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Hi All - new to the forum.  Question about Caltech early action process.  2022 has been in consistent contact with Coach Whitehead for last several months (seems like a great guy from my conversation with him).  Applied EA and got a letter of support from Coach.  Although EA decisions don't come out for a week or so, this weekend, he received a letter from Coach talking about their plans for the 2022 class and upcoming EA timeline.  Honestly, it reads like he's been accepted - coach is excited about making him part of the program, how he looks forward to discussing player's decision, understanding where he is so they can make support decisions for the RD applicants.  There's a 'Whatever admissions decides...' statement, but that's definitely not the tone of the letter overall.  He's been pretty realistic about his chances at Caltech but this letter has him super excited.  Is anyone familiar with this process and/or familiar with this kind of letter?  Seems like a form of a 'likely letter' but my understanding is Caltech doesn't do those.  Plus it came from Coach and not Admissions.  I'm just a little concerned he's getting too excited over this and am looking for some insights that might help him interpret what it means, if anything.  Thanks!

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HA coaches, especially coaches at HA's that are as HA as Caltech (what, maybe one or two other D3s that are as hard to get into) very rarely jump the admissions gun.  Nerve wracking to wait on admissions, though, I know. Hang in there.

OTS, I didn't know Caltech's original name was Throop College.  I did a little more digging and discovered their sports teams back in the day were called the Throopers, but the "h" was silent, so it sounded like Troopers.  One sports headline from a Pomona-Pitzer-Caltech baseball game read: Sagehens Storm Throopers.  

Another, more positive headline, this time for a Caltech-Cal Lutheran baseball game, was Throopers Storm Cold Knights.

I thought that was interesting and wanted to share.

Last edited by smokeminside

HA coaches, especially coaches at HA's that are as HA as Caltech (what, maybe one or two other D3s that are as hard to get into) very rarely jump the admissions gun.  Nerve wracking to wait on admissions, though, I know. Hang in there.

OTS, I didn't know Caltech's original name was Throop College.  I did a little more digging and discovered their sports teams back in the day were called the Throopers, but the "h" was silent, so it sounded like Troopers.  One sports headline from a Pomona-Pitzer-Caltech baseball game read: Sagehens Storm Throopers.  

Another, more positive headline, this time for a Caltech-Cal Lutheran baseball game, was Throopers Storm Cold Knights.

I thought that was interesting and wanted to share.

Throopers…. Kinda sounds better than Beavers but YMMV!  But I’m digging the black and orange regardless!  Thanks for digging up the history!

@BOF posted:

Deep breaths, deep breaths....

Wine is  a wonderful thing...

Best of luck!

Wish I drank right about now!  Just excited for him - he’s put in a TON of work to get here and it’s really cool to watch it all coming together.  But definitely nerve racking for me in a totally different way than for him ($$$)! Thanks for the encouragement!

@2022NYC posted:

I find the fermented yeast elixir helps. We have been hunting our USPS informed delivery emails daily. 12/15 can't get here fast enough...I will hold off my congrats until your announcement your kid was accepted

Informed delivery is very cool but your son will get notification of a status update in the Admissions Portal long before DeJoy and friends scan your snailmail.

Decided I should post a finale/follow up to my OP while info is fresh, just in case someone stumbles onto this thread in coming years.  Qualifier: I'm recapping what I was told by an 18YO.  Sounds like the letter was not as big a deal as we originally thought.  Coach only wanted to make sure that parents knew their kid was having these recruiting discussions (I'll note letter was addressed to son and not us).  Son was able to get in touch with Coach several days after he received the letter arrived.  By phone.  In addition to info about the letter, son asked if admissions had received his updates (sent in latest grades, which were strong and included several AP classes including the required AP Physics).  Coach said yes but that he was past the point in admissions where grades mattered and that he was in the 'faculty review' round (faculty are part of the admissions process here, which is somewhat unique).  Definitely not a guarantee of anything but all good news. 

My biggest takeaway from the process - students should establish a voice / video call relationship with Coach early in the process.  He made several suggestions about the application and essays, suggested some admissions seminars to attend, and pointed him to the regional representative to contact prior to application submission.  I don't know how much this stuff mattered but it definitely let my son build a relationship with Coach, and let him learn about what to expect from Coach in the future in terms of response time, level of interest, etc.  Do not expect important info to be communicated via text or other messaging.  They're not going to put it in writing.  Much more willing to give the student 'unoffical' info on a voice call, esp if they've developed that relationship.  Good luck!

