Category Archives: Academics


In This Post…

  • Weekend Recap, Scores, and Highlights
  • Dec. 21 Weekly Poll
  • Sifters

Weekend Recap, Scores and Highlights…

How The Top 10 fared… There were no games involving Top 10 teams this week.

COVID Postponements… With only 1 game on the schedule this week, Holy Cross @ New Hampshire, there were no COVID cancellations or postponements.

Late Scheduling… We posted earlier about how late into December games were being scheduled and as far as we can tell, all due to COVID. Holy Cross travelled to play New Hampshire Dec. 23rd and there were 7 other games scheduled from Dec. 17-20. In a normal year, games are usually done by the first or second week into December with the odd game here and there around the 18/19/20 of the month. I wonder if some of the results we saw could be attributed to playing so late into the month?Arriving to campus in August and playing as late as some did makes for a long semester away from home and family. The holiday break is usually around 10-12 days or so. Bemidji last played on the 18th and is back in action on Jan. 1. New Hampshire and Holy Cross who played on the 23rd will also be in action on Jan. 1, now that is a quick turnaround.

Wednesday Scores & Highlights – 12/23

Holy Cross 2
New Hampshire 6
Box / Video / Postgame

Dec. 21 Weekly Poll…

USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today D-I Women’s Hockey Poll was the only poll to come out after last weekend’s games. Not a lot of movement with Providence being the only ranked team to play. They split with Maine winning game one 4-0 but losing game two 2-1. With the loss, Providence drops two spots to #9, idle Clarkson and Boston College moves up to #7 and #8 respectively. The full poll is below;


Recruiting Page Coming Soon… A few posts ago we announced a new page coming soon to the Bulldog Pipeline – a recruiting resource page. Think of this as your one-stop-shop for NCAA recruiting rules, documents and all sorts of resources to help you stay informed about how the D-I women’s hockey recruiting process works. Progress is coming along and it should be up and running shortly.

NCAA Hockey COVID Related News… NCAA Men’s hockey lost another team as the University of Alaska-Fairbanks announced Dec. 11 they would opt-out of there season due to COVID related health concerns. You can read the story HERE.

NCAA D-III St. Norbert College announced Dec. 21 its women’s and men’s hockey team won’t be competing this season due to COVID. The announcement was made HERE.

The United Collegiate Hockey Conference of NCAA D-III announced it will begin competition for its member teams on Feb 19, 2021 as long as its safe to do so. No word was given on a schedule. William-Smith announced it would opt-out back in November and will not be participating. You can read the UCHC’s announcement HERE.

Social Media Internship… The American Hockey Coaches Association is looking for a social media intern and has officially posted for the position. The AHCA is looking for someone to help build their social media online presence through sites like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Interested candidates can read about the position below and download the file. The internship runs from Jan-May, 2021.ahca-social-media-postDownload

Give The Pipeline a Follow… And speaking of social media, the Bulldog Pipeline is on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to give us a follow – just click the link below!

Twitter = @BulldogPipeline | Instagram = thebulldogpipeline

Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!

Post #11 — 11/26/20 — ivy Financial aid – understanding the process part-III, ncaa covid update

Before getting into our post for the day, we want to take a moment and wish all of our Women’s College Hockey Pipeline readers in the U.S. a very special and happy Thanksgiving. There have been thousands of you reading and watching our content. It’s exciting to see all of you take an interest in our program. A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you no matter where you are.


  • Affordability/Financial Aid – Understanding The IVY Process – Part III
  • NCAA/COVID Update

Affordability/Financial Aid – Understanding the Process…

It’s no secret an Ivy education isn’t cheap. The average cost of attendance among Ivy schools that have hockey programs for the 20-21 academic year is around $78,000. In this post we’ll review how an Ivy education becomes affordable, lay out the financial aid process families can expect go through, and explain why an Ivy League education may be less expensive than a school who offers you a scholarship. In future posts, we’ll tackle the financial process for scholarship schools as well as non-scholarship schools that are not in the Ivy League.

