I'm guessing this could vary quite a bit depending on the school, but for general purposes, what are the minimum (and average) requirements for a baseball player to be considered as a "high academic" recruit or even to attend a "high academic" showcase. Thanks in advance.

Original Post

Basically there are 3 tiers for a coach:

  • Tier A/1: You get in on your academic merits
  • Tier B/2: Admissions requires "coach support"
  • Tier C/3: Just not good enough

I believe there's quite a bit of latitude with Tier B/2, but there are only so many a coach can use in that Tier.

The number of "test optional" schools are growing each year, which can help with the SAT/ACT scores.

School profile and class rigor are very important factors.  You will need a good number of honors/AP classes, if your HS offers them.

High Academic can mean a range of schools.  For most of us that means a school that is very hard to get into and is ranked highly by US News, Princeton Review,  etc.

For example, Tufts comes up here often.  The admit rate is 14.6 - very low, though there are some that are lower.  If you search their website or Google for the term "student profile", there is usually a page for any school that will show you, at the very least, mean SAT and ACT scores.  It would be instructive to look up the numbers for some target schools.

At Tufts the mean ACT is 32-35.  So if your kid is in that range and has good grades he's definitely a HA kid and a likely recruit if the coach wants him.  He might even be able to get in without help.  If he's more like 29-30, he might be okay, depending on the level of influence and leeway that the coach has with  admissions. Below that, he probably needs to retest.

https://admissions.tufts.edu/a...led-student-profile/

I think you'll find the term "high academic" gets thrown around a lot.  People's definition varies.  For HA, I look at what is required to get admitted in as a student (not baseball player as you phrased your question) through the general admissions process...lets call that the "Admissions front door".   In my son's experience, the part that varied the most is how the Admissions process worked for the recruited athlete...lets call that the "Admissions back door".   Again, my son's recruiting experiences across D1, D1 Ivy, D1 Patriot and D3 HA schools varied tremendously in terms of what influence the coach had with admission or what admissions required of their recruits.  Getting back to the question, I'd have to put a metric down of admissions percent for a HA school.   I'd say 15% admitted percent as a high water mark for starters.   That would be my stake in ground.  Others may think differently and I'd like to hear what they have to say.   

So, I'd break this question up and look at what it takes (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/) for the various HA levels and examples I'm throwing at you:  Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, Richmond, William & Mary, Harvard, Cornell, Lafayette, Amherst, Tufts, Case Western Reserve, Emory, Trinity, etc.   After you have a sense of their admission metrics then start asking the hard questions to yourself and the recruiting coach:   Do these schools require the same academic metrics as the generally admitted pool of candidates.  If not, how much of a recruited athlete discount do they get from the generally admitted pool of candidates.   The coaches know how much academic margin they have with Admissions.   It is also a good idea to ask about their process and timeline.

As for an HA Showcase, I think there is a lot of leeway as some students have yet to take the SAT or ACT.  If your son is an honor roll student, top 15% of his class, with some AP courses.   I think that is a good starter, and welcome anybody to tell me different.

Good luck!

 

Last edited by fenwaysouth

Others with more experience can add their opinions, but I wouldn't attend an HA showcase with less than 1,250 SAT or 27 ACT. Of course those numbers won't impress the most selective schools, but I think there will be some schools that can at least start a dialogue at that level. GPA is much more subjective, but if you're on the borderline with standardized testing you should probably be better than borderline with grades and AP classes.

MidAtlanticDad posted:

Others with more experience can add their opinions, but I wouldn't attend an HA showcase with less than 1,250 SAT or 27 ACT. Of course those numbers won't impress the most selective schools, but I think there will be some schools that can at least start a dialogue at that level. GPA is much more subjective, but if you're on the borderline with standardized testing you should probably be better than borderline with grades and AP classes.

A D3 HA coach told my son and me that GPA is the most important qualifier for him, because by at or near the end of Jr year (when D3 HAs get serious about recruiting), GPA is essentially set and can't change significantly; but a student can always re-take the ACT or SAT.  (This was at a school with very high grade and test score averages, and one that does not bend those much at all for athletes, so take that into consideration.)

MidAtlanticDad posted:

Others with more experience can add their opinions, but I wouldn't attend an HA showcase with less than 1,250 SAT or 27 ACT. Of course those numbers won't impress the most selective schools, but I think there will be some schools that can at least start a dialogue at that level. GPA is much more subjective, but if you're on the borderline with standardized testing you should probably be better than borderline with grades and AP classes.

When my son attended HF, there were plenty of schools like Fenway listed, but  also a lot that were more like Skidmore: 29% admit rate.  Mean ACT: 29.  BTW the Skidmore coach is a great guy and that's a beautiful campus.