That is amazing.  Your son got into Caltech!   You must be incredibly proud.  Personally I'd have a Caltech t-shirt , sweatshirt, and whatever other swag I could wear and parade around my city.  "Why yes... My son does go to Caltech.  How did you know?  Oh! I forgot I was wearing this."   

Semi related...  Have you ever noticed that when you meet someone who went to Stanford, they work it into the conversation within the first 5 minutes?  Test it out. 

I'm a Professor at another University so I'm going to have to keep my Caltech swag at home!  And yes, I deal with that all the time in my work - but it's usually when you ask someone where they went to school, they reply 'In Boston', ie Harvard.  Makes me insane!  In all seriousness, these schools are not that different - I used to work at an Ivy and the students at my current non-Ivy University are WAY better! Its more about finding the right fit.  Caltech is the right fit for my son because its going to give him the chance to geek out without consequence, push himself academically, AND continue his baseball career.  Very few places where all of those things were possible for him.  Fortunate that it worked out.

  1. @Dadbelly2023 posted:

That is amazing.  Your son got into Caltech!   You must be incredibly proud.  Personally I'd have a Caltech t-shirt , sweatshirt, and whatever other swag I could wear and parade around my city.  "Why yes... My son does go to Caltech.  How did you know?  Oh! I forgot I was wearing this."   

Semi related...  Have you ever noticed that when you meet someone who went to Stanford, they work it into the conversation within the first 5 minutes?  Test it out.

I lived in the northeast until I was sixteen. I returned when I was thirty-eight. Ivy Leaguers have a tremendous ability to work it into the conversation. One told me Ivy Leaguers are taught things other top universities don’t teach students. I couldn’t help but ask, “How to be an intellectual snob?”

I don’t have anything against people who go to Ivies. It’s an accomplishment to get accepted. But once we’re adults and successful how much does it matter where we started? You could make an argument people who had to kick down the door versus having it opened for them are mentally tougher.

My education was next level down from Ivy. Some people see it as HA. I’ll stick with next level. There are high quality schools that aren’t Ivy, Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Northwestern. I’m talking major universities, not small colleges.

As for hiring I preferred ex military and athletes. Lose is not in their vocabulary.

Last edited by RJM
@RJM posted:

I lived in the northeast until I was sixteen. I returned when I was thirty-eight. Ivy Leaguers have a tremendous ability to work it into the conversation. One told me Ivy Leaguers are taught things other top universities don’t teach students. I couldn’t help but ask, “How to be an intellectual snob?”

I don’t have anything against people who go to Ivies. It’s an accomplishment to get accepted. But once we’re adults and successful how much does it matter where we started? You could make an argument people who had to kick down the door versus having it opened for them are mentally tougher.

My education was next level down from Ivy. Some people see it as HA. I’ll stick with next level. There are high quality schools that aren’t Ivy, Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Northwestern. I’m talking major universities, not small colleges.

As for hiring I preferred ex military and athletes. Lose is not in their vocabulary.

Yeah - the mental toughness thing is huge.  It's something I look for in students for grad school and it can manifest at any level.  Ivy students can definitely have it.  Many - perhaps most? - do.  But I'm also much less concerned about where they were an undergrad than whether or not they have faced adversity and kept at it.  Lots of my faculty colleagues (we basically run grad school admissions for science MS and PhD students) don't see college athletics as a barometer of future performance, which I always try to educate them on.  For me, those applicants rise to the top of my list very quickly, no matter where they went to school.  And every single one that I've hired has been stellar.

Congratulations to your son!  Wonderful Christmas present.

Regarding where one went to school.  It can be awkward and dependant on audience, or even more awkward.  I've found most of my friends that went to such schools; the athletes and top performers, if asked, they said where they went without missing a beat, and they didn't care if they wore their alma mater sweatshirt and people asked. Very non chalant. Then there were others that were equally successful from those schools, that found it easier to say they went to school in Vermont, Boston, or Conn....they were awkward of saying where they went because they didn't want questions or were going out of their way not to brag.....they also didn't realize, being vague prompted that question: where did you go to schoolt?'....Totally get it.  It's all a mess.

Quite an achievement to get into these schools, no need to be embarrased, don't be an ass.

I went to a good school, and attended a nightmare event at the  JFK school of govt, a party with  a classmate showing up: saying "ring check" while everyone was mixing it up at the cocktail event.  Really was embarassing. All my grad buddy's left immediately.

Can be awkward. Good luck. Check it at the door.

(Caveat: have known plenty of Ivy grads, other top schools, who couldn't get along with people. They didn't get very far.....)

Most corporations love collegiate athletes. Discipline, get along with  the majority, handle disappointment.....

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