Understanding Affordability

By its own rules, Ivy league institutions don’t offer athletic scholarships. So to help students offset the high cost of attending an Ivy, institutions offer what are called ‘need-based’ financial aid packages to qualifying students. Students qualify based on financial need which is determined by a review of the family’s financial situation. These packages are made up of three areas:

Cost of Attendance includes tuition, room, board (meal plan), books, sometimes travel, and personal expense costs.

Gift Aid includes any money the institution, any governmental or external financial awards. Gift aid in most cases does not need to be paid back. It’s not a loan.

Estimated Net Cost is the amount a student and family is expected to contribute towards the cost of the student’s education.

How much $ do students receive in financial aid? It varies. Financial Aid packages are evaluated on the family’s need and personal financial situation. Think of it as the more income a family makes usually = less financial aid given. Less income = more financial aid.

How how do schools help make things affordable? For starters, those who qualify for financial aid usually receive some amount of money from the institution, which is the main component of the gift aid portion of the package. I am sure many of you are asking, well I make xyz a year, what could I potentially qualify for? That’s a bit harder to determine as each of the Ivy’s calculate awards slightly differently. Theoretically, based on Ivy League financial aid rules, one package shouldn’t really vary much, but sometimes they do. As an example, some schools take into account how much equity you might have in your home… and other do not. But most school are very generous with packages for students who can get in and would attend. Some schools in fact will offer the chance to go to an Ivy virtually free a few thousand dollars per year if your income is at a certain amount. To find out how much you may qualify for at a particular school, best to visit the financial aid website and look for statistics on the percentage of students who qualify for aid and at what income levels those %’s exist at.

Ivy League schools typically evaluate yearly income and normal family assets such as the equity in your home, college savings plan accounts, student savings, stock investments, etc. to determine what’s called the ‘Expected Family Contribution’, a percentage of income the financial aid office feels parents and students should pay toward their child’s education. Some may think, well my daughter is bright and should get a lot of ‘academic’ money. Not so. Unfortunately, there no academic scholarship awards offered at any Ivy League School. The Ivies attract the best and brightest in the world – everyone is wicked smart. Players are welcome to apply for scholarships in their local community to help defray costs provided they are not based on athletic ability and are cleared by the institutions NCAA compliance department.

The Athlete Financial Aid Process

Knowing how much it may cost to attend an Ivy League school is needless to say, important. Once NCAA rules allow, most coaches will broach the subject of affordability with recruits and their parents as they try and answer the ‘can you afford my school’ question. And most coaches would agree it’s best to answer that as early in the process as they can so as to not waste anyone’s time. Bottom line, a school could want you to come and you could want to make a commitment, but if it’s not affordable–it just won’t work. And if it doesn’t work, that’s okay.

So how early can you know costs? U.S. families can get a really good ballpark estimate by using one of the cost estimator calculators found on most of the school’s Financial Aid websites. International recruits could have a tougher time using those calculators because some may not take into account an international physical address. International families could contact a financial aid officer and get direction on how to estimate costs.

Much like Ivies have a ‘pre-academic read’ process, the same holds true for Financial Aid. These reads can begin in the recruits’ grade 11 year, usually after Jan. 1st. This can sometimes be a bit of a selective process as there are only so many requests athletic departments can produce under Ivy League rules. Not every recruit a program has an intterest in will get one. The process usually entails some type of direct communication with that institutions F-A office requesting tax and other financial documents to assess the family financial situation. Once a package has been returned, you’ll know the costs to the penny.

Better Than A scholarship?

In some cases, yes–an Ivy financial aid offer could be more attractive than a partial scholarship. Simple math can get will get you down to net costs. Say you’re offered a 50% scholarship where tuition, room, board, and some fees are covered for two years. That means have to pay out-of-pocket for two more years to graduate. If it costs $50K per year to attend that’s $100K you have to come up with. If you go by the average cost to attend an Ivy today at close to $78K and subtract the average F-A award package of around $55K… do the math and you’re paying out of pocket $92K over four years – for an IVY education.

