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Questions To Ask Prior to Signing

The
regular signing period is right around the corner (begins April 15 and goes
through August 1). Swimmers and especially parents use the term “signing” very
loosely. “Signing” refers to the National Letter of Intent which is the
swimmer’s binding commitment to attend a school in exchange for an “Athletic
Grant in Aid”.

A
NLI is only issued if some form of athletic scholarship is provided. D-I and
D-II schools are the only ones who provide an NLI.

NAIA
schools have their own version.

 Here
are some questions we have all of our swimmers ask before they put their “John
Hancock” on the National Letter of Intent.

Before you
sign ask the following questions:

  • What is the school’s policy on 5th
    year aid? It may take 5 years to complete the degree, but the swimming
    scholarship only goes for 4 years. Schools are allowed to pay for the 5th
    year, but I suggest asking up front.
  • If there is not a full scholarship offered,
    ask about what it would take to get a scholarship increase after the first
    year.
  • Will the school pay for health insurance?
  • Where does the team go for Christmas training
    and who pays? This is not negotiable, but it could be an expense. A school
    is not allowed to pay for expenses for one swimmer and not the rest of the
    team.

If
you were not offered an athletic scholarship you can still have an official
signing at your school. We suggest that you sign your housing documents or some
schools will offer a letter of commitment that recruits can sign.

Congratulations,
you are about to embark on 4 of the most exciting years of your life as a
college swimmer. Nothing else in life compares to being part of a college
athletic team.

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