How to Get Recruited
Managing Recruiting
Senior Year Recruiting Checklist

Senior Year Recruiting Checklist

Senior year is your final opportunity to secure a commitment, so it's important you keep your recruiting profile updated with information coaches want to see and reach out to them at the right points. Be prepared for important recruiting dates and deadlines related to college applications and financial aid.

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Summer Before Senior Year


Connect With Coaches Before Events this Summer

The summer before senior year marks the final stretch for many student-athletes who have consistently communicated with college coaches. If you haven't already done so, send an introductory email to each college on your target list. Consider introducing yourself in your pre-event email if you have an upcoming event. Remember that this summer is all about getting exposure before coaches finalize recruiting decisions for your class, so if your target schools won’t be able to see you live, make sure to send them your game film after each event. You can upload an unlimited amount of film to your SportsRecruits profile and send all your messages through the Messaging System, where you will also find up-to-date contact information for every college coach.

Ask Coaches Where They Are With Your Recruiting Class

If you have not yet committed to a school at this stage, don’t panic! Every program follows a different timeline for finalizing its recruiting classes. While most higher-tier programs will already have extended offers to your recruiting class, many others are still looking for final additions to their team. If you’re unsure where you stand with a specific program, email the college coaches to ask where they are with your recruiting class and whether there is anything else you can provide to help them properly evaluate you.


Follow Up With Coaches After Recruiting Events 

Remember that reaching out to coaches after an event is just as important as reaching out with your game schedule before the event! Contacting a coaching staff after an event gives you the opportunity to thank them for watching you play, ask for feedback on your performance, and check in on their timeline for your recruiting class. If a program on your target list couldn’t attend, send them your game film! Your post-event email keeps the conversation going with schools and can even give you valuable insight into where you stand with these colleges.

Submit Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on July 1st

The 2024-2025 academic year is the first year where the FAFSA form can be filled out as early as July 1st. Submitting your FAFSA form is free, and it is used to determine your eligibility for not only federal but also state and institutional aid. You can see how much aid each school can offer you by listing up to 10 colleges on your form. When you list colleges on your FAFSA, each institution receives your information and uses it to calculate your eligibility for their aid programs. Many states also use information from your FAFSA submission to determine your eligibility for their own grants and scholarships, so make sure to stay on top of aid submission deadlines in your state, as they may have additional requirements. Some state and institutional aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out your FAFSA form as early as possible!

Create a Checklist to Prepare for Senior Year 

Your senior fall can feel overwhelming with numerous responsibilities, but creating a checklist can help you stay organized and minimize the stress. Now is the perfect time to research the application requirements for each school you plan to apply to. For each school, you should take note of application fees and deadlines, required academic paperwork (i.e. transcripts, writing samples, letters of recommendation), and any additional requirements specific to that school.


Determine If You Need To Take The SAT or ACT Again 

As you think about each college you plan to apply to, determine if any require a minimum SAT or SAT for admission. If you need to, take the time to research any upcoming SAT or ACT testing dates in your area. Even if the schools you are looking at do not require the SAT or ACT, taking these tests again can still be advantageous. If you are still determining if it will help or hurt your admissions chances, speak with the coaching staff you’re communicating with at that school.

Make Sure Your SportsRecruits Profile is Fully Updated

After completing the summer circuit, your SportsRecruits profile must be updated with any new athletic stats, highlight reels, and achievements so that coaches can see them when they review your profile. Use the free Highlight Reel Editor in your SportsRecruits video library to create a highlight video coaches want to see in fewer than 5 minutes.

Senior Year Fall


Organize Your College Application Materials

Submitting college applications early is an essential component of the recruiting process. Even if you have already verbally committed to a school, you will still need to be accepted academically by the college through the formal admissions process. Take some time to get a head start on what you must send to the school (or schools) you are applying to. Speak to your guidance counselor to ensure they can access your official transcript, which includes all of the academic progress you have made through the end of your junior year. Also, find out what application you must complete for your target list of schools. This can include creating an account on the Common Application website, the Universal College Application, or the school’s direct website that you are applying to. Over 1,000 schools accept the Common Application, and the Universal Application has 18 high academic schools, including Ivy League schools such as Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton. Determine which other additional materials may be required (or strongly recommended) in your application to each school. This can include essays or personal statements, recommendation letters, or standardized test scores. The more you prepare before submitting your application, the less stressful the process will be!

