Navigating College Applications as a Student Athlete
Learn how to master the application process as a student athlete.
2021-07-19 Navigating College Applications as a Student Athlete
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on Navigating College Applications as a Student Athlete. As a student athlete. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
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Sounds good over to you. Hi everyone. My name is Jahan Mirchandani. I’m excited to be here today. Welcome all to our panel. I hope we’re have a very exciting 60 minutes discussion in place and I’m happy to share my experiences and my advice. Navigating the college application experience as a student athlete in high school.
Am I going to give a little bit more of an introduction about whatever you’d like? [00:02:00] Yeah, yeah. I’ll get a little bit more intro. So I actually went to school on long island public school and I played volleyball, basketball and baseball in high school. And I ended up playing volleyball on the men’s team at Johns Hopkins university, where I attended there for three years, I opted to graduate a year early, so I could get started in my professional career.
And I spent the last five years at Deloitte as a government consultant before joining Bain guard here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So that’s a little bit more personal.
Okay, moving on to the next one. So what was your experience with athletics in high school? Yeah, so experience with athletics in high school [00:03:00] really tried keeping myself. After class. Yeah. Try to prolong going home and doing homework. But I decided I had to play as many sports as possible. The sport that I enjoyed playing the most was baseball, but unfortunately that was the sport I was the worst at.
So I had to really spend my time and focus on honing in my volleyball skills. So I was lucky enough to make the volleyball, varsity team as a freshmen first year in high school. And paid to be the tallest freshmen, but sadly didn’t grow after that. So people definitely, I grew on me and it became a matter of timing and just getting my jumps.
Right. But our team was very fortunate enough to win the county championship. My senior year lost in the county championship my junior year. So it was a nice, like overcoming adversity story, which I definitely highlighted in my college application. That was a two time all [00:04:00] county volleyball player. But on the side, I also played basketball during the winter season.
And then of course baseball during the spring season. So I use utilized both my athletic experience, but also prioritizing getting grades in the classroom for as many scholar athlete, like scholarships and applications as possible. So every now and then I would be looking at online. What corporate sponsors are kind of highlighting or recognizing scholar athletes of the week scholar athletes at the month of the year, that was named our USA today, New York state scholar athlete of the year, which is pretty cool because it was a group of 25 of us that they flew down to the Disney campus in Florida.
And they utilized us to take part of the got milk. Which I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not really milk, but it’s actually lukewarm [00:05:00] vanilla ice cream. It stays better on the top of your list. And it makes for a much better photo. But that was, that was definitely the highlight of my athletic experience in high school and both at an academic too.
But I was, it was nice enough that while playing these sports, I definitely got close. A lot of my teammates, which weren’t necessarily in the same exact classes as me, but just getting to build that friendship and that bond as part of the team, it was nice because we were going through the college application process together.
So getting to hear about some of their personal experiences, how they’re approaching, how they’re being recruited and also forming that bond with our coaches, that depending on the high school you’re going. My dual hat as a teacher. So at least I’m allowing in a public school, my volleyball teacher, chemistry, teacher, basketball teacher, us history, teacher, baseball [00:06:00] teachers, and English teacher.
And I’m calling them teachers, but I like coaches, but you got the point. So it was nice getting to different benefits. I had the same thing in public school. Okay. Our next slide is on how important were athletics in your college application? Yeah, so for the college application definitely complimented the academic part of it.
So it wasn’t just, I can go home. I can study and I can memorize a bunch of materials to perform well on a test. But it was also, it was adding onto the fact that I can do this all along, managing my athletic commitments, my ability to come home from practice tired in the evening, and still being able to manage what homework I need to get done, what paper I need to write, what exams are coming [00:07:00] up.
So it was almost serving as like a dual story of. Uh, scholar first and an athlete. Second for the application, even though sometimes your athletic commitments, depending on what season it is came first. So it helps shape a story of being flexible, being able to go in and form relationships, but at that team level, but in the classroom level as well.
