Find the answers to the questions most people are asking us.
What are the eligibility requirements to play for NCAA division university?
A student athlete playing at a college within any NCAA Division must meet both general and academic eligibility requirements. For Division I, a student has five years from the date of his/her enrolment at any university in the world to compete for four years of competition. However, he/she must stop competing on the day he/she turns 25 and any scholarship must finish at the end of that semester.
What are the fees that are not covered by the scholarship and that we will have to pay?
It is possible to have some extra costs even if you have a full scholarship. Thus, in the vast majority of cases, you will have the plane tickets at your expense, as well as the monthly pocket money.
When should I register with UniAthletes?
In general, it is better to contact UniAthletes between 8 months and 16 months before the desired departure. Why register so early?
The best American universities begin their recruitment in November for the next academic year (almost one year in advance). However, it is possible to integrate an academic institution by registering only the middle of the year, or even shortly before the beginning of the semester. It must be known that the most prestigious universities have deadlines early enough in the semester. Therefore, the sooner we can promote your profile, the better your chances of joining a good university.
Coaches prepare their recruiting sessions and budget very early in the season for the next season. They try to be well in advance to be able to recruit the best possible athletes, to compose the most performant team and to divide scholarships in the best way. Coaches start to recruit athletes 15 months before the start of the season, so it is important to convince the coaches as soon as possible, so they reserve the best possible scholarship for you.
Even if you start early, and your file is completed months before departure, offers may come late. Don’t worry and be confident, it is not uncommon for things to be completed only a few weeks before departure.
Am I guaranteed to receive a scholarship if I join UniAthletes?
No. It’s against NCAA regulations for anyone to guarantee a scholarship to a student athlete. What we do at UniAthletes is minimise the possibility of failure and maximise the possibility of success by going through a thorough assessment with each potential student, because of this we turn down hundreds of students every year due to us not being confident of gaining the scholarship funding they’d require. We pride ourselves on our transparency from the outset as we want to promote a reality and not sell a dream!
Can we choose where we want to study?
We take into account the preferences of our athletes. Our goal is for the athletes who make use of our service to be happy once in the USA, and we understand that location of universities can be an important factor.
However, we cannot guarantee you will be placed in the exact location of your choice. To receive a scholarship in the United States, many criteria come into play: the needs of the coach at a time, number of available scholarships, admissions … That is why we try to make sure that our athletes keep an open mind and consider all the offers they receive. You might be positively surprised by a location!
Can I get a scholarship when I enroll to start university in January?
It is certainly possible to obtain a scholarship in January, especially for sports called “Winter” or “Spring” (January to May): tennis, swimming, track and field, golf, who’s championship games are during the spring semester. For sports taking place in autumn, (who’s season ends then mid-November), it’s a little more complicated feasible. Contact us so we can assess your situation and give you a more accurate answer based on your profile.
Do you receive a referral fee from american colleges?
No we don’t receive any referral fee’s from colleges in the US. When we work with a student we are impartial in the process and will always keep the students best interest in mind when recommending or giving advice on a college. Unfortunately, some scholarship organisations do accept referral fees and this means you can rule out some colleges immediately whilst you could also be mislead in to choosing a university that pays the highest fee but isn’t necessarily the best fit for yourself.
Do I have to take health insurance in my home country for my child?
You do not have to, as students at American universities have to subscribe for health insurance and are covered, in their sports activities and also in their everyday lives. Some universities cover the insurance to all their athletes, and some will have you pay a fee. However, the status of the young (foreign student) can cause some problems in your home country. We advise you to contact you local social security so that your child can still benefit from health coverage when coming back home. For extra security, you can possibly subscribe to insurances such as Europ Assistance.
What happens if my child does not feel comfortable at university?
No worries, it sometimes happens. When an athlete attends a university, he or she can leave at any time, even though a coach recruits the athlete with the intention of having him/her for the entire college career until he/she graduates.
The athlete is entitled to a transfer during his university career. Co-founder Valerie transferred back in the day, so we are familiar with the process and can assist you in steps as well as the emotional support needed to take such a step. We put transfers in two categories: the “necessary” transfer, and the transfer of “comfort”. A necessary transfer as unavoidable: loss of scholarship, loss of eligibility, cut of the sports program, going from NJCAA to NCAA / NAIA … A transfer of comfort is to see something else, to play in a better division, or because opinions differ with the coach. Regardless, if we believe your reasons to be legitimate we will not charge anything extra to help you transfer.
If we have not assisted you previously and want to use our services for the first time to assist with a transfer, please contact us for additional details.
Does my child have any assistance upon arrival in the United States?
We understand how scary stepping off the plane to a whole new foreign country can be. Therefore, we ensure that your child is being welcomed at the airport by someone: his new coach, an assistant, a member of the university, or a teammate. Once your child is there, we remain available during all his/her years of studies if there is any concern, question, or problem. At this time, you or your child can contact us via phone, WhatsApp, Facebook, to discuss.
How many times and how long can my child come home during the year?
When following the academic calendar, there are two big holiday breaks in the US: three weeks to a month in winter (mid-December to mid-January), and three months in summer (mid-May to mid-August). Dates vary by university. Most universities also observe a week or couple days holiday at Thanksgiving, in mid-November (during which your child will not have time to come back home, but will most likely get invited home to a teammate’s house). The vast majority of universities have a week off in the spring as well, known as “Spring Break”.
Careful, this does not mean your child has time off. Depending on the sport, some of these holidays can be shorter, or even not exist. For example, swimmers only benefit from one week off at Christmas, as training resumes before New Year’s Eve. Tennis players for example will be training during Spring Break.
What happens if my child is injured?
Every university athletic department has teams of specialists available to take care of your child. Athletic trainers, masseuse, sports doctor, mental health specialists – who will also guide your child to the specialists necessary for recovery outside of campus if needed. Depending on the severity of the injury, your child can be taken care of free of charge at the university (which has all the medical staff), or may have to go to a clinic outside of the university, for example. Care outside the university is covered by the university, and the athletic department, or even the NCAA which has a special fund in place to cover injured athletes.
Is doping a common practice in universities in the United States?
Doping is strictly banned in the US, both at the university level and at the professional level. However, like in any country, it does exist. The NCAA is extremely careful and practices frequent anti-doping tests, especially at Division I level. If an athlete is caught, he/she will incur in severe sanctions. Consequences affect the university and reputation of the coaches as well. Therefore, they will not condone such practices.
Is it possible to visit American universities before committing?
Sometimes universities offer athletes the opportunity to visit the campus and its infrastructures. This is to show you how serious they are in recruiting your child. Often, these visits are all paid expenses. Thus, we take care of organizing your child’s stay on site with the coaches of the universities concerned.
However, it is rare that a university offers to come for an all expenses paid visit. Coaches often reserve it for athletes of very high caliber (National Champion, Olympian, …). The athlete can take up to 5 official (paid) visits.
It will be possible to visit the university if you decide to pay the transport costs.
When should we submit the visa application?
Once you have been officially accepted at the chosen university, and received the document I-20, you must then apply for a visa at the US Embassy in the capital city of your country. The visa is usually obtained in less than 10 days after making an appointment.