate if the athletics were also in line for what they were looking for.

There are plenty of reasons, both good and bad:

The good:
it is possible the AO thinks your academic profile is so good you don’t need a LL

The bad:
The coach has already used up all his LL allocation
Your sport at JHU doesn’t offer LLs (some sports at JHU are D1, others are D3)
The coach thinks the chemistry isn’t right for his team and can’t give you an honest reason

Hopefully it is for the good reason.

As this is sports, perhaps it is time to introduce some competition. If another program (perhaps from a peer school) offers you a LL or some other sort of strong commitment, this can often move other schools (more desirable) into LL action. After all, isn’t that what a LL is for?


Do you have experience with requesting this full list of stats from a coach? How did that conversation go?

It’s one thing to seek clarification about the process and history (if that coach has even been at a program long enough to have a history with admissions there), but this suggestion of a giant list of questions to pepper them with is such overkill and would likely be very off-putting.


AFAIK, JHU doesn’t issue LLs until after the application is submitted, same as the Ivies. Of course, JHU could have made recent changes to their process.

At a school with a single digit acceptance rate, AOs and coaches don’t operate this way for recruits who the coach wants/receives full support thru the admissions process. No AO (at a school like JHU) would say ‘this kid will get in, they don’t need your slot/full support’.

Hopefully OP will re-engage with this thread and update us, as they went AWOL after the initial post.


Agree. I am not sure how JHU handles likely letters, but that is essentially the reason behind recruiting and coaches submitting a narrowed final list to the AO requesting a LL.
No matter how strong the student is academically, at the top schools like a JHU, there is always a chance that they will not get in, and a coach would not want one of their top recruits to apply with the regular admissions pool unsupported if they could have gotten them a LL.


small nit: The Hop has only one sport in D1, and that is lacrosse (men’s and women’s). All others are D3


We don’t know what sport the OP plays.

understand, but I was just reacting to your post that “some” sports are D1 and “some” are D3, when its only 1 sport that is D1 at Hopkins.

One reference point. I know one student athlete received JHU likely letter in early November last year.

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Are LLs issued for D3 sports?

Not many D3 schools issue LLs…Case Western, Grinnell, and U Chicago do.

JHU also does, but not until after the athlete applies, same as the Ivies. I don’t know if all JHU D3 verbal commits across all sports receive LLs after they apply. JHU also gives LLs to some non-athletes, in RD, same as the Ivies.

I think Emory does as well?

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Admissions reversed decision recently and granted likely letter eligibility.


Good news. Did you verbally commit? Good luck thru the rest of the process.

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