In the recruiting process, senior year is crucial. By senior year, your athlete should already be well into the recruiting process, having contacted coaches and developed those relationships. High school athletes heading into their senior year should have a list of schools that they have researched and coaches they are speaking with, because they will make their big college decision in the next few months.
As your athlete heads into their senior year, it will be crucial to keep track of all the deadlines they will need to meet throughout the year. Creating a recruiting calendar with all of the important dates can help you and your athlete stay organized and on top of the process. This will also make you more efficient and a better-looking prospect for coaches!
Here are Seven of the Most Important Dates You Need During Your Senior Year:
1. Contact Period
This is the time period during the school year in which it is permissible for coaches to contact you. There are several periods like this throughout the year, so it’s important to know when to expect them. Check out the NCAA Recruiting Calendar here.
2. Official Visits
Official visits to college campuses can begin as soon as classes start. As you have conversations with coaches, opportunities to come visit the school on the coach’s dime might be an option. Make sure to schedule trips accordingly with availability in your schedule and with the coach.
3. SAT/ACT Test Dates
Doing well on the SAT and ACT is very important for college admissions. Making sure you register and study for these tests will give you a great advantage as you prepare to apply to college. So make sure you check out the College Board website to register, get tips, and add enough study time to your calendar!
4. College Application Deadlines
Each college and university has various deadlines that they enforce for their admissions process. In order to make sure that you don’t miss your chance to apply, make sure you do your research and find the exact dates that you need to know for each school. Create a calendar specifically for college applications and when they are due, so you can also plan when to finish each step. You will need to be able to manage the college application process on top of your regular schedule.
5. Early Signing Periods
Each sport has an early signing period in the beginning of each school year. This gives college coaches a chance to secure high school athletes early in their senior year, and the athlete can make their decision early. If you are offered an NLI for the early signing period, you need to make sure that you don’t sign it before the start of the early signing period. After you have signed it, you need to send it back to the coach before the end date so that it stays valid within the time frame.
6. Signing Day/Signing Period
Like the early signing period, there is another time window in which high school athletes can sign their NLIs with colleges. This is during the regular signing period and on the signing day. This is when athletes confirm their intention to attend a school. By signing their NLI, they are committing themselves to a college as a new student athlete. The signing periods vary for each sport, so make sure you visit the NLI website to find the right date for you.
7. Acceptance Letter
When a college or university admits you for enrollment in their school, they will send you an official acceptance letter. Within that letter, they will welcome you to their school and include some information for the next steps. The first thing you need to look for is the deadline to accept their offer of admittance. Colleges give you a deadline to notify them of your intent to attend their school, so if they don’t hear from you by that date, the offer gets voided and is given to someone else. Make sure you respond to the college within the appropriate time frame so you aren’t left scrambling for a school to attend.
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