10th-grade lacrosse player commits to Harvard

Can a sophomore commit to the Ivy League?

Good question. This blog sets out to answer a handful of questions regarding Ivy League recruiting, early commits, Academic Index, Athletic Boosters, etc.

[In this account, "Harvard" is used only to help illustrate the process]

While this example is specific to Ivy League men's lacrosse, I hope it raises some relevant issues for your son/daughter if they aspire to play a sport in college.

How can a 10th-grader "commit" to an Ivy League School when they haven't even taken the SAT or ACT yet?

For select sports (e.g. men's lacrosse), the recruiting process starts early (8th/9th grade) and players travel far and wide during the summers to gain exposure to top programs.

By early sophomore year, the highest profile lacrosse players often verbally commit to a school (more on why they might do this later). Coaches asleep at the switch risk missing out on the hottest prospects.

This so-called "commitment" is non-binding, not in writing, and...

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How many AP classes?

This is one of the top 3 questions I hear regularly from high school students. It's such an important (and difficult) question, that I thought I'd share my thoughts below.

To review, AP (Advanced Placement) classes are considered "college-level" courses and are thus weighted more heavily than regular classes when calculating GPAs.

For example, an "A" in AP History gives you 5 points, versus 4 points from regular History. This is why some schools regard a 4.0 GPA as a yawner these days.

As long as GPA remains one of the top three criteria for college admissions, students will continue to use AP classes to spike their GPAs. Taken to extremes, however, this can be dangerous.

Things to consider before registering for AP classes:

Are you interested in the topic? If so, chances are you will succeed in the class. If not, you are flirting with danger. For example, if you don't like to read, but take AP History anyway to boost your GPA - think again. AP History may require 90+ minutes of...

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