Don't know what to do about this dilemma. Help is greatly appreciated!

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by navalaviator00, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. navalaviator00

    navalaviator00 Member

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    I have an urgent issue that I'm hoping you all could help me out with.

    I'm entering my senior year of high school, and I am a candidate for the Naval Academy. I have been reading recently that most candidates do not receive offers of appointment until January, and it is not uncommon to not hear back until close to the deadline (April 15th). Now here is my problem:

    I am a competitive swimmer, and I am being recruited by some schools. For those unfamiliar, if you are being recruited to a school, and you choose to attend that school, you have to apply to it Early Decision (November 1st deadline). And since you are recruited, you essentially are guaranteed admission. Unfortunately, the USNA coach is not interested in recruiting me, which is a big blow to me in terms of likelihood of me being offered admission. However, I really want to attend USNA, so I am still continuing the application process (I am 95% done with the application, and have my B&G interview on Thursday)

    So, I know that most likely, I won't be able to go to any schools that I am getting recruited to (because I have to apply early decision there, and I almost certainly won't hear back from the Naval Academy by November 1st), which will not only forfeit my chance of admission at the civilian colleges I'm getting recruited by, but will also force me to apply to regular decision schools, prolonging the college application process by months, to hear back from the Naval Academy with an unknown outcome.

    I know some of you will say, "well, how bad do you want to attend USNA?" and the answer is pretty badly. But at the same time, I hope that you can understand that I'm trying to be practical. I know how competitive USNA is, and I'm not sure if I should forfeit getting recruited and applying ED to a school (and being done with college applications on November 1st), just to wait until possibly April 15th to hear back from the Naval Academy.

    I am also going to apply for NROTC, but please understand that my dream is to attend the Naval Academy. What do I do??? What are the chances I will hear back from USNA before the November 1st ED deadline? Should I take the chance?

    Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. I really don't know what to do.
     
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  2. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I will defer to someone more familiar with processes at USNA and elsewhere for recruited athletes to address the substance of your questions in terms of what to do.

    In terms of whether you will be hear from USNA by Nov. 1 -- the chances are almost zero. The best thing you can hope for is that you receive an LOA by that date. That would tell you that, if you secure a nom you will be appointed (assuming medically ok). However, USNA doesn't hand out a lot of LOAs and many extremely well-qualified candidates don't get them. And there is no guarantee that you'll get a nom, though most LOA candidates do.
     
  4. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    Being recruited by USNA is still no guarantee of getting an appointment and already sounds like you know where USNA stands. While it is fine to attend a civilian college on a sports scholarship to help pay your tuition, etc......I think you first need to decide what your priorities are. The jump from h.s. to D1 college sports is a big one and not everyone will be competitive enough to be considered. No one goes to USNA to become a pro athlete, so is your goal to serve in the military or to pursue sports or to get a scholarship? (i.e. would you still attend that civilian college if you were NOT getting a sports scholarship). As mentioned above, you still need a NOM (and be 3Q) to be in the running for an appointment which makes their process take longer. Most civilian colleges understand that. You will find several older threads that ramble all over the place about ED and what to do or not do, but many of them cover so many different hypothetical scenarios, it is hard to know how that might apply to any one person.
     
  5. navalaviator00

    navalaviator00 Member

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    Thanks so much for your advice. In your expert opinion, what do you recommend my course of action should be? Do I just forget about early decision, and apply all regular decision schools, while waiting for response from USNA?
     
  6. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

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    In all things, you must look out for yourself, while maintaining integrity and class.

    I think that means you continue with the application and recruitment process, AND that you inform the coaches who are recruiting you that you're also applying to USNA, which is your first choice. The thing about athletic scholarships is that the coaches always have more serious prospects than scholarships. If you are appointed to USNA, you inform the coach of your other school, and s/he offers the scholarship to another prospect.

    But you HAVE to have a plan B, C, and D - which you know. So you keep applying to colleges until you have choices.

    In short, be forthright and honest with the recruiting coaches. They know their best prospects will have other offers - they're grownups. Keep maximizing your choices.
     
