How exactly does committing/signing work

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Oct 4, 2018
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My DD asked me this question, and I had no answer. I'd never even thought of it.

When your DD commits/signs to play softball, does she still have to apply to the college? Like write the essays, put the whole package together, and actually do all the things that a non-athlete does?
 

LEsoftballdad

DFP Vendor
Jun 29, 2021
2,753
113
NY
The short answer is yes. It may be a formality, but most colleges will require a student-athlete to go through the same application process as everyone else.

Now, don't forget that Dexter Manley had a college degree and was functionally illiterate, so take that for what it's worth.
 
May 27, 2013
2,289
113
My DD asked me this question, and I had no answer. I'd never even thought of it.

When your DD commits/signs to play softball, does she still have to apply to the college? Like write the essays, put the whole package together, and actually do all the things that a non-athlete does?

Yes. You have to keep in mind, too, that many of the high academic schools like the Ivies, MIT, UChicago, and the NESCAC’s have acceptance rates in the teens and single digits. Therefore, you want the application to be as competitive as possible. Admission to those schools isn’t necessarily guaranteed no matter how bad a coach wants you.
 
Nov 29, 2009
2,973
83
The vast majority of coaches will want to see grades before making an offer to a player. The last thing the coach wants is a player who is academically ineligible to play on their team. Then they have go through the admissions process like all the other students.

I know of a few players who were never able to play due to academics once they got to college and no one was there sitting on their shoulder making sure they got their work done.

On the other end of the spectrum I know a girl got into an Ivy school through playing softball. She was academically equal to the vast number of applicants but did not standout academically. She bypassed that part of the selection process that rejected hundreds of applicants. Another did the same thing at Stanford.
 
Dec 2, 2013
3,346
113
Texas
Committing, Signing and Acceptance are 3 different things. A verbal commitment is a basic understanding that the player is "committed" to going to that school and they will stop their recruiting process...some don't stop. Ex: Courtney Day was committed to Sam Houston but withdrew her commitment and ended up at UT. Typically the player should be Accepted to the college before they actually sign their NLI. D3's don't actually sign anything binding. If they sign something, it's more ceremonial than anything. DD verbally committed to her school Fall of JR. year, accepted by October of her Sr. year and "signed" November of Sr. year. For many players the timeline can be later or reversed because their recruiting process took a bit longer. They may commit in the Spring of their Sr year, then get accepted. Or they might be Accepted before they commit.
 
Apr 20, 2018
4,506
113
SoCal
Do you need to be a senior to apply? Could you apply early? If a player was interested in playing at a certain school could she contact the coach and inform him/her/them, oh BTW I have been accepted into your schools engineering program?
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,118
113
Do you need to be a senior to apply? Could you apply early? If a player was interested in playing at a certain school could she contact the coach and inform him/her/them, oh BTW I have been accepted into your schools engineering program?
You can apply as a Junior through early admission. However some schools only have an early decision option (vs. early action) which means that you're committing to attending that particular school if accepted.
 
Apr 20, 2018
4,506
113
SoCal
You can apply as a Junior through early admission. However some schools only have an early decision option (vs. early action) which means that you're committing to attending that particular school if accepted.
You can't uncommit? Do they chain you to a desk?
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,118
113
You can't uncommit? Do they chain you to a desk?
It isn't legally binding but there are penalties involved (not sure of the details) if you decide to not attend. I don't make the rules..if you want to fight "Big Government" you are certainly well within your right to do so.....
 
Last edited:

LEsoftballdad

DFP Vendor
Jun 29, 2021
2,753
113
NY
It isn't legally binding but there are penalties involved (not sure of the details) if you decide to not attend.
Actually, the way it works with Early Decision is that you're supposed to withdraw all your other admission applications, if you commit. Normally, the deadline is February 15th to tell them yes or no. Most schools make you sign an affidavit stating you've pulled your other admission applications when you say yes to them, but there is no penalty for withdrawing.

Early action is non-binding. All it does is let you know by Christmas whether or not you're accepted. It can increase your chances slightly since the acceptance rates are slightly better through both early decision and action.

The school will let you know what aid you qualify for before the deadline, so you're not committing blind.
 

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