Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sport scholarship?
Athletic as well as academic scholarships are more common in the US than in most other countries, particularly the UK.
Sport scholarships are awarded to outstanding individuals in order to enable them to finance their studies in the US.
The athlete then becomes an active member of the university sports programme, usually training up to 5 times per week with the team and represents the university in various tournaments and competitions. The coach is responsible for bringing success to the University and therefore the standard of coaching is very high. Most Universities work at a level on par with top professional programmes as they have large budgets, excellent equipment and facilities, and travel out of state regularly.
As a general rule, coaches commonly reject personal scholarship applications because;
a) Applicants can not objectively judge their abilities
b) The applications lack important information
c) The eligibility-requirements are not fulfilled
For what reasons are scholarships awarded?
American universities have teams representing them in a variety of sports- from golf, volleyball, football, tennis right through to shooting. These teams are professionally managed by top coaches and serve as an advertisement for the respective university. The success of the universities sports programmes provide a massive marketing boost for the university with regards to prospective students and indeed income. To understand how huge college sports are- it is not unusual to go to an NCAA American Football game and find crowds of 60,000+
Universities generate enormous profit from ticket sales, t-shirts, caps and other school merchandise. In 2007/2008 the University of Alabama generated over $123 million in profits for the university alone!!!** For this reason, the universities provide the coaches with a budget to recruit talented athletes from around the world and help them finance their studies. On the rare occasion – an extremely talented scholar athlete can have their entire stay abroad covered by the University. There are different divisions of Universities, each with specific rules on how much scholarship they can award. *
Not all Universities are the same in America; they are categorized into separate divisions with their own set of rules. The three main divisions are the NCAA, NJCAA and the NAIA
Here is a helpful breakdown of the NCAA and NAIA divisions:
The NCAA (www.ncaa.org) is the National Collegiate Athletic Association and contains three divisions in itself:
Division I is home to many of the nation’s biggest and best colleges, including Harvard, New York University, Rutgers, Syracuse and UCLA. Full scholarships are available in Division I but the competition is fierce. If you follow professional sports, you will know that many of the athletes come from Division I schools.
Division II’s membership includes many smaller colleges and universities, like San Francisco State University, Lindenwood University, Adelphi University, and West Palm Beach. Unlike Division I, there is no age limit for players in Division II, although there is a limit to how many semesters you can stay. The highest-ranking NCAA II teams are often of a higher calibre than the lowest-ranking teams of Division I, so it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of talent in Division II as well. This division also offers scholarships for top college athletes.
Division III does not offer sports scholarships, so its recruiting tactics are limited and the level of play varies greatly from team to team. Schools in this division include Franklin & Marshall College, Emerson College, and Catholic University.
The NAIA (www.naia.org) is the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics. It offers fewer sports and recruiting restrictions than the NCAA, but its level of play is similiar to that of the NCAA II division. There are close to 300 schools in the NAIA, including Azusa Pacific University, Embry Riddle University, Park University, and Eastern Oregon University. Schools that are part of the NAIA tend to be smaller in campus size and student enrollment, making this division a good choice for students looking for a supportive environment both on and off the playing field. Particularly The highest ranking teams in the NAIA are more than capable of competing with NCAA DIV 1 and the top teams in DIV 2
The NJCAA (www.njcaa.org) is the National Junior College Athletic Association. It is a series of two-year colleges. “Its programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a diverse group of student-athletes who come from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds” and sometimes a better option for those not ready to immediately attend a four year programme. It is very common to transfer to the NAIA or NCAA after either a year or two years attendance in the NJCAA.
Why study in America?
America, as the old cliché suggests, is indeed the land of opportunity. One particular advantage of studying abroad comes after graduation when the graduate can apply for jobs with confidence knowing that they can prove they have real life experience. It can also show that person is willing to, and can adapt to other cultures- very high on the list of required attributes for most major employers.
What can I expect?
Whatever you are looking for, America can provide.
Whether that is sunshine- Florida, snow- Colorado, big city life- New York /Chicago, the United States can offer it all …
On the academic front America has some of the finest universities in the world: Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and NYC to name only a handful. In 2010, the USA contained 14 of the Worlds top 20 Universities (The UK had 3).
From an athletic point of view (as this if of course both academic and athletic), the United States is unparalleled for its facilities. The awards programs help fund an athlete’s schooling, its financial input towards sports are also without equal.
With our foundation, athletes who are serious about their studies are given the opportunity to develop academically at one of the top universities in the world whilst maximising their potential at their chosen sport.
Expect - An in-depth interview and screening process at The Scholarship Co. We only send the best scholar athletes to the states. This is what allows us to command a larger share of the scholarship available.
Expect - honesty; Although difficult, we have to be 100% honest with prospective clients. If we do not feel you have the ability and do not score high on our specialised TAB rating system- you will not be eligible for a place on our programme.
Expect- Flexibility; We know everyone is different, and we look to accommodate in every way possible. We will endeavour to place you where you would like to study by providing you with a range of offers. Payment options are flexible and we are more than open to discuss further options if required.
Applicants for an official license to play sports at university or college level in the USA must generally be between 17 and 24 years of age or no further than the 5th/6th Semester at university, as most scholarships are available only during undergraduate studies towards a Bachelors degree. Ideally, you should want to begin studying in the USA immediately after graduating from high school and thus be eligible for a scholarship for the full four undergraduate years. Your opportunities are greatest immediately after high school graduation (application at least one year before graduation!) as this gives the coaches the opportunity to work with you for a longer period of time.
Am I good enough to compete in the States?
Certain qualities and circumstances are difficult if not impossible to define. A player may score 50 goals in a season playing for his local team which is perhaps of a lesser level and that player would not expect to achieve such a ratio at a higher level. Circumstances such as these are difficult, as are defining one's character, sportsmanship, and competitiveness. When the sport can be measured numerically: golf handicaps, 50m freestyle swimming, 100m sprint- then it is of course much easier to gauge one's sporting prowess. However, these statistics don’t really say much about the athlete’s competitiveness, their history as a player, and more importantly their potential- all of which are vitally important to coaches.
Talent, Ambition, and Belief
Our unique TAB scoring system- constructed in conjunction with some of the best college coaches and athletes in the United States- allows us to define the appropriate level at which and athlete can compete in turn securing the best scholarship available at that level. The scholarship co. serves as a vetting-authority that checks whether the prospective student athlete meets the appropriate criteria to qualify for a scholarship. We create a bespoke package for each athlete so that the coaches themselves get a true feel for how the athlete may, or may not, fit into their programme
Where do I sign up?
Fill in this form and we will endeavour to contact you within 48 hours.