Rowers: Need AP classes as a junior?

Junior son is a v good rower, 6:30 2k, 6’2, filled out recruiting questionnaires and is getting emails from Ivy coaches who want to “keep in touch and hear about his progress” Very good student, straight A’s in honors classes, but not recco’d for AP in spring. Tried to push to switch to AP classes, but received heavy pushback from school admin due to covid and school hybrid scheduling issues. Will take AP senior year. Decision was made to stick with honors, do well and add some leadership opportunities. Thoughts on whether lack of AP junior year will effect recruiting potential for Ivies/ highly competitive schools?

Probably not a big deal. It’s usually ideal to take the more challenging route but I’m assuming if a straight A, very good student is being kept out of AP courses as a junior, this is not one of those schools where every bright kid starts loading up on APs sophomore year. If his schedule is fairly typical for serious students at the school, and he can get a decent SAT/ACT score, he’ll be in pretty good shape as a recruited athlete at Ivies and other D1s.

He might want to raise this with the Ivy coaches. They have a good sense of what’s important on the admissions side.

Agree with @politeperson - I would recommend you search the forums for a very detailed 3 post thread regarding crew recruiting - I believe it is called lightweight men’s recruiting. Even if your son is not a lightweight rower - lots of good information.

From my limited experience (currently child is Ivy/Top D1 recruit for entering Fall 2021) the process is painfully slow - all started summer of Junior year, lots of meet and greets at last years Head of the Charles- so a long slog.

Test score matters a lot and besides ERG scores, it keeps the coaches talking to you. If you asked us a few months ago, we would have thought an offer would be in hand - but nothing yet and the conversations are still happening - same with the other top recruits in the boathouse.

Keep in mind your son will also be competing against international recruits and seems like maybe a little more score flexibility for those rowers. From what we hear - he should ideally be a 33+ for ACT. I am sure there are exceptions - but even if you look at ivy rosters, you will see rowers that are NMF - rowers are known as strong students and some of the Ivy rosters are pretty stacked with international rowers. Does your son’s high school have a track record with Ivy’s - if yes, what do those stats look like. Also, what about his crew club or school team?

Your son should test and plan on having a final score no later than early Spring of Junior year. If students are back on campus, this is a great time to go on unofficial visits (guessing unlikely this year) and meet the coaches, some will let you meet the team and some will allow your son to watch a practice from the launch. Also, several top programs - both the University of Washington and Cornell historically offer invited Junior weekends - all unofficial and not paid, but a great way to be with other recruits and show interest and nice to be on the invite list. UW occurred in mid-February and Cornell’s was the following weekend and was cancelled last minute due to Covid.

Your son should be trying to take the most competitive course load and not let up in senior year. My child had to send in their list of requested senior courses at the end of junior year and all the coaches came back with an approval. For pre-reads that happened about 8 weeks ago - 3 of the Ivy schools commented on strength of curriculum and one coach said to notify if any courses change this semester.

Also, applying to US Rowing National honors society in the Fall of senior year is a nice talking point to coaches and only a small percentage of rowers are awarded this distinction. You can learn more at US Rowing website. I think leadership outside of crew is nice, but I also think schools know how much time crew takes too.

Lastly, your son should lead this process and keep in touch with the coaches when quarter grades are released, any insights to his practices, excitement about a club or leadership role etc - not too much - but once a month for now and then every few weeks as the year progresses.

Good luck and hang on !

Very helpful thank you so much and good luck to your son!

@coffeeat3 thank you for chiming in, very useful information. Is your son lightweight or heavyweight crew? Does anyone know for heavyweight what 2K Erg number range colleges are looking for?