My wife has watched a lot of sports in Old Saybrook though the years. She actually was a college athlete so knows a fair amount about talent. She’s way too nice to ever say something negative about anyone. But sometimes she’ll report as a data point to her educational consultant husband: “Mr. and Mrs. W. believe their daughter will get a college scholarship for soccer…” In further discussion, I’ll learn that this is how Mr. and Mrs. W’s plan to pay for college for their multiple children.
I have written about sports parents elsewhere. But it is worth repeating for small town Connecticut types who think that star athletes in our affluent Shoreline and Fairfield County areas fare well nationally in sports like football, basketball, and baseball. Football and basketball provide the easiest examination (baseball has the minor leagues as an alternative to college so the analysis would get confusing).
California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and other big states with football crazed populations have so many top players that even many on Connecticut’s all state first team would have a hard time making honorable mention in those states. As for basketball, the lack of diversity alone makes our basketball talent pool shallow along the idyllic Connecticut coasts. Indeed, outside of lacrosse, I have not seen consistent athletic scholarship success in my 15 plus years working with Connecticut families.
I have, however, seen enormous scholarship success for Connecticut students with top SAT and ACT test scores, particularly in the last 5 years. Colleges – particularly private ones – are desperate to maintain their student populations. They also need to look “not desperate”! To do so, they need to attract a student body that looks impressive. The most blunt force way to do so: give scholarships to those with top test scores.