Scholarships in USA with Soccer Smart

STEP 1

SAT

SAT Help (scholarships in USA only)
The SAT is one of two admissions tests (the ACT being the other), often required for admission to US universities.

The SAT Reasoning Test is a three hour and forty-five minute test comprised of three sections: Critical Reading and Math. The test is designed to measure critical thinking and analytical skills. It is offered several times per year at numerous sites throughout the UK.

Registration for SAT

·         You may register for the SAT on the College Board website. The testing sites will not be able to register you for the test.

Testing Fees

  • Around $80
  • For standby testing, there is an additional fee that is incurred.
  • SAS (Student Answer Service; including the difficulty level of each question and whether it was answered correctly, incorrectly or omitted) is added cost if you choose to use that service.
  • QAS (Question and Answer Service; including a copy of the verbal and maths sections, a record of your answers and the correct answers) is again at an added cost.
  •  There is a cost of around $11 to send SAT to school/institution
  • Dates are shown on the website for each academic year - College Board Website. The tests run from October – June each year and locations all over the UK.

Timing

·         If possible, we suggest students sit their admissions tests in the spring of Year 12/lower sixth form, to allow time to re-sit the tests if needed.

Testing Sites

·         The only way to find out which testing sites are available on a particular testing date is to create an online account and begin the registration process on the College Board Website

Standby Testing 

·         Students who missed the registration deadline for the SAT may attempt to take the test via standby testing. To take the test standby, you will go to a testing centre with your completed paper registration form. If students who registered for the exam do not turn up, their places are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. For that reason, we recommend arriving by 7 am to queue and complete the registration process.

SAT Question of the Day App 
More info: iTunes 
this app, created by the official SAT Collegeboard, gives you a question a day from all the sections of the SAT – Maths and Critical Reading. You can store and revisit previous days/weeks Q&As and read explanations for every wrong answer. As this app is made by the makers of the SAT exam, you can trust that the questions you’ll be getting are spot-on. This app is limited since you can only answer one SAT question per day, but it’s always good to practice with questions from the test maker. 
  
SAT: YouTeacher.com 
More Info: iTunes 
If you like being “taught” by a teacher rather than just reading material, this free app is for you.  There are 175 SAT math concepts covered in video lessons of instructors.  The video lessons are organized by concept, and the lessons are clear and thorough. 

SAT – Practice Tests

https://www.4tests.com/sat
  Good luck to everyone sitting their SAT exams soon!

 

STEP 2

School/Coaches interest

·         Gain interest from coaches in the US - (respond to emails and phone calls when needed)

·         Commit to a University/College in America and apply to the school

 

STEP 3

Eligibility

·         Sign up to NCAA / NAIA eligibility centre (PLEASE WAIT FOR GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT FROM SOCCER SMART) - $120 each (Soccer Smart will tell you which one to go through) – Follow ALL steps correctly

i)        NCCA - https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/ 

ii)       NAIA - http://www.playnaia.org/page/register.php

·         Sending ALL transcripts (certificates) from high school, college and any other educational institution.

 

STEP 4

Eligibility

·         Be made eligible through eligibility centre

 

STEP 5

·         Acceptance in to the school,

·         scholarship been finalised and both parties are happy

·         Sign the NLOI (National Letter of Intent)

·         Receive I-20 through the post from the university/college

National Letter of Intent

·         Over 500 academic institutions participate in the National Letter of Intent (NLI) program for the benefit of prospective student-athletes and their athletic programs.

·         By signing an NLI, the prospect agrees to attend that institution for a minimum of one academic year. In return, the institution agrees to provide athletically related financial aid (scholarship/grant in aid) for the same period (the financial agreement is signed on the same day as the NLI).

·         After signing the NLI, the prospective student athlete is no longer a ‘recruitable’ prospect to other institutions that participate in the NLI program and these other programs are required to cease recruitment of the prospect immediately. When a prospect signs an NLI, they are signing for an institution and not a specific coach. If the coach leaves the program, the prospect is still committed to attend and participate in the program for that university or college.

·         Finally, even when a prospect signs a National Letter of Intent they are still required to gain admission to the institution and to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Centre and NAIA college before becoming a collegiate student athlete. If a prospect does not gain admission to the institution or if he or she is deemed ineligible by the NCAA Eligibility Centre, the NLI becomes void.

·         For more information and conditions of the National Letter of Intent Program, please check out their website.

 

STEP 6

VISA

Please inform Soccer Smart if you have a criminal record

Once you have been admitted to an American university, the next step to preparing to go to the US is to get your visa.

Generally speaking, the process for UK citizens to apply for a visa to study in the US is straightforward if you complete the necessary forms and steps in a timely and accurate manner.

F-1 Student Visa:

Most students pursuing full-time study at an educational institution recognized by the US government will enter the US on an F-1 Student Visa. Spouses or children accompanying F-1 visa recipients will travel on an F-2 visa.


