Frequently asked questions
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is an award of financial aid offered to a student who has shown excellence in their sport, as well as in the classroom. A scholarship makes tuition fees more affordable, and allows colleges to offer financial packages to student-athletes who demonstrate the skills required to compete at the collegiate level.
Can international students get scholarships in the USA?
Yes, there are thousands of international students in the USA on sports scholarships. Did you know, international players account for 16% of NCAA Division I soccer rosters, on average.
how many scholarships are there
How many scholarships are there in the NCAA?
NCAA Division I & II schools provide over $2.9b in athletic scholarships annually to more than 150,000 athletes. Division III do not offer athletic scholarships.
How many scholarships can each school give out?
Schools have a set amount of scholarship to be divided out amongst their squads how they see fit. In NCAA Division I men's soccer, schools have 9.9 scholarships to divide amongst their squad. In NCAA Division II soccer, coaches have 9 scholarships to divide amongst their squad. NCAA Division III do not offer athletic scholarships. The NAIA schools have 12 scholarships to divide amongst their squad, and the NJCAA has 24. So, a coach must carefully put his squad together making sure they have enough money in positions where they need to improve.
In the NCAA Division I women's soccer they have 14 scholarships available, the NCAA Division II have 9.9 available, whilst NCAA Division III, just like the men, can't offer athletic scholarship. The NAIA schools have 12 scholarships to give out, and the NJCAA schools have 24 scholarships to divide amongst their squad, however the coach sees fit.
How many players are in a college soccer team?
On average, across all divisions there are 28 players on a college soccer roster. Scholarships are divided amongst the players with some on full-ride scholarships, some on partial scholarships and some who choose to compete without a scholarship.
What is a full-ride scholarship?
A full-ride scholarship is an award that covers the entire cost of attending college. The scholarship covers, (but not limited to) tuition, accommodation, books, insurance, fees & food is all paid for. Flights are not included in a full-ride scholarship, so students will be responsible for their travel to and from college.
Are full-ride scholarships common?
No, you must demonstrate exceptional sporting ability, aligned with exceptional academic ability, to be considered for a full-ride scholarship, usually. Recent statistics show, just 0.2% of all college students receive $25,000 of scholarship or more per year.
How many college soccer teams are there?
There were 1,710 colleges in the USA that competed in soccer in 2019. There were 1,443 in the men's side and 1,614 in the women''s side. It's important to understand not every school has both a men's and women's soccer team.
Am I eligible for a scholarship in the USA?
If you are aged between 15-21, have a clean criminal record and have played your chosen sport to a standard that represents, school, county, academy, district or national level, then you would be in a good position to be eligible for a scholarship in the USA. Your best bet is to apply through our application form, (which can be found here) and we'll be able to get you a definitive answer within 48 hours.
What additional costs are there?
There are associate fees with the process that are out of the control of SSUSA. These fees include; the SAT test, TOEFL or Duolingo test (if you're from a country where English is not the first language), F1-Student Visa, Eligibility Centre (If you plan on playing NCAA DI, D2 or NAIA), and insurance (if this is not covered in your scholarship offer).
SAT Test: $52 Registration fee + $49 International registration fee (if you're taking the test outside the USA).
TOEFL Test: $200-$275 Depending on where you're located.
Duolingo Test: $49
NCAA/NAIA eligibility centre: $135
F1-Student Visa: $160 + DS-160 form fee (varies from each location).
Insurance: $380 for 12 months.
Assuming you are from an English speaking country, and your insurance is included in your scholarship offer, you can be looking at paying, on average, around $500.
Is there much paperwork I need to complete before leaving for the USA?
Yes, one of the biggest challenges is the paperwork and getting it submitted by the correct deadlines. If you miss a deadline, it could prove very costly. You don't need to worry about that with SSUSA though, as we take care of all the paperwork and make sure you complete each necessary form, by the expected due date. This alleviates much of the stress involved in the process.
How much scholarship can I receive?
This varies from each individual, but SSUSA strives to get a scholarship package for you between 80-100%. If you receive a scholarship package worth 80% you will be left to pay the final 20%. The average scholarship package our clients receive is 92%. If you receive a 100% scholarship, also known as a full-ride scholarship, you will not have to pay for anything, other than your travel to and from the United States.
What happens once I have been offered a scholarship?
If you wish to accept the offered scholarship, you will the apply to the school, and wait to be accepted. One particular form to consider is the financial proof form. This is usually a bank statement to show you have the required funds to cover the scholarship that has been offered. Once you have shown you can support yourself, and have been accepted to the school, you will be issued with an I-20 form. This form will allow you to apply for an F1-Student visa, and set up an interview with the US embassy.
If you do not wish to accept the offered scholarship, you can negotiate with the school in question, or simply turn down the offer, and move on to another school. Your SSUSA appointed recruitment consultant will advise you what's best in this particular scenario and broker the best possible deal for all parties.
What would help to speed up the process?
You could create a CV, with all your details, including the position you play, you current and previous clubs, your appearances, goals, assists, clean sheets etc. If you have video footage that's a big help too. You don't need a highlight video, as we put that together professionally for you, all you would need is two-three full length games, and we'll be able to take clips from that and form your highlight video. Another aspect you could look at is references. Can you obtain a reference from a teacher at your school, who can provide an image of what you're like as a student, and also a reference from a coach of yours who can provide an image of what you're like as a player. This would be a great place to start, and help get you speaking to coaches quicker.
