Soccer Scholarships in the United States: Everything you need to Know
Football, or soccer as it is known in the United States, is a sport that is becoming increasingly important among the American social masses, and that change can be seen at Universities.
For years, soccer was a college sport that was relatively accessible to almost any Spanish or European player, regardless of their level or qualifications for accessing the University.
This tendency has changed drastically in the last decade, as we are seeing more and more high-level soccer players opt for a Soccer Scholarship in the United States in order to combine their university studies with sport at a high level.
Nowadays, it´s common to find players hailing from the academies of some of the best teams in the world, such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Juventus etc. This means that the level of the University Leagues continues to increase year after year. Evidence of this, is that the MLS and WMLS (male and female professional leagues in the United States, respectively), hold a draft each season where they choose several university players to make the jump to professional soccer. One example is Jon Bakero, son of the F.C Barcelona legend, who after his stint at Wake Forest University, was selected in the 2018 SuperDraft.
Do you dream of studying in the USA?
The objective of this blog is to explain how you can obtain a soccer scholarship in the United States.
Requirements for obtaining a soccer scholarship in the USA:
There are three fundamental requirements to apply for this type of scholarship.
You must have completed your high school, or bachillerato, studies in order to enroll as a first-year student at a University. Your grade point average from 9th – 12th grade, 3º of ESO to 2º of Bachillerato, will determine what type of University you can access academically.
What if you are already in University or Vocational Training?
You also have access to these scholarships; eligibility is relevant to how many credits/years you have already completed.
Your athletic ability will be a fundamental aspect when defining what type of Sports Scholarship you can access. Depending on your aspirations, your level will set your options. Obviously, the better your level and the greater your accomplishments, the better your chances of getting a soccer scholarship in the United States.
High Level Soccer.
If you have a very high level, playing in one of the best competitions for your age group (División de Honor Juvenil, Tercera División, Regional) your options of accessing the best University teams on a high sports scholarship will be much greater.
Universities that search for players at this level are in the NCAA Div. I, and, they offer the necessary academic, sporting and economic resources so that you can try to become professional upon finishing your university studies.
With this athletic level, it is possible to get Scholarships in the United States of up to 100%, covering tuition, food, lodging and everything related to sport.
If your level is not that high, don´t worry, you still have options to get a Sports Scholarship in the USA. If you are competing in a lower league (National League, 1st regional…) there are many Universities, usually in NCAA Div. II, NAIA or even NJCAA, which offer the opportunity to continue playing soccer at a high level, and study at the same time. In these categories, it can be more complicated to get a 100% Sports Scholarship, so it is possible that the potential investment made by players of this level could fall somewhere between 6,000 and 15,000 euros per year in the case of men’s soccer, and 0 to 9,000 euros per year in the case of women’s soccer. As in the previous case, this estimate covers tuition, food, lodging and everything related to university soccer.
Low level Soccer.
The great advantage of the United States system is that it offers innumerable options to athletes of all levels. Even if your sports level is not high, you can still get a scholarship in the United States.
What is important in this case? Normally, these are prestigious universities academically; therefore, you must be a good student in order to access these programs, where it is possible to get an Academic Scholarship, which would cover part of the university costs.
Access to American Universities requires entrance exams, which help form the profile of the student for admissions offices at Universities.
The SAT is a standardized test used by all American Universities for the admission of their students. The exam is comprised of two or three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics and an optional Essay. SAT scores vary between 400 and 1600 points, combining the results obtained from the Mathematics and Reading sections, 800 points each: and, if necessary, the essay.
The TOEFL is purely a standardized English test for non-native English speakers. Increasingly, this exam is recognized by all types of institutions and companies around the world. The TOEFL IBT scale goes from 0 to 120 points, combining the sum of its different parts: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
We will help you prepare for your exams with our Tutoring program.
Based on these 3 factors (academic, athletic and English) we calculate the % of scholarship that we will be able to obtain. If we discuss a 70% scholarship, this % is of the total for tuition, food and lodging expenses and will also cover all expenses related to soccer.
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