And then at the end of the day, it introduced me to so many different perspectives. And different experiences, both from my teammates and my coaches, but also from my teammates, parents and other classmates that were just coming to games or rooting us on. So it was nice getting to hear their advice as we were navigating through the application process, especially hearing from individuals that weren’t necessarily part of a sports team, but they were sharing their lens of what [00:08:00] they perceived were some of the challenges.
People that didn’t get the chance to just focus in on academics, what they had to go through.
Okay. Our next slide is on how athletics, how can athletics help craft a strong application? Yeah. So for the application part, at least from personal experience, having served in the admissions office at Johns Hopkins university, one of the things that we were doing. To look at, as we were going through application was where were the instances where this particular student took on and found voluntary activity to make a difference or make an impact within their particular high school campus?
Because if this individual was willing to go above and beyond in high school, chances are, they’re more likely to come on campus. [00:09:00] And go above and beyond than just the classroom. So for you to go ahead and be a part of this sports team to play in these games, to become a captain, potentially to exhibit those leadership skills that shares a very impactful story.
That’s the type of individual that’s committed to success. That’s driven by more than just good grades that has that little flare of competitive. Y. Okay. I’m approaching my preparation for a big game. The same way I would expect you to prepare for a final exam. And the competitive spirit of may will not let me do worse than I know I’m personally capable of doing on that exam and getting that final grade.
So it was trying to get, find those parallels between your athletic experiences and your academic experience. Which I think really helps [00:10:00] craft a strong college application. And then second, I made the joke about the head varsity about losing junior year, when a senior year, that adversity shows to the person reading.
Let’s say back in my shoes as a admissions officer, it’s saying when the going gets tough and this person faces a challenge or something they’re not prepared for. How do they overcome that? And athletics is a perfect case study for that is because not every single individual is going to have an undefeated season.
There can only be one champion there’s only so many early morning practices where you’re just like, I really do not want to go sit in on AP us history at 9:00 AM today. They’re just tying all that in. I think really makes you stand.
So how can I make it difficult to have a strong [00:11:00] application? I like this question because it’s not just all good about playing sports, right? If it was that easy, everyone would do it. But at the same time, the Mount of dedication, that effort that you might spend between practicing that for you. Or going out to the field and improving your conditioning.
Let’s face it at the end of the day, that same amount of time, it’s just less amount of preparation for any homework or any final exam. It terms or papers that you have to write. So it does become a juggling balance of what is that appropriate amount to dedicate to athletics versus my academics. And that’s where.
When I really reflected back on my high school athletic career, it would not have been made possible if I didn’t have those trusted mentors, those advisors, [00:12:00] those coaches, and those teachers to open up to and get their advice, to get their recommendations, especially coming from parents that did not even go to school in this country to go through this entire application and then to throw athletics on top of.
It definitely shaped the unique narrative that I hope you all leverage that your college application.
Okay. So we’re going to do a quick poll, uh, starting right now, and we would love to know what grade you’ll be entering this fall.
The results will take a second to come in.
Okay. So we have quite a few 11th and 12th graders. Very cool.
A handful of ninth and 10th [00:13:00] graders.
Okay. It looks like the numbers are starting to even out. So we have five ninth graders, six 10th graders, 27, 11th graders and 24 12th graders. So a lot of upperclassmen and one other. Awesome.
So what is the recruitment process like? Yeah, the recruitment processes. I kind of alluded to it earlier. Right. But having those honest conversations and definitely. Upon the people that you consider trusted mentors to understand that not everyone gets into their top school, not everyone is able to find the unders or understand that this school might be great for them for their four year athletic career in college.
But what happens after that because not everyone is going professional. So I [00:14:00] also need to factor. The academic programs that are offering. So with the recruitment process, these are all a few considerations where yes. You might be talking to Scouts. Yes. You might be going to campus to speak with coaches, but prospective teammates or even students on campus, but this recruitment process can start early.
So it’s never too early for you to do your interview. Research for, I know we have a few ninth graders, 10th graders on the phone today, but it’s not something that you might necessarily want to wait until the standard college application where you start thinking about it towards your end of your junior year.
