Our son committed to a D3 school back in August.  When we met with coaches, they told us that obviously there is no athletic money, but most of their players received approx 10K in merit money, and they felt very strongly that our son would also receive the same.  We received the financial package last week and he received ZERO!!  We contacted the coach thinking this was a mistake, and his response was, "you'll have to contact financial aid, my hands are tied, sorry about that."  An extra 40K for tuition is not something we were expecting.  It is now very late in the 2020 recruiting season, and I feel we let other opportunities pass us by since he was very happy with where he was going, the school, the coach, the facilities, etc.  We are now thinking about the JUCO route since they are still looking for a few more recruits.  My son is sad, we are sad, and we are not sure what else to do.  We did file an appeal for the D3 school...but not holding our breath.   Is it wrong to de-commit?  Do we reach out to the JUCO coach?  Do we start the whole recruiting process all over?  Is it too late?  Ugghhh.....

Original Post

There is nothing that is binding at the D3 level unless you applied and were accepted as ED.  Even if ED is the case you can still back out due to finances.  Start reaching out to any schools that showed previous interest asap. 

Agree with OG.  Your son has no obligation to attend, except as he noted, and even then, financial hardship is a legit reason to withdraw.

As to appealing to the financial aid office.  Hopefully, you'll be surprised.  I've heard of many families getting increased rewards when they appeal.

What is puzzling is that you said there was $10K in merit money.  Usually there are benchmarks for merit awards (GPA, test scores) and any student who meets those numbers gets the money.  Did the school give you the specific info and is your son on track?

I wouldn't worry too much in your case about the de-committing part. As SoCal and JCG said, ED would be your only real commitment there and, if that is not the case, most D3 coaches understand that there is nothing set in stone until the kid shows up on campus, especially when finances don't align. You said you filed an appeal with the school but I'd recommend having a frank discussion with the FA director and admissions counselor and ask if there are any other ways to get more aid. We did this with three schools my son was looking at and two of them were able to work with us. In one case, it took several back-and-forth communications and there was a little more money thrown in each time. It's sad that this "haggling" takes place but there it is. If you have other schools where your son has applied, been accepted, and been provided a financial aid package, this can often be used as incentive for the most-desired school to find more money. This was the case with my son as he had it down to two schools, both working to get him to attend. I mentioned to his #1 choice that he had an offer from his #2 choice that was in line with what we could do financially and theirs was above. #1 asked to see the FA package from #2 and we had no reason not to show them. This resulted in another round of grant aid, and his ultimate attendance at #1. I initially struggled with this exchange but eventually realized that it wasn't only about the money but that he wanted to be at #1 far more than at #2. I actually think I could have gotten #2 down even further but at that point we were in the range of where we needed to be so we pulled the trigger. Best of luck!

Last edited by tequila

Agree that this is a legitimate and fair reason to decommit.  The HC has to understand as this (i.e., financial aid) is one of the biggest issues he most likely faces when recruiting.  Good luck with the appeal.

If they told you there was a very strong chance to get 10K per year academic merit, then didn't come through with it, then you are completely within your rights to walk away. To be perfectly clear, though, that merit money could be in no way be connected to baseball. If he implied that you would get that 10K off because you were a ballplayer then he was way offsides.

The first offer is never the best. We went back and forth several times with Admisssions at several different schools. In the next few weeks and month, money can come open. As students who they have offered, choose to attend another school, some of the money tagged to that student becomes available. I believe in some FA circles it is called Melt. Not going to post the URL. but look up Financial Aide and Summer Melt.  There will be some articles. 

How did your son's academics match up to the rest of the attendees? If his stats are below a typical student then it is not a surprise. I would also check with the schools and see if he can get invoted to Academics or honor days. These are usualy a long weekend when they bring students to campus to compete for scholarship money. Be aware he has to usually have very good grades or be in the top 10% to get an invite. This is another way to get additional money. It also allowes my son to remove a school from his list. He was invited to one of these scholar days. Went and did very well. He was in the top 3 or 4 in math and science. Yet he did not get any additional aide. He was competative in the other categories. Ticked him off really. 

Getting the financial offer is just the beggining. Now it is time to start haggling like you are buying a used car. You will know quickly how badly the school wants your son. 

