Author Topic: College Decisions  (Read 17205 times)

Hockeykid

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2019, 01:37:29 AM »
So true!

DAILY DISH: Veteran's Dilemma  Junior Hockey NewsPublished: Friday, 2 Aug 2019   
By: [/size]Stephen Heisler, JuniorHockey.com

 
 Mason is a nineteen year-old, 2nd line junior "A" defender. He has been playing junior hockey since he was fifteen and living away from home for hockey since he was twelve.
Mason has seen more than his fair share of coaches and systems. He has been able to execute his duties exactly as directed for every team he has played for. He is one of those guys that does not stand out, he just gets the job done, shift after shift, and night after night.
Hockey has taken a toll on Mason academically. He has been in nine different schools from the 6th grade until his graduation last year. Graduation was not easy, and he had to spend two summers at a community college to get it done. His overall high school GPA was 1.8. This season he was supposed to be preparing for the SAT, but instead he has enjoyed his first year off from academics.
Mason's mom called me yesterday asking why he has not had any NCAA Div I offers, like a lot of other players on his team.  She entered the conversation with fantasies about Mason going to play at Notre Dame. As we peeled off the doses of reality she became angrier and angrier. "We have spent so much money on getting Mason to this point in his career, it is just not fair!" Mom yelled over the phone.
What is not fair is the fact that mom let hockey get in the way of Mason's education. When I suggested that Mason spend the summer at an SAT camp mom immediately refused, "That is entirely too expensive," she quickly replied. "He always works with my dad each summer to pay for hockey."
Don't shoot the messenger but here are the facts about Mason. He is not going to play at Notre Dame. He might catch a break at another school IF he can get a good SAT or ACT number.
The other alternative is to go ahead and enter the world of minor professional hockey. Guys like Mason are needed at that level as well. Make the free-agent try-out rounds and maybe he will be able to stick. If not, he can always return to the Jr. "A" for his final year of eligibility.
The reality is that Mason may be able to play in the Federal Hockey League, or eventually the ECHL level of pro hockey. But that is it. Is this result worth the seven years of investment in his game?
The bottom line is simple. What happens in the classroom is every bit as important as what happens on the ice. Prospects that are hoping to play in college need to address academics from the sixth grade and beyond. Mason has always been a coach's favorite, that is great, but he should have been the teacher's favorite too.
Mason is an alias that we used to protect the player's identify... and his dignity.

notTHATdad

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2019, 06:33:59 PM »
Really good story.


What people don't realize is that the better your marks are, the more chance you have at a college scholarship. It is the #1 criteria in determining how many openings are available to you. I'll get the numbers a bit off (because I'm working from memory) but it works sort of like this... For a given team they will have:


2 spots for GPA >= 1.5
8 spots for GPA >= 2.0
16 spots for GPA >= 3.0
25 spots for GPA >= 3.5


The one number I remember pretty well is the '2'.


Remember - it's a COLLEGE and hockey is not a money-maker like football. Basically, if your marks suck, there are only a couple of 'dummy' spots available on ANY NCAA team, and that kid is competing against every other player for those spots. If there is an equal kid, with better marks, you lose.


On top of that, each D1 team will have 18 athletic scholarships available for a 25 player roster. If you are not one of the lucky players to get the 'full athletic ride' then you will only get a partial athletic scholarship... BUT if your marks are decent they will be able to make that up with an academic scholarship.


So DON'T LET HOCKEY SCREW UP YOUR MARKS. I get super frustrated with coaches that pay lip service to giving/forcing teams time to study on the road during tournaments. It hurts them in the long run.


Masons parents were really poorly informed or idiots.




gr8wrk

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2020, 06:36:47 PM »
Besides grades, your son's SAT or ACT scores will matter.  Our son went to New England Prep and after his Junior year he had several D3 schools talking to him but his SAT score was 25 points too low so he spent the summer in an SAP prep course and raised his score 80 points.  Some schools continued to talk to him after that but others had moved on.