So it can involve your standard things like your compiling tape of yourself, where it might not necessarily have to be done professionally. A lot of high school programs right now are just compiling a tape as code. To go [00:15:00] through and game plan for future matches, where you can request a copy of that tape and edit out your personal highlights.
You could send those out, you could work with your coaches, especially depending on the high school that you’ve been to that have sent previous high school athletes to colleges. You can listen from them or hear from them what their experience.
What tips do you have to make the recruitment process less stressful? Yeah. So the tips I have for myself that I will share with you too, was going back to that self-reflection of what do you ideally see yourself doing? Not just for the next four years, but eight years. I definitely understand. That’s a long amount of time ahead as 11th graders right now.
You’re not necessarily thinking what you’re going to be [00:16:00] doing when you’re 25 years old, 24 years old, but it is something that highly recommend. If you have some of those conversations with your parents, with your coaches, with your teammates, and you just hear their perspective, their advice. And get a better understanding of what role will academics also play to compliment your athletic experience?
Because you might end up at one of your top three athletic programs in high school, whether it’s division one, division two division three, but where does that prepare you? Or where does that equip you for post-college graduate? Which again, you’re just trying to get through high school right now. You’re just trying to get to college, try to make a sports team there, but it is definitely something to factor in.
It’s not just immediate future, not just what you’re doing freshman year, but what you see your [00:17:00] SU subduing post-graduation. And does that particular campus support your academic goals too? To prepare you for finding that first. Post-college if you’re not one of the very lucky ones to potentially get into a professional career in athletics.
So how can students balance their academic workload with athletics? The big question, the big question. It’s easy for me to say this right now, because I personally am not shy. If I was shy, I most likely would not be doing this panel. But as an extrovert in high school, I was very surprised to see how many of my own teammates didn’t have conversations with their coach to leverage their relationship, their coach hat, with some of the teachers on campus, but also their own teachers.
So sure. My [00:18:00] basketball coach was in the social studies department, but that didn’t stop me from going up to my AP calc professor to say, We have three games this week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. And I also know we have an exam on Friday morning, so I was hoping if you could open up maybe extra office hours on Thursday, or you could give me like an extra practice set of questions to go through before the test, because I’m not sure if I’ll have adequate time to prepare for.
That test on Friday, given that I’m going through the recruitment process, or this is my primary sport. And you’ll be amazed by how having those conversations and even asking at very, very, very least the teacher will consider it. I’m not going to sit here and promise you that they’ll say yes and they’ll accommodate you.
But I will say that you will not know the answer unless you actually. [00:19:00] With the teachers, what you’re going through, because it’s not like they have your practice and game schedule memorized. They don’t know that you all three of those games are on the road this week, so that you also have to factor in travel time.
These games are an hour away. So it’s just being able to balance the academic workload with the athletics. Well, depending and relying on some of the support that you might be a little putting yourself. A little vulnerable to ask, but it’s better than going through it all along. I can promise you that.
And the second I remember my baseball team spring semester, it was, we just formed a study group. We’re like, listen, we’re all in this together. Why are we going home after the games at eight 30 at night, trying to cram in a quick dinner and then forming our own study sheets or answering these questions on our.
Why don’t we see where [00:20:00] we can talk about it on a bus ride back we’ll one of us just brings our binder with us or a tablet with us, and let’s just tackle it as a group of teammates, even in the classroom. So these are all things that not each one of the sports teams did, but when they did do it, it was very, very beneficial.
And I would highly encourage you to do.
So how can students set themselves apart from other student athletes in the admissions process? Yeah. This question made me smile because I brought me back to the time where I was on campus. Just reading through applications of students going on and on about individual achievements. I batted three 50 my senior year, or I was the county’s leading.
Oh, my basketball team and it never really showed a story of how they got there. [00:21:00] Did they demonstrate growth or are they just this naturally gifted and had success their entire lives, going back to the theme of what have you overcome or have you grown or developed? So that could be on an individual basis, but it also could be on a team basis of what are some of the things that.
Experiences your collective team went through in order for you to get to a place where you’re lucky not to be thinking about playing in college because it’s not just one person on a very crappy team. That’s a shining star and then it’s good enough to play in college. It will not hurt you if you also bring the rest of your teammates up and your application there.