If the finances don't work out, there are plenty of good juco options in NJ, PA and MD. He could even transfer to that same D3 after one of two years at juco (if both parties are still interested). And if he does better than expected, he may have even more options. And, it's never too late for juco. You'll just want to find the right fit, because he'll want to be somewhere that he gets playing time. What's his position?

MidAtlanticDad posted:

If the finances don't work out, there are plenty of good juco options in NJ, PA and MD. He could even transfer to that same D3 after one of two years at juco (if both parties are still interested). And if he does better than expected, he may have even more options. And, it's never too late for juco. You'll just want to find the right fit, because he'll want to be somewhere that he gets playing time. What's his position?

He's RHP/3rd - and he will be catching for HS this season.  He reached out to his old pitching coach who is actually a JUCO assistant coach, and he sounded pretty excited that he might be on the market.  He also reached out to his travel coach for some advice, and he said he will talk to him tomorrow about some good options.  It is just sad that we might have to walk away from the D3 school.  He really loves it... we just don't want him coming out with over 100K in debt.  

 

Curious as to what the goal would be in going the JUCO route. You typically don't go to a JC and take 1-2 years to see what other D3 options are out there. At this point I would be applying to schools as a regular student, seeing what the most affordable options are and reaching out to the HC after the application is submitted explaining the situation. If it is a financial issue then by all means start looking into jucos (always a good option to begin with). If it is a baseball issue I would worry more about your son finding the proper fit as a student before looking for a baseball program. 

I'd stick with the school if he is in love with it and pay the $40k if you don't get relief from the appeal. You said he wanted to go there and unless there is NO financial way to make if happen, make it happen.

As far as decommitting, do whats best for your son and do not worry about the school. They don't care (if at all) as much as you think they do.

Good luck, come back and tell us where he landed.

You could also stick with the commitment for the upcoming year, at a cost of $10k extra since you didn't get aid, and assess options as the year progresses.   He can always transfer and this way he goes to the college he likes, he gets to play baseball all the while looking at possible options.  The biggest risk here is that he wants to stay and then the next three years could add another $30k to his debt if the aid situation doesn't change.   If you go this route make sure the classes he takes 1st and 2nd semester would be the kind that would transfer as well.  Just an idea.

I say jump ship immediately.....matter of fact I wouldn't even consider it with the $30,000 price tag!   As some of you have seen in my posts over the years, I am a huge advocate of getting the most bang for your dollar.  If you are a Dave Ramsey fan, he says the same thing....absolutely ridiculous to go into any kind of debt (or at least limit the damage) to get a college degree.    Your son can go get two years out of the way at a JUCO, then decide.  Let me say I am not in the top 1% and maybe thats why I am so tight with my dollar.  Also say that my wife and I have post graduate degrees and very good jobs.....just not mega money making jobs.   My son was offered from Mercer....at 25% baseball.  He/We did not even consider it with the $50,000 a year tuition.    I've said this before....the first two years are basically the same whether you are at a JUCO or at the 4 year school.      I will eat lunch tomorrow with four very good friends.....all JUCO grads.  A lawyer, an accountant, a nurse and a college professor.  We all turned out fine.   Furthermore......I would put up an engineering degree from the local State four year school at $17,000 a year against any fancy "prestigious"  school charging $50,000 plus a year.   Go ahead and bash away!!! 

stayfocused posted:

I say jump ship immediately.....matter of fact I wouldn't even consider it with the $30,000 price tag!   As some of you have seen in my posts over the years, I am a huge advocate of getting the most bang for your dollar.  If you are a Dave Ramsey fan, he says the same thing....absolutely ridiculous to go into any kind of debt (or at least limit the damage) to get a college degree.    Your son can go get two years out of the way at a JUCO, then decide.  Let me say I am not in the top 1% and maybe thats why I am so tight with my dollar.  Also say that my wife and I have post graduate degrees and very good jobs.....just not mega money making jobs.   My son was offered from Mercer....at 25% baseball.  He/We did not even consider it with the $50,000 a year tuition.    I've said this before....the first two years are basically the same whether you are at a JUCO or at the 4 year school.      I will eat lunch tomorrow with four very good friends.....all JUCO grads.  A lawyer, an accountant, a nurse and a college professor.  We all turned out fine.   Furthermore......I would put up an engineering degree from the local State four year school at $17,000 a year against any fancy "prestigious"  school charging $50,000 plus a year.   Go ahead and bash away!!! 

