Sunday, December 09, 2012

Nikki Hiltz commits to University of Oregon

From the twitter account of Santa Cruz Sentinel writer, Ryan Silapan:
"Well it's official Aptos High running sensation Nikki Hiltz (@Nikki_Hiltz) has committed to the University of Oregon. #scsnews #scscore"

Aptos High track and cross country star Nikki Hiltz commits to University of Oregon (newspaper article)

Any other college commitments from California runners?

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

ugh, posting your scholarship amount in a newspaper, not the greatest move. she's fast, and a great person to be around, but...
hopefully that was journalistic interpretation, and not her intent to have that be published.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Nikki!

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see the amount in the artcle. To all those seeking track/xc full rides from colleges, use this as your reality check.

Albert Caruana said...

Major Division I programs rarely if ever give full scholarships.

Anonymous said...

That sounds about right... but then it gets bumped up to a full ride after she makes all-America.

Anonymous said...

I am sure if Nikki had not been asked by the reporter her scholarship amount, she would not have offered it up. He asked she answered. Oops, donʻt forget, she is still young.
Enjoy the ride Nikki.

Anonymous said...

A kid from CA pays around $30K/year for tuition and books to go to be a duck. 80% is not bad...just pay to live and eat...

Anonymous said...

30K to get on Oregon education for out of State students is a joke!

Anonymous said...

80% at Oregon is an amazing offer, only made to the best of the best in the country. Most athletes interested in Oregon are asked to walk-on, even if they are pretty solid athletes. You would be surprised at the level of athlete that Oregon turns away each year because they can't offer them anything.

Congrats Nikki, you made the right call! Go Ducks!

alamedamom said...

Oregon is a fine school; she will no doubt get a good education. However, I doubt that she is going to Oregon primarily for the education - heck she wants to run and it is one of the best! Great deal if you can get it.

Anonymous said...

I know Nikki and she was definitely asked by the reporter about her scholarship offer. She is very humble and would never boast about her offers. She was also offered full rides at many Major D1 programs but turned them down because she wanted to be a duck. 80% is a damn good offer from oregon anyways! Congrats Nikki! You deserve to be apart of the best track school in the nation!

Anonymous said...

Nikki was offered quite a few full ride scholarships, but when your picking a program that rely's off of pure Distance Running program (National Champions)and also award those other specialty events!Oregon is a School That every Distance Runner In the World Would Love To Run At! 80% is Good especially when you have kids that walk on and perform who finally earn those scholarships and help there team to a National Championship! The Standard fo a Full Ride Distance runner is 4:46 Mile for those top 4 to 5 programs out there that just want a little more out of the individual! Some Div 1 schools just look for a Sub 5Minute! Next with Nikki coming off a serious injury, 80%,I'm pretty sure oregon is also being pretty cautious! You Can never Know what Nikki would have been offered if she was not injured!

Anonymous said...

Full ride athletic scholarships at Stanford for distance runners are very, very, very rare (if they happen at all). I know that no one from Stanford's 2012 recruiting class received anything close to a full ride or 80%.

The better the school's academic reputation AND the running program are (combined); the less they can get away with offering you. That is because you are getting a top D1 running program AND a top ranked education. The schools look at their top ranked education as part of the "package". It is easier to get more money at schools with top running programs AND lower ranked academics (like U of Oregon, U of Arizona, Colorado, etc, etc.) because most elite runners can probably get into those schools, without even being an elite runner, so getting you into their school doesn't have any value. Plus you are more likely to get academic scholarship money as well, at a lower ranked academic school because it is less competitive academically. Also, remember that 80% from one school can be very a very different amount than 80% at another school. It all really depends what you put value in, when picking a college.

Based on my experience, I feel very confident saying that full ride athletic scholarships are very rarely offered to long distance runners by any schools with elite running programs AND elite academics.

Anonymous said...

What did Stanford and your (4:07)elitist attitude have to do with the previous conversations? Yes we know all Stanfod runners/ athletes are a cut above the rest. Let the rest of the runners feel good about themselves and their "lower rank" academic choices!!
Way to go Nikki, you rock!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Nikki! You will be a better runner at Oregon.. Not Stanford. You will get a great education at Oregon and are the most elite runner I have ever met. Enjoy the ride!

Albert Caruana said...

I don't think you can go wrong by going to either school and for anybody to put down either university is pretty silly in my book.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't putting down any school or any runner or any runner's decision. I was commenting in general to posts about scholarships (on this string and in the past). A lot of posts about scholarships are very wrong, and people get so focused on the percentage amount (like they did on Hiltz's "80%").

It is a fact that Stanford is a higher ranked (elite) school than Oregon. Stanford was just the school I used as an example because it is a top ranked academic school, with an top ranked running program, and is expensive. Oregon is the school I used as an example of one that does not have top ranked academics and is not (relatively!!) expensive, but has a top ranked running program.

I think it is great that Hiltz chose her dream school because that was one of the most important things for her in looking at the value of the package she was offered. I was just pointing out that the value of any package shouldn't be considered by the percentage of scholarship you get (as some posters were doing), unless the only thing you care about is how much left you have to pay (which is very important to some people). People get so wrapped up on the percentage of scholarship, versus the value of the whole offer, which should be based on what is important to the runner and their family.

