Countdown: Should I Sign in November?
by Marcia Frost, 12 October 2011
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Whether or not you decide to commit to a school during the early signing period (November 9-16, 2011) is a very personal decision, but there are some things that you should keep in mind before making that choice.
Have you taken all your official visits? You are entitled to take five officials - but no more than one per school. It's alright if you feel that you don't have five schools on your short list. On the other hand, taking one official visit and deciding to go to that college is not such a good idea. What do you have to compare it with?
You are going to spend the next four years on a college tennis team, so it needs to be a good fit. That means a lot of things:
- Do you blend well with the players on the team?
- Is the coach someone you can learn from?
- Do you like the town where the school is located?
- Does the size and setup of the university feel comfortable to you?
You are not going to know if any of those things are true without visiting. Make sure you take a minimum of two to three visits before you make a decision.
Acceptance Into School
It's time to be realistic about your academic standing. If you are a "straight A" student and breezed through the SATs, you have a good shot at an Ivy-league caliber school, but if you needed a tutor to pass bio and you are working on an incomplete in English, you shouldn't be looking at schools on the top of the academic ladder. There is a fit for just about everyone academically, and maybe you need some more time to find it.
Have a realistic conversation with the coach and the academic advisor of the university before you sign on the dotted line. They will more than likely be honest with you. If they tell you it's smooth sailing, that's great, but if you are told that you might not get into the school, hold off on the Letter of Intent until after you are accepted.
A school cannot hold you to the document if you don't get in, however, do you really want to go through telling your friends and family two months down the line that you aren't going there after all?