HOW TO MAXIMISE SPORT SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WITHIN A UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OR JUNIOR COLLEGE.
At United Sports USA we are constantly asked by student athletes and their parents how we maximise the level of scholarship funding to make university/college, junior college more affordable. The initial process of gaining a scholarship award stems from a student athletes sporting and academic credentials.
Students must meet a criteria set out by the National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA] National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics [NAIA] and National Junior College Athletic Association [NJCAA].
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION [NCAA] CRITERIA:
• Graduate from high school.
• Complete a minimum of 16 core courses for Division I or II.
• Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses.
• Earn a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT.
• Request final amateurism certification from the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Once a student meets the above criteria they are now eligible to receive academic and sports aid to compete for a college/university.
The minimum academic requirements to compete within the NCAA are:
• Grade Point Average of 2.0
• SAT score of 820
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS [NAIA] CRITERIA:
• Grade Point Average of 2.0
• SAT score of 860
• Letter from your high school head teacher confirming you are in the top 50% of your academic year group and a class rank letter stating you are i.e. 33/100 students
THE MINIMUM ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS TO COMPETE WITHIN THE NJCAA ARE:
• Graduate high school
• be under 21 years of age prior to entering Junior College to be eligible to compete in sport.
Some Junior colleges do also ask for an SAT score which us usually 820 unless they have their own academic entry requirement.
SAT scores have a maximum score 2400 for math, there are 800 points for the math, critical reading and essay sections, the minimum scores above reflect the total math and c/r scores added together as the essay section is normally not taken into account. Typically the essay section acts as a TOEFL test. Test of English as a Foreign Written Language and is only used for students where English is not their first language of their native country.
Grade Point Average’s range between 0.0-4.0. The higher your GPA is and SAT score the higher volume of universities/colleges you will be academically eligible for. For academic funding you typically have to score 1050+ on math and critical reading and have a Grade point average of 3.0 however academic packages can vary from university to university.
The level of sport you play is also important to being eligible and maximizing your funding opportunity. With regards to soccer/football standard, as we know this sport is a subjective sport and there is no set way to measure a player’s ability level, all coaches have their own opinion of players. For example:
Student Athlete A:
• Competes within the top level of their particular sport, nationally ranked golfer, swimmer, track and field athlete or British level academy soccer player, EPL, EFL, SPL, SFL etc…
• Has a 3.0 GPA which is an American grade translation based on UK high school examination results.
• SAT score of 1200+
Student Athlete A would typically receive a large male or female soccer/golf/tennis/swimming/track and field scholarship which may cover all or a significant amount of the total school costs. Student Athlete A would also be eligible for an academic scholarship which would be added to the soccer package to provide the total level of funding.
If a university/college costs $50,000 per year to cover tuition fees, accommodation, meals, books the result may be: The coach offers a full soccer/golf/tennis/swimming/track and field scholarship based on sporting ability. Therefore, the student receives $50,000 per year to cover tuition fees, accommodation, meals, and books.
If the coach combines full funding based on soccer and academic scholarships combined. The player receives $40,000 golf/tennis/soccer/swimming/track and field scholarship and $10,000 academic scholarship the student athlete would therefore receive a fully funded sports scholarship.
If a student athlete was not to receive full scholarship funding the following may apply: College Coach offers male or female soccer/golf/tennis/swimming/track and field scholarship of $18,000 and academic funding of $13,000 totalling $31,000 of a university/college costing $40,000. The student would therefore need to contribute $9,000 to complete total cost.
For male or female soccer players, golfers, swimmers, tennis players or track and field athlete’s aged between 16-21, this can be a great way of funding their bachelor’s degree. It can be difficult for students to access funding in their country of origin to pay for their education and studying in the USA can save them a lot of money in the long run.
Students Athletes attempting to access funding themselves can have difficulty in understand initial eligibility or fail to market themselves effectively to college coaches in order tomaximize funding opportunities including sports scholarships, academic scholarships or International student scholarship awards.
Remember United Sports USA’S top tips for maximizing funding:
Start 2 years before you graduate high school.
Take the SAT exam more than once.
Compete at the highest level of your sport that is possible
Score 1050 – 1600 on the SAT exam in math and critical sections combined.
Ensure your grade point average is 3.0 – 4.0.