General Steps to Apply for a F-1 or J-1 Visa

  • Read the information provided by the US Embassy London on F-1 Student Visas
  • Once you accept an offer of admission, your university or sponsor will require proof of funds (bank statements, scholarship offer letters, loan documentation, etc.) for the first year of study. This figure will be based on the cost of attendance listed on the financial aid webpage of the university. Please note you may use any combination of personal/family savings, scholarships and loans to fund your studies; however, you will not be able to include anticipated earnings during your studies (i.e. working on campus). If you will be taking dependents (i.e. children, spouse) to the US, you will be required to show funds to cover their living expenses as well.
  • The university will then send you the relevant certificate of eligibility form, the I 20 (F-1).
  • Upon receipt of the I-20 (or even before), you may book by phone an appointment for a visa interview at the US Embassy in London or if applicable in your home country. For more information read the U.S Embassy London Page for non-UK citizens. You will schedule your interview for a morning or afternoon timeslot. Although the interview itself will be brief, allow 3-4 hours for the full process.
  • Complete the SEVIS I-901 form to register with the international visitor database.  You can fill out the form online, but you will need the I-20 before you can complete the form.  You will also need to pay the SEVIS fee ($200 for an F visa).  You can pay online using a debit or credit card. For more information about the SEVIS program, please see the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • All applicants for F-1 visas are required to complete the new online DS-160 visa form and pay the visa application fee ($140) for yourself. You can begin the application up to 120 days prior to your entry to the US. On the DS-160, you will be asked to upload a digital, US-sized passport photo (use a proper photo following the instructions provided - i.e. not an informal Facebook photo). You should also save often, as the system times out after several minutes. Additionally, be sure to include all educational institutions you have attended since age 11 in the Education section, as well as your full criminal background if applicable. You must report all arrests even if you were not formally charged and obtain a police certificate from the Association of Chief Police Officers. See the US Embassy's Video n reporting criminal offenses and their website for more information. 
  • After completing the form, you will be asked to take a print confirmation to your interview. For more information, please note the US Embassy provides a list of FAQ's on the DS-160 form as well as a YouTube video on the form itself and FAQ's.
  • You may wish to prepare for your visa interview. Student visa applicants should be able to demonstrate three criteria to visa officers:
  • that you are completing a bona fide degree or study abroad program in the US
  • that you have funds for the first year of your stay in the US
  • that your activities are in line with the purpose (and in particular the non-immigrant intent) of the visa you will travel on.

Although the interview is not a document review, you may wish to take documentation to support these criteria, such as a letter of acceptance for your university or study abroad program and the funding documentation you submitted to receive your I-20 or DS-2019 (photocopies or printouts of online bank statements are OK). Be prepared to answer questions about your reasons for studying in the US, to describe your program, to discuss why you selected the particular university/program, what your long-term goals are, how studying in the US fits in with these goals and your plans after you leave the US.

For the final criterion, visa applicants are assumed to be intending to immigrate to the US and overstay their visas. You will therefore need to prove to the immigration officer that you do not intend to overstay your visa. You will be asked to demonstrate your significant personal, cultural or professional ties to the UK, the country to which you would presumably return after your studies. For example, you may be able to demonstrate this by having family in the UK, owning property, having a UK degree to return to (for short-term study abroad students), etc. However, please note that these do not always guarantee a visa.  For this reason, some international students choose to complete their visa interview in their home country where they have more ties and where immigration officers will be trained in evaluating ties to that country.

See the US Embassy's page for non-UK citizens as you decide where to apply for your visa. 

·         Before your appointment, read the US Embassy's information on Security Information and plan your journey to the Embassy. Gather the documents you need for your interview, such as your passport, appointment letter, I-20/DS-2019, MRV receipt, DS-160, photo, SEVIS receipt, etc. Also, be sure to bring at least £4 in coins just in case you need to retake your passport photo.

·         Watch the US Embassy's YouTube video on what to expect on arrival to the Embassy. On arrival, you will go through security procedures similar to what you would expect at an airport. Travel light, as you are not allowed to take in electronics (iPods, phones, laptops, etc).

·         You will then wait until your number is called for an initial processing procedure called intake. You will submit your visa application, passport and photo, as well as have your fingerprints taken. If your DS-160 is not completed correctly, you will be sent home and have to reschedule your appointment.

·         You will then wait again until your number is called for your actual visa interview. Although the interview itself may only take a few minutes, you may be at the Embassy for a few hours in total. You may wish to take a book or magazine to read while you wait.

·         You will leave your passport with the US Embassy after the appointment. Expect to receive your visa and passport within an average of 5 - 7 working days. Average visa waiting times are available online. If needed, expedited delivery service can be purchased, and the Embassy can schedule an emergency appointment.

·         After you receive your visa, book your travel to the US. F-1 visa holders may enter the US 30 days prior to the start date on their I-20 and stay on 60 days following the date of completion of your program listed on the I-20.

·         If for some reason your visa is refused, please see the information on the US Embassy's website on visa refusals.

Visa Appointments

·         COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING LINKS

·         PAY SEVIS FEE - $200 – https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/desktop/index.jsp  -

·         FILL IN DS -160 FORM (NO COST)- https://ceac.state.gov/ceac/

·         BOOK VISA APPOINTMENT IN LONDON ($160) - https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-GB/niv

 

STEP 7

·         Attend the Embassy in London with instructions given on the documents in previous step and attend visa appointment (leave passport with embassy)

 

STEP 8

·         Receive F1 – Student visa via the post

·         Get FIT!!!

 

STEP 9

·         Book flight to America for Date of the Pre Season

THIS LIST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA (GUIDE) OF EVERY STEP THAT IS NEEDED TO BE COMPLETED TO MAKE THIS TRANSITION WORK. THE PRICES MAY CHANGE BUT FROM PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE THIS IS THE COST OF EACH STEP.

 

USEFUL LINKS:

NCAA: www.ncaa.org

NJCAA: www.njcaa.org

NAIA: naia.cstv.com

NAIA ELIGIBILITY: http://www.playnaia.org/page/students.php

NCAA CLEARINGHOUSE: www.eligibilitycenter.org

US IMIGRATION INFO: www.ice.gov/sevis/students

EDUCATION USA: www.educationusa.info

VISA FORMS and EMBASSY INFO: www.travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html

Scholarships in USA with Soccer Smart

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