We came across an article up on “Swim Swam” about a rising high school senior, Sonia Wang, who gave a verbal commitment to swim for Harvard recently. Sure, athletic recruits can give verbal commitments to universities and the article expressly makes clear that Sonia has not gained admission to Harvard yet. In fact, Sonia hasn’t even applied. That’s why we’re wondering why this is newsworthy again? Lots can go wrong before Sonia even applies for admission. What if she writes something in one of her college admissions essays that is so offensive that Harvard admissions officers call the swim coach and say there’s no way she’s getting in? Sonia likely won’t do this but our point is that a lot can happen in the Ivy League admissions process.
As the article up on “Swim Swam” states, “To be clear, Wang has not yet been officially accepted to Harvard. As is true with all Ivy League schools, Harvard’s Admissions Office will not send its acceptance letter until the beginning of December, along with those of all Early Action candidates. The procedure for a recruited athlete like Wang is for Admissions to review her transcript and SAT scores, ‘support (her) application for admissions in the fall,’ issue a Likely Letter, then offer her acceptance into the class of 2019.” Yes indeed — that’s the process.
It’s highly unusual for a swimmer’s verbal commitment to warrant press. Maybe a top basketball recruit or a top football recruit, but a swimmer? The fact is that it sounds as though Sonia is a top recruit of Harvard (her sister swims there, too) and thus she will likely gain admission. But why count them chickens before they hatch? Why the press? Seems silly if you ask us! If this student had a choice about this press, we would have advised her to avoid any and all press. But she’s not our student!
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