I wouldn't make the jump unless the Prep coaches are approaching him.
If your son is not playing in the top divisions of the fall tournament season then you are going to have to work very hard to get attention. Once October comes, they get locked in on their upcoming season. Start emailing now!
It's obvious that none of you on this board had kids that attended prep schools. I had 2 both currently at NESCAC schools playing hockey. Our income was 140,000 and we paid 2,500 for one and 6,000 for the other. If your kid is being recruited by a coach that really wants him then they will find the financial aid that you are looking for. If not then they tell you there is no money. Oh and grades do matter.
Well, clearly a $140,000 salary warrants financial aid. Take taxes off the top and your down to about $85,000 in net income for schools that cost $50-60K per year - so you needed financial assistance. I thinking about the family that makes $300,000, would they get any tuition reduction if the school really wanted him?
ISL schools are need based. Other non ISL schools can offer “other assistance”. Annual $300 K income can qualify for aid. Some school web sites will tell as such. Go to the school site. It is true however that your grades do count. If your son is a C student then ISL would be a very long reach. He would need to be a B plus student at least. It is also true that your aid package will only come with the acceptance package You can obviously go back and negotiate it but if you can negotiate down don’t expect a large change. Finally, your best chances to get in is as a repeat freshman or as a true freshman. That class has the most spots available. Sophomore and junior classes have less spots available. Remember as much as the hockey coach wants you the football team and soccer team want players too. Those coaches will be pushing for those players which is where grades are most important and amount of financial aid given. These schools do want full pay tuitions over large financial aid awards No matter what grade you transfer in with the exception of true freshman expect to repeat
Good luck. Lots of information on each schools web site
OP here, we have scheduled 4 school visits for next month and luckily each coach knew of him when we talked, I'm hoping that's a plus? We are excited and nervous for the application process because ultimately it will come down to the money.
Here's one that makes me laugh. Locale prep school that pulls in some of the better local high school hockey players and without exception every hockey player repeated a grade there. Two kids this year moved over to the prep school and both were pretty much the bottom 20% of their respective classes. One was a gender-bender theater boy and the other plays baseball and guess what? Neither was asked to repeat a grade. Hmmm, are the hockey coaches that good at assessing a kid's academic ability or what?
If your kid was good enough to play at ISL level you would know by know. I don't say that to be mean, just realty.
Best model is...
9th grade and 10th grade at a Catholic Prep School
then - YOU will know how good your player is and you can either stay or if they are very good
Go to ISL school and repeat 10th grade.
Gives you options.
If you are making this on a hockey decision, let him be successful where he is and then "attempt" to jump to USHL or NAHL. Prep does not guarantee anything when it comes to hockey, however, he will get an amazing experience and education, that can't be disputed.