If you have verbally committed before submitting your application, college coaches will often ask you to apply for Early Decision (ED) if their school offers the option. Applying ED will increase your chances of being accepted to the school, as it is binding and guarantees the school that you’ll attend if accepted. A coach may ask you to apply Early Action (EA) if a school does not have an ED option. Unlike ED, this type of application is not binding. However, you will get a response sooner than if you apply for a Regular Decision.

Ask College Coaches Where They Are With Your Recruiting Class 

As you start to put together the list of schools you plan to apply to, take the time to email coaches on your list to see if they are still looking to fill your recruiting class. Make sure to update your SportsRecruits profile with your latest recruiting video before contacting the coaches so they can assess your most recent progress.


Sign Up For A Campus Tour at Schools You’ve Applied to 

Suppose you have made significant progress in your recruiting process but haven’t officially committed to a school. In this case, you may receive an invitation to visit their campus on an unofficial or official visit. If you have yet to receive an invitation, booking a tour through their admissions department is a great way to showcase your interest in that program. Make sure to give the coaching staff a heads-up before you are on campus, as it signals to them you are serious about their school and may even lead to further conversation about their program.

Last Chance to Submit Early Action or Early Decision Applications 

If a coaching staff has asked you to submit an early decision or early action application to increase your likelihood of acceptance, those deadlines are likely approaching soon. Early decision applications entail a binding commitment to attend the school if accepted, while early action applications offer a quicker response without any obligation to attend. Keep in mind that you are able to apply early action to as many schools as you would like. Typically, schools set separate deadlines for early action and early decision, often around the beginning of November and mid-November, respectively. As you submit your applications, we suggest utilizing your college counselor to ensure you have all the correct documents. Also, don’t hesitate to contact the coaching staff you have committed to with any questions.


Sign Your National Letter of Intent

If you have already made a verbal commitment to an NCAA DI or DII program, you will have the opportunity to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) this month. DI and DII football programs are the exception as they hold their own signing day later in the year on February 7th. Once you sign an NLI with a DI or DII program, your verbal commitment becomes a legally binding agreement that requires you to attend that school. Student-athletes committing to Division DIII, NAIA, or junior college programs usually won’t sign NLIs.

Publish Film from the Fall

Create a highlight video using film taken over the last several months. If your sport wasn’t in season and you don’t have game film, publish a skills video instead. College coaches use this type of film to evaluate skills relevant to your recruiting position, giving them a better sense of how you might fit into their team. Always keep your SportsRecruits profile updated with video, as this is one of the most common places coaches will go online to learn more about you as a recruit.

Try to Call College Coaches on The Phone 

If you haven’t made significant progress emailing your target list of schools, you may want to consider an alternate form of contact to get their attention. Speaking with college coaches on the phone can be a nerve-wracking experience for some student-athletes, but knowing the types of questions they typically ask will give you confidence heading into this call. Rather than cold calling a college coach, schedule a time to speak in advance. While on the call, you should be yourself, answer their questions confidently, and prepare 2-3 thought-provoking questions for the coach to respond to. As a senior, it’s essential to find out where the coaching staff is with your recruiting class and if they have a set timeline for when they want to wrap things up. It would also be a great idea to submit an application to any school you have scheduled a phone call with so the coach understands your high interest in their program.

Senior Year Winter


Evaluate Your Offers 

Some student-athletes have received multiple offers from programs at this time. If you find yourself in this position, you and your family must take the time to compare the offers to ensure you are finding the best fit for you holistically. For each school, you can see how much your family is expected to contribute towards your tuition by completing FAFSA and listing each school. 

Evaluate Your College Application Responses

If you’ve applied to schools early, you may start hearing back from them around this time. If you are still determining where to attend, sit down with your family and weigh all your options. The five factors you want to consider are the athletics, the academics, the social fit, the location, and how much it will cost to attend there. We also suggest speaking with your guidance or college counselor to ensure the schools on your list you are planning to apply to are a good fit for you academically.


