U.S. Sports Scholarships | Aussie Athletes Agency » Recruiting Information Recruiting Information US college recruitment is a complex process. Aspiring student-athletes are required to provide specific information, complete all necessary registration, and effectively manage their communication with potential college coaches. Each of these tasks is more challenging for international student-athletes. At Aussie Athletes Agency we have a 100 point check list to ensure no detail is overlooked during the recruitment process. Our qualified team understands that even the minor details are integral to the future success of a student-athlete in search of athletic placement and scholarship opportunities within the U.S. college system. Student-Athletes Gauge Your Sporting Ability & Establish Appropriate Goals: As an aspiring student-athlete it is important to know yourself and be realistic in the pursuit of your sporting goals. You should consider: your current level of athletic ability, your potential to improve upon your skills, and your commitment to your education. Be honest in your self-evaluation, establish appropriate goals, and you will be more likely to succeed in your pursuit of US college opportunities. AAA will help you target the most appropriate athletic division for your abilities, and the most suitable college for your educational goals, optimising your chance of receiving a scholarship or funding package to attend a US college. Search for the Most Ideal US College: When searching for athletic placement within the US college system, you should primarily focus on which universities qualify for your athletic goals. Keep in mind – the US college system is comprised of three major associations (NCAA, NJCAA, and NAIA). Each association has up to three athletic divisions, with hundreds of universities competing in each division. There are different academic and athletic standards required for acceptance into each division, and you need to decide which division ideally conforms to your personal goals. Working with you, our qualified AAA team would narrow your target range to approximately 30-50 US colleges that are appropriate to suit your goals. You also need to understand that American universities recruit student-athletes years ahead of the current school semester, so higher ranking athletic colleges are less likely to have any available positions. Athletics shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in your choice of US colleges. If you accept an athletic scholarship, but are unable to study a degree you are interested in, the scholarship loses its value. You should filter any athletically relevant universities by your chosen degree, and work towards targeting the universities that qualify for your personal goals. You should also research your chosen degree through the university website, because many schools or degrees will have a require internship which can be difficult to schedule as a student-athlete. You should be aware of your degree requirements and expectations. Build a Superior Academic/Athletic Resume: Accepting a scholarship to participate in US college athletics is similar to paid employment. You will receive financial aid that may cover the cost of your tuition, textbooks, board, and equipment, with the coach expecting you to perform both athletically and academically. Therefore, the resume you send to potential college coaches should be articulate and comprehensive. You will need a cover letter that is tailored to each specific university program, and a detailed resume that contains your personal information, athletic history, and scholastic summary. If possible, you should also gather letters of recommendation from coaches and teachers that you have worked closely with in the past. With more than 300 years of combined experience, the AAA team has developed a formula for organising student-athlete resumes to ensure that the most significant information is presented in the right format to attract the attention of US college coaches. Assemble a Comprehensive Recruiting Video: A strong recruiting video is vital for your success in receiving an offer of athletic placement. Your video should be edited to highlight the execution of specific skills, and comprised of both game performance and practice drills. Recruiting videos are an extension of your athletic resume, so quality of content and film construction is paramount. International student-athletes rely more heavily on the quality of their recruiting videos. It is less likely a coach will have the opportunity to watch you perform in person, unless you are able to compete in international tournaments or attend American training camps. Marketing Yourself as a Student-Athlete: The recruitment process is basically a series of marketing strategies. Your resume, recruiting video, even how you communicate with coaches, is all an important part of how you market yourself as an aspiring student-athlete. AAA are experts in student-athlete presentation. Ask us how we can help you better market yourself to potential US college coaches. Negotiating a Scholarship Offer: The number of scholarships available for student-athletes differs significantly for each sport and athletic division. To learn more sport specific information, please visit our men’s and women’s sports pages. US college scholarships are in high demand. The amount of athletic financial aid you receive is often determined by your ability to be an asset for a particular university sporting program. As an international student-athlete, you are more likely to be offered a portion of financial aid due to the added expense of travel, non-residential tuition rates, and international student taxes and fees. Don’t be shy about your financial aid requirements. You should be open and obvious in your pursuit of scholarship opportunities. Include your financial aid goals on your athletic resume, and have realistic conversations with college coaches regarding scholarship availability. Qualifying for Student-Athlete Eligibility: Each athletic governing association has established regulations for student-athlete eligibility. These regulations define athletic and academic standards that must be met in order to be eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Eligibility is determined by the athletic association you are applying to, and all aspiring student-athletes must register online with either the NCAA or NAIA Eligibility Centres. The registration process will involve providing your complete history; including personal information, academic transcripts, and a precise account of your sporting career to date. Academic criteria for student-athlete eligibility involves the courses you have completed throughout high school, your grade point average, and entrance exam scores (SAT’s or equivalent) to ensure that you are eligible to undertake a university degree. Athletic criteria for student-athlete eligibility predominately focuses on amateurism status and ensuring that you have not previously competed in paid sporting activities. Once you have registered with the appropriate eligibility centre you will be allocated a membership number to