Understanding the National Letter of Intent and Athletic Scholarships
The National Letter of Intent is a letter that you sign to commit to an institution for an academic year in return for an athletic scholarship or other financial aid. It marks the end of the recruiting process and prevents other schools from contacting you. Although these letters can be signed at any time during a signing period, many are finalized on National Signing Day in February. Signing periods vary based on the sport. National Signing Day celebrates new recruits in many major collegiate sports, including: football, field hockey, soccer, and water polo.
- The institution offering you the athletic scholarship will mail, email or fax you two copies of the letter to be signed.
- Sign both copies, sending one back to the insitution and keep the other for your records.
- If you verbally committed to one institution, you are allowed to sign a letter of intent with a different school.
- You only sign a letter of intent once, although it is renewed annually.
- If you are under the age of 21, you need a parent to sign the letter of intent to make it legally binding.
- Your potential coach may not be present during the signing of your letter in accordance with NCAA rules.
- You may sign the letter even if you have yet to qualify with the NCAA Clearinghouse. If you are not cleared, the letter is nullified.
Signing the letter of intent is usually a happy time. It marks the end of the recruiting process. Pending acceptance to the university, you can rest easy knowing where you are going to school next year. It is important to understand that simply signing with a team does not guarantee playing time. You still have a lot of hard work ahead of you both in the classroom and on the field to earn playing time. Athletic scholarships are the result of a lot of hard work. When you sign your Letter of Intent, you should be proud of how far you've come and excited about where you are going!
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