Given how important this part of a young prospective student-athlete's career is, naturally, there will be a huge amount of questions you have about the process, the scholarship offers you receive, moving over to the USA, and the general landscape of the collegiate sport.
That's why we've put together a short summary of some of the most common questions we get asked at various stages of the process to help put your mind at ease.
What is the NCAA?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is the highest level and most well-known governing body within college athletics. The association is split into three divisions: NCAA D-I, D-II, and D-III. All three divisions have different entry requirements, and levels of funding and support, and operate under varying levels of budget and investment from the institution.
How is Junior College different?
The Junior College level is different from those that operate within the NCAA and NAIA in that they only offer two-year degree programs. Governed by the NJCAA (The National Junior College Athletic Association) this level is made up of over 525 schools in 24 regions in the United States and does bear similarity to the NCAA and NAIA in that it has three division levels: I, II, and III.
The Junior College or “JUCO” entry route provides a more affordable steppingstone for student-athletes who may not be academically or athletically ready for the NAIA or NCAA, so undertake a year or two at this level to better prepare themselves for a transfer to one of the higher-ranked institutions if the opportunity presents itself.
Are my grades good enough for me to get a scholarship?
The minimum requirements are different depending on what level you are going to be competing in as a student-athlete. That said, the eligibility requirements are not as binary as a simple yes or no. Even if you have the appropriate grades and experience, they don’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed admission into college.
What happens in the recruitment process?
This is your main opportunity for US coaches to get to know you and for you to get to know the coaches and the college/university on a more personal basis. Coaches will need to see footage of you in your sport; your academic information and they will want to communicate and get to know you a little better to ensure you’re going to be a fit both on and off the field. This is also a great opportunity for you to do your own research into what life is like on campus as a student-athlete, check out the recent success and history of the team, and explore the local area you’d be living in if your application was accepted.
Can I get a scholarship for more than one sport?
It is possible to earn an athletic scholarship for more than one sport. It doesn’t happen very often, especially at the NCAA Division I level, but there are more athletes who compete in more than one sport at Division II, III, and NAIA levels.
Having the skills and flexibility to compete in multiple sports in high school is very attractive to college coaches. You have a wider variety of physical strengths and techniques and are trained to be in competition for most of the year. However, being involved in more than one sport is also time-consuming, which means you need to have strong time-management skills.
Succeeding in school is much more important than dominating in multiple sports. High school athletes also need to be aware of their physical and mental limits. There is more stress for athletes in multiple sports. If an athlete struggles with finding the right balance, his or her performance may suffer in both the sport and in the classroom.
As a high school recruit, it’s a great benefit to participate in multiple sports. In some cases, a student-athlete may have to choose just one if they want to be able to focus on their development.
Make sure to take the time to think about which sport you love the most, even if you are better at another. Without the passion to play, the rigorous schedule of competition in college won’t be a fulfilling experience for an athlete.
For a more in-depth list of FAQs, we've got a comprehensive guide available on our website: Frequently Asked Questions | FirstPoint USA
As the world’s leading sports scholarship consultancy, we have over 20 years of experience in recruiting and placing young sportsmen and women in some of the top programs in the United States, with world-class facilities to rival anywhere else across the globe.
FirstPoint USA has a dedicated team of specialist talent management consultants who have assisted thousands of young athletes to propel their athletic and academic careers through successful partnerships with top U.S institutions. In addition to this, we also have robust processes and support tools in place to help you understand the intricacies of your scholarship options, so we’re with you every step of the way.
FirstPoint USA is an international scouting service, providing recruitment services to hundreds of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA member institutions seeking to identify the very best in overseas talent, both male and female.
The company was founded in 2001 by former University of Cincinnati All-American and Hall of Fame inductee, Andrew Kean, and evaluates over 100,000 prospective student-athletes, competing in over 20 different sports, across 187 countries each year.