We find there is a BIG misconception out there that an Ivy education isn’t affordable. Most think you have to have oodles of $ to make it work. The reality is that just isn’t the case in most instances. No doubt there are those who won’t qualify for F-A and wind up paying the full-freight and are happy to do so knowing the value of the education they’ll receive. Most Ivy’s are committed to making it affordable for those who can get in.


College Hockey America is the latest conference to announce scheduling plans for the 20-21 season. You can read the official press release HERE. RIT will travel to play Syracuse on Friday. RIT had originally cancelled its season weeks ago but reversed its decision upon the state of New York approving COVID-19 protocols.

Hockey East had 2 more teams suspend hockey activities in the last 48-hours. On Tuesday Northeastern followed Vermont’s lead in pausing all athletic activities in five sports, including women’s and men’ hockey until Dec. 18th. This was due to a small cluster of positive cases among athletes. You can read the story HERE.

Also on Tuesday the University of Maine announced it would pause all hockey activity until Dec. 8th after positive cases among varsity athletes. It was not known if any of the positive cases were within the women’s or men’s hockey programs. You can read the story HERE.

Until next time… be well and stay safe!

Post #9 — 11/20/20 — Fall semester, ivy academic / admissions – understanding the process part-II, ncaa wknd schedule


  • Fall Semester Winds Down
  • Academics – Understanding The Ivy Recruiting Process
  • NCAA Weekend Slate of Games

Fall Semesters Winding Down…

As bleak as things seem, there does appear to be some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Recently announced is hope for two highly effective vaccines. Experts say ‘the average’ citizen could possibly get vaccinated by April. Should that be the case, life and college athletics we assume could get back to a more normal course of activity by next fall. But there is a lot that has to happen between now and then. In the short-term, we’ll work on keeping all of you connected with news and insight about the college hockey season.

Academics — Understanding The Ivy Recruiting Process

We announced a 4-part series called ‘Understanding The Process’ to aid coaches and parents with an understanding in certain areas of how the recruiting process works. Our first installment was how coaches go about player identification and evaluation. You can find that in Post #2. In our second installment below, we discuss how the academic and admissions process works for a very specific group of schools, ‘The Ivies’ – Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

To be blunt, very few athletes would be admitted to an Ivy League school on their own without the ‘support’ of their head coaches in the admissions process. We’ll talk about the term ‘support’ later as it’s important to know. No knock against these athletes and their academic aptitude but getting into to one of these institutions is truly an accomplishment. Heck, there are students with 4.0 GPA’s and perfect test scores who still don’t get accepted! In the admissions process, athletes who want to apply to an Ivy will have different timelines and evaluation opportunities than normal students would. A word of caution… all information below is ‘general in nature’. We cannot speak to how recruitment, academics and the admissions process may work at a specific Ivy institutions.

The Academic Process

The academic process for Ivy recruits has a few steps to it.

Step 1, Coaching Staff Academic Evaluation… for any player coaches have a real interest in, they’ll usually ask for transcripts and test scores as early as possible. It doesn’t matter how good of a hockey player a recruit is, if they aren’t close to having the grades and test scores a coach needs, most coaches won’t move ahead in the recruiting process. Does that mean someone after completing grade 9 with a decent but not great transcript and no SAT/ACT test get’s pushed aside? No, not at all. There is just only so much a coach can do with a recruit who is only in grade 9 or 10. But knowing where a student is trending academically can be reassuring for the coach. Coaches know what academic standards their admissions departments are looking for and know the ranges they can work with, most of the time. Some Ivy coaches get a little more leeway than others when it comes to academic standards. So what may work at one school, may not at another. Coaches are generally very careful about positioning whether or not someone is a good candidate for admission.

