News and events


Why a USP Student-Athlete said no to an Ivy League education, and found the best Academic and Tennis option.


Meeting Ethan Martin changes you. He is the kind person that you talk to and afterward, you have realized your time was spent productively. 


Working alongside Ethan was not hard. As a college recruiting advisor, our goal is to fulfill the expectation of our student-athletes. Ethan’s was to find a great tennis program that will combine his academic resume with his athletic results. Even with extremely high chances of admission due to an almost perfect score, into some of the best academic programs in the country, Ethan chose the combination of tennis and academics. He is now set to be an RIT Tiger:


USP: What do you think of the recruitment tennis process vs the academic process? 


Ethan: There are definitely important parallels between the two; at the end of the day, the most important thing is finding the school that fits you best, regardless of whether or not athletics are included in the equation. Overall, the two processes are analogous: strong results in the competition are the same as test scores, the culture of the team is the same as the atmosphere of the school, and work ethic is the same as extracurricular activities. The key difference for me was that the athletic process divides schools more rigidly than the academic process. D1 schools have extremely different criteria from D3 schools or even D2 ones. 


USP: What sort of help did you receive in the process? 


E: In addition, to help from my family, USP’s direction was the most important aid I received during the recruiting process. Their key contributions were identifying schools that could fit me, helping me format my communications with college coaches, and providing me with another avenue through which to interact with college coaches. Their acumen in the recruiting process was invaluable, helping me interpret unspoken signals and implications from college coaches. 

USP: Why did you decide to play tennis in RIT vs academic options that you were in the range to gain admissions, such as Ivy league programs and Carnegie Mellon?


E: Tennis has been such an important part of my life for so long that it felt unnatural, stilted, and wrong to leave it behind in college. While I had options that surpassed RIT academically, RIT provided unique opportunities, such as their co-op program, that made it as viable in the long run as Brown, Carnegie Mellon, or Wash U. At the end of the day, the opportunity to play tennis was worth more to me than the difference between the academics at RIT and the academics at other schools. 


USP: What advice will you give to Ethan Martin to do something different?


E: I would tell him to start his applications earlier because stressing about essays on October 31st is not fun.

Get started

Secure your college future with University Sports Program.