The Only College Fencing Recruiting Thread You Need to Read

I had heard that Brown was going to reinstate the men’s team but that was (obviously) through the rumor mill so likely just that- a rumor.

Thank you all for all the information and experiences you all shared here. It was very helpful for us during this process. Our DS officially did a walk on into a D1 school and got in to the team. He’s very excited and we’re very happy for him.

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Congratulations!

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Thank you!!!

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(Deleted) I originally deleted my post because I wasn’t sure it was appropriate to ask here but I’ll drop it in just in case anyone cares to reply. I’m interested in hearing experiences of how your fencers handled the stress (if any) of balancing academic and D1 sport, and whether the mental health services their athletic department provided were as supportive as some of the coaches we’ve met with have said they are. Most of the tours we’ve done have spent a significant amount of time on mental health. I’m always concerned about mental health but particularly in light of the recent number of NCAA athletes who have taken their lives. My heart goes out to their families and teammates.

Speaking of my Ds experience, I’d say the level of supportiveness is likely a combination of the school’s attitude and built-in support structure for athletes and the coaching personality of the program. My D graduated from a top 10 D1 fencing team in 2021, and was an engineering student, but felt very strongly supported. Freshman year they were required to do a certain number of “study hall” hours in the athletic academic advising area. They could request a tutor for ANY class, and the school would provide, free of charge. If it was an upper-level class and literally the only qualified tutor was the instructor, they would make it happen. They also had required weekly check-ins with their athletic dept provided academic advisor. Every new fencer on the team is assigned a “big” – kind like sororities do. The big/little families are multi-generational and very supportive of each other as well. All in all, she found it a sound, supportive program. But… her coach is legendary for team-level supportiveness.

As a parent of a female fencer, there are programs/coaches I’d be uncomfortable with if I had another fencer coming in. I’m not going to post those in the public forum, because there are probably people that feel otherwise about specific programs, but feel free to message me privately if you’d like.

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LIU is the women’s only program that is adding a men’s team.

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Question for the parents in the know (not necessarily fencing related): high rigor vs. letter grade. The grades are not yet out for this school year, but they will not be amazingly good. On the other hand, most classes were of the highest level and weighted GPA, had child’s high school not cancelled reporting weighted GPA, is outstanding. I have heard both sides of the argument. Anything particular to the fencing recruiting process? Child’s next (junior) year will be just as rigorous, and I am having some doubts about it.

Short of talking pretty openly with a current admissions officer, I think responses to this question will be largely anecdotal. My personal take is that, while schools may take into account more rigourous classwork at the high school level (they may even weight it), that only goes so far. Being at a top private school, particularly a feeder to elite colleges, may help. Who have you consulted on this, e.g., school academic advisor or college admissions counselor?

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Since you asked – and this may not be helpful to any questions about recruiting – my response as a parent is to focus on the value of the curriculum and courses as part of a high quality education. Does your student want to learn/be challenged? Does s/he/they enjoy those classes, or is it being done out of pressure? They only go through high school once, and IMHO students should get the most out of the experience they can. Stepping up to a challenging curriculum can provide lifelong benefits but if it is truly an overstretch then perhaps be realistic about how much of the course load is manageable. In general, colleges definitely look at the academic rigor of a course load but no-one here can tell you what that will mean for your student in particular. What does your student want to do? Maybe just support that… And good luck!!!

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Not at a top private, but at a highly regarded suburban school district. Both school academic advisor and college admissions counselor vetted child’s selections for next year.

Thanks! Child created their own schedule and was really in charge of the process of meeting with the advisor and advocating for certain classes. Child’s teachers recommend child for all these classes as well. Child had another hobby where child excelled at, and I encouraged child to have maybe 1 elective just for fun and enjoinment, but child went with more rigorous classes. Child’s environment is very competitive and full of overachievers, and I can see how it can cloud the thinking.

I guess I was looking for some anecdotal evidence where this subject specifically was discussed during the recruitment process.

My opinion/experience is that for a recruited athlete the letter grade is most critical. The coach and adcom will be looking for a threshold gpa and SAT/ACT score if reported. Course rigor not so much. On the other hand course rigor (+ high GPA) is highly important for non-recruited applicants at highly rejective colleges.

That said I agree strongly that students should seek out the courses course levels that they are most interested in and do the best they can.

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I think unfortunately the Ivies are still using the academic index which factors in only the letters but not the rigorousness…

Although it probably is just numbers, my understanding is that prospective colleges receive a high school profile which details academic rigor, including AP classes offered as well as GPA calculations. How much a particular school weighs this is anyone’s guess. But I agree with the general consensus - Be challenged, rigorous, and intellectually open. Fencing, even if recruited to a top program, is short term. Education and all you put in and got is for a lifetime.

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It’s not possible for the Ivies to calculate an AI for student athletes applying test optional (test scores are 2/3 of the AI formula). Not sure what the point would be to calculate the AI for only some of the student athletes.

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That’s what I am concerned about. Child is in a very competitive HS and there are actually 2 levels of courses offered above the base level courses. Most of child’s classes are that 3rd top level. For reference, those top levels and APs were given the same weight under the GPA calculation system HS utilized up until this year. I asked the child to reconsider having such a rigorous schedule for next year and was adamantly rejected.

Keep in mind that the threshold gpa will vary based on the college and how heavily recruited they are. It will never be a 4.0, and typically would be lower than the median accepted student. Depending on the kid some will perform better in more challenging courses. Finally, class rigor is extremely important for the most academically competitive colleges for the non-recruited, non-hooked applicants. So if there’s a chance they may end up interested in a college they aren’t recruited to the rigor may be critical.

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