  7. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    When in doubt...talk to the Coach where you are interest in attending, and tell him the truth. USNA is your first choice, and you can't commit to their program until you hear from USNA.
     
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  8. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Are you certain you must apply Early Decision and can not apply Early Action instead, which is non-binding? Every college is different, but I do know athletic recruits who applied Early Action. However, their commitments were verbal, not LOI's.

    A word of warning on verbal athletic commitments: Either party can back out. A friend's son agreed to commit to a very good D3 school. The coach called the kid in December and told him a better prospect came into the picture so he was withdrawing the commitment. Left the kid scrambling - he had stopped applying to other schools because of the "sure thing" athletic commitment.

    Don't stop other applications until you have been offered admission or have a binding agreement that guarantees admission.
     
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  9. navalaviator00

    navalaviator00 Member

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    I would love to do this, be honest and come clean, but I don't think any coach (in this situation) would really understand my honesty. They would probably think, "well, if you're so deadset into going to USNA, why have you been showing so much interest in my school?"

    That's what's holding me back from being honest, do you think this is a valid concern?
     
  10. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

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    If recruiting were easy, there wouldn't be 3 coaches for your typical D1 men's/women's swimming program. Coaches understand that prospects have a lot of factors that play into their decision-making. Be honest! Would you attend the University of X if USNA didn't come through? Say that, in a positive way: "USNA is my first choice, but I recognize that may not happen, and if that's the case, then I really would be privileged (etc.) to attend the University of X and contribute to the team as your [event]."

    You're showing interest because you don't know what you want yet. That is OKAY. Be honest, be forthright, get your questions answered, and complete all the applications to institutions you can legitimately see yourself attending.
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I can't answer your question because I'm not you so have no clue as to your desires, financial situation, likelihood of getting into USNA or any other college, etc. Also, I was never in the same universe as a recruited athlete, so don't know how much you love your sport, what options you have at different schools, etc.

    The above said, below are a few things to consider -- and I'm going to assume that finances are NOT the driving factor. If they are, the considerations below might well change.

    1. Apply to schools you want to attend -- not just places where you can do your sport. You may get hurt. You may lose interest in the sport. You may not be as good in college as you were in h.s. and thus get cut. In the end, you want to be someplace that is more than a gym/pool/track, etc. as you'll be there for four years. Be sure you like the city/town, the people you meet, the options offered for courses, the lifestyle (urban, rural) -- all the normal things non-recruited athletes look for. IOW, ask yourself, "If I no longer am playing my sport, would I still be happy here?"

    2. If your commitment to an ED school is not legally binding -- some processes are and some aren't -- then all bets are off. There are stories every year about kids who back out of an LOI at the last minute and stories about schools that do the same. If you are entering into a legally binding commitment, then you are left to hope that, if USNA comes through, the school will let you out of your agreement. If it's a competitive school where lots of people are vying for admission, I would suspect they would for a SA. But no guarantees. If it's merely a "moral obligation," then (as a poster stated above), it's just that and you can back out. It's like a USNA appointment -- USNA can't force you to show up on I-Day. You've agreed to come but if you don't, there's really no recourse. That's life.

    3. Talk to your BGO about your overall competitiveness. Recognize that your BGO has a limited view of the world in that he/she only sees only a tiny number of candidates and does not see things like letters of rec, CFA scores, etc. Even so, experienced BGOs tend to have a good sense of whether your record makes you competitive for USNA. Note that I say "competitive" -- as you realize, being competitive is no guarantee of an appointment.

    4. Consider how important it is for you to play your sport at the D1 level. Is this a passion for you? I assume not b/c you're considering USNA where you won't likely participate on the varsity level. Also, if you're that good (for the school) and you apply for regular decision and are accepted, I assume the coach will still want you and probably would give you a scholarship.

    One final thought . . . in your first post you mentioned applying ED to "colleges" where you are being recruited. If ED is legally binding for any college that accepts you, you can obviously only apply to one on an ED basis. So the question is whether attending THAT COLLEGE is better than holding out for USNA -- that's a fairly straightforward question that only you can answer. If can really apply to more than one ED, then it can't be legally binding b/c they could all accept you and you obviously can't attend all of them. So, if that's the case, apply and then, if you get into USNA and that's still your first choice, back out of your "commitment."
     
