Odds and Ends on Early Signing

Contributor, Rick Paine, is an expert on the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection (ACC). ACC is a SwimSwam Partner. 

The early signing period is from Nov. 11-18.

The National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement for 1 year. You can sign a NLI before you are admitted to a school.

NLI’s are only issued to recruits who receive some sort of athletic scholarship.

Some schools are starting to provide Walk-On’s with a letter of commitment so they have something to sign.

After you sign an NLI a school can upgrade your scholarship before you start school, but they cannot downgrade your scholarship before you start school. So if you improve in the spring you can get your scholarship increased, but you need to ask the coach about this before you sign.

New NCAA rules allow coaches to guarantee scholarships beyond the first year. Some coaches are offering this and some are not. You have to ask. This is what it looks like on the financial aid agreement.


  1. This Tender covers the following:
  • 2016-17: Fifty percent (50%) of a full grant in aid;
  • 2017-18 through 2019-20: Sixty eight percent (68%) of a full grant in aid;
  • 2020-21: No Grant

New NCAA rules allow schools to provide cost of attendance. This is money over and above a scholarship and is supposed to be used for general expenses. Some schools offer this and some do not. You have to ask. The highest cost of attendance I have seen that was offered to our swimmers is $5,000 a year.

Don’t forget to ask about the school’s policy on 5th year aid.

The next signing period begins April 13 and goes until August 1.

Finding out if you have what it takes to compete in swimming at the college level is easy, and many swimmers do have the potential considering all of the options.  Go to www.ACCrecruits and submit a Free Profile.

SwimSwam is an ad partner with ACC.  Go here and learn more about ACC and their team of college swimming experts. 

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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