One of the ways to enter an American university is through an sports scholarship. Of course, this option is only suitable for athletes of a fairly good level. Let’s talk today about how to get a sports scholarship to US universities. First, a few facts. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and Division II universities provide over $ 2 billion annually in sports scholarships for more than 126,000 students. NCAA Division 3 universities and Ivy League universities do not provide athletic scholarships. In most cases, the scholarship is granted for one year, although universities are entitled to provide scholarships for several years. In this article, I want to describe the steps by which you can contact American coaches and try to get a sports scholarship. You can write an essay for admission using special services. I will write on the example of basketball, but the same methods are similar for obtaining a scholarship for any sport for which it is possible to receive funding in America.
1. Decide where you need to go. It is advisable to have basic information about American educational institutions, namely, to read what High School, Prep School, Post Graduate School, Junior College, and Universities in the USA are. For example, if you take school education, then in American schools they study for 12 years, plus, you can still take an additional 13 year of school (Post Graduate Year), respectively, in America, they finish school later, schoolchildren can be found there even at 20 and 21 years old. There are also many interesting points about colleges and universities, for example, many foreign athletes first enter not universities, but Junior colleges (2-year college), because entrance exams (SAT, TOEFL) are not needed there. And college is much more likely to get a sports scholarship because the level of basketball there is slightly lower than at universities.
2. Prepare your game video, make a short story about yourself (your achievements in studies and sports). First of all, you need to make your basketball video so that you can present yourself to the American coaches. It is advisable to make a video in the form of Highlights – i.e. slicing your best gaming moments from games and workouts. Next, write a summary. Indicate in it your date of birth, height, weight, position on the site. Academic achievement is also important and will add to your resume. Coaches in America pay a lot of attention to the academic performance of athletes.
3. Start communicating with schools/colleges. The most commonplace, but at the same time, the most difficult way to get in touch with American coaches is to write them directly to their mail.
It is not difficult to find the coach’s contacts, go to the website of any school/college, choose the basketball section and usually, the coach’s contacts are there in a prominent place. However, the coach’s letters to the players are not often answered, because the coaches receive dozens of letters a day, and they may simply lose sight of your letter. Find a coach’s contact and send him your video and resume. This method is the most dreary. From my own experience, I will say that only 30-35% of coaches will answer you, and if you are not a very promising player, then there is little chance that you will be offered a lot of funding.
4. US universities are interested in the academic performance in sports – however, the requirements for a sports grades are much softer than for an ordinary applicant’s GPA. A graduate of a Russian school will need an SAT academic test result, a certificate, and a list of grades for grades 8-11. At the same time, American universities are only interested in exam results, credits are not accepted.
5. Using the resources listed above, carefully read the section/points “Eligibility” and check if the scholarship of interest is suitable for foreign students from your country, then see if you meet these requirements. Also, start looking for suitable options 2-3 years before applying. Remember that the conditions for awarding scholarships can change significantly once every 5-10 years, so subscribe to the newsletters on the topic and always stay tuned in this area.
Let’s summarize. If you are sure that coaches in the USA will be able to see you as a promising athlete, then do not hesitate to send letters, your video to coaches and let them know about yourself in every possible way. Of course, the main criterion for the selection of student-athletes is their athletic achievements, reflected in a special athletic resume. However, if you try to enter an American educational institution without using the help of knowledgeable people, then this process can be delayed. I advise you to contact people who have gone through all this on their own experience and will be able to share their knowledge base.