Leveraging Scholarship Offers


            I get asked questions from parents all the time about scholarship offers, verbal commitments, whether to make them or not, whether to hold out for a better offer, etc. I do have some opinions and here they are:
1.      You either have a scholarship offer or you don’t.
2.      See Item #1.
If a college coach verbally says to you that his school is offering you a football scholarship or you receive a letter from a school to that effect, you can be assured that you are being offered a scholarship. When a school says they “are recruiting you”, “really interested in you”, “have you on their list”, or some other verbage that doesn’t include “offering you a scholarship”, then you don’t have a scholarship offer.
That is why it is so important for players to rank-order the schools that are recruiting them, so that when the right offer comes in, the player and his family are in position to accept and make a verbal commitment or not.
If a school offers you a scholarship, realize there is a time-table in place for you decision and a school may not wait forever for you to make up your mind. You may not be the only player at your position being offered and they are likely to accept the first commitment. Don’t be surprised if you drag your feet, that a school may all-of-a-sudden notify you that your offer is being withdrawn.
On the other side of the coin, if you have been offered a scholarship by one or more schools and your “favorite” hasn’t yet offered, don’t be afraid to let that school know you have been offered. That is called “leveraging”. You certainly don’t want to lose one scholarship opportunity while holding your breath on another. Leveraging can create some sense of urgency on the part of the latter school. If it doesn’t, then you can be reasonably assured that an offer from your “favorite” isn’t coming in the near future and that may help you make up your mind.