Only Students from Rich Families Get to Study in the U.S.

February 16, 2018 | by Team AddedSport

Whenever I speak to the younger generation of tennis player, I often ask if they are interested in studying abroad, specifically in the U.S. Most of them say that it is quite expensive and that their familiar cannot afford to send them abroad. There is after all a stereotype that only students from wealthy families get to go to good schools in the U.S. However this cannot be any further from the truth.

While studying in the U.S. is indeed expensive, students who have the right skills and abilities can have the means to it through financial support--which I will delve into right here.

Financial aid is offered in a handful of top American universities, especially in the Ivy League and other schools with huge endowments. The idea is that these schools aim to give capable students access to quality education, even if their parents’ financial situations aren’t exactly enough to be able to pay tuition. For instance, in Harvard, 50% of students receive some sort of financial aid, while 20% of students get a full ride. In Princeton, 60% of students receive financial aid. For families making up to $65,000 per year, the aid package covers full tuition, residential college fee, room and board.

There is also the misconception is that financial aid is only available for U.S. students, and that requiring financial aid affects your chance of getting admitted. This too is not at all true. Financial aid is available to every student no matter where they are from. It is also not part of the consideration for admission. If you have the right skills and credentials, schools would make sure your tuition and expenses would be taken care of.

Financial aid is also not contingent on whether you compete for the school or not. Even if you decide to leave the team, the financial aid package should still be available to you. However, do note that this is different from a sports scholarship.

Sports scholarships are offered at a lot of Division 1 universities besides Ivy League schools. Each team is allotted a number of full scholarships by the athletics department, and from here the coaches decide on whom to give these to, or even how to allot it. For instance, if there are 4 full scholarships available, the coach can choose to either give it to 4 different athletes (each would get 100%), or split it among 6 players (top 2 players would get 100% while the other 4 gets 50%).

This is where the negotiation with coaches upon recruitment comes into play. You have to show the coaches you have the full potential to become a key player on their teams, even if the coaches have to take time to develop you into one. It is all about having the right level of athletic skills as well as how the coach thinks you can contribute to his team dynamics. The extent of your sports scholarship can be evaluated on a yearly basis, and is often adjusted depending on your performance. Unlike financial aid, sports scholarships require you to practice and compete for the team, or else your scholarship could be taken away.

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