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Letters

Swim18Swim18 5 replies2 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
Hi,

I'm a junior (soon to be senior) that recently submitted recruiting questionnaires to colleges for my sport. A couple of days ago, I received a hand-written and signed letter from the head coach at Penn stating that I am "the exact student athlete they're looking for" and "very impressive stats" and "would love to have you on campus in the Fall of 2014" and "excited to be able to speak to you on the phone July 1". Does this demonstrate serious interest or is it just another letter coaches send to 1000s of prospective student athletes? I did send him a follow up email with more specifics on my athletics and academics, but I'm not expecting a reply for a few more days... I got excited over this letter but am unsure of what it actually means... Any input would be appreciated.
edited May 2013 in Athletic Recruits
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Replies to: Letters

  • HVbaseballDadHVbaseballDad 1 replies0 discussions Harvard Champion
    Getting a letter like that from an Ivy coach at this point is very good. In my experience, they are always later on the recruiting front because they have to await standardized test scores etc. to make sure prospects are qualified. Do your homework to make sure you are academically qualified. Congratulations and good luck!
    edited May 2013
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  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad 11 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Swim18

    It does demonstrate serious interest by the Penn coach. I would try to call him. I would also send him a email with your test scores, GPA, and schedule for next year.
    edited May 2013
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  • GolfFatherGolfFather 28 replies0 discussions
    My d has received a few very similar emails/letters.

    My two cents: it falls somewhere between “just another letter coach sends to 1000s” and “serious” interest.

    I’d say: it shows interest with canned language.

    Though the fact that it was hand-written surprises me and would seem to be a good sign.

    Good luck!
    edited May 2013
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  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad 11 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    The fact that the note was hand written is very important and indicates that not many swimmers received such a note. What was said in the note is also important

    “very impressive stats"- It appears that the coach has done a rough calculation of your AI based on your GPA and test scores and that your AI is in range.

    "would love to have you on campus in the Fall of 2014" – It sounds like the coach is confident the pre-read by admissions will go well and he will be offering an official visit for this fall

    "excited to be able to speak to you on the phone July 1".- July 1st before the start of senior year is the first date that the coaches may initial a phone call to a recruit. Coaches general call their highest ranked recruits on that day.

    As soon as an official junior year transcript becomes available I would scan it and email it to the coach. In addition I would email the coach your meet schedule for major meets this summer (many Ivy coaches will be going to JR Nationals in Irvine this summer).
    edited May 2013
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  • evertonnutevertonnut 2 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Very positive sign, because he specifically references calling you on July 1. You should pick up the phone and call him before July 1-- just make sure you're prepared first, i.e., anticipate questions from him and practice how you will answer them, and have your questions for him ready. By being proactive and calling him first, you're letting the coach know that you are enthusiastic about Penn. Good luck!
    edited May 2013
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  • toomanycatstoomanycats 1 replies0 discussions Harvard Champion
    We know several people that have been recruited by (and gone to) Penn swimming... men and women... Two of our kids talked to Penn, but decided to go the D3 route after seeing the commitment and realizing that there were very few engineers on any Ivy swim team!

    Anyway, it is a nice sign that Mike Schnurr wrote to you, but please know that he will (necessarily) cast a wide net. He can get admitted (he told us this directly - and recent classes seem to support it) 10 men and 10 women, but he will be weaning that down from 70 or so (of each). He has also been known to drop people that he was (supposedly) very interested in when someone new (better?) pops onto the radar screen.

    Therefore, while you should definitely respond as recommended, please keep YOUR options open... Check out Brown (great new pool), Dartmouth, Cornell, etc. If your times are good enough to attract interest at Penn, they will be marketable elsewhere too!
    edited May 2013
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  • ChicagoMamaChicagoMama 5 replies0 discussions Harvard Champion
    The whole letter was handwritten? I would be impressed. Also think the July 1st reference is extremely promising!
    edited May 2013
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  • Swim18Swim18 5 replies2 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Thank you all for the input - I'm feeling optimistic but have realistic expectations. Bumping this thread
    edited May 2013
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  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth 5 replies0 discussions
    Swim18,

    You are off to a very good start. I think your note shows genuine interest but not serious interest yet. If I was in your shoes, I would continue to develop the dialogue with the Penn coach BUT also reach out to other Ivys, high academic schools, and any other schools that interest you to gauge their interest. That is how the "recruiting game" is played.