Last edited by JCG

I agree that at Headfirst there are definitely some schools whose admissions rates are around 30% (and higher), SAT average around 1250, GPA 3.7.   There's a reasonably wide range.  An easy way to check is to look at the list of schools that will be at Headfirst (they are listed on their website).  Google the name of the school + prepscholar, you will get listings of the school's average GPA,  SAT/ACT, and admissions rate.

fenwaysouth posted:

...I'd have to put a metric down of admissions percent for a HA school.   I'd say 15% admitted percent as a high water mark for starters.   That would be my stake in ground.  Others may think differently and I'd like to hear what they have to say.  

 

Son's school was one of the HAs that Fenwaysouth listed in his post, but the acceptance rate is MUCH higher than 15%, mostly because it is a known backup school to the Ivys.  Keep that in mind.  Many of it's baseball players got in to an Ivy, or applied.  

In my son's case, baseball may have gotten him in to a school that he may not have gotten in to on his own.  We will never know.  But, once you get in, even with the coach's help, YOU NEED TO MAKE THE GRADES TO STAY THERE.  (Son did, thank goodness).

If you are teetering and your son has some good metrics, go for it.  You can make final decisions on schools after an offer is made.

There are some good parameters here to give you a general range of what gets a kid in the discussion of being admissible to HA schools.  As others indicated, admission rates vary widely even among schools that are considered HA, but test scores and GPA are the criteria that the coaches will consider as the first factors in deciding if a kid should be recruited at a HA school.  One HA D3 coach told us he went through a showcase roster that listed the kids academic scores they reported on their application and then crossed off all kids he knew would be excluded from admission so he wouldn't waste time watching them.

Rest assured, if a coach is sincerely interested in your son at a HA school, he will ask your son to send him a copy of his transcripts, test scores and Senior year schedule.  I highly recommend those attending HeadFirst or any other academic showcase to bring envelopes with those docs sealed in it ready to hand a coach if he shows interest and starts asking questions about academics. Almost all of my 2017's interested coaches would run those documents through Admissions for "pre-reads" and then those that got through followed-up and those that didn't, either he never heard from them again or he got a "no thanks" reply.  I was surprised he got through some tougher schools and got rejected by others I thought wouldn't be as tough, so you never know. 

Finally, if your son is on the margin with the test scores, have him retake it and see if he can get an improvement.  Going up even 2 points on the ACT can make a huge difference, especially in terms of any academic money he can get. 

"Finally, if your son is on the margin with the test scores, have him retake it and see if he can get an improvement.  Going up even 2 points on the ACT can make a huge difference, especially in terms of any academic money he can get. "

For the vast majority of HS players, this advice is more valuable in dollar terms than any baseball advice on this site!  We paid for an SAT/ACT tutor that helped my son increase his scores considerably.  The additional academic scholarship money received as a result more than made up for the tutor fees and test fees.  Sorry not the OP's question, but this advice bears repeating and "shouted from the mountaintops" in the context of discussing HAs - continue to work on and re-take the SAT/ACT and if possible, use a tutor or test prep service.  Can I get an Amen?

In a social situation I crossed paths with the coach of a ranked HA D3. My son was already playing college ball. But I’m always curious to become aware of different situations.

The school is considered very challenging academically. The coach told me has grease with admissions for baseball. But only for six players per admissions year. He asks his six prime recruits to apply ED so he knows who’s serious. He doesn’t want to waste a slot sliding a kid through to have him decide to go somewhere else. Their GPA and SAT/ACT still have to be reasonably high.

Back when my son was in high school I was chatting with some Duke parents at a game. I mentioned one of the neighborhood kids was playing basketball for Duke. There was an instant chorus of “Baseball doesn’t have the same recruiting guidelines.” That was before “Who?”

Attend games. Ask questions. Most people love giving advice. Most parents love talking about their kids. Everywhere I went I asked, “How did your son happen to choose Whatsamatta U over his other options.” Then shut up and listen. You will walk away with a lot of information. 

Last edited by RJM
fenwaysouth posted:

k there is a lot of leeway as some students have yet to take the SAT or ACT.  If your son is an honor roll student, top 15% of his class, with some AP courses.   I think that is a good starter, and welcome anybody to tell me different.

Good luck!

 

Other than SB and HF, I've been wondering if "academic showcase" is just another hook to separate us parents from our money.  The only qualifier for some local and PG "academic showcases" is "3.0 GPA and above."  lol

Dirtbag30 posted:
fenwaysouth posted:

k there is a lot of leeway as some students have yet to take the SAT or ACT.  If your son is an honor roll student, top 15% of his class, with some AP courses.   I think that is a good starter, and welcome anybody to tell me different.

Good luck!

 

Other than SB and HF, I've been wondering if "academic showcase" is just another hook to separate us parents from our money.  The only qualifier for some local and PG "academic showcases" is "3.0 GPA and above."  lol

Showcasing, travel ball and instruction has become such an industry I question how much of it is trying to separate parents from their money. I’m guessing there are a lot of former baseball players now selling baseball rather than insurance. Even Al Bundy would be connected to the sports industry now. 

Last edited by RJM

Good information shared above.  Since RJM mentioned Duke, HC Pollard told me directly he is quite adamant of needing a min 26 ACT to play for his program.  He's found good smart players which led them to the super regionals this year.  Power Conference high level skills and talent obviously required.

