Education USA. You have probably heard of them and the information sessions that they run across the country and other parts of the world. We often have people ask if the NCAA and EducationUSA are the same thing simply because EducationUSA put a large emphasis on the NCAA and the eligibility centre.

You may be thinking….”isn’t EducationUSA a competitor of NSR?” They’re actually not. They’re not competitors. They’re information sessions and I’ll explain how that works and how that goes. We believe in the ability to provide customers and consumers with education and therefore encourage people to check out one of their sessions if they have time.

We pride ourselves in being an Education, Training and Management Organization that does College Recruitment, and are not just a College Recruitment company. On our website, if you go to https://iam-360.com/best-scholarship-agencies/  we list other Scholarship agencies. We provide you with free tools, resources to review, books like Free 12 Step Pocket Guide because we genuinely believe in educating the consumers and educating our potential customers and people out there who want to go to a central place to find all the information.

“We believe in our ability to provide customers and consumers with Education”

There will be some people out there who want us to do it for them, but we do encourage everybody to research, review, and if you can, attend an EducationUSA information session. They have lots of great information they give to students.

Step forward EducationUSA……………………

EducationUSA is a US Department of State network with over 425 International Student Advising Centres in more than 175 countries. They’re all over the place, they’re huge! Basically, EducationUSA promote the US Higher Education System to International Students around the world through presentations and online marketing. They are an organization devoted to promoting studying in the US.

They’re here to help you through the process of applying to study in the US. They run general information sessions. They run Sports Scholarship information sessions and they have pre-departure services as well. They’re incredibly active around the world but incredibly active in the community, schools, active in events and career counsel and advising days. Basically all about providing information to study in the US.

“Going as a Student Athlete is one thing, going as a Student is another”

They’re very, very popular in Australia, obviously being an English speaking country where our English high school results translate quite comfortably. They have a few offices around Australia as well. They run information sessions all over the country, different schools, colleges and universities, and are very popular in Geelong (don’t know why but Geelong has a session almost every second day – ok slightly exaggerating there but you get my point).

When I say “offices”, their offices are the American Consulate generals. There’s an American Consulate in Sydney, Melbourne and in Perth and also Auckland.

I don’t know if you know too much about the US Embassy’s here in Australia but It’s not a walk-in office. It’s not something that you just wake up in the morning and say “I’m going to go to the Consulate”.

Picking up the phone to any Consulate, is Difficult and hard to get a hold of and time consuming. I want to share with you information that they share at their information sessions and try and simplify it for you, more based around the Athletic Component and going over to the US as a Student Athlete and the information that they provide students that are going over just looking to study in the US and further their education.

“you don’t have to go through Eligibility Centres”

We believe that you should be getting as much information as you can from everywhere. Obviously, these EducationUSA seminars are a fantastic resource to provide information for you. Take all the information and then review the whole process. The information session itself, is a generic platform that provides information for students.

It works well If you’re looking at going over as a general student. It’s always going to be correct because you don’t have to go through Eligibility Centres. You can technically pick where you want to go if you’re a student and you are not as restricted as you would be if you are an Athlete, it’s two different things. Going as a Student Athlete is one thing, going as a general Student is another.

If you are a student wanting to head to the US, worry about your grades, where you want to go and your finances. As an Athlete, there’s quite a few other steps to take. Their Sports Scholarships information sessions are what you need to be mindful of. Don’t forget, the EducationUSA is a company that is technically run and owned by the US Department of State. It’s not a College or a College Recruitment Agency.

“They will not help you find Offers”

They have no say whether or not you’re going to go… They don’t determine how good you are as an Athlete or Student. They have no say as to whether or not a College Coach is going to take you.

They will not help you find Offers, Athletic Scholarships and opportunities at Colleges and they certainly do not communicate with Colleges. That is completely up to you. What they do provide is information on how to do that yourself.

One of the things that they explain is about the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). The largest Governing Body of Collegiate Sports. It has the most schools and the biggest campuses. They’re certainly the most talked about Institutions around the world because they’re obviously the biggest and have the most funding.

“The NCAA is arguably the biggest”

So you have the NCAA, NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) and you have all the multiple others as there are quite a few governing bodies.

The NCAA is arguably the biggest and the most well-known internationally. Over the past few years, we’ve looked at presenters that EducationUSA have had over the past few years. The majority of them are former NCAA Division 1, Division 2 Athletes.

The majority of the executives are also former NCAA athletes from NCAA schools. The information that they share is always based on their experiences and usually at the end of their presentations or their information sessions, they’ll ask you to go through the NCAA Eligibility Centre.

I believe, for everybody who goes through this process of looking for Sports Scholarships, probably one of the first things that always comes up is, you must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Centre if you want to play College Sports in the USA. In theory that’s correct, if you want to play in the NCAA. Wanting to play in the NCAA and being Eligible are two different things.

“Eligibility is based around Academics and Athletic ability”

Eligibility is based around Academics and Athletic ability. You might have the Academic ability to play in the NCAA, but you may not have the Athletic ability. Here’s another one for you; you may have the Athletic Eligibility, the Academic ability but you may not have the financial capability to play in the NCAA.

