“ACADEMIC SUPPORT”…This is a term you hear being thrown around in the high-academic recruiting world. The high-academic world consists of the highly ranked academic institutions. These can be at the D1 level (Ivy League, Patriot League, etc.), or D3 level (NESCAC, NEWMAC, Centennial Conference, etc.). The notion of “support” is far more prevalent on the D3 side of the ball because they cannot offer athletic scholarship. That means their “offer” will come with academic support. So what does “support” from a coach actually mean?
I will take you down the timeline of how academic “support” works.
Let’s say you are interested in The Recruiting Coaches University, a Division 3 school in upstate New York with an average GPA of 3.8, ACT of 32, and SAT of 1460 (730 math / 730 reading). The school is ranked in their region athletically, and occasionally qualifies for a regional appearance. So, this a school that is in a very competitive recruiting pool when it comes to academically qualified athletes. You have a 3.6 GPA with a 30 ACT and a 1380 SAT. You are not a slam dunk applicant, but you can still get accepted. You are a prime candidate for needing academic support to be accepted.
Here’s how it will work:
- The coach will choose to pursue you in the recruiting process.
- The coach will collect your academic information.
- SAT Score Report
- ACT Score Report
- Subject Test Reports
- High School Profile
- The coach will compile that information and send it to their liaison in the admissions office for what is commonly known as a “pre-read”.
- Admissions will come back with feedback as to how you rank as a potential applicant. Usually this comes back in one of three buckets. 1) This applicant should be very competitive and potentially get in without the coaches support. 2) This applicant is solid, but would need the coaches support to make their acceptance more likely. 3) This applicant is not a good applicant even with the coaches support. You should not recruit them any longer.
- The coach will use this feedback to determine if you are an athlete they would like to support. Most coaches get less “spots” to support than spots they need for their recruiting class. For example, they might get 6 “spots” to support, but they need 9 recruits in that class. This means there are recruited players who will apply and get accepted on their own without support.
- If the coach chooses to support you, then he will most likely ask you to apply Early Decision. If they are going to offer support, they will want to know you are going to attend if accepted.
- You would apply early and feel confident that you will be accepted to the school…but nothing is 100% until that acceptance letter is in hand. Remember, you have to keep up with your grades and make sure there are no slip-ups after your pre-read is brought back. No C’s/D’s senior spring!
Common Questions About Support
- Is support a guarantee that I will be accepted?
- It depends on the school. Some schools can guarantee it, some schools will tell you that your chances are very good, some will say there are no guarantees and you should still plan to apply elsewhere.
- If it’s not a guarantee, then why do I want support?
- Support is your way of separating yourself from the rest of the pack. Majority of the schools who will offer support will tell you that as long as you keep your grades consistent you should feel confident you will be accepted. That is something that the normal applicant does not hear. Without support, you look a lot like everyone else.
- Does support mean I am on the team?
- Coaches support players they want on the team. When you arrive you will have to earn your playing time like all the other players.