I look forward to your post when the government forgives all student loans...... I predict it will be explosive!

stayfocused posted:

" local State four year school at $17,000 a year against any fancy "prestigious"  school charging $50,000 plus a year.   Go ahead and bash away!!! 

Unfortunately, it's the local 4-year state school that is 36K!  I just think it is stressful enough to go to school, play baseball, deal with all the pressure of finding a job, and then have a 144K loan at 7% interest to worry about paying off.  We are in-state... when did in-state schools become so out of reach??  

stayfocused posted:

I say jump ship immediately.....matter of fact I wouldn't even consider it with the $30,000 price tag!   As some of you have seen in my posts over the years, I am a huge advocate of getting the most bang for your dollar.  If you are a Dave Ramsey fan, he says the same thing....absolutely ridiculous to go into any kind of debt (or at least limit the damage) to get a college degree.    Your son can go get two years out of the way at a JUCO, then decide.  Let me say I am not in the top 1% and maybe thats why I am so tight with my dollar.  Also say that my wife and I have post graduate degrees and very good jobs.....just not mega money making jobs.   My son was offered from Mercer....at 25% baseball.  He/We did not even consider it with the $50,000 a year tuition.    I've said this before....the first two years are basically the same whether you are at a JUCO or at the 4 year school.      I will eat lunch tomorrow with four very good friends.....all JUCO grads.  A lawyer, an accountant, a nurse and a college professor.  We all turned out fine.   Furthermore......I would put up an engineering degree from the local State four year school at $17,000 a year against any fancy "prestigious"  school charging $50,000 plus a year.   Go ahead and bash away!!! 

Truthfully, it's not the education that is so valuable, usually it is the connections.

baseballhs posted:
stayfocused posted:

I say jump ship immediately.....matter of fact I wouldn't even consider it with the $30,000 price tag!   As some of you have seen in my posts over the years, I am a huge advocate of getting the most bang for your dollar.  If you are a Dave Ramsey fan, he says the same thing....absolutely ridiculous to go into any kind of debt (or at least limit the damage) to get a college degree.    Your son can go get two years out of the way at a JUCO, then decide.  Let me say I am not in the top 1% and maybe thats why I am so tight with my dollar.  Also say that my wife and I have post graduate degrees and very good jobs.....just not mega money making jobs.   My son was offered from Mercer....at 25% baseball.  He/We did not even consider it with the $50,000 a year tuition.    I've said this before....the first two years are basically the same whether you are at a JUCO or at the 4 year school.      I will eat lunch tomorrow with four very good friends.....all JUCO grads.  A lawyer, an accountant, a nurse and a college professor.  We all turned out fine.   Furthermore......I would put up an engineering degree from the local State four year school at $17,000 a year against any fancy "prestigious"  school charging $50,000 plus a year.   Go ahead and bash away!!! 

Truthfully, it's not the education that is so valuable, usually it is the connections.

This x's 1000. Part of our research when looking at schools was looking at where alumni were located via LinkedIn. 

I have to agree that JUCO is probably your best route, especially if money is the issue. What a lot of people seem to forget on this site is that most D3 schools HAVE WAY TOO MANY COMMITMENTS! They are bringing in paying students for the D3, not student-athletes! You could bite the bullet and pay the $$ at the D3 schools he loves (and hopefully he loves it because of the education and not the baseball program) and then find out that the baseball program is grossly over-committed (high probability) and/or perhaps baseball is not in his future. If the education is good and you are OK with the $$ then fine. Otherwise you have wasted your $$.

If he goes JUCO he could still find out baseball is not in the cards but at least it won't have had the same price tag.  And he can still transfer to the same D3 (for the education) or a different 4-year school and you will have saved a ton of $$. Or he may thrive baseball-wise and be looking to transfer to another school for baseball in a year or two. Perhaps he may even be offered an athletic scholarship!

cherylhans posted:

Our son committed to a D3 school back in August.  When we met with coaches, they told us that obviously there is no athletic money, but most of their players received approx 10K in merit money, and they felt very strongly that our son would also receive the same.  We received the financial package last week and he received ZERO!!  We contacted the coach thinking this was a mistake, and his response was, "you'll have to contact financial aid, my hands are tied, sorry about that."  An extra 40K for tuition is not something we were expecting.  It is now very late in the 2020 recruiting season, and I feel we let other opportunities pass us by since he was very happy with where he was going, the school, the coach, the facilities, etc.  We are now thinking about the JUCO route since they are still looking for a few more recruits.  My son is sad, we are sad, and we are not sure what else to do.  We did file an appeal for the D3 school...but not holding our breath.   Is it wrong to de-commit?  Do we reach out to the JUCO coach?  Do we start the whole recruiting process all over?  Is it too late?  Ugghhh.....