So let me tell you that goes a long way. Reading it. Admissions officer, because it also shows a little bit of humility. I said, this person isn’t just about themselves and it will stick out a lot to any prospective [00:22:00] college coaches and your prospective Scouts, but also on an academic level, going back to the impact you make in the classroom that this person isn’t just about himself or herself.
If they’re not just here coming to our university to get good grades and then Southwest.
Okay. So what did you highlight in your application other than athletics? Yeah, so I broke it down in three groups because they’re just examples. Of course not everyone has the same number or same types of extracurriculars. The three things to consider. When thinking about the scoring rubric, we would have.
Would it be any leadership skills outside your athletic team, leadership, being anything you might’ve run for and got elected, anything you volunteered for where you took on a role [00:23:00] greater than just being a member of that student club. So it shows that you were willing to take on additional roles and responsibilities that you were not expected to do.
So, but you did want to contribute that being just more than. Member of the general club or the general body and volunteer opportunities. Is there anything you did within your community, whether you tutor potentially middle school or younger underclassmen in high school, whether you volunteered in your annual 5k in your town where you handed out water, it’s just little things like.
It should still be highlighted in your application or on your resume because you might personally think everyone else is doing it and everyone else has highlighted it, but that’s where you get into the group thing of then settling 40% of people that did do that thing. Did it feel like it was significant and [00:24:00] left enough to include it?
So you’ll never know until you actually make it part of your application and of course, any academic accomplishments. So this goes back to. The student athlete part where you’re not necessarily judged against the other individuals not participating in athletics and have that four O or have that three nine, where you can say that I was able to make the Dean’s list or the honors honor roll even while the semester or the, uh, the period or the season where I was participating in school.
So what last advice would you give to student athletes applying to college? Yeah, I think we, I we’ve covered this a lot during the questions about approaching the application or approaching your academics the same way you would [00:25:00] approach any big game, any major milestones in your athletic career. To putting in being willing to put in the work, because you’ve done so much throughout your four years in high school to be in this position to even consider playing in college.
Why not just go a little bit above and beyond to make sure you’ve double-checked your college, your academic portion of the application, make sure that you asked another individual just for their second set of eyes to review. College essay, just like making sure you’re not cutting any corners, just to get the process over with just so you can get back to some of the other things you might enjoy.
The second and most importantly is leveraging the people around you that you’ve met, that you’ve grown close to, that you’ve trusted as part of [00:26:00] your academic athletic playing career. So that goes back to the. Coaches parents, classmates teammates is making sure that you at least give them a chance to talk a few things through with you as to what you’re looking to do, whether it’s what schools you’re applying to, whether it’s what story that you’re hoping to shape in your application and what your timeline is like.
Okay. So now we’re moving on to the Q and a. This is the end of the presentation. I, and I hope that you found this information helpful. Moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat. So you can see and then read them out loud before our panelist gives you an answer as a heads up.
If your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions. Double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom [00:27:00] link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. Okay. Our first, uh, question is in addition to meeting the GPA and sat requirements, how should we approach the rest of the college applications specifically for Johns Hopkins?
And what extracurriculars would you recommend given that clubs, sports occupy a lot of your time as a student athlete. Good question. The big question, but I’m actually. It’s a specific question to one school because taking Johns Hopkins aside for just a moment when you’re going through a school SAS application, even though it might be on the common app and you’ve checked the boxes of I’ve met the GPA, I’ve met the, the sat requirements.
Now you need to convey the story of why are you taking the time to apply to fix particulars? Absolutely. What is it about what that school can offer to [00:28:00] you where you believe will help you grow? Not just as a student, but as an individual within the community and what you can take out of that experience to help you achieve some of the goals that you might have in life.
And they might not necessarily need to be defined today as a 16 or 17. But I want to spend the rest of my life as a lawyer or a doctor, but going back to why Johns Hopkins or why any other school make sure you’re highlighting that you’ve done the research that you’ve taken the time to understand how you can make an impact within their community, within their campus.