  12. navalaviator00

    navalaviator00 Member

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    First of all, thanks so much for your help. Second, most early decision "binding" agreements are not legally binding, only by word. I have been reading on this forum about stories of people who broke their word, and attended USNA even after being accepted into an ED school. My only concern is the morality of the situation. Someone else on these forums said that the college you broke off from might contact other schools that you're looking at, and they might rescind their offers to you as well. Someone also said that the whole point of ED is to stick to your word, and be honorable, and that's the whole premise of USNA. So do you think it is still worth it to do it? I don't want this to backfire on me.
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Again, I'm no expert on the ED process. If you're concerned about the morality of backing out (and I must say that schools themselves don't seem to be), then I suggest the following. Accept the ED -- remember, it's only one school you're dealing with. Tell the coach or whomever you deem appropriate at the school that you have every intention of attending unless you get into USNA. That is the ONLY other school to which you've applied and would be the ONLY exception to attending the ED school. Commit to notify the coach (or whomever) immediately upon hearing from USNA either way. If the ED school doesn't accept that, then . . . do you really want to go to school there?

    Note that, in this scenario, there are no "other schools" other than USNA. You either go to the ED school assuming you're admitted or, if you receive an appt, to USNA. I've never heard of USNA pulling an appointment under these circumstances, but I suppose they could. If you aren't accepted to the ED school, then all bets are off and you can apply wherever you want for regular decision.

    And yes, even if you do the above and the ED school says it's okay, you're taking a chance on the ED school backs out at the last minute if you DON'T get into USNA and then you're stuck with nothing. That's a chance you take regardless of whether you apply to USNA or not. Welcome to life! Sadly, there are no guarantees.
     
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  14. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    That is a tough spot to be in. I know my DD didn't sign her LOI until Feb of senior year. She was verbally offered in Dec of her junior year. That was to a large D1 state school. They didn't require you apply ED. I think the other factor is how good you are in the sport and how important you are to the civilian college. If you are their top recruit, then they will probably give you more leeway. If you are just one of the pack that is recruited then they may not be so cooperative. Good luck!
     
  15. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Apart from Early Admission deadline have you been asked to sign the NLI in November? That is the early period for swimming but the 'Regular' period starts in April.

    The binding letter of intent [NLI] precludes you from competing at another NCAA school. It is not indentured servitude. And it is voluntary.

    There is an ethical aspect but going to a SA and active duty military is vastly different vs. jumping to a rival school / conference for your sport.

    IMHO since you are not being recruited by Navy there is a far lower ethical threshold here but you have to decide that.

    http://www.nationalletter.org/aboutTheNli/index.html

    https://swimswam.com/signing-day-anyway/

    In swimming and diving, there is an Early Period which lasts one week from the second Wednesday in November to the third Wednesday in November, during which a PSA may sign an NLI. At the conclusion of that week, no NLI can be signed until the “Regular Period” begins in April. NLIs cannot be signed before 7 am of the PSA and Parent/Legal Guardian’s local time on the first day of the signing period. The PSA must sign the NLI and athletics aid agreement within 7 days of the date it was issued; otherwise, the NLI is invalid. (The 7-day signing deadline does not apply if the PSA receives the NLI on the last day of a signing period.)

    Early Signing Period for Swimming and Diving, 2016

    • Beginning – November 9, 2016
    • End – November 16, 2016
    Regular Sigining Period for Swimming and Diving, 2016

    • Beginning – April 12, 2017
    • End – August 1, 2017
    So while tomorrow opens the 2016 Early Signing Period, it doesn’t mean the recruiting season ends on November 16. Yes, many of the biggest and wealthiest programs will have set their rosters for the class of 2021, but there are hundreds of schools that will continue to recruit PSAs all the way through next spring.