identify you as an aspiring student-athlete undertaking the process of eligibility approval. Being granted eligibility status is an ongoing process, and you will need to continually update your information as academic and athletic tasks are completed. When you have completed all required eligibility fields, and have been granted eligibility status, you will receive a certificate that you can present to potential US colleges when required. Qualifying for student-athlete eligibility is a lengthy and complicated process. AAA can provide guidance and expert advice throughout this process to eliminate any difficulties you may have and ensure all required information is accurately provided to the eligibility centre. Study Core Courses in High School: Core courses are certain fundamental subjects that are deemed necessary by the various US college athletic associations. Each athletic association, and divisions within that association, require different school subjects to be studied for a certain number of years. The structure of the Australian school system assists students in completing these requirements, as English, Maths, Science, and History are mandatory in the early years of high school. However, you must be aware of these core course requirements when choosing elective courses toward the final years of high school. Failure to meet these requirements will render you ineligible to participate in collegiate athletics. In addition to your high school exam requirements, you will need to pass American entrance exams. Many aspiring student-athletes sit these exams on multiple occasions as the format varies greatly from Australian scholastic standards. AAA is able to provide assistance with exam registration, recommendations for tutors and study tools, and guidance with understanding the sliding scale of entrance exam results. Continue Participating in Relevant Competitions: As you work through the US college recruitment process, you should continue to participate in athletic tournaments. The college coaches that you are communicating with are interested in the training and conditioning you are completing, the competitions or games you are participating in, and your overall fitness level. These college coaches want to know that you are continuing to work hard and that you are being successful in your endeavours, both on and off the field. When scheduling athletic events such as tournaments or training clinics you should consider the interests of potential coaches. You should advise college coaches that you have upcoming sporting events, and furthermore you should update these coaches with your results. You should continue to market your sporting efforts, even after you have made initial contact with potential colleges. Explore the Idea of Visiting Potential Colleges: US college athletic programs are allowed to invite aspiring student-athletes to visit the university campus, meet potential coaches and teammates, and explore the community in the surrounding area. There are two different types of student-athlete visits, an unofficial visit and an official visit. An unofficial visit occurs prior to your senior year of high school, and is paid for by the student-athlete. An official visit occurs during or after your senior year of high school and is paid for by the university. Each recruit is allowed up to 5 official visits, providing a transitional period between high school and college. Other differences between unofficial and official visits include; a recruit’s commitment to the university (verbally or in writing), the permitted activities participated in during the visit, whether or not the recruit is provided accommodation on campus, and the physical parameters of the visit (can the student-athlete be taken off campus). Depending on your individual situation, we advise you to visit the US college you hope to attend. From our experience, these introductions are priceless. Securing a F1 Student Visa: Applying for and securing a student visa is another significant task to be completed during the recruitment process. As an international student-athlete you will be issued with a F1 Visa that will span the duration of your university attendance. When preparing to apply for a student visa you should download the following F1 Visa Application Guide. You will not be able to complete your visa application until you have been accepted to an American university. The college you will be attending will issue you an I-20 form, that provides information about your reason for entering America, the duration of your stay, and the university you will be attending. Once you have the required documentation you will apply to the US Embassy or Consulate to be granted a student visa. You will also need to visit the US Embassy or Consulate and be interviewed prior to final approval for your student visa. A F1 student visa may or may not permit you to legally work whilst living in America, and you should seek advice if you wish to pursue employment overseas. Understanding the Rules of Student Transfers: Student-athletes transfer between different universities for a variety of reasons. Once attending a university, you may discover that the school or athletic program doesn’t meet your expectations or goals, and you may wish to transfer to a new university. The process of student-athlete transfers is complicated, and bound by several strict regulations. Prior to contacting any new college coaches, a student-athlete must be granted a release from their current university, allowing the student-athlete to approach other schools without breach of contract. Once you have been granted a release you are basically starting the recruiting process again, and you will need to update your resume and recruiting video to present to potential colleges. Many student-athletes undertaking a transfer will do so mid-year, and will not want to miss the following playing season. This immediacy results in difficulties finding available scholarships and open playing positions. Additionally, all athletic governing associations have strict regulations regarding student-athlete transfers. Dependent on the sport you play and your current class level, transfers may involve a required period of residency, restricting your athletic participation until you have attended the university scholastically for a determined period of time. There are also regulations restricting what playing associations you can transfer between, and the number of transfers allowed for each individual. If you are considering transferring to a new university and athletic program, you should contact an AAA team member prior to taking any action. Our guidance during this process will allow you to proceed without any infractions, and enable a smooth transition to the new college of your choosing. The recruitment process will involve months, if not years, of hard work and dedication. The process is intricate, complicated, and often extremely confusing. Our qualified team will OPTIMISE your chance of receiving a scholarship opportunity and athletic placement in a U.S. college by operating with over 400 years of combined knowledge, experience, and professionalism.