How important can athletics be as a hook for college admissions?
It is common knowledge that athletic talent can offer significant advantages (and scholarship money) to an applicant at a Division I school. However, it is important to realize that student athletes can also reap benefits from their athletic prowess at Division II and Division III institutions. For example, a Division-I-caliber swimmer with good (but not great) academic credentials and aspirations to attend a top liberal arts college may be able to use her talents to earn admission at a place like Amherst, Williams or Pomona. Talented athletes may also earn significant scholarship money (which is occasionally disguised as a need-based or academic scholarship at some D-III colleges). Ultimately, you don’t have to be the next Michael Jordan to gain advantage, especially if you wish to use your athletic talents as a means to greater and more academically-oriented ends.
Athletics as a “hook” depends on a number of factors. One factor, of course, is your own level of competence in your sport of choice. There are a lot of good athletes, so this can be a very competitive area. Another factor is the importance of your sport at the institutions to which you want to apply and the extent to which those schools are looking for someone involved in your sport. (This can vary from year to year within any given institution.)
– As an exceptional athlete, you could be interesting to a school as a potential member of one of their varsity teams. The competition and levels of expectation for places on the varsity teams will vary among institutions. If varsity participation is your goal, you should also make contact with staff of the relevant athletic departments of the schools in which you are interested. Depending on the schools and the NCAA division of your sport at those institutions, you might also be eligible for athletic scholarships.
– Schools are typically looking for well-rounded students who will not only be academically successful, but who will also become involved in the extracurricular programs of their institutions in various areas, including club and intramural sports (non-varsity), so even if you’re not considering varsity sport involvement, highlighting your athletic background will undoubtedly add to your application. It will give the institution a better picture of you as a total person and will be one more piece of the puzzle which could make you a “person of interest” to them.
Here is my video response to the question.
If you are a top athlete, athletics can be a valuable hook for college admissions. If you want to be a recruited athlete, you need to familiarize yourself with the process as early as 10th grade as coaches can begin to contact athletes after June 15th of 10th grade. That being said, it is important to keep your grades up as academics still play a big role in the process.
athletics department receives the most funding from the college in student activies or services. the fix costs related to supporting the department is huge in many colleges.
with all the seats must fill, students should approach colleges as early as possible if qualifed for athletic terms. no matter of what division you may participant, you can help youself during the admisisons process especially you have the coachs in addition to your counselor to speak very highly of you to the admisisons director.
It depends. Obviously if you are good enough for Division I athletics and they are courting you, a scholarship is probably headed your way. However, in some circumstances, athletics can matter. I had a student who was a good football player, too small for Division 1, but great for Div 2 or 3. Two very selective liberal arts colleges approached him (they saw him play at an event) and he got into both of them. Without football, he would not have been accepted. If you want to play athletics, make sure you meet the coach regardless of the division. It can help.
The value of athletics as a hook varies based on the school and the level of athletic prowess. If you are blue chip recruit, the coach really wants you, and you are NCAA eligible, that may be the end of the story, even though one can never forget that the final decisions are made by the admissions office. However, if you are simply someone who has been playing at the high school level, but will not continue, your athletic record is less a hook than a piece of your puzzle. Athletics are only a true hook, if you are good enough to be able to make a contribution to the college’s program for as in all other areas the admissions offices are looking to create a commuity and want to know what you will contribute.
Only important if you are going to be recruited or have achievements on the national, or even better, the international level.
It would be almost impossible to overstate the benefit of being a recruited athlete.
The importance of athletics as a hook depends on your interests and each school’s needs. Do you want to pursue intercollegiate athletics on a Division I or II level? Continue competitive sports at a Division III school or participate in your sport but on a less demanding club level? Athletics is a more powerful hook if you intend to play on the school’s team (D I, II, or III), but you will need to match your talents with each school’s needs. You may be the best short stop in your state, but if your top-choice university already has more short stops than it needs, your hook won’t matter. Athletics can be the reason you are admitted, but you still need grades, classes, and scores and at least one school interested in your for your athletic ability.
