Before You Sign Ask The Following Questions

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.

With it being national signing week starting on November 8 until November 15, remember that there are some things you should make sure you ask your coach before you sign. These are important to ask because once you sign your National Letter of Intent, there could be vigorous repercussions if you were to try and back out of that commitment.

  • 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 (for international recruits)?
  • 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.


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 the options. Go to and submit a Free Profile.


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

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3 years ago

“Does this school care about long course competition?” (If the swimmer cares.)

3 years ago

Have you been asked to leave a D1 school involuntarily?

Did you trust the accounting at your last job to a blind orangutan?

Dan Smith
3 years ago

Do you like the school? Does it offer the program of study you want? And, more importantly, does it offer a second or third program of study you like in case you do not like the first major, your goals change (as 95% of frosh students do!), or your interests change. Is there a good career center? What is the alumni job placement rate? What is the retention rate of first-year students. What is graduation rate from the swimming program, and other sports programs? What is the NCAA completion score rate? Are your parents and friends comfortable and supportive of your college and swimming program choice? Been in higher ed 30+ years, these are some of the essential questions that… Read more »

Rick Paine
Reply to  Dan Smith
3 years ago

All of these questions should be asked well before a recruit is getting ready to sign.

Dan Smith
Reply to  Rick Paine
3 years ago

We can but hope.

3 years ago

Would you be happy at this school if (for one reason or another) you no longer swam?