Throughout the college process, you may be left wondering what some of the words and phrases regularly used by coaches, actually mean. To help you get down with the college language, here is our guide to some of the lingo you might come across throughout your experience leading up to college. The SAT The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a multiple choice, English and Maths based test administered by the College Board. It is designed to measure a student’s academic abilities and is a common data point that can be used to compare applicants. Want to know whether it’s mandatory? Check out our previous blog here. ACT This is an entrance exam used by colleges and universities to help with their admissions process. It is similar to the SAT, but with a science element included and is widely accepted across American colleges. The TOEFL The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a test that measures a prospective student’s use of the English Language. The results are then used as part of the admissions process. (The TOEFL is the most recognised of the language tests, but you could be asked to take the IELTS and the Duolingo which are similar variations.) Please note, you do not need to take the TOEFL (or any other variation) if English is your first language. Dead Period The NCAA Dead Period is when D1 college coaches are not allowed to meet future college recruits face to face at their college campus, the athlete’s school or anywhere else in-person. However, they are allowed to contact recruits via phone, email or any other digital communication channel. This means recruiting can continue all year round. Official Visit If you are offered an ‘official visit’ to a college, the college may offer to pay for transportation, accommodation, food and drink for you and your parents or guardians. Before this happens, you will need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Centre. Unofficial Visit An ‘unofficial visit’ is any time that you and your parents or guardians visit the college campus and have paid for transportation and accommodation yourselves. You can take as many unofficial visits as you like and if you’re lucky, you may be offered complimentary admission to an athletic tournament. NLI NLI stands for National Letter of Intent. It is a binding agreement between a prospective student athlete and a college. It means that other colleges can no longer recruit the athletes once they have signed the NLI with another institution. I-20 form The I-20 form is required from all international students. It is there to prove that you are a legitimate student that is enrolled in an accredited college or university. This is important to have when applying for your student visa. Verbal Commitment This is when you verbally agree to play sports for a college before signing your National Letter of Intent. This commitment is not binding and the offer can be changed at any point by both the college and the athlete. Redshirt A ‘redshirt’ season is a year in which a student athlete does not compete in outside competitions. They are however allowed to practice with their team and receive financial aid. For example, if you were to become injured during your time at college, your coach can choose to ‘redshirt’ you. This means that you no longer can play in competitions resulting in you not losing a year of eligibility. Athletic Scholarship An athletic scholarship is an amount of financial aid given to a student-athlete based on their athletic ability and how they to contribute to the team. A coach will decide who is awarded an athletic scholarship and how much they are given. Academic Scholarship An academic scholarship is an amount of financial aid given to those students who have achieved high grades in their previous exams. Colleges use this to recruit academically talented students. If you have any further questions about college language or scholarships in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. Our friendly team are always here to help.