A few notes: First, even if your kid goes to Prep school and gets a D1 offer, they will still likely play Juniors someplace for a year or two, it's really hard to go from high-school to college hockey (where you are playing against 25 year olds).  Second, Juniors can be quite an experience for a hockey player who is used to playing in front of their parents and a few others.   Our son played Juniors in the NA3HL and every game had 500 to 1,000 people watching and he was asked for autographs and everyone in the town knew who he was. 

islandhockey

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2020, 06:05:20 PM »
At some point in the 16-17 age range, you (parents) and your son will have a huge decision to make if they are anywhere decent on the ice.  By decent, i mean capable of playing juniors or college.  I see so many kids playing juniors that frankly have no hope at playing college hockey, so they are just holding off starting college and onto adult life.  I really scratch my head at those kids and their parents.  Some juniors only have the skills to play DIII (no money) or college club hockey, which equates to 2-3 years of putting their college on hold and the sad thing is that a lot of these DIII schools aren't even in the top 300-400 academic colleges in the country.  I see a number of juniors moving to DI (Yea!  $$), but there are no full ride scholarships and many of these DI colleges are terrible academically as well.  I think we all see the best kids (USHL level and equivalent) go onto some really good colleges, but that number is incredibly low and they are competing with kids around the world. If you really want your son to play college hockey, you really don't choose the college....you have to see who wants you which is why your choices are often terrible in terms of academics and location. What I don't want for my son is to have no option other than to become a youth hockey coach, pressuring parents to pay for your clinics with no medical benefits and no retirement.  If you have a bright kid, who isn't going to turn pro, I would consider going to a good school to and play club hockey.  Some of the better schools have really top notch club teams that would give DIII hockey a run for their money and if they focus on their academics in high school, there is much more academic money out there than athletic scholarships.  Then, you kid starts college as a true freshman and will be in their senior year, with internships and travel abroad opportunities while their peers in youth hockey are just starting and old, 21-22 year old freshmen.  In the end, some 95%+ of all youth hockey players will not play pro, not get a DI scholarship, and wind up in the same place...the beer league.  Some will have great jobs while others not so great. Think about your kids future when you make these difficult decisions...not yourself.  [size=78%]   [/size]

notTHATdad

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2020, 04:55:10 PM »
At some point in the 16-17 age range, you (parents) and your son will have a huge decision to make if they are anywhere decent on the ice.  By decent, i mean capable of playing juniors or college.  I see so many kids playing juniors that frankly have no hope at playing college hockey, so they are just holding off starting college and onto adult life.  I really scratch my head at those kids and their parents.  Some juniors only have the skills to play DIII (no money) or college club hockey, which equates to 2-3 years of putting their college on hold and the sad thing is that a lot of these DIII schools aren't even in the top 300-400 academic colleges in the country.  I see a number of juniors moving to DI (Yea!  $$), but there are no full ride scholarships and many of these DI colleges are terrible academically as well.  I think we all see the best kids (USHL level and equivalent) go onto some really good colleges, but that number is incredibly low and they are competing with kids around the world. If you really want your son to play college hockey, you really don't choose the college....you have to see who wants you which is why your choices are often terrible in terms of academics and location. What I don't want for my son is to have no option other than to become a youth hockey coach, pressuring parents to pay for your clinics with no medical benefits and no retirement.  If you have a bright kid, who isn't going to turn pro, I would consider going to a good school to and play club hockey.  Some of the better schools have really top notch club teams that would give DIII hockey a run for their money and if they focus on their academics in high school, there is much more academic money out there than athletic scholarships.  Then, you kid starts college as a true freshman and will be in their senior year, with internships and travel abroad opportunities while their peers in youth hockey are just starting and old, 21-22 year old freshmen.  In the end, some 95%+ of all youth hockey players will not play pro, not get a DI scholarship, and wind up in the same place...the beer league.  Some will have great jobs while others not so great. Think about your kids future when you make these difficult decisions...not yourself.  [size=78%]   [/size]


I think that's right.


But I'd balance that with the fact that we tend to rush kids into college, when a lot of them are not ready for it. That was certainly my generation - the idea of taking time off to 'chase a dream' for a couple of years was not to even be discussed.


But that may be a mistake, and I think thinking has changed a bit. You only get one chance to chase a dream sometimes. If my kid wants to go off for a year or two on some silly quest, I may be ok with it, as long as the conditions are ok, and the plan realistic.


