The qualifications to earn a varsity letter vary from one school to the next. In general, most schools require that an athlete has exhibited above-average talent within a specific sport and is in senior standing with a record of playing the sport four years in high school. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average or level of academic success and attend classes, practices and games consistently.
Some schools award varsity letters after three years to juniors entering their senior years. Students who are part of the team for four years yet are unable to play due to injury are sometimes eligible for a varsity letter depending on the school's athletic policies. Team managers and trainers can also be eligible for a varsity letter if the school has deemed these positions as part of the eligibility.
A varsity letter is never a guarantee, even if the student has met all of the requirements. Many schools only award varsity letters to an elite group of athletes, and when competition is high, only a minimum number of seniors may receive the varsity letter award. Typically, varsity letters are determined and awarded at an end of the school year banquet attended by students, athletes, coaches, administrators, teachers and parents.