I don't understand why the college recruited running community doesn't post their scholarship amount more often? That would give every one a better idea of how much to expect at the different schools when they go through the recruiting process. It seems like the coaches have the upper hand on this topic, but for some reason it's taboo for athletes to talk about it openly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your candid post. This string has been extremely helpful helps shed some additional light on the process. As you said, the amount of a scholarship is rarely talked about so for the uninformed parent and student athlete, this is a bit of black box. I have always wondered what kind of scholarship megastars like Chapus and Weissenbach got at Stanford and if it was a full ride or not. Obviously Nikki is in that same category so congrats to her on getting her first choice.

Our daughter is a junior and not in the category above but has run a sub 2:15 800m and sub 5:00 1600m as a sophomore. She is also extremely gifted academically so we don't even know if Stanford Track will look at her even though she would be a good fit at the school academically. She is very interested in the Ivy's but no money there. Obviously each situation is different and each runner has a different idea of the perfect fit.

Again thanks for the insight and great job Nikki. If I was a future Olympian, I would go to Oregon also.

Anonymous said...

"I have always wondered what kind of scholarship megastars like Chapus and Weissenbach got at Stanford and if it was a full ride or not."

Most likely on the order of 50% (Stanford pretty much never gives freshmen more than that). Another way to look at it is to look at the roster and figure out how to divide 18 (for women) or 12.6 (for men) scholarships. Would an unproven freshmen get more than a multiple All-American?

Anonymous said...

Stanford very rarely gives more than 25% to first year athletes (not 50%) and 25% is for top recruits (like Chapus and Weissnebach). Again, helping the athlete get into Stanford is where a lot of the value comes with the Stanford recruiting package.

If your daughter is just under 5:00 mile, I don't think that Stanford would recruit (but you never know). However, if she can get in on her own, I am sure they would take her as a walk-on. After that, if she did well, she could probably get some athletic scholarship money after her first year.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that Vanessa Frasier didn't get offered anything above 25% since she is going to Stanford next year?

Anonymous said...

"So are you saying that Vanessa Frasier didn't get offered anything above 25% since she is going to Stanford next year?"

That is very likely. There are 49 women on the Stanford track roster for this year, so with 20 scholarships available it is pretty obvious that many are receiving little or no athletic aid.

One way to look at is like this: it's fair to assume that Stanford is giving out all 20 of their available scholarships (note that many colleges don't). The amount available to recruits is the amount "coming off the books" from graduating seniors minus any increases in aid to current team members. There are 12 senior women on the roster. Let's guess that they account for 8 full scholarships (many of the seniors are NCAA level athletes). Do those 12 athletes (less than 25% of the team) account for 40% of the scholarships? Seems plausible.

Let's next assume that of the 8 available scholarships, 4 are used to increase aid the the remaining 37 athletes. Note, I'm totally making this up, but it has to be more than 0 and less than 8.

That leaves 4 scholarships for incoming freshmen. There are 14 recruits this year and it seems reasonable to think that the number for next year will be similar. That would imply an average of about 25% per recruited athlete. I think it's reasonable to guess that some recruited athletes get very little while some get more, but it's hard to see any incoming freshman getting more than 50% since it's likely that all the recruits are getting something (as there will be some walk-ons who get nothing).

One other thing to remember is that the amount of scholarship aid is not only dependent on the quality of the recruit. For example, say Stanford only has 4 scholarships "coming off the books"? What if it has 12? It's easy to see that the amount offered to any given recruit is a function of that. Similarly, what if they only get 5 recruits to commit? What if they get 20? That also will affect the amount any given athlete is offered.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! That definitely helps! So does that mean that Hiltz's 80% from Oregon is very impressive? When I first read 80% I was disappointed because she seems like she would be a full ride athlete. But after you broke it down it makes 80% seem amazing for a freshmen especially at Oregon!

Anonymous said...

Stanford gives 50% to freshman.... that was my daughter's initial deal.... another freshman with here received 100%.... It does happen.

Anonymous said...

My daughter received 50% as a freshman. Her teammate received 100%... it happens

Anonymous said...

There is no way that anyone got 50% or 100% in an ATHLETIC scholarship at Stanford for distance running. Say what you want, but Stanford does not hand out more than 25% in ATHLETIC scholarship money. Some may get more by collecting merit or need based money, but not athletic.

As for Hiltz's 80%, I would not say it makes it more or less impressive. Hiltz got her scholarship from Oregon and you can't compare 80% from Oregon to 25% from Stanford because (as mentioned above) there is no "value" to getting admissions help for Oregon (meaning most runners can get into Oregon without being a recruited runner, no help is needed by the coaches to get into Oregon). Also, I would guess that Nikki's 80% is not all athletic money. If you are going to a lesser ranked academic school you have a better chance of getting merit money included in your deal.

You will get less money going to a less elite academic school and/or less elite athletic school, because you are a bigger "stand out" at a lower ranked school (either academically or athletically or both). So you need to decide what is important to you and pick the school that is right for you academically, athletically and financially. My son picked a more elite academic school over more money from a less elite academic school. Not everyone wants and/or can afford to make that choice. Prioritize what you want out of the process before you start.

Anonymous said...

Nikki is getting 80% athletic money and 20% academic. = FULL RIDE