What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is financial aid that pays towards your tuition and room and board. Athletic scholarships are awarded to you on the agreement that you train with and compete for your University team at collegiate competitions. Academic scholarship money can also be awarded to increase the overall package providing you secure and maintain good grades.
Why do American Universities recruit international students?
The top universities in the top divisions get their pick of the best American athletes. Schools then recruit and provide scholarships to high standard international athletes so that they can compete at the highest level.
What size scholarship can I get?
This is dependent on the University - coaches will have a set budget that they are allowed to work with each year which will have to cover scholarship money and travel and expenses for the team throughout the duration of the season. The size of a scholarship on offer will depend on your level of performance both athletically and within the classroom. Scholarships are offered on a percentage basis - a University can offer anything from 0-100% (full-ride).
When should I apply?
The recruitment process can take anywhere between 9-24 months, though it has been known to take less time than that as well. It is best, however, to give yourself as much time as possible in order to avoid having to rush through the process. You should begin to start looking at applying as an undergraduate between the ages of 16-18, and for post-graduate between the ages of 18-22.
What is the NCAA?
The NCAA is the biggest governing body within collegiate athletics - it consists of two divisions that offer athletic scholarship money. Division 1 being the highest level of competition, though division 11 still competes at a very high standard. NCAA schools run 4-year programs.
What is the NAIA?
The NAIA is smaller than the NCAA but is still very popular with international student-athletes and can be equally as competitive. NAIA schools run 4-year programs.
What is the NJCAA?
NJCAA schools run 2-year programs, sometimes referred to as community college or junior college. Here you will undertake a foundation, (associates) degree. Students then have the option to transfer to a 4-year school for the final 2 years. If you enrol into an NJCAA school you are not required to take the standardised tests or register at the eligibility centres. NJCAA schools are a lower cost option and generally, have lower academic entry standards compared to the NCAA and NAIA.
What exams do I need to take?
There are 2 options, you can either take the SAT or the ACT exam - they are both standardised tests accepted by all University admissions across the United States, though the SAT is generally the most common option for international students. The ACT is tighter on time so we advise our clients to take the SAT exam.
A student should take this exam at the earliest date possible as it helps with the recruitment process. Athletes to America will help you locate your nearest test centre, guide you through the registration process, and offer advice and guidance to help you best prepare for the test.
In addition, the TOEFL exam is required if English is not the student's native language. This is a standardised English proficiency exam that measures the ability of the students' English Language skills.
What if I don't pass SAT exam?
You can take the exam as many times as you like until you get the score you need. This is why it is best to start the recruitment process at the earliest possible stage to allow yourself plenty of time to secure a scholarship at a school that is right for you.
What is the NLI?
NLI stands for National Letter of Intent. Not all schools are a part of the NLI program, however, if you chose a school which is, you will sign your NLI upon acceptance of that college offer. It is essentially a contract between you and your chosen school which states that you have chosen to commit to that schools' program for at least 1 year, in return for the athletic aid on offer to you.
What visa do I need?
As an international student in the United States, you require the F1 Visa. Once a college offer has been accepted the visa application begins.