What are some of the things that excite you? Are you excited about a particular program or academic major that they’re. Did you read something within their extracurriculars website that you figured? Wow. I really hope when I’m a junior that I’m like the [00:29:00] vice president of that particular extracurricular club, or is it just the amount of diversity in that class where you’re really amazed by the fact that the last incoming freshman class of 2025 featured 48 states and 3,000.
Just highlighting minor facts like that really go along right. To helping your applications to gap. And then for Johns Hopkins, I remember even talking about why Baltimore, well, sure you read about some of the stereotypes, even like top of mind, any school you go to try applying to even like NYU you’ll have both sides of why it’s a good school.
What are some difficult experiences that some students went through, don’t be shy to potentially address a particular thing that you’ve read or a stereotype that’s commonly known for you to say that this [00:30:00] is why I’m not, this is why I don’t find it daunting. This is actually something that I’m spinning to find exciting because of my personal interest for my mentality to help.
Okay, our next question is where do you find the scholarships for athletes and typically what are the requirements for these scholarships? Yeah, you’ll be surprised. All you really need to do is make sure Google is your best friend. So leveraging your high school counselor’s office, the guidance counselor, typically high school is too.
A list of previous scholarships that may have been awarded to some of their previous graduating classes. There might be some school specific scholarships that are helpful for college athletes or high school athletes. And my school specific, I mean, to the college that [00:31:00] you’re applying to. And then of course you have some of your local area, whether it’s a state you’re living in, or that county, you live in.
Sometimes search like your most popular newspaper and go on their website and search for scholarships there. And then of course, search on the national level too. So for me, I did not even know that the got milk campaign was for high school students. I thought it was just a professional athletes. I remember like seeing Dwayne Wade and LeBron James doing the got milk campaign.
And when I read about this college, What wait a second. They want 17. Year-olds there’s too good to be true, but I would not have known if I simply didn’t Google it.
Okay. Our next question is. Um, will being a student athlete help be [00:32:00] helpful for applying to those high academic performance colleges. Given the fact that VR, I have very little chance to be recruited by those schools by D one schools and the students can only play the club teams and colleges a hundred percent.
You gotta think about being a student athlete at school. Not every single one of those student athletes end up playing at the varsity level within colleges. There are only so many open spots for incoming freshmen. Typically a team of 15 at 25 proportionally, only 25% of them typically less are dedicated to the incoming class of thousand plus freshman.
Yeah. So you still. Leveraging the fact that you were able to perform well academically while performing well at the high school level athletically. And [00:33:00] even though you’re not the number one recruit in your county, that shouldn’t stop you from still shaping a story around that. One of your many college essays can be referencing the fact that you were able to meet the academic rigor of your high school.
And that has prepared you for some of the academic challenges that you’ll face at that particular college. And the added benefit is you will not be spending four to five hours playing on their athletic team. So it’s a kind of like in layman’s up of, if you’re doing an interview and saying, wow, this is what I’m capable of.
Punk juggling sports. Imagine how much higher. If academics is my number one priority at this school where I don’t intend on trying out for the team and I’ll stay to the club. Another thing too, is that, um, admissions officers really care about sort [00:34:00] of demonstrated what are called soft skills. So that’s, you know, an ability to like be a team player doesn’t just happen in an athletic team.
It means that you can do that. Uh, a science lab too, or an, a music class, um, an ability to juggle multiple extracurriculars and academics is still going to be applicable in college. If that extracurricular turns into, I don’t know, pottery club. Um, and so there’s other things like that. Being a student athlete demonstrates, especially if you want to write about it.
And that aren’t specific just to, if you’re being recruited for a division one school. Okay. Our next question is what’s the application timeline to go off of in return in regards to applications and how does committing to a team alter the admissions process? Yes. So if you’re committing to a team, you are [00:35:00] definitely in the unique perspective.
Uh, you will then go off the timeline that you’re coordinating with, not just the coach, but that universities like athletics department liaison that you typically might be working with. If not the head coach directly to confirm that you have not just the appropriate timeline, but you might be taking the extra steps to apply through, go through that application process, even though you might already have a spot reserved.