Friend's kid was offered by Northwestern and the RC/HC seem to be dialed in on at least a 28.

Another friends kid is being recruited by Penn, RC said his 27 ACT will suffice.

Two years ago son talked with Johns Hopkins RC he said they wanted a min 32 ACT to be able to support through admissions. (I think their middle 50 percentile of accepted ACT scores is 33-35).  HA D3's have less pull with admissions.  Competitive HA's require ED applications in order for the coaches to support through admissions. 

 If the OP's son had a 24/25 on the ACT, get some tutoring and retest.  As mentioned above there is room for a few points increase.  Finishing with a 27 ACT puts your son in the market for Ivy's other than HPY.  HPY have some 29 ACT kids, but have an average 31 ACT for their roster (using Yale RC Frawley as a reference) 

Plenty of other HA D3's like Dennison are great colleges but have lower ACT averages. Some of them have access to other money besides need based grants.

Service Academy's need at least a 28 ACT with a strong curriculum GPA, and no less than a 25 ACT on any one ACT section. 

If OP's son is an academic fit for xyz colleges who will be attending the HF or SB showcases, does he think he has the baseball talent to match?  Always nice to know where your son's metrics are prior to going to these high profile showcases.  The coaches attending use the testing results as a filter with whom they'll pay attention to over the weekend.  Velo's, 60 time, ACT score's reduce the number of kids they'll pay attention to....

Gov posted:

Good information shared above.  Since RJM mentioned Duke, HC Pollard told me directly he is quite adamant of needing a min 26 ACT to play for his program. 

...

Another friends kid is being recruited by Penn, RC said his 27 ACT will suffice.

 

 

For those who may not realize:  There is a big benefit at many of these schools to being a baseball player, even if no athletic scholarship money is in the mix.  To take the two examples above, the Prepscholar web site says the Duke ACT mean is 33 and the 25th percentile score is 31.  At Penn the corresponding scores are 33 and 32.  A non-athlete applying to those schools with a 26 or 27 ACT has essentially zero chance of admission unless he has something else extraordinary going for him (a building on campus named after a grandparent, for instance). And non-athlete applicants with even 35s and 36s, can't count on being accepted-their odds still are much less than 50%.

From another angle:  A 33 ACT score puts a student in roughly the 98th percentile.  A 26 would be approximately in the 82d percentile--still a very good score, but not one that gets an applicant close at the schools Gov mentions. 

So a student can use baseball to help get himself in the door at a school he otherwise might not be able to attend.  With reasonable diligence and effort, a kid with a 27 ACT absolutely can graduate from Duke or Penn and do well--but there are so many applicants that few get the opportunity.  (Both schools accept about 1 in 10 kids who apply.)

Dirtbag30 posted:

Other than SB and HF, I've been wondering if "academic showcase" is just another hook to separate us parents from our money.  The only qualifier for some local and PG "academic showcases" is "3.0 GPA and above."  lol

If you are interested in college outside of your local region, you have to participate in nationwide recruiting events.  That goes for top-level D1 schools, and for top-level High Academic schools.  These high-academic showcases are worth it if you are interested in colleges outside of your local area, they are the best way to get in front of a lot of schools at once, cheaper than travelling around the country to a lot of individual camps.  If you want to stay closer to home, then local showcases like PBR, camps at individual schools, or working local contacts, makes a lot more sense.

Qhead posted:

"Finally, if your son is on the margin with the test scores, have him retake it and see if he can get an improvement.  Going up even 2 points on the ACT can make a huge difference, especially in terms of any academic money he can get. "

For the vast majority of HS players, this advice is more valuable in dollar terms than any baseball advice on this site!  We paid for an SAT/ACT tutor that helped my son increase his scores considerably.  The additional academic scholarship money received as a result more than made up for the tutor fees and test fees.  Sorry not the OP's question, but this advice bears repeating and "shouted from the mountaintops" in the context of discussing HAs - continue to work on and re-take the SAT/ACT and if possible, use a tutor or test prep service.  Can I get an Amen?

Ivy's do not give academic money.  I didn't think any truly HA school did (since most all applicants are top-shelf anyway).  I have seen instances where middle-of-the-pack schools offered substantial academic money to lure top students.

Smitty28 is correct that the elite of the elite, like the Ivy's and Stanford do not give academic money (just need based).  But there are plenty of other higher academic schools that have various ways of providing academic-related money to high scoring students.  Curiously, there may be some athletes at these schools who found such benefits pointed out to them through their recruiting discussions.  So be sure to ask the coach and financial office if you think you might qualify.

To answer the OP's very general question with a very general answer, a 3.3 GPA and a 28 ACT or SAT equivalent. If you have outstanding baseball talent some HA D1's will go lower. 

   If you are an average baseball talent I would like to go to HF with a min 30 ACT and 3.5 GPA. HS course rigor is a whole different question, but HC's and RC's usually leave that up to admissions.

 

   

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