Here’s another one for you. You might have the Athletic, Financial and Academic ability but you may not want that type of school socially. You may not want to participate in an NCAA school because they’re generally the biggest schools and some people wouldn’t cope well going into a lecture hall with 200 other students to compete with.

These EducationUSA seminars are heavily promoted towards the NCAA. I would argue that you would probably leave one of those EducationUSA seminars only knowing about the NCAA. I guess, if you tell anybody, “Do you want to go to the biggest and the most popular schools or do you want to go to the schools that no one actually talks about?” When you put it that way, the decisions almost made for you.

“Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Centre”

The EducationUSA seminars are promoted towards the NCAA. One of the things that come up, when you research NCAA or when you research EducationUSA or you attend one of these seminars, is that you’re going to always hear the word, “Eligibility Centre,” “You must register for the Eligibility Centre.”

The NCAA Eligibility Centre is basically; to become certified or to be an Eligible NCAA Division 1 or Division 2 Athlete, there’s a different certification process for the NCAA Division 3.

If you want to play in the NCAA, in theory, you need to be registered with the NCAA with the NCAA Eligibility Centre.

The word register is probably the part that confuses people because they believe they have registered with the NCAA, they get to play in the NCAA. Registering for the NCAA Eligibility Centre, is purely registering to be certified. Not registering to compete. There is a difference.

To provide certification you are not registered to play. You are registered to receive a certification. That certification will determine whether or not you are eligible to participate in the NCAA. .”

“you must be an Amateur to participate in College Sports”

Registering for the NCAA Eligibility Centre is registration to provide a certification to allow you to play. They’ll determine your Amateurism and your Academic Eligibility.

Amateurism means, you must be an amateur to participate in College Sports and haven’t signed a contract with an agent or a professional contract, basically haven’t received large amounts of money to play your sport. (You must be deemed an amateur).

Most sports within Australia, most teenagers are amateurs based on the way the governing bodies are here in Australia but again, you still need to be certified as an amateur.

After these information sessions that EducationUSA run, the action they’ll ask you to take is to register and complete the Eligibility Centre forms, documentation which costs money as well. Registering for the NCAA Eligibility Centre is anywhere between $150 to $250 Australian Dollars. Not a lot of money and especially if you believe that, all I need to do is register for the NCAA Eligibility Centre and I’m registered to play with the NCAA.

“There’s a certain amount of core classes that determine whether or not you are Eligible to compete in the NCAA”

We would advise Student Athletes to hold off on registering for the NCAA Eligibility Centre because:

  1. Athlete Eligibility

You don’t need to be classified as an amateur just yet. Anyone can tell you whether or not you’re a Professional or an Amateur. For example, if you’re playing for Melbourne Victory, and you’re earning a wage, you’re more than likely going to be classified as a Professional. If you play for Melbourne United, Basketball, you’re more than likely going to be classified as a Professional.

If you’re playing local basketball or local soccer or local tennis or swimming, you don’t necessarily need anybody to tell you you’re an Amateur.

  1. Academic Eligibility

There’s a certain amount of core classes that determine whether or not you are eligible to compete in the NCAA. There is no need, at a specific point, especially at the start of your information gather process to find that out just yet. You can determine your own Academic Eligibility based on the classes you’ve taken from Year 9 through Year 12 and save yourself a few dollars.

EducationUSA mentions on their website that you go through all the Eligibility Centre process in your Sophomore year,(so Year 10 here in Australia)…….. that’s when you start selecting courses for year 11 as well.

“It doesn’t mean that you’ve missed out”

They’ll give you information on courses that you need to select to remain “Academically Eligible” for the NCAA Division 1 and 2 but that’s not the first step in the information gathering process of searching for Sports Scholarships. That’s step five or four, It’s definitely not step one.

Before you register for the Eligibility Centre, before you go and spend any money on determining whether or not you have the right subjects, before you feel like you’ve missed out on playing College Sports because you’re in year 11 and you didn’t take English and you heard that you needed to take English or you need to take Maths or I didn’t take Science, take a deep breath and just relax.

It doesn’t mean that you’ve missed out. It doesn’t mean that you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Centre. We would advise as we do to hold off! There is no real value to you doing that until you’ve completed some of the other steps.

“Registering for the Eligibility Centre does not mean you will play in the NCAA”

If you’re in year 11 and 12, understand your Academic Eligibility first, which you can do on your own, before going through the Eligibility Centre. Understand your Athletic Abilities and potential as well because that’s something you definitely need to be mindful of. Understand the financial capabilities of you and your family and determine a budget.

Registering for the Eligibility Centre does not mean you will play in the NCAA.

It has no say whether or not you’re a good athlete or you’re not a good athlete. It is certainly not required to register for the NCAA Eligibility Centre in order to find out whether or not you have the ability and the opportunity to actually participate in the NCAA.

You can receive verbal opportunities and offers from NCAA schools before going through the NCAA Eligibility Centre as well. That can be something that you can do afterwards. You can even have a plan in place, have an opportunity and then go through the Eligibility Center.


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