SkatingDad

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2020, 11:54:24 AM »
At some point in the 16-17 age range, you (parents) and your son will have a huge decision to make if they are anywhere decent on the ice.  By decent, i mean capable of playing juniors or college.  I see so many kids playing juniors that frankly have no hope at playing college hockey, so they are just holding off starting college and onto adult life.  I really scratch my head at those kids and their parents.  Some juniors only have the skills to play DIII (no money) or college club hockey, which equates to 2-3 years of putting their college on hold and the sad thing is that a lot of these DIII schools aren't even in the top 300-400 academic colleges in the country.  I see a number of juniors moving to DI (Yea!  $$), but there are no full ride scholarships and many of these DI colleges are terrible academically as well.  I think we all see the best kids (USHL level and equivalent) go onto some really good colleges, but that number is incredibly low and they are competing with kids around the world. If you really want your son to play college hockey, you really don't choose the college....you have to see who wants you which is why your choices are often terrible in terms of academics and location. What I don't want for my son is to have no option other than to become a youth hockey coach, pressuring parents to pay for your clinics with no medical benefits and no retirement.  If you have a bright kid, who isn't going to turn pro, I would consider going to a good school to and play club hockey.  Some of the better schools have really top notch club teams that would give DIII hockey a run for their money and if they focus on their academics in high school, there is much more academic money out there than athletic scholarships.  Then, you kid starts college as a true freshman and will be in their senior year, with internships and travel abroad opportunities while their peers in youth hockey are just starting and old, 21-22 year old freshmen.  In the end, some 95%+ of all youth hockey players will not play pro, not get a DI scholarship, and wind up in the same place...the beer league.  Some will have great jobs while others not so great. Think about your kids future when you make these difficult decisions...not yourself.  [size=78%]   [/size]


I think that's right.


But I'd balance that with the fact that we tend to rush kids into college, when a lot of them are not ready for it. That was certainly my generation - the idea of taking time off to 'chase a dream' for a couple of years was not to even be discussed.


But that may be a mistake, and I think thinking has changed a bit. You only get one chance to chase a dream sometimes. If my kid wants to go off for a year or two on some silly quest, I may be ok with it, as long as the conditions are ok, and the plan realistic.


For men, there is plenty of time to go to college and work in corporate.  I believe everyone should delay that dreary existence for a long as possible. Chase your dreams first, father time catches up with everyone...

Hockey sophist

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2021, 10:33:46 AM »
This 2019 discussion including this post is excellent.   Since our son is now a junior in high school, it is timely.    What are the thoughts of other parents who have kids who are  sophomore, juniors, or seniors think?   Has the landscape changed due to the pandemic or any other factors?

notTHATdad

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2021, 01:47:05 PM »
The landscape has gotten worse. Lot's of Junior kids hanging around because their seasons were cancelled has put a real bubble of many, many players in the system.


Too much to read this whole thread, but here is the reality, that most AAA club will avoid telling you:


There are roughly 40 D1 hockey teams, each of whom by NCAA rule have 18 full scholarships they can award. Though they will sometimes split them, the max is 25. That's across all 4 years. So 180 players a year will get a scholarship. Marks DO count. There are more spots available for a 3.5GPA kid than a 2.5 GPA kid, and so on. Each team can give a scholarship to just a couple of kids with low marks, and those spots are valuable.


There is no D2 hockey. D3 hockey does not give out athletic scholarships (by NCAA rule), so you will have to have the marks to justify an academic scholarship. Will they look favorably on a kid they want? Sure. But the marks can't suck.


There are about 30,000 18/19 year old players registered with USAHockey. Those are not good odds.


Colleges also don't want 17 and 18 year olds. They want 19-20 year olds at youngest. The expectation is that you will play at least 1 year of high level Jr before college.


D1 scholarships go almost exclusively to USHL players. Yes, there are some NAHL's. And lot's of tier 3 leagues will claim to send kids to D1 - they are pretty much full of shit. Tier 3 exists for kids to keep playing to try to make Tier 2 or Tier 1, and for kids that can't (but should) give up on the dream.


