Preparing for College

Cross Country Team or Part-Time Job?

Question: My son, a rising high school senior, has been on the cross country Team for the last 3 years. But he accepted a "summer" job with the understanding that he will work part time during the school year. He will not have the time to be on the team. How will this look to admissions counselors?


If your son is a very gifted runner who might be recruited by coaches at his target colleges, then dropping off of the cross country team could be a mistake. With a strong showing in the fall, his athletic prowess might be parlayed into acceptances at colleges where he is a borderline applicant or even into merit aid.

But if your son is a solid yet unspectacular runner, then holding a part-time job will look just as good--if not better--on his college applications (and may help him to pay for some of those applications to boot!). Moreover, he can always keep training on his own, whenever he finds spare time, in case he wants to return to running down the road. ;)

(posted 7/19/2012)