With over 4000 college and universities in the USA, there are plenty of opportunities for student-athletes to receive sports scholarships. However, the process of obtaining such a scholarship can be quite daunting for an international if you don’t know what exactly is needed to get the process going. Aspire Atlantic’s focus is to assist student-athletes with this intimidating process, so please read below for more information on what is needed to procure a sports scholarship in the USA.
First things first - the level of sport you are playing is a crucial part when looking to further your sports career on a collegiate level. University coaches are receiving 100s of athlete profiles per month, and like any sports team - they want their team to be the best, therefore they will only recruit the top athletes.
There are three different Sports Associations in the USA, the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA - all have different requirements for sports recruits. Depending on the university and sport, you would have to be a provincial or national athlete if you would like to receive a significant scholarship. Here at Aspire Atlantic, we can help you determine where your focus should be and what universities and sports teams would be a good fit for you. Please click here if you would like to see the specific requirements for each sport.
As you start thinking of pursuing a college career, you must remember that your academics are very important. Student-athletes aren’t called this for just the sake of it - you are a student first before you are an athlete. In order to be considered for a sports scholarship your final report cards from Grade 9 to Grade 12 are used to calculate your Grade Point Average (GPA). With a good GPA, more academic doors will remain open for you. For more information on how the GPA is calculated, and how it affects your university list, please click here.
Many South Africans who are aspiring to study in the USA will also need to write the SAT exam in order to apply to their dream universities. The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's readiness for college and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. Coaches take a student’s SAT score into consideration when it comes to offering sports scholarships - and the higher your SAT score, the more likely you will be offered an academic scholarship too. Here are some guidelines on how to go about registering for the SAT.
As an international athlete, it is very difficult to travel to the USA and attend tryouts for a specific university sports team. Technology has changed the scouting game completely, with highlights videos becoming the most popular means of talent identification. When you are looking to procure a sports scholarship, it is very important to have a highlights video ready for the coaches to view. Your video should include all your best games, races, events and training footage helps too. Start recording these videos as early as you can, to ensure that you have enough footage to include in your highlights video.
By providing Aspire Atlantic with enough footage, we create your highlights video to the level of quality that coaches are expecting. For more tips on video footage, and the specific sports who need it most, please read here.
When the time comes and your profile is ready to be sent the coaches, Aspire Atlantic will build you a coaches list, based on your academics and athletic ability. As mentioned before - depending on the level at which you are playing the sport.
Securing a scholarship at your favourite university is very much dependable on how well you and the coach are getting along. Once the coach has made contact with you, it is very important to keep building that relationship with him/her. You are going to spend the majority of your day’s training and competing with your coach, so a healthy relationship and understanding between you two, is what is needed. If a coach likes you, the chances of earning a significant scholarship increases. These relationships can be built via Video Calls, WhatsApp messages, regular emails and social media.
To get some useful tips on how to build strong relationships with coaches, you are more than welcome to click here and read more about this topic.
While you are chatting with coaches and working on those relationships, they will start to mention University applications. This is another step in securing your final sports scholarship offer - and it is also a means of finding out, how much academic scholarship you qualify for. University applications usually take time and cannot be done in one seating. Your Grade 9 to Grade 12 report cards and SAT scores will be the first things to be submitted. You will also need to submit a copy of your passport and specific financial documents. For more information on application documents required, you can click here.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of factors going into this journey of procuring a sports scholarship in the USA. Academics, tests, videos, application processes - it all can become quite overwhelming! So...How can we help? Sign up with Aspire Atlantic today, for a free evaluation, and we would love to assist you in turning your “American dream” into a reality!
The time has come where you are finally starting to get yourself ready for the start of your Freshman year. New experiences, new classes, and new friends await. So exciting, but also a little intimidating. As an international student, you may be feeling overwhelmed, but don’t worry you’re not alone, even the local first-year students are feeling anxious. We thought it would be helpful to give some tips before you travel to America to start your Freshman year.
Book Flights in Advance
It is important to make sure you book your flights in advance in order you get the best deal. Travelstart is a great platform to compare and look for the best option. With the Department of Home Affairs having confirmed that South African students studying abroad can now travel, you are required to submit your request via email to Covid19travel@dha.gov.za. The department will get back to the student with all the information to make travel arrangements.
Travel with Necessities
Packing your bags for College can be a very emotional and daunting task, how do you get your entire life into two suitcases. It is important to remember that your dorm room is small with very limited storage space and as a freshman you will most likely share it with someone, only take the things that are absolutely necessary. Here are some tips to help you when packing.
Open a Digital Forex Wallet
The best way to save money on international bank charges is to open a foreign exchange wallet where you can transfer funds and pay any fees before you start at the university like; a housing deposit, tuition fees and pocket money. It will allow you to purchase dollars at a fixed amount without losing value on the dollars you have purchased. This app can also be used as a personal bank account, where you will swipe for any item you would need to buy in America. We recommend the Shyft App from Standard Bank, click here to read more about this app.
Arrange your transportation from the airport to Campus
Building a relationship with your coach is one of the key elements of the scholarship process, he or she will not only be your coach but your mentor as well. From our experience, coaches will always make sure that someone from the university will pick you up from the airport and welcome you on campus. If he or she does not mention it beforehand, it is good to ask and make sure, someone is expecting you at the airport.
Make the most of your Orientation week
During your orientation week, you will meet your international student advisor, who will help you with anything you need, from organizing a bank account, medical insurance, or help you to secure an on-campus job. Join clubs or campus groups according to your likes and interests, this way you will be surrounded by like-minded people and it will help with making long-lasting friends.
An incredible adventure awaits, one that will change your life forever. If you have any questions or need help with the US University application process, don't hesitate to contacts us, we would love to help!