Re-Evaluate Your Target List 

If you have not found success with any of the programs on your current list, it’s time to start researching for other schools that could be a better fit. We recommend contacting your athletic advocates to see if they know of any programs looking for your position or grad year. You can also use the SportsRecruits Roster Needs Tool in several sports to see if coaches are still looking for high school seniors who play your position. Lastly, make sure to consider all of the college divisions, especially if your primary focus has been on NCAA programs up to this point. Many top-notch NAIA and NJCAA programs may still be recruiting seniors, so it’s essential to keep an open mind and reach out to a variety of schools.

Submit College Applications for New Schools on Your Target List 

If you have recently identified new programs that you would be interested in competing for, take the time to submit the admissions application. Sometimes, the best way to show how serious you are about a college is by applying first and then contacting the coaching staff. This shows initiative, which can distinguish you as a strong candidate. When you send your introductory email to these new schools, mention that you have already applied so they fully understand your level of interest. If coaches are receptive after hearing from you but don’t have any spots available, we recommend exploring walk-on opportunities with that school.


Send Your Mid-Year Transcripts

Some college admissions offices will request your grades for the first half of your senior year. Submitting updated grades can help admissions counselors decide whether you will be officially accepted to the school. This is a likely task you need to complete if you received a deferred decision from a school, meaning you were not accepted or rejected immediately. Some schools will ask you for your mid-year grades even if you have already received your acceptance letter. This is why it is crucial to keep your grades up even if you have verbally committed to a school. 

Start to Research Potential Walk-On Opportunities 

Recruiting processes vary for student-athletes. If you have yet to commit to a college by February of your senior year, consider emailing coaches to ask about walk-on opportunities. If a coach responds that they're done recruiting, you can still ask about opportunities to walk on or try out for the team. Remember that securing a walk-on spot doesn't guarantee a place on the team.

Senior Year Spring


Expand Your Target List of Schools

If you have not received any college offers yet, it's time to consider other opportunities you may not have explored before. Lean on your athletic advocates to assist you in your recruiting process by communicating which college programs you are interested in. They can also recommend other programs you haven’t previously considered. If you have focused solely on NCAA DI or DII programs, try researching NCAA DIII, NAIA, and NJCAA rosters to see if they are actively recruiting for your position and grad year. 

Identify Programs Still Recruiting Seniors

If you still have yet to find a home for next year to complete, it’s not too late. ​​Many NCAA DI programs have likely completed their recruiting by this time, but other programs will often add high school seniors to their roster as late as the spring of their senior year. Ask coaches where they are in their recruiting process and if they are still looking for your position. If you receive responses from the schools on your list that they have no more room in their recruiting class, you should consider asking about potential walk-on opportunities.


Request Your Final Amateurism Certification 

The first day to request your final amateurism certification is April 1st of your senior year. You can do this by logging into your NCAA Certification account, where there will be a questionnaire for you to respond to. Based on your responses, the NCAA Eligibility Center will confirm your amateur status as a prospective student-athlete. Depending on your responses to the questionnaire, they may request additional documentation to confirm your amateurism status. Once your senior year is complete, ensure your final transcript and proof of graduation are submitted to the NCAA Eligibility Center. 

Log Your Commitment on SportsRecruits

This is what you’ve been waiting for! If you’ve committed to a school, log your commitment on your SportsRecruits account to show up on your program’s SportsRecruits page. You may even want to announce on your social media accounts so your family and friends can see the next step in your journey. Take time to celebrate the end of your recruiting process, as the next phase of your athletic career will bring new challenges and even greater success. 

Submit Your Tuition Deposit

Many schools utilize May 1st as the deadline for submitting your tuition deposit for the following Fall semester. Ensure you take care of any required paperwork from the admissions department or the athletics office so you don’t have any issues with eligibility when you arrive on campus! 


Post Your Commitment on Social Media

If you haven’t already, announce on social media platforms where you committed as a student-athlete! This is an excellent opportunity to show appreciation to those who helped you on this journey. Make sure to thank your family, athletic advocates, academic advocates, and anyone else who impacted you in getting to this next step you are about to take.

Start Preparing to Become a Collegiate Student-Athlete

Throughout this summer, you will have much to do to ensure you are prepared to start at your new school. Follow along with any weightlifting or conditioning packets that may have been sent your way, and make sure you find time (most schools will do this during an orientation event) to create your first college schedule before you officially enroll. Take everything you’ve learned over the last few years about the recruiting process and use it to have continued success at the next level.


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