So that’s different, of course, from that common app timeline that you’ll see as you’re entering your senior year in that fall period of early decision, early action, general deadline towards the end of the calendar year. So I would, the biggest advice I could say there is there, unfortunately as interest one standard timeline, when it comes to having committed to a particular.
[00:36:00] That is a question that you should coordinate with either the athletics department liaison.
Our next question is, uh, we’ve had quite a few questions sort of along this lines. So I’m excited to hear about this. My varsity basketball team won the league championship as well as CDC. Division championship in school’s history during my sophomore year, will this help make my college application outstanding in the future?
We’ve seen quite a few of like, I have this specific metric. Will this make me stand up? Yeah, absolutely. So as I was emphasizing on the team success, so you will say that you’re a winner, your team’s a winner. And then you can start expanding on that story of how hard you worked or how you individually contributed to the team success, how you [00:37:00] collaborate with your teammates, how you demonstrated leadership abilities, whether as a captain or as someone that might’ve been on the bench and rallying the group.
So you sure you can start out with captain or member. The conference, winning county championship winning team. And then you can go a little bit into individual achievements or contributions to the team, but then you overall theme will be more than just statistics. It’ll be the fact that you’ve taken that mentality.
I would have success on the field, on the court, and you’ve kind of leveraged it in the classroom of taking that same approach to. At the academic level, the same driving and motivation and driving and motivational concept. When you get to college, uh, getting to continue experiencing some of that [00:38:00] wins that you’ve gotten used to it.
Our next question is how can I demonstrate on an application that I am a versatile student athlete when I’ve spent most of my time honing my sport and not other extracurricular activities? I actually I’m surprised I’ve not heard this question before. I thought it was going to be one of the earlier questions that we got in because not everyone is going to be an elected students.
I remember not everyone is going to be part of like the key club or on the mock trial team, because those are still a pretty big time commitments that realistically cannot be chilled if you are a high performing varsity athlete. And one thing else I like to emphasize is not everyone needs to be a multi-sport athlete.
You can be a really, really good football player or soccer. [00:39:00] And then still have a strong application that you spent that winter season and then that subsequent spring season. And then of course, the summer to make sure that you grew and developed your game. So that next fall season, you were not the same player you were the previous season.
So not everyone has to say that. Okay. Once fall ended, I moved on to sport too. Then the sport. That’s the same approach I would take to, if you weren’t one of the fortunate ones to get multiple extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. It’s just saying that I grew throughout my time in high school, and these are some of the anecdotes I have to demonstrate that growth to demonstrate that I did not just take it.
After the season ended, but I continue to work on my game and I continue [00:40:00] to make sure that my academic performance did not fall off either. Because another thing that some people might not acknowledge is having a team sport as part of your life adds such structure. And that time constraint, where it almost motivates you to get your work done because you have no other option.
You only have the set amount of time to study or to take care of any prep you have for the classroom. And once the season ends, suddenly you have a lot more free time and a lot more flexibility, and it could be easy to just push deadlines back and kind of wait till the last minute, because you’re just enjoying some of the freedom that you have.
So it makes sure that you’re still emphasizing the fact that even after the season. I made sure that my grades at the very least, and not dropped down, but ideally might’ve even increased. Okay. We’re going to take [00:41:00] a quick break in the middle of the Q and a, and I want to let you know what you can do. If you want to work one-on-one with an advisor from our network of over 155 advisors and admissions officers.
You can sign up for a free consultation with us by going to CollegeAdvisor.com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and alive team member. We’ll get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us. Very exciting. Okay.
Now back to the Q and a, our next question is what do you recommend if you are still uncertain about your major and how do you navigate this? This. Number one recommendation. You do not have to worry of people that do not decide their major until they get to that college campus packed a lot of open enrollment periods for classes.
When you got to [00:42:00] campus, I’ll allow you the flexibility to even make that decision going into second semester of now that you’ve experienced. What’s some of your classes and your major will be, are you sure you want to do this? And that’s where a lot of universities see they’re pre-med or pre-law or some of your engineering or science majors really decide.