Glad to hear in a more recent post that there is other interest boiling.  If there is any consideration being given to staying at this D3, some questions you should be asking yourselves are how interested is this coach to have your son be part of the program, where does he realistically fit into the program and how much of his love of this school relates to baseball?  

Just based on the brief response you quoted, it doesn't seem that the HC is particularly high on your son but that may be a misinterpretation of a very small snapshot.

As others have reinforced, there is definitely nothing wrong with decommitting under these circumstances and it is not too late for other opportunities, including JC, many D2 and D3 and NAIA schools.  Many kids don't make their decision until well into senior season or even into the summer (particularly with JC and some NAIA).  Not ideal but not unusual or impossible.

cherylhans posted:

Unfortunately, it's the local 4-year state school that is 36K!  I just think it is stressful enough to go to school, play baseball, deal with all the pressure of finding a job, and then have a 144K loan at 7% interest to worry about paying off.  We are in-state... when did in-state schools become so out of reach??  

Usually, only when they are a private school option or very prestigious.  Are there no reasonable public options?  Have you checked into the "neighboring states" tuition discount programs?

cherylhans posted:
stayfocused posted:

" local State four year school at $17,000 a year against any fancy "prestigious"  school charging $50,000 plus a year.   Go ahead and bash away!!! 

Unfortunately, it's the local 4-year state school that is 36K!  I just think it is stressful enough to go to school, play baseball, deal with all the pressure of finding a job, and then have a 144K loan at 7% interest to worry about paying off.  We are in-state... when did in-state schools become so out of reach??  

I've noticed that tuition isn't so outrageous. It's when you add in the cost of room and board and all the other add ons that things get out of hand.I have two kids at two different in state schools, and while we are pleased with the education they're getting, the private schools they looked at weren't far off on the cost of attendance after the first round of financial aid. But they are at the schools they each fell in love with and we will do our best to help them through the debt they are accumulating while making sure they understand how much they have and how it all works.

And it's true that what you get for financial aid the first year isn't necessarily what you get the second year. Not sure of the nature of your appeal, but I would make sure you call and talk to a financial aid officer. I did that when I lost my job and we got some additional help. I very much believe that having a real life human being advocating for you is a major plus.

cabbagedad posted:
cherylhans posted:

 

 

Just based on the brief response you quoted, it doesn't seem that the HC is particularly high on your son but that may be a misinterpretation of a very small snapshot.

 

This is the HC's 2nd season, so he is building "his" team.  He quite honestly seemed super gungho on him back in August.  Promised him to be a 2-way player, told him he would definitely get freshman playing time, told him to get his application in on the 1st day available so that he could get him the most $$.  He has been texting my son since August just to keep in touch, sent him a hat, sweatshirt, and bumper stickers.  So to me, it sounds like he is really excited about him.  Does he do this with other players?  I'm sure.  To my son, it's baseball first and then education (unfortunately)... but he's honest.   I just feel like we made so many bad decisions in the past, I just don't want to make another.  

It's been said here many times "it's not about the next 4 years, it's about the next 40 years". Taking on a debut burden of $140+ K is ridiculous in my opinion. JUCO for 2 years and find a place to land afterward where he can continue to play. 

Too many kids mess up their futures going into debut without understanding the consequences. Check out this program/trailer. https://goingfrombroke.com/

Good luck!

If it was me in your shoes, I would be calling someone in admissions/financial aid. Sounds like the problem isn't between the coach and your kid, but the coach and his employer. If he is a decent guy (I've got no other reason to think otherwise) the coach will understand that without the financial aid you are going to have a hard time attending.

I would not recommend digging yourself into a financial hole, even if the "connections" are there. The world is much bigger than ABC college, and one can find plenty of quality, less expensive institutions that have their own real world connections.