    About the National Letter of Intent (NLI)
    The NCAA manages the daily operations of the NLI program while the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) provides governance oversight of the program. Started in 1964 with seven conferences and eight independent institutions, the program now includes 650 Division I and Division II participating institutions.

    The NLI is a voluntary program with regard to both institutions and student-athletes. No prospective student-athlete or parent is required to sign the NLI and no institution is required to join the program.

    The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution.

    • A prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
    • The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
    The penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement: A student-athlete has to serve one year in residence (full-time, two semesters or three quarters) at the next NLI member institution and lose one season of competition in all sports.

    An important provision of the NLI program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs the NLI. This prohibition requires member institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once an NLI is signed with another institution.
     
  16. navalaviator00

    navalaviator00 Member

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    Thanks so much, MidwestDad. I'm sorry for not saying this earlier, but I am being recruited by Division III schools, which do not sign NLIs. The exact wordings of my communications with my coach were this:

    "I met with our admissions office this past week and the feedback I received was positive. This means that if (Insert DIII school name) became a clear #1 choice for you and you applied Early Decision 1, that I would be able to support your application and you'd likely be admitted as long as your senior year grades are in line with your previous years grades. While I can't guarantee any admissions decisions before they happen, this is the most positive feedback I can give a recruit."

    What do you think that means for me? If I say "no" to applying ED (and he says that all his support for recruits happens through the ED deadline), do you think that ruins my chances of going there via regular decision? Or should I be honest with him about my intentions about USNA being my top choice? I don't want to rub him the wrong way...

    Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it.
     
  17. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Apply ED - there is zero guarantee for a highly competitive SA appointment.

    Tell your coach you have applied to USNA but wont swim there. He is not competing vs. another swim program; that might soften the pain.
    [Honestly if someone doesn't support you in that endeavor I wonder how solid of a person they are anyway.]

    The 'Plan B' debate is frequent on these forums; IMHO you don't compromise your ethics by registering at a 'regular' school and then deciding to go to SA. You do not control the timing and you have to protect your future.

    If you accept an appointment the swim coach can fill that scholarship slot at DIII level in April pretty easily.

    My $0.02
     
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  18. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Very informative post by Midwest dad on LOI. With respect to Early Decision:

    Early Decision agreements are the most formal and strict application to a college, but have not been tested in court and likely never will be. The student, parents, and high school counselor must all sign a statement agreeing to the ED terms, but the bad publicity and cost would not be worth it for a college to pursue legally. Realistically, the consequence that makes students feel "bound" by the ED agreement is peer pressure - fellow students rejected ED by that college will not be happy.

    There are ways to get out of the agreement within the terms of the agreement, the easiest is to declare that the financial aid offered was insufficient. Of course, if you didn't apply for financial aid or were given 100% that wouldn't work.

    The sticky part of ED is that you are required to withdraw all other applications within two weeks of acceptance. Failure to do so will likely result in revocation of admission.

    Personally, I do not trust college coaches. Nothing is guaranteed until you have the offer of admission in hand. My advice is to talk to your high school college counselor and your swimming coach who are in the best position to assess your possibilities and provide assistance. Once accepted ED, it will be very difficult to hide the fact that you are continuing your USNA application without their support - it is very likely that the college coach has already been in contact with your high school coach and will continue to seek feedback during the season.
     
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  19. navalaviator00

    navalaviator00 Member

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    Thanks so much. So you think that I should tell the coach that I'm going to apply ED 'binding' to his school in November, but that I'm also applying to USNA, and if I get in to USNA then I will withdraw from his school, despite the ED binding situation? Do you think that he will appreciate the honesty, or will he tell me that "ED is binding, so doing that is not allowed."

    I know that I'm riding a fine line between being honest and also protecting my interests/keeping my options open. I just don't want to make the wrong decision. Thank you again.
     
  20. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    I would do what MidwestDad suggests, but wouldn't say necessarily that the coach will be totally supportive. It isn't fair to expect a coach (with their personal livelihood at stake) to be supportive of a top recruit leaving them at the last minute. The potential replacement pool for top talent would be very small come April. It is a risk, but it is up to you.