Oh, wow. I took AP chemistry in high school, but college chemistry, class different. So the fact that you might be even thinking about it right now as a 15, 16, 17 year old is something that I can guarantee you do not need to worry about. Now. I’m not saying that you should include it in your essay with, I don’t know what I want to do, and I don’t know what major.
’cause you still want to help frame a narrative of these are my general interests. And this is [00:43:00] generally why I’m interested in your school because of these particular programs or this particular reputation this university has in the high level field I’m interested in, but I wouldn’t say that you necessarily have to make.
Big life commitment. Now in high school, what major you want to do when you get to college? The one last thing I would say about that too, is different colleges sort of had different attitudes about people, not being certain about what their major is coming in. So I went to a liberal arts school where you’re not allowed to declare your major until the end of sophomore year.
They’re like, you’re like, we don’t want to know. You shouldn’t know, like figure, like take two years to figure. And then there are some research universities where you’re applying to a specific school within the college or within the university. And you need to know when you’re applying. Exactly what your major [00:44:00] is.
Um, and so it might just be a matter of finding a school where they are excited by students who don’t have everything figured out, but are, um, interested in finding out more. Okay. So our next question is, should you, could you give some examples of which extracurricular activities would help highlight qualities that colleges are looking for in student athletes other than just leadership?
Sure. So some extra curricular activities that come to mind. One thing I’ll say is the athletic. You have the leadership, you have the team building, you have some of those qualities that are taken care of, but translating that into, let’s say the classroom or even into, and [00:45:00] sophomore year, junior year internship, what are some ways that you might be potentially getting public speaking experience or you might be.
Being presented with a problem solving opportunity where you need to craft kind of like a recommendation or you need to craft a path forward or an action plan. So at high school, a few of those extra curricular activities that really helped me with my public speaking with my overall research and, um, stories.
Um, characteristics where like model United nations, the mock trial team, mathletes, like some of your more subject specific or department specific clubs on, in the high school, whether it’s aligned to the math department, [00:46:00] science department and seeing if there’s anything that can be complimentary of the course load that true.
So that’s some of the ways that I approached your more nonathletic extracurriculars, but there, the other way is doing like honor societies. You have like foreign language honor society, national honor society. Those are different ways. Or even like the key club where you might not necessarily be academic focused, but they’re personal projects that you’re taking.
Where you can demonstrate the growth there. Some of the challenges there that we’re just, we’re not just restricted to the field or the court.
Our next question is how much should you discuss athletics in your application? I’m going to give you a consulting answer for my time from Deloitte, [00:47:00] but it depends. Right. Are you being recruited? Are you considering being a walk-on for the varsity team? Are you a superstar athlete where your entire life revolved around athletics?
Because if the answer is yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to help you or put you down or hurt you or put you down in relation to the person that didn’t talk athletics at all. Because if that’s something, what you’re truly passionate. And that’s something, what you think about really drives you, motivates you and what you want to do when you get to that campus.
And that’s the impact you want to make, then demonstrate how passionate you are about it. Talk a lot about it, but I would not say that you need to restrict yourself because you feel as if there’s some sort of quota that you’ve hit a word count. Okay. Spoken [00:48:00] dedicated to many of your short response says or too many of your essays to it.
The one thing I will emphasize is when you share stories, don’t just keep constantly talking about that one experience you had your junior year, where you won the state title, talk about different anecdotes, talk about different challenges you overcame and talk about different personal points of view.
More than just hitting the game, winning home run, or being a three sport athlete or senior year. But explain why that matter. Explain how that helped you grow into a better high school application for college.
Our next question is, is it possible to start your college experience playing for an inner Mar intramural team, but eventually have a chance to play on the varsity team? I will say [00:49:00] typically for, and not all colleges are true like this, but most colleges have have least a club team and an instructor. So I would say at the club team, a lot of times it’s some of the varsity athletes that got to sophomore year, junior year or senior year and realized that they just didn’t have the time commitment required at the Parsi level.
