stressing over college athletics!

<p>New to CC, so hopefully not repeating old questions! I couldn't see much on the athlete forum so her goes:
D is Class of 2011. Pretty good volleyball player but short for her position. Is getting mostly D-2 interest but not from schools we would consider higher rated academically. She has devoted tons of time and effort to her sport and thinks she wants to play in college. We, on the other hand, after seeing how much time it took in high school, as well as seeing her go through a bad knee surgery, kind of hope she chooses not to play, which would open up her college choices greatly. She has a 3.7 GPA, 29 ACT, and has taken mostly honors classes and wants to major in Physical Therapy or biology. We feel she needs a strong academic school if she hopes to be acccepted into a PT doctoral program. The problem is two-fold: the schools that are looking at her for vb are going to want a decision this summer. Since she hasn't made any non-volleyball school visits yet(due in part to her strenuous vb schedule), she won't have a well-informed basis on which to base her decision. As parents, how much do we say or not say in voicing our opinion? Husband(bone doctor) wants her to not play and enjoy her college years more fully and focus on academics as well as save her knees :). I feel like we need to let her make the decision on her own but am feeling great stress at the whole time constraint thing. She has gotten some vb attention from some good east coast LAC's but doesn't want to go that far from home(midwest). She feels like she has to at least look at the possibilities or she might regret it. I am driving my husband crazy already with my anxiety! Anybody been in a similar situation or had a college athlete? What was your child's experience? Thanks for your help.</p>

<p>If your daughter considers DIII schools it opnes up a ton of options academically ... including acadmic power houses like Amherst, Swarthmore, and Uof Chicago. Not sure what your families economic situation is but top DIII schools are expensive and they can NOT give out athletic scholarships so you're depedent on full-pay, financial aid, or merit aid (and most of the very top DIII schools do not give merit aid).</p>

<p>This might help your daughter understand her options ... Women's</a> Volleyball Recruiting Guidelines</p>

<p>Look at D3 schools, look at any school with an active club team. Club teams don't usually get a lot of support from the college (as opposed to varsity) but can be a tight knit and rewarding group experience.</p>

<p>Agree that D3 schools are worth considering but also that this needs to be her decision. There are many negatives to participating in a college sport, but also many positives.</p>

<p>Bottom line for your daughter, however, is that she needs to make her college decision independent of the athletics. The standard athletic recruiting advice is to pick a school assuming you'll incur a permanent injury the first day of practice that takes you out of the sport. If you're still happy where you are, then it was the right decision.</p>

<p>A lot of D3s are liberal arts colleges. Can a student prepare for a professional program in physical therapy at a liberal arts college, or is it necessary to specialize in that field as a undergraduate? I don't know, but your daughter needs to find out.</p>

<p>^Ithaca College (NY) and Arcadia (PA) are both Div III colleges with very good PT programs.</p>

<p>Midwestmom - My D was sure she wanted to be on the equestrian team in college, we visited all the NCAA schools, they liked her, she liked them. D wants to major in chem and was concerned about how many hours she would have to be in the saddle. Eventually she made the decision on her own to focus on academics and pass on the riding in college. I was very surprised she arrived at this decision. Once she saw other campus activities, clubs etc. she was convinced she would miss the whole college experience running between class, the library and the barn. Your D may arrive at a similar decision after she visits a few schools.</p>

<p>I also suggest D3 and Lebanon Valley College might be worth a look. They have a 6 year PT doctoral program.</p>

<p>
[quote]
they can NOT give out athletic scholarships

[/quote]

Technically no. However, DIII colleges can give out "academic" scholarships to athletes. Many do and many have "academic" scholarships reserved specifically for athletes. Yes, DIII colleges do recruit.</p>

<p>Marian, yes, she would have to have many prerequisites fulfilled in bio, physics, chemistry, etc so that does rule out most LAC'S. She did look at a very selective D3 with an awesome (academics come first and successful)vb program and PT but will have the problem of it being a long shot to get admitted and if she did get admitted it would be cost prohibitive with no athletic scholarships as well as us not qualifying for aid. Not complaining, just realistic!
I do hope she will consider playing club instead of varsity, still competing but not owned by the school! Ingerp, I agree with you on that because vb can go away in an instant with an injury, and many college athletes go in not prepared for the level of competition and commitment required and leave after the first year, or find they don't really like the school. 3togo, thank you, too. It does help to know what the divisions mean as to the level of commitment and competition and that d2 and d3 allow you to be more of a student along with being an athlete.
One other question, I know about the academic reputation of U of Chicago, and she did receive a vb inquiry from there, but what about the social and community feel of the school? Is it alot of exceptional students competing against each other and focusing solely on academics or is there any cohesiveness, school spirit, and community? Thank you for your time!</p>

<p>midwestmo, I am sending you a pm.</p>

<p>
[quote]
However, DIII colleges can give out "academic" scholarships to athletes. Many do and many have "academic" scholarships reserved specifically for athletes.