What is the standard like in the USA?
The level in the USA college game is fantastic. It has vastly improved over the last 20 years and is now a hotbed for talented players to be sent into the MLS, Canadian Premier League and now the European professional leagues. Many NCAA DI schools come across to the UK and play in exhibition games against the Premier League U23 academy sides, in which they are fairly evening matched. NCAA DI is considered the pinnacle of college soccer. However, at all levels, you have great teams, as well as you have poor teams. The top level NCAA DI schools are the best in the country, but there are top level NCAA D2, NAIA and NJCAA schools that can compete with the mid-level and below DI schools, so it's important to understand that NCAA DI doesn't necessarily mean 'pinnacle'.
Some examples of players who played college soccer, and are now either playing professionally in Europe or 'foreigners' who turned professional in the MLS include;
Andrew Gutman, Indiana University to Celtic FC (SPL, Scotland)
Aaron Molloy, Penn State University to Portland Timbers (MLS, USA)
Lucy Bronze, University of North Carolina to Olympique Lyonnais (Feminine Division 1, France)
Jack Harrison, Wake Forest University to Man City (EPL, England)
Dom Dwyer, University of South Florida to Orlando City (MLS, USA)
DeAndre Yedlin, University of Akron to Newcastle United (EPL, England)
Danny Elliot, Hofstra University to Port Vale FC (League 2, England)
Matt Polster, SIU Edwardsville to Rangers FC (SPL, Scotland)
Cyle Larin, UConn to Besiktas JK (Super Lig, Turkey)
Zack Steffen, University of Maryland to Man City (EPL, England)
Megan Connolly, Florida State University to Brighton & Hove Albion
Alana Cook, Stanford University to PSG (Feminine Division 1, France)
Uchenna Kanu, Southeastern University to Linköpings FC (Dams Allsvenskan, Sweden)
Duncan Turnbull, University of Notre Dame to Portsmouth (League 1, England)
Lorne Bickley, Wilmington University to Hartlepool United (Conference National, England)
Manny Perez, North Carolina State University to Celtic FC (SPL, Scotland)
Simon Lefebvre, Temple University to D.C. United (MLS, USA)
Josiah Benjamin, University of San Diego to San Diego 1904 (NISA, USA)
Lewis Brass, East Central College to Connah's Quay Nomads (Welsh Premier League, Wales)
Do you get any 'time off' during the semesters?
During the Fall semester you will be "in season", so you will train during the fall break (one week vacation for non-athlete students) but in the Spring semester you will have Spring Break as your vacation, where you will be able to travel to Miami, Panama City Beach or even Cancun, Mexico if you and your friends wish.
How do you travel to away games?
This varies with each school. Most schools take a large coach for away trips, but for matches that are further away, some schools will fly. If you make it to the national tournament which is held at a neutral venue, you'll most likely be flying to it.
Who pays for the travel?
The university will pay for all your travel when it comes to university related travel. They'll also include meals, and snacks for the journeys, and hotel rooms if you're staying overnight for matches. The only time you would be paying for travel would be for personal use. For example, flights to and from the USA, and spring break vacation travel.
Can I transfer if i don't like my school?
Yes, it's possible to transfer schools. You need to take into account all the rules surrounding transfers, but ask your recruitment consultant if this is something that is on your mind. You are entitled to one transfer "waiver" grace, before being hit with a penalty of sitting out for a year. You cannot join another school in the same conference as yours, unless you automatically sit out for a year. Sitting out, means to attend your new school but you're not able to represent the school in matches for one year.
Where do I live when i'm at university in the USA?
Usually, freshmen stay in the on-campus dormitories and from your sophomore year onwards you can choose to stay off-campus in your own rented apartment, usually with 3 or 4 members of your soccer team. This varies at every school.
What is a typical day like for a college soccer player?
Again, this varies at every school, but by-an-large most schools follow a similar pattern to this;
6am - 7am | Weight Training & Conditioning*
7am - 8am | Breakfast
9am - 1030am | Class #1
11am - 1230pm | Class #2
1230pm - 115pm | Lunch
130pm - 2pm | Pre-training wrap/social
2pm - 4pm | Training
4pm - 5pm | Cool down, ice baths, stretching etc.
5pm - 6pm | Dinner
6pm - 7pm | Study Hall with team**
7pm onwards | Free Time
*Not everyday - Usually 3 times a week in season
** Not every school has a study hall
Are tests in the USA hard?
Tests in the USA are multiple choice exams, and you are usually given a study guide to prepare for the test, with almost all the answers are covered within the study guide, so a simple bit of revision and you can be getting those 90%+ scores to secure your A, and be on your way to a 4.0 GPA.
What is a GPA?
GPA is short form for 'grade point average', and is an average score calculated across your chosen subjects in a given semester. It is on a 4.0 scale, meaning the highest GPA you can receive in a 4.0 GPA. This is akin to straight A's. Straight B's would be a 3.0 GPA, and so on, and so forth. It is important to remember you must keep your GPA above a minimum of 2.0 to be eligible to play college sports, but most schools have their own individual policies and that floats around the 2.5 GPA mark. If you attend class, and do the work you'll have no problem keeping your GPA above a 3.0, so don't stress.
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