Roughly, if your high school kid is not being talked to by a tier 1 or 2 Jr team you should be looking at other options. And I mean talked to - not just invited to pre-draft camps, but actual main camps where they make the first cut at least. And I don't mean the parents schmoozing with the scouts. If your kid is on the list, the scouts will pull them out of the locker room to talk to them after games at tournaments. Otherwise then you are almost certainly fooling yourself if you think you are going to ride hockey to college. If your kid is playing AA, the odds are far, far worse - almost impossible. If your kid wasn't drafted by the USHL or WHL, it's an uphill climb.


Counting on college hockey is a TERRIBLE plan for paying for school. You might as well just go to Vegas and hope for the best.


For all the all the above, starry-eyed parents will cite counter examples. They are the very, very rare exceptions.








ohnonotagain

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2021, 01:48:00 PM »
This 2019 discussion including this post is excellent.   Since our son is now a junior in high school, it is timely.    What are the thoughts of other parents who have kids who are  sophomore, juniors, or seniors think?   Has the landscape changed due to the pandemic or any other factors?


I too have a current junior in HS, and I have a junior in college.  Here's what I would say:
1.  There are many successful paths in life, and many unsuccessful paths.  In a capitalist society you can move between them and you may not even know which path you're currently on.  Failure is success' only building block.
2.  There are plenty of hockey programs all too eager to take money from parents and kids chasing dreams while offering little to nothing in return.  AAA programs, hockey academies, prep schools, all fit this bill, especially in the west.   There are plenty of hockey players that found themselves unable to make it in the real world, and resort to coaching/advising/private lessons of youth.  I mean, seriously - please consider the source of information as you listen to some AAA/AA coach tell you they can help your kid make juniors (as if that should even be a goal). 
3.  During the last decade there is increasing research that in many industries (not all) where you go to school and the grades you get are uncorrelated to your success in life.  In the software industry, for example, some major companies no longer require degrees - they are that useless.  Seems that there are skills and characteristics beyond academics which lead to success.
4.  Lack of success in HS academics is not a death knell.  Plenty of options to succeed.  And its never too late.
5.  I wouldn't trade my kids' unique experiences for anything. 


Bottom line: don't sweat it, don't chase the NHL/college hockey fantasy, enjoy the journey with your kids.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 01:49:06 PM by ohnonotagain »

notTHATdad

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2021, 02:02:09 PM »
Exactly.


And by the way, not making D1/D3 is not a reason not to play hockey in college! ACHA programs (club hockey) are a blast, and really add to a college experience, without all the stress of having to keep your scholarship. And are usually at better schools! I have an older boy who plays hockey at the highest rec level at his Canadian university and loves it. Probably as much as my younger senior AAA kid.


You are also much more likely to actually PLAY.


Remember, a D1/D3 team has a 25 person roster. Only 18 dress. So there is an entire line of kids sitting in the stands for every game, just watching, and hoping they improve enough to actually play.


Kids should play because they love it. Not because it's a career path. It's not.


Knuckle Puck

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2021, 05:15:09 PM »
if your kid is already a hs junior, is still playing in california, and isn't one of the (very few remaining) top-line studs on a 16u aaa team, the odds of him late-blooming enough to get into a ncaa d1 or program are minute (not absolute zero, but close) and odds of d3 only slightly better.  16 years old is an age to be realistic, in my opinion.

acha is an excellent option for kids who put academics first but want to keep playing in college. the majority of top 100 usn&wr schools have a club team, including several larger universities that offer both club team and ncaa d1 team. the level of competition varies *widely* from acha d3 (will take almost any kid that played through hs) up to acha d1 (many clubs at this level could easily compete in ncaa d3). some of the acha d1 programs play in cool arenas and attract hundreds of spectators per game (ex: illinois, ohio, lindenwood).
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 05:32:51 PM by Knuckle Puck »

Hockey sophist

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Re: College Decisions
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2021, 01:29:01 PM »
Thanks for all who responded to my call for inputs.   Your insights are invaluable and rooted in experience.   They confirmed my expectations and confirmed that our son made the correct decision to focus on academics.   As he puts it, "hockey is something he loves to play; it does not define who he is."