Step 2, Athletic Admissions Pre-Read… Under Ivy League admissions rules and beginning July 1 after the students grade 11 year, coaches can submit a player’s academic file to be evaluated by their admissions department for feedback to determine the likelihood of admissibility. Keep in mind this two weeks after June 15 with is the date coaches are allowed to communicate by phone/email/text with recruits. Important to note, this is not the official admissions decision, just a first-glance from admissions at the transcript, ACT/SAT scores, grades, and future class schedule. Turnaround time varies but generally it’s a quick process. There are usually three type of responses coaches get: 1) Continue to recruit 2) Recruit with some caution and 3) Don’t continue to recruit. Coaches may then communicate with their recruit to explain what admissions may be thinking and any next steps to take. These pre-reads are usually not for everyone though. Most coaches use them for players they are seriously considering making offers to or in many cases for players who have already committed to the program.

Step 3, Official Admissions Application Process & Head Coach ‘Support’… After a player has verbally accepted and committed back to the program, going through the official application process comes next. Most schools have a few different pieces to this process. The official application, teacher recommendation letters, student essay, and perhaps a personal interview all part of the official process. Some schools have different application options for students to apply to, different cycles like ‘single choice early-action’, ‘early decision’, are just a few. Coaches will direct players how to fill out the application and which cycle to apply for. As stated in Ivy League rules, all applications for regular decision must be submitted by January 1 – no later.

Head Coach ‘support’ as its called, is vitally important to a player winding up at an Ivy League school. Without it, it’s unlikely the athlete would get in on their own. And that’s because athletes are held to a different academic standard then traditional non-athlete applicants. Support of the head coach is ‘vouching’ for a specific player he or she would like as a part of their program and letting the admissions department know that. Coaches put their reputations with admissions and the school on the line when they support a player. Each admissions department has its own process of how they want their head coaches to let them know who they are supporting. Some coaches have to write letters, some may have a sit down chat with admissions, etc. Coaches can’t give their ‘support’ to just any player – only to players they feel have an excellent chance of getting in and they want in their program. Ivy coaches can only recruit so many recruits per year, they can’t take an unlimited amount.

A few things to keep in mind… Grades, Test Scores, Teacher Recommendations, and The Essay.

Players and parents often ask, what kind of grades and test scores does my daughter need for an Ivy? Our answer… too tough to say because each school has a different set of academic standards. Needless to say excellent grades in a challenging course load with honors and AP classes will go a long way. Coupled with high SAT/ACT scores (think high twenties and well above a 1200 on the SAT is also a good place to begin. Players should shoot for high GPA’s, north of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or high 80’s and above for those on a % scale. If you have one or two C’s early in grade 9 or 10, you could still be okay. D’s and F’s are almost always tough to get by admissions unless there is a compelling reason behind it.

One of the most important parts of the application process has to do with evaluating the transcript and determining the academic ‘rigor’ of the students course load… meaning did the student challenge herself or take easy classes? a 3.9/4.0 in cake-walk classes won’t hold as much weight as a 3.7/3.8 in honors and/or AP classes. You want to take the most challenging classes and achieve the kind of GPA’s mentioned above.

Equally as important are the several application short answer questions and the longer essay. Also heavily valued are the teacher and counselor recommendations. Have great grades and test scores, but wrote a poor essay? Or have a teacher recommendation that says you are a smart kid but don’t apply yourself? That is exactly the kind of combination that will get you denied. Write a coherent (and grammatically correct) essay that answers the question asked Also, really think about who you want to write your recommendation letters. Best to get one from a teacher where you did really well in their class and you know the teacher LOVES you and won’t sell you out. And…

NEVER WRITE YOUR ESSAY ABOUT HOCKEY!!!! EVER!!!!!. The school you apply to already knows you play hockey and are pretty good at it–that’s why you are applying. Write about why the school should be lucky to have you or an experience outside of hockey/sports that really articulates who you are and the type of person the school is getting. Match your personal values, dreams, aspirations with that schools resources and explain why the school is such a good match.

NCAA Weekend Slate of Games…

In the absence of what would normally be a preview of our games for the coming weekend, we are going to give you this weekend’s NCAA women’s hockey schedule of games. Full recaps to follow next week.

Until next time… be well and stay safe!