    Basically, you've been told that your qualifications put you in a unique position. Why not see what doors you can open with those qualifications, and where it leads? Most Ivy athletes have other options available to them academically and athletically. My best advice is to get more information about Penn and others to determine if that is a path you truly want to pursue.

    Good luck, and please let us know how we can help.
    edited May 2013
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  • reach2playreach2play 5 replies1 discussions Harvard Champion
    Congrats!! Handwritten letters don't go to everyone. If one is interested, others will be too, but don't sit back. Take the initiative, build a target schools list and contact the coaches to build your options. I worked with both my son and daughter to build out a plan, and go after our target schools. Here is a great video overview of how to build targets and goals for athletic scholarships: Athletic Scholarships - Goals and Targets - YouTube
    edited May 2013
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  • classicalmamaclassicalmama 17 replies0 discussions
    fenway: What is the difference between genuine and serious interest? At what point does one become the other? I'm guessing that you'd define serious interest as the day the coach calls the athlete and officially invites him/her on an official visit?

    Another way to look at it is that the handwritten note is a sign that, at this point in time, you are high on the coach's recruit list. The caveat is that that may change as time goes on and grades or SAT scores come in; national level competitions come and go with results that are as (or not as) hoped for; and times/skills improve or stay the same.
    edited May 2013
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  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth 5 replies0 discussions
    classicalmama asked - fenway: What is the difference between genuine and serious interest? At what point does one become the other? I'm guessing that you'd define serious interest as the day the coach calls the athlete and officially invites him/her on an official visit?
    I probably could have worded or phrased that better. The point I was trying to make is that "serious interest" is when a coach takes action to separate himself from other interested coaches such as an OV offer, scholarship offer, admissions offer or roster offer. I think a lot of folks get to the "genuine interest" level of a coach but there has to be something that puts the recruit over the top. My observation is that coaches just don't do something for the heck of it....there has to be some pressure or reason for action. I believe this is why it is so important that recruits talk to as many coaches and schools as possible to build a market for themselves and to protect themselves. The coach has to be compelled to take action rather than the usual verbal compliments, emails, and texts and eventually the recruiting process for that school stalls. Now, most of us who have been through this a few times know that a school that stalls is not necessarily out of the picture. In a lot of cases, they do come back.
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  • 5amriser5amriser 1 replies0 discussions College Search & Selection Champion
    Swim18
    Just want to let you know that S got the exact same wording letter from the same coach (men's swimming) with hand signature a few weeks ago. While it's not something the coach would send to 1000 swimmers, it is still likely to be a relatively wide net at this point so I would suggest for you to have a good list of alternatives like others have suggested.
    edited May 2013
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  • riverrunnerriverrunner 2 replies0 discussions
    Swim18, since you're in a sport that's all about a stop watch you probably have a really good idea of your national ranking within your graduating class at specific distances. You may actually know some of the athletes recording times the same as yours and faster. You may also even have an idea of their academic qualifications!

    If you are one of the fastest kids in the US (top 50ish) in one or more events and meet the academic requirements, you probably ARE a solid recruit for Ivies. The academically qualified kids who are fast, like the Ivy League, and who can accept Ivy finaid computation or can afford the bill outright are going to distribute themselves across the league. Not all the fast kids want the Ivies. Some want to win a national championship, get an athletic scholarship, stay close to home or like the beach.

    8 schools, 10 recruits per school that's 80 new athletes, but coaches have to fill all their events with talent, not just yours. Best odds are at a school where the kid who swims your distance is graduating in 2014. It's basically just a math problem:if your ranking is too low, someone faster may slide in to your spot.

    Best wishes!
    edited May 2013
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  • classicalmamaclassicalmama 17 replies0 discussions
    fenway and riverruner: Thanks. Those were both very helpful, clear posts. The point that talking to many schools both cushions and makes an athlete more marketable is a good one and clarifies the "wide net" philosophy for me.

    I've been getting hung up on that because it has seemed to me there is a point where an academically well qualified kid (in the 75-100% range for a given school) with strong athletics--based on his school's scattergrams or other data--is likely to get into a school without the athletic recruit label; in those cases, the effort required to reach out to another pile of coaches has seemed to me to be an unnecessary stressor at this point in time for an already incredibly busy kid. (I just can't align myself with the belief that kids should endure great suffering in high school so as to receive their reward in college.). But I think what you're saying is that within that band of "reach" schools for the athlete (reach could be athletic or academic), the athlete should actively pursue as many relationships with coaches as possible. That's a fairly narrow band for my kid, but is probably much wider for others.
    edited May 2013
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