by Jimmy Corteau
What is more important to colleges: knowing that E=mc2 or scoring lots of touchdowns?
Everyone knows that academic prowess can help get you into a college with competitive admissions. But relying on only sports for your success is very risky; it has to be a combination of the two. How many times have we heard about college athletes no longer eligible to continue playing their respective sports because they failed to meet the minimum academic requirements of their school?
There is no doubt that a strong combination of academics and sports is a ticket to admission to competitive colleges. Chadwick seeks to keep things in perspective. Just ask Coach Rollie Johnson, Charlton Jackson, and Marian Hersh about the balance of sports and academics.
According to Director of College Counseling Marian Hersh, “The most important factor is your academic record.”
However, Hersh goes on to explain that there are several other factors that play into college admission, including the courses students take in high school, extracurricular activities, which include sports, and of course SAT or ACT scores. She also says that some athletes are brought to college campuses for the purpose of enhancing a school’s diversity, spirit, recognition, and competiveness.
Thus college admissions comes down to chemistry. The solution includes the right amount of academics and sports. The resulting products create you.
For college sports, athletes have to be careful not to underestimate academics, because sports can lead to a detrimental injury. An injury can end any sports career, and without the academic strength to balance the sports talent, athletes may find themselves unable to sustain their college careers. No one has ever broken a leg or arm reading a history book or sprained a wrist pulling a book off a library shelf. Students have to be able to see the need to focus on both academics and sports.
Charlton Jackson, Director of the Middle School, says colleges look for well-rounded individuals that can succeed academically as well as athletically. But academics don’t have to be your only focus.
“If you have a particular talent or skill, it is beneficial to display that talent as well as maintain strong grades,” said Jackson.
Not everyone is capable of achieving the combination or the balance. But it is important to realize that it is a major part of the real world and college admission. Colleges receive vast income and increased alumni donations due to successful sports teams, and those dollars translate into buildings, labs, and academic programs. Colleges thus have a strong incentive to recruit athletically strong students to their school. The college campus is a combination of academics and sports. The library dwellers are sitting in the stands cheering on the football team, and athletes are sitting in the library, studying for their next exam.
Jackson is a perfect example of the combination between sports and academics. Jackson graduated from Chadwick and was recruited to play football at Dartmouth.
Today, Jackson teaches Math and coaches the Varsity basketball team at Chadwick. In other words, Jackson balanced his sports prowess with his academic accomplishments.
In addition, Marian Hersh and Rollie Johnson played sports during their college years and now advocate academics and sports at Chadwick.
One way to improve chances of getting into college is to plan which part to emphasize to maximize your academic and athletic strength to enhance your image for college.
The bottom line is that maintaining strong academic grades and playing sports, gives a strong advantage over others.
“They [Harvard, Princeton, Yale etc.] like Chadwick students…we are ‘A’ students and we can play sports,” said Head of Athletics Rollie Johnson. This is not to say that students have to play sports to get into a good college, but they give you an advantage over students who don’t.
So, the short answer to the question, “what is more important to colleges: E=mc2 or a touchdown?” is that there is no real preference. It is the combination and balance of both that will help students gain the attention of those colleges and universities that you would like to attend.
Already, all Chadwick students have an advantage over others. Chadwick students are enrolled in an academically challenging environment where they are encouraged to develop into the best person they can be. They have access to the academics and sports possibilities necessary and any support they might need.
So, go long and get ready to catch your algebra book.