How do colleges look at year-round athletes who have less time to focus on academics?

How do colleges look at athletes who play a sport year round which can often keep students from other activities as well as giving them less time to focus on academics? Some athletes will never be able to play in college but have been playing the sport for 8 years or longer without ever winning an award or being recruited by a college.

– Corinne, a parent in Venice, CA

“How do colleges look at athletes who play a sport year round which can often keep students from other activities as well as giving them less time to focus on academics? Some athletes will never be able to play in college but have been playing the sport for 8 years or longer without ever winning an award or being recruited by a college.” SocratesPost.com ad-free college admissions newsletter

To answer Corinne’s question this week, we compiled the best highlights from three exclusive SocratesPost interviews with admissions insiders from Denison University, Whitman College, and Harvard University — all of whom shared their takes on when/how athletic participation impresses them and when/how it does not.

1. They don’t want your child to play the sport just because she thinks she has to.

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In a recent exclusive interview, Denison University admissions interviewer, Radhika Joshi told SocratesPost about the myth of the college acceptance “formula.”

“it’s not like you do one sport, you do one service activity and you have the GPA and you’re guaranteed to get in,” Radhika said. “That kind of formula doesn’t exist anymore.”

If your child is playing the sport for eight or more years, is it because she feels like colleges want to see the athletic element of the formula? If so, then it may be time to reconsider. Ironically, admissions insiders don’t believe in the formula: it’s the parents and students who do.


2. They want to know if your kid’s athletic participation has taught her how to contribute to a small community, even if she won no accolades.

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Harvard admissions insider, Jerilyn Teo, told SocratesPost in an exclusive interview:

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