So they play on the club team. And a lot of times these club teams have triumphs as opposed to intramurals where anyone can sign up in play. So typically for intramural weeks, you’ll see. They’re designated for your freshmen and sophomores that signed up to play for fun with let’s say their dorm room, or if they might be in fraternity and sorority life, make teams with them, or even like, make it with a bunch of your classmates from a particular class [00:50:00] versus the club team is a little bit more competitive.
You actually play against other universities and other schools. Where you’ll still travel. You’ll still have jerseys. You’ll still have dedicated practice time. You’ll still have referees. And then of course your varsity level. So it’s a long-winded answer to me saying that if you do have intentions on playing for the Parsi team, I would highly encourage you to at least check out the club team as a freshman.
Okay, our next question is, um, I’m going to be a sophomore in the upcoming school year. My goal is to go to the Naval academy and become a Marine officer. I do both club and high school swimming. Cross-country marathons triathlons, et cetera. How can I manage the application for the academy while still doing sports?
And since you work in an admissions office, how can I make sure I stay. That’s very impressive already to me, [00:51:00] you have your story right there. The fact that you are in this position right now, having accomplished or having been involved with as much as you are right now and still have that mindset and the self understanding or self-awareness of, I still need to prioritize.
Any commitments to the Naval academy. I still need to prioritize my academics and I still have a passion for athletics. And that’s why I took the time to attend a webinar like this, to make sure that me going down this route will not mean I have to sacrifice. So it’d be athletic commitments that I enjoy.
So for you to convey that message and to make it a part of your application and to say this. These are some of the things that I truly enjoy and I’m willing to make sacrifices in some of my personal lives to make sure that I can still [00:52:00] enjoy these athletic commitments that I have while maintaining any academic requirements.
And of course what’s needed for me to stay on, in good standing with the Naval academy. So I would just make sure that you were being upfront and honest about it. And of course, it’s shedding you in a good light. Being able to have done all this already.
Okay. Our next question is how many schools would you suggest applying to? And should I apply to a range of D one D two and D three schools for the ladder? Definitely. It definitely does not hurt to, to diversify your application experience. I wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Do you want is definitely the way to go, because you might have the athletic ability and the work ethic to succeed at that day one level, but you still would like that [00:53:00] option in case there’s the unexpected and life circumstances, change where you need to go down a different path.
You might experience an unfortunate injury, or you might need to take a year off of. To have that in your back pocket and know that you took the time to also get into some of your top D three or D two choices in terms of how many schools to apply to that varies from personal circumstances that we have this webinar before the pandemic, how it say much different number 10 post pandemic, where the playing field was really.
A lot of athletic programs were compromised due to it. So a lot of individuals lost their junior year or senior year seasons, even upcoming. So I’ll just say, that’s a question that you and [00:54:00] your high school counselor, a guidance counselor would know better, but for me personally, not to cop out of answering it, I at least.
Okay. I think this is probably going to be our last question, but, uh, can you please tell me if being in on a JV team gives any benefits in the application process? Spoiler alert it’s yes, probably the JV team, especially if you’re just a ninth grader or 10th grader is already exceeding expectations.
You’re already have demonstrated. There are only X amount of individuals that could even make the JV team. So you’re ready to put yourself and the highest performing athletically, at least within your high school, but then for you to go back to all the themes we tied in about what athletics brings to the table [00:55:00] while maintaining good academic performance.
It’s no different than if you were to say. In 11th grade that now you’re on the varsity team. Now, if you were only on the JV team, and then you got to the varsity level, when you got to 11th grade and 12th grade and you decided not to play it, it might come up in the question and it might be well, is it something that you decided to focus in on your academics?
Was it a change in circumstances where the coaches or the program that was offered within the school? So I would just keep that in the back of your mind, or maybe even address it if you only chose to do JV. And that’s only in the instance of if you’re still interested in playing at the college level, but if you’re just going to be a full-time student, yes.
Being on the, just the JV team is already before. Okay. So I think that’s where [00:56:00] we’re going to wrap it up for tonight. Thank you everyone so much for coming out and thank you to our panelists. Take care, everyone. So this is the end of the webinar. We had a wonderful time telling you about student athletics and here’s the rest of our July series.
So tomorrow is on time management as a junior and senior. Have a great night, everyone. Bye.