Preparing for College

College Admissions for Non-Athletes

Question: My son is a rising high school sophomore. He gets great grades, has won awards for his photos and films, plays concert piano and glockenspiel, and volunteers at a local history museum. Recently a friend of mine with older children said that college admission officers will frown on the fact that my son hasn't been involved in any sports since middle school soccer. He really isn't interested in continuing organized athletics, and I'm not even sure where these could fit into his schedule. But is he hurting his college chances?

We all can recite tales of football quarterbacks or hockey goalies who, despite nary an honors course on their transcripts, jogged off to big-name colleges while the class valedictorian carted thin envelopes to the recycling center--probably on a peanut-oil powered scooter he engineered in 8th grade. Yes, sports can be a huge boost in the admissions process, and athletic prowess has shunted many an application from the "deny" pile into the "admit" stack. BUT ... that's only when the student-athlete is good enough to catch a coach's eye... and most won't be.

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