[/quote]

This is against NCAA rules, and NCAA does audits of DIII schools for how they award scholarship money so they can try to catch it when it happens.</p>

<p>midwestmo, my D is an athlete at a DIII school who is also a science major. There are plenty of pre-med students on her team, and they are able to handle their lab classes along with their practices. The nice thing about DIII is that the students are expected to be "scholar-athletes" - academics are expected to come first, even for very competitive teams.</p>

<p>Not against the rules. Many colleges have scholarships that are very specific. Some even post them on their website - i.e. A $XXXX scholarship for an English major who plays Field Hockey with a 2.5 gpa.
People give money to colleges and often specify the use of that money.
Additionally - many colleges give "merit" scholarships. They define "merit" by SAT's, gpa and/or extracurricular or leadership activities. This includes athletics.</p>

<p>Need prereq's in bio, chemistry, etc. does not rule out LACs, it just means she should pick LACs that are strong in the sciences. Pletny of doctors come out of LACs, no reason why plenty of therapists should not. Also, I can think of several LACs just off the top of my head that offer majors and even graduate degrees in Exercise and Sports Science, a major that would probably be of interest to an athlete who wants to work in Physical Therapy.</p>

<p>University of Puget Sound has an excellent graduate program in PT - and offers priority admissions to students who graduated from UPS as an undergrad. In taking campus tours, one lasting memory I have was of their science facility. Probably worth a glance.</p>

<p>My son is a D3 athlete - and the rules on Fin Aid and Merit Aid for athletes are extremely clear - there can be no athletic based aid for student athletes - and any aid that is given to a student athlete must be awarded under the same conditions as a regular student.</p>

<p>JustaMom, you're giving out misinformation. </p>

<p>See this presentation by Eric Hartung of the NCAA, given at the most recent NACAC conference: <a href="http://www.nacacnet.org/EventsTraining/NC10/Baltimore/educational/Documents/F608.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nacacnet.org/EventsTraining/NC10/Baltimore/educational/Documents/F608.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I just went through this with my son. He is a senior this year and is a highly ranked tennis player. His problem was that he was a Blue Chip student (4.8 GPA and Scholar of Scholars) but not a Blue Chip athlete. I can't tell you the angst all of us went through as he tried to decide a) whether to play b)whether to play at a highly selective DIII where he didn't really enjoy the vibe c) play at a less selective, but still very good, DI university or d) not play and accept admission into one of the top schools in the nation. We decided to let him make the decision. We were there to talk to and help guide him in the process, but we wanted him to decide what to do. This was a very difficult decision but in the end, he decided to not play and go to the top academic institution. He chose Berkeley (Engineering Undeclared) and will participate in Club Tennis (they just won the national championship). One of the items that figured into this decision was the amount of time needed to be an engineering major. He found out that the average amount of time spent on schoolwork was 45 hours per week. He just felt he couldn't do both. So he decided to use his Blue Chip mind to get the best education possible. As his senior high school season came to a close, there have been some emotional moments for him (and us.) I think he made the right decision and as his mom, I am just trying to help him be proud of all he has done athletically and help him let go and move on to what I am sure will be a bright, bright future. Hope my experience helps. Hang in there and best of luck.</p>

<p>One other thing. The best advice my son received was from a DIII coach. He said "You need to pick the school as if you were not playing tennis." Many things can happen with the sport (injury, funding, etc.) and your child needs to happy at the institution without playing her sport. It was excellent advice and something my son took to heart.</p>

<p>A little info concerning the DIII debate about academic/athletic scholarships. DIII schools can not give athletic $$$. They do,however, give academic $$$ to athletes. Been there, done that with both of my Ds. I have one who was a DIII athlete and one who played DI sport this year. Both girls were highly recruited at all levels. Both girls were offered large academic $$$ at DIII schools. The DIII teams were loaded with players receiving academic $$$. The guidelines to receive these scholarships are wide and most were based on "interviews" rather than academic achievements/stats. No matter how many times people say it doesn't happen, it does.</p>

<p>DIII schools are great for pre-med, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, etc!</p>

<p>Yes, it does happen and one can usually tell where it is happening by the strength of the program. However, it is not "supposed" to happen. Basically if a successful DIII program wants your child, they will figure out a way to get him/her there.</p>

<p>Friend has a daughter who was top notch academically in high school and a very-good-but-not-really-outstanding volleyball player who really wanted to play in college. She wasn't good enough for the most competitive DIII teams at the super-elite academic DIII schools. Ulitmately she decided to follow the academics, and is now very happily playing club VB at one of the tippy-top schools -- her club team is crammed with strong ex-varsity players who also loved the sport but who weren't nearly good enough to play for the school. There are mulitple club teams, and no shortage of teams to play.</p>

<p>Another neighbor's daughter was a swimmer for Stanford -- gifted both as a swimmer and an academic. She did very well as a swimmer and graduated in four years, but her life at school was pretty much only swimming or academics. Swimming and the related conditioning, travel,... took up 30+ hours a week, and much more in the weeks they had away meets. It meant missing just about everything else Stanford had to offer.</p>