Early College Commits: What’s Next?

Hannah Thompson, Staff Writer

Senior year comes with an immediate college checklist: visits, applications and major decisions.  However, this checklist is completed before senior year even begins for the athletes who have already committed to continuing their sports career in college.

Senior Maddie Isringhausen has committed to playing volleyball at Tennessee Tech University. She explained that committing early makes senior year substantially less stressful than it would be if she were in the general pool of students.

“I think I would have been stressed about applying for schools and trying to figure out where I want to go,” she said. “On top of that I would have had to focus more on the ACT or SAT to make sure I earn a great score.”

Another senior, Ellie Viox, verbally committed to joining the softball team at Missouri University of Science and Technology in January.  She recognizes the benefits of her decision, but she is also aware that her college application process is not over yet.

“I definitely feel a lot less stressed about college applications than most of my friends given I only have one school to apply to,” Viox said. “I have a fairly solid idea of what my annual tuition is going to be, so I’m still very, if not more, interested in scholarship applications.”

From Viox’s perspective, committing early has forced her to think deeply about her future at a younger age than most students.

“Committing early forced me to figure out what I wanted to go into earlier than I expected to,” she said. “I felt a lot of stress as a freshman who thought she needed everything figured out, including the recruiting process.”

Viox put a significant amount of thought into her interests and goals not only for high school, but for her career.  She said that she intends to enter her freshman year of college with a major in architectural engineering and a minor in sustainability.  By making her college decision early, Viox was able to avoid the traditional three to four years of social studies classes, which allowed her to take Honors Architectural Drafting.

Senior Lawson Redmon committed to playing Division I soccer at Indiana University almost a year ago.  His early committal impacted the classes he decided to take as well as the activities he chose to pursue this year.

“I was able to look at my classes for senior year and know what I needed to and did not need to take,” he said.  “I am also not involved in as many activities at school this year because I am focused on my sport and preparing to play in college.”

Redmon believes that making his decision early actually gave him more time to find clarity on the school that is the right fit for him.

“I feel like [if I hadn’t committed early] I would be more rushed to find the right school for me and to make sure I had the right grades.”

While most students are not prepared to seriously consider college until senior year, many athletes who have committed before senior year have no regrets about their decision.

“In my experience, there haven’t been any doubts about committing,” Isringhausen said. “I’m beyond excited.”