As a student-athlete, it can be very exciting when college coaches approach you with recruitment offers. Even if you’re still a few years away from even applying to college, your knee-jerk (and very understandable) reaction might be to jump at the opportunity. 

Coaches plan years in advance in an effort to keep their team on top, and they naturally want all their pieces in place. As a result, they may pressure students and their families to verbally commit to attendance.

While this is great for coaches, it’s not exactly ideal for students, who may have many other offers. In addition, offers and scholarships can be rescinded if you don’t actually gain admission to the school, leaving you missing out on other potential offers.

So when can you commit to a college for sports? Well, there are several practical and academic factors to consider. Here’s what you need to know to make a commitment that’s best for you and your future.

Commitment Deadlines: When can you commit to a college for sports

A verbal commitment isn’t the same as a written one, but you don’t want to make any commitment until you’re absolutely certain you’ve found the right school. Still, you need to be aware of commitment deadlines for any schools you’re seriously considering to ensure that you don’t miss out on opportunities for recruitment and scholarships.

Use the earliest deadline as your date to make a decision. If you have multiple institutions trying to recruit you, let them know the date you plan to decide by so they don’t miss the opportunity to compete for your commitment.

When Do You Know You’re Ready to Commit to a College for Sports?

Choosing the right school is about more than fielding recruitment offers and selecting the most attractive option. Your time in college will also include considerations like academic coursework, socialization, and usually an on-campus living situation, so you need to make sure the entire experience is what you’re looking for. 

So what should you do before you sign commitment papers?

Tour the Campus

A tour can give you a lot of important information about the campus. Start by making a checklist of everything you want to see, whether it’s dorms, libraries, classrooms, sporting facilities — including the arena and locker rooms — and so on. Make sure to visit at a time when classes are in session so you can speak with professors and students and find out more about what life on campus is like.

Make Sure You’ve Been Accepted

Every college and sports program will have different deadlines for acceptance and commitment, so you may not know until after you’ve made a commitment if you’ve actually gained acceptance. The best thing you can do is make sure you have all of your admissions requirements taken care of before you commit to a sports program and, if you have time, see if you get accepted first.

Get Finances in Order

Your ability to attend your school of choice and commit to a collegiate athletic program may depend on financing. Before you sign any papers, make sure everything is in order for scholarships, financial aid, and any other financial factors so that you know what you have to cover out of pocket.

Prepare for Success

Whether you start getting recruitment offers early in your high school career or not, it’s in your best interests to be prepared for the challenge of admissions. Maintaining a solid GPA and participating in a range of activities and charitable endeavors can help to ensure that you’re a good candidate for your college of choice.

Don’t forget to explore the benefits of test prep with Jantzi so you can achieve outstanding results on your SAT and ACT exams. Contact us today to learn more about our acclaimed test-prep services.