The short answer is that unless you are being recruited onto an athletic team, participating in sports is just as important as any other activity that may have surfaced as your primary extracurricular involvement. Admissions officers know that being on a sports team requires discipline, commitment, teamwork and if you one of the good ones, talent. Unfortunately because playing sports is so ubiquitous it’s sometimes hard to describe that experience in a creative way, and is a tough ‘hook.’ However, if you treat your involvement with athletics as an opportunity to highlight leadership, or take your sport into the community, it may very well be a hook. For instance, if you’re a committed soccer player, but not the team all-star, what about volunteering to set up a camp for younger players or helping plan a tournament? Now it’s not about you as an athlete, but you as a leader.
I think Athletics can be one of the GREAT college hooks.
Afterall it’s NOT a coincidence that somehow, a college gets the correct number of young men and women on each of its many athletic teams each and every year.
Look at little Davidson College for example. Roughly 1600 students; yet, they boast 19 Men’s and Women’s Div I sports and this does not include Club or Intramural sports!!
Davidson is an elite college and highly regarded by most consultants. It ranks as #11
this year on the U.S. News Rankings.(Nat’l Liberal Arts) My point is think how important athletics are. My guestimate is that over 1/2 of the student body are either Div I athletes or participates in some type of sports.
If you want a highly selective school, gpa and test scores aren’t always enough. You need a resume. And high level athletics can be one of the strongest resume entries
you can boast
It can be very important. You can be recruited to a school to play for them if you are good enough, which is one way to get into college, but otherwise, playing on a sport shows that you have a certain mental and physical discipline. Playing a team sport already shows great teamworking skills, which colleges like to see. Sports are by no means necessary, however. If you are able to demonstrate your excellent qualities through any of your activities that’s great. Colleges want to see that you get more out of your activities than simple enjoyment. If being in orchestra makes you a team player, let them know! If painting helps you express your emotions, tell them! The most important thing is that colleges see that you have good non-academic qualities. Athletics most easily demonstrates things like leadership, discipline and teamwork, but so do other things too.
Athletics with a good academic background is a huge plus for admissions.
Again – it all depends on variables too numerous to mention here. If the athlete is a superstar as well as brilliant, they’re usually a shoe in.
If you are an athlete and the coach has told you that you are one of his or her top recruits, that will have a very strong and favorable impact on your chances for admission. In fact, any recruited athlete has an advantage over applicants without such a hook. However, if you are a high school varsity athlete who is not recruited, athletics will not be a hook for you (although it may well be looked upon as a strong extracurricular activity).
Whether you are looking to fence at Cornell, play basketball at Gonzaga, or row for San Diego State, it is important to fully understand the college admissions process for student athletes. How is it different from the traditional process? How can you best prepare early in order to open up as many options as possible when it comes time for applying to colleges and exploring your athletic options? The list below is by no means exhaustive, as there are many intricacies associated with each sport and each individual school, but it can be used as a place to start.
– Develop an athletic resume, summarizing your experiences and academic background
– Develop a recruiting film that includes both highlights as well as a full game
– Continue to take academically rigorous coursework (including AP and Honors classes, if possible)
– Develop a balanced list of schools that you are interested in playing for, with a balance of Division I and Division III schools
– Fill out the recruiting forms on each college’s website (once you have received your test scores)
– If you are interested in playing a Division I sport, fill out the NCAA eligibility form
– Contact coaches and assistant coaches to express your interest in a school. Make sure that your email contact is personalized to each school and written in a professional manner.
– Attend athletic camps over your summers. These are typically about 4 days long at the end of June or during July, and are a great place to showcase your skills and introduce yourself to coaches. When looking at your different options, be sure to note the schools that will be attending for recruitment. You can also ask coaches which camps they will be attending over the summer.
– Remain in contact with the schools that you are most interested in
– Visit the schools that you are interested in playing for, if possible
– Make your final decision. Be sure that you are making the decision that is best for you, not choosing the college that you think you should attend, but rather the college that you are most interested in attending.
The short answer is that unless you are being recruited onto an athletic team, participating in sports is just as important as any other activity that may have surfaced as your primary extracurricular involvement. Admissions officers know that being on a sports team requires discipline, commitment, teamwork and if you’re one of the good ones, talent. Unfortunately because playing sports is so ubiquitous it’s sometimes hard to describe that experience in a creative way, and is a tough ‘hook.’ However, if you treat your involvement with athletics as an opportunity to highlight leadership, or take your sport into the community, it may very well be a hook. For instance, if you’re a committed soccer player, but not the team all-star, what about volunteering to set up a camp for younger players or helping plan a tournament? Now it’s not about you as an athlete, but you as a leader.
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