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    Sports Admissions In US Universities: Processes & Best Practices

    By Vijeeth Srinivas
    29 Nov'22  5 min read
    Sports Admissions In US Universities: Processes & Best Practices
    Synopsis

     Universities in the US give significant importance to applicants’ achievements beyond scholastics. Students who are extensively into sports could look at availing sports admissions in their dream universities in the US. This article elaborates on the ways to seek sports admissions in the US, and the best practices aspirants should follow.  

    Sports Admissions In US Universities: Processes & Best Practices
    Synopsis

     Universities in the US give significant importance to applicants’ achievements beyond scholastics. Students who are extensively into sports could look at availing sports admissions in their dream universities in the US. This article elaborates on the ways to seek sports admissions in the US, and the best practices aspirants should follow.  

    Universities in the United States place key emphasis on diversity and excellence beyond academics. The weightage afforded to sports and extracurricular activities on campuses is reflected in the student body, investments incurred, and even the admissions process. University sports departments and teams are encouraged by institutions to leverage undergraduate admissions to improve their squads and lineups. Universities are hence, on a year-long lookout for young talent, both within and beyond the United States.

    Students with a passion and talent for sports who aspire to pursue their undergraduate admissions in the United States can leverage the sports admissions route to access leading universities and programs. Whilst the admissions process is fairly long and more intense, it often leads to finalised and assured results prior to the release of regular decision acceptance letters. Moreover, universities also provide attractive scholarships to sports persons depending on their proficiency and credentials.

    Ways To Seek Sports Admissions

    Admissions through the sports route consist of two processes: recruitment and regular admissions.

    Also Read | Become A Kabaddi Player: Here Are 8 Academies For Training

    Recruitment

    Recruitment is a process that begins about two years prior to the student’s entry into the university. This implies that if a student is aspiring to start undergraduate studies in September 2022, the process of recruitment starts as early as September 2020:-

    • Recruitment is a process through which students and sports departments of universities reach out to each other to explore opportunities and talent respectively. Whilst outreach is initiated from either party in the United States, the onus of initiating discussions about admissions for international students lies mostly on them, barring specific exceptions.
    • Hence, students should identify specific colleges they are interested in and reach out to sports departments with a thoroughly curated portfolio and CV. If the department is interested, they would request additional materials and evidence from students.
    • In some cases, students might be invited to an in-person tryout on the university campus.
    • Over the course of the next several months, decisions pertaining to university destinations and admissions are mostly made by coaches and students alike.
    • By the time the Common App and other portals open, coaches convey conditional surety to students who have made the cut about their acceptance through this specific route, provided they meet the minimum admissions requirements.

    Admissions’ Requirements

    Whilst outreach to coaches and the demonstration of talent streamlines admissions into a university, a student would still need to meet the minimum admissions’ requirements imposed by a university to ultimately secure admissions. These requirements include minimum scores on the SAT or the ACT, completion of a certain level of high school courses and credits, a letter of recommendation from school faculty and counsellors, and scores in English Proficiency Tests (specifically for international students). While these requirements might not seem intensive, they are challenging for students who have potential careers in sports, given the extensive investment of time the sport needs them to make. Once a student meets these requirements (verified by the admissions committee through the Common App), the student is granted the final admissions letter.

    application process to american sports universities, sports admission in usa university, sports admissions in usa for international studentsThe weightage afforded to sports and extracurricular activities on US campuses is reflected in the student body, investments incurred, and even the admissions process.

    Also Read | How Does A Student Benefit From Pursuing A Sport?

    Best Practices For Sports Admissions

    Let us look at some of the practices that could up your chances of getting availing sports admissions in the US.

    Pick The Correct Sports

    Students should pick sports not just based on their talent but also depending on the respective talent pool. Securing admissions through mainstream sports like basketball, football, volleyball, and athletics is more difficult for Indian students as compared to less popular sports such as squash or golf, given how relatively low competition is for squash at the global level. Picking a niche sport significantly improves outcomes.

    Also Read | Profile Building For US Admissions: Things You Should Know

    Start Early

    One can never be too early to initiate sports admissions processes.The process for initiating sports admissions should start at least two years prior to the commencement of the freshman year to ensure that students can access available sports on sports teams in time.

    Maintain Digital Portfolio

    Universities evaluate students primarily based on the digital portfolio they submit. This not only contains the list of the students’ sporting achievements at the city, state, national and international levels but also includes videos of the student in training and live matches. Maintaining thorough documentation of these elements and updating them regularly is key. Students should actively invest resources in curating a worthy digital portfolio.

    Also Read | Studying In The USA: Degrees, Funding, Opportunities, And More

    Research Universities Thoroughly

    Lastly, it is extremely important for a student to fit into a university or a sports team- both culturally and technically. Hence, athletes should research teams and sports departments to understand how well they would fit into the playing and coaching styles, sporting culture and other socio-cultural nuances.

    With these two processes and four best practices, students should be sorted with their plans to pursue sports admissions to universities in the United States.

    Vijeeth Srinivas is a development consultant with more than extensive experience in the foreign education industry. With the Centre for Career Development and Essai Education he has helped hundreds of students secure positions in leading universities abroad. He is keen to make novel developments in education and skill development more accessible to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

    • Education
    • University and college admission
    • Sport
    • International student
    • Common Application
    • Higher education in the United States
    • University
    • competition
    • Academia
    • United States

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