(This advise is from someone in the medical field who completed a hard/long degree with a very minimal amount of accumulated student debt)

To answer your question, I think you have until May to decide on committing to the school academically.  If you think your son can get recruited at a JUCO, I don't see why you won't try that route.  

I'm not sure 100% sure, but I would assume it is too late to start the recruiting process over for this year.  Colleges have already started playing.  I've heard recruiting goes on to April, but that isn't the norm.  

My son was in the same situation.  He got an offer at a D3 in August.  I asked a ton of questions and basically coach said he can't do anything about money.  He does have a little wiggle room for grades.  

I had a really adult discussion with my son.  I calculated the tuition cost with and without the merit scholarship.  Talked about what he will have to do to pay for college.  Would he go to this particular school even without baseball?  Is his dream to play ball in college worth it?  After the discussion he committed to the D3 and I was going to do whatever it took to make it happen.

We applied EA and he got accepted. But no merit scholarship. Called the school and they indicated there were a lot more qualified candidates this year.  I was upset that my son didn't take a final SAT in December to try and raise his score which might have gotten him some money.  Realization hit me and I was stressing over how we would pay for it.  UC and Cal State deadlines had already past.  He applied to 2 additional schools last minute at the Jan 15th deadline.  

He got into one of the  schools and got a merit scholarship of 8K a year, but the out of pocket ended being higher.  Looked at UC tuition including room and board and it wasn't that far off. Financial aid package came the same week.  He received about half the tuition and board in the form of a grant.  I was so relieved and glad that it worked out for him.  

I never considered the merit scholarship as a guarantee.  This is on my son and how hard he worked in the classroom.

I'm assuming you filled out FAFSA. And you got no financial aid?  This tells me that the government thinks you make too much money or you have too much assets and your EFC is over $40K.

I know college is a lot of money.  And if we could afford it, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  Some of us don't have too many options.  Hope it works out for your son.  

 

Absorber said it perfectly. Four years ago my son was recruited by Landmark Conference D3 school. Was seen by Pitching Coach in a game, referred to HC, HC's Recruiting Coordinator set up a meeting on campus with Head Coach. Head Coach called him a recruit. HC never saw him pitch but Pitching Coach did. We asked if son had spot on the team. HC response was there is a tryout, that includes every member of the team but we expect your son to be on this team.

The only good thing this was a school he was considering anyway, he did get a generous academic scholarship, and would probably be happy there if he didn't play ball.

Fast forward, 70 players show up for tryouts, Dragged tryout on for a month and a half, son was one of last cuts. There were other "Recruits" also cut. Son was crushed. Has made Dean's List every semester except that semester due in part to the pressures combining first semester away and that the tryout lasted half the semester. His roommate was cut Sophomore year, and HC has even cut seniors after three years. One of their best Senior pitchers quit before Senior year because of how this HC treats "Recruits" I suspect.

Some D3 coaches will say anything I suspect to draw kids in and fill seats at school. I think it's a lousy way to run a baseball program and not fair to players making a college decision. To me the coaches who recruit a player and guarantee first year and have to keep their position after show the most ethics in recruiting.

Remember, D3 schools have no skin in the game, parents and potential players do. We were fortunate my son ended up very happy and successful academically at this school.

 

 

From my perspective there was never a commitment to begin with.  It has to work for both sides.    In general terms, there has to be something the Coach is providing your son either in the form of help with admissions (slot or tip), athletic scholarship or a rostered position whether it is D1, D2, D3 or D47.  I don't see that in this situation.   Academic scholarships and financial aid is not the purview of the coach, so any promises or guarantees by the coach for academic or financial $$ has no value whatsoever.

As always, JMO.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

It is always very important to understand past classes. What is the average students scores. if you are below that the chances of getting merit go down. FAFSA is not merit. And few schools even meet FAFSA. Be aware if the school is purely need based. 

 

Would he go to this school if he wasn't playing baseball?  My guess is no.  Go to the JUCO, save some money and take a year or two to sort out his options.  

I STRONGLY SUGGEST you talk to financial aid office again.  If your son likes this school & can get a degree in the field he wants , it’s absolutely worth the effort and I’m pretty certain you will be pleasantly surprised.

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