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2022-06-03 20:23:47

How do students in the U.S.A. combine university and professional sports

How do students in the U.S.A. combine university and professional sports

Today, high-quality higher education is becoming increasingly valuable. The main advantage of such a craving for knowledge is the receipt of highly qualified personnel by the international labor market. During the period of choosing an educational institution, students are increasingly paying attention not only to the level of education of specialists, but also to the possibility of rest or additional extracurricular activities. And in the wake of the trend of taking care of themselves and their body, applicants assign the main role to sports. Today we will answer the main questions related to the combination of sports and studies in American colleges and universities.

Will sports interfere with studying, if there is not so much free time?

Perhaps one of the most important questions of concern to future freshmen. There is no clear answer to this question, because everyone decides for himself to devote his free time to sports or meeting with friends. In many prestigious universities in the United States , the academic performance of the student is the main one on the agenda, but it is equally important to monitor your health and physical activity. Moreover, most universities and colleges support the zeal of students in sports, both internal competitions and inter-university competitions are held.

Athletic scholarship and its size

An athletic scholarship is not awarded to all students involved in the sports sections of a university or college. Cash payments can be received only by those students who have stood out among the rest with their merits in sports. Also, special attention when calculating a scholarship is given to the sports potential, talent and achievements of the student. Despite the fact that in the United States, sports scholarships are much more common than in other countries of the world, only 2% of students can count on them. At the same time, the maximum cash payments, the so-called full ride scholarship , are received by athletes of only certain sports: basketball, American football, volleyball, gymnastics (women's), tennis.

The size of the scholarship varies from 10,000 to 40,000 dollars per year. The amount of payments depends directly on the division to which the university or college belongs (D1, D2, D3). This division depends on the budget of the educational institution, so when entering it is important to find out which division the university belongs to. If you expect a good scholarship in sports achievements, then choose the universities of the first division (D1).

The dependence of academic performance on sports

In any American university or college, first of all, special attention will be paid to the main educational process. When choosing a specialty taking into account sports, it is important to understand that the curriculum can be both quite complex and easier and less time-consuming. Sports sections at the university level take time from 40 to 50 hours a week, which significantly limits the choice of the student when entering and choosing the future of higher education. After all, despite the fact that in the United States sport at the university level is amateur, athletes are required to have a high level of education. However, today among universities and colleges there is a tendency to allocate additional hours for individual lessons, which helps students to keep up with the program, but does not add time for rest.

Regulatory organizations

The main function of regulating sports in US universities does not lie with the educational institutions themselves. Three organizations deal with general issues, including scholarship issues:

  1. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA),
  2. National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA),
  3. National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Associations regulate the norms of financing athletes, establish requirements not only for the sports teams themselves, but also for universities. Also, organizations determine the size of the quota for participation in ethnic minority competitions. 

The universities of the first (D1) and second (D2) divisions are funded by all three associations, but the third division (D3) receives money only from the NCAA and NJCAA. Therefore, students studying at D3 universities receive practically no sports scholarships, but at the same time can receive better cash payments for other academic achievements and merits.

The Process for Applying for an Athletic Scholarship

When deciding to join the sports section and apply for a scholarship, the student must go through a rather difficult path. The application process is multifaceted and has many nuances – we will tell you the main steps towards success in this matter.

  1. Choosing a university. Find out which division the university belongs to, what conditions it sets for future student-athletes. Assess your strength, how ready you are to give yourself to sports and what is your potential in matters of study.
  2. Documents. When preparing documents for a bachelor's degree, you will also need to submit certificates of your achievements in sports and personal indicators, make a small video with your best performances and education. For the first and second level divisions, it is also important to be certified. To do this, you will need to register on the NCAA Eligibility Center portal, fill out a questionnaire and send the results for consideration (the service will be paid and will cost you $ 150).
  3. Choosing a sports team and coach. When choosing a university, immediately establish a connection with potentially future coach and team. Be sure to check your social media: Any content that might put you in an unfavorable light will need to be removed. Post more photos with motivation or personal from education and sports. Write a letter to the coach with a story about why exactly you should be in his team and what attracts you to the sports program of this particular university.
  4. Constantly be in touch with the coach. Receiving an athletic scholarship directly depends on the coach, so start communicating and having a conversation with the coach six months before submitting documents and after admission.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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