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How to Choose the Right College and Program 

Keystone Sports expert tips to student-athletes on how to find the perfect fit

Choosing the right college and sports program can feel overwhelming. In this article, Promo Specialist Jeppe Marquardsen from our Keystone Sports Nordics team walk you through the various factors to consider when selecting the perfect fit for you.

Choosing the right college and sports program can feel overwhelming. In this article, Promo Specialist Jeppe Marquardsen from our Keystone Sports Nordics team walks you through the various factors to consider when selecting the perfect fit for you. From researching the sports program to understanding the financial considerations, Jeppe provides you with all the tips and tricks to make the best decision!

What to consider when choosing a college athletic program?

Several factors come into play when evaluating the athletic program at a college or university. It’s a good idea to research the team’s history. Performances fluctuate greatly in the college world, and can change every year, the team’s history and past results serve as a benchmark for quality and ambition. 

Examining the current athletic level is also crucial. Matches and other events are often streamed and televised, providing ample opportunity to find videos of your potential college team on platforms like YouTube. 

Similarly, checking out the athletic facilities is advisable. There are generally high standards for facilities in the USA, and you can easily find virtual tours on their website and social media channels. 

Getting to know the coaching staff is one of the most important steps before deciding on a college. Sometimes it can also be very beneficial to get in touch with some the the current student-athletes on the school.

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What are your academic and career goals?

One of the most crucial considerations is how well the chosen college or university aligns with your academic aspirations and future dreams. Many of those Keystone Sports collaborate with – and many young athletes in general – primarily focus on their sport when applying for sports scholarships in the USA. This is entirely understandable, and something our placement experts respect. Nevertheless, one of the beautiful aspects of college in the USA is that it allows you to pursue both your athletic and academic interests. 

Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you reflect on the educational path you wish to pursue. What do you find exciting? What are your strengths? Where do you want to improve? What do you envision yourself working on in the future? Once these questions are answered, it becomes easier to assess whether the potential college meets your educational needs and the academic level you aspire to.

How to fund college with the help of sport scholarships?

Understanding the entire financial aspect of enrolling in college is crucial. The financial size of the college sport scholarship offered depends, of course, on your athletic and academic level. Furthermore, the costs vary greatly among different colleges. Schools like Harvard and Yale come with hefty price tags, while there are many other excellent schools in the USA that are much more affordable. 

In practice, this means that the cost of the college you choose significantly impacts how much money you’ll actually need to pay out of pocket after your scholarship is deducted. So, the most important factor isn’t the percentage of scholarship you receive but rather how much you have to pay yourself. We have athletes who pay nothing and athletes who pay over $30,000 per year. We also have many athletes who choose to accept a more expensive offer even if they’ve received a full scholarship (full-ride) from another school. After all, the “cheapest option” isn’t always the best fit.

Which place is best for international students in the USA?

The location can have a significant impact on your college experience as an international student in the USA. Colleges can be found everywhere: in big cities, small towns, coastal areas, mountains, deserts, vast forests, natural reserves, and much more.

Whether you prefer a bustling urban environment with many fellow students or a tighter-knit social setting within a local community, there’s an option for you. Furthermore, the weather varies from state to state, so if you have a preference for warm weather, this should certainly be taken into account in your considerations! 

Lastly, it’s often not just the location that matters but also the people you share the location with.

College tennis team hugging each other

We guide, you decide

One of the most prominent mistakes one can make in the pursuit of a scholarship is comparing oneself too much to others. It’s a natural tendency – the majority of Keystone Sports staff are former student-athletes and we all did it ourselves when we applied to the USA. 

You might think, “What offers did the person who played at the same level as me receive?” But the offer you receive is the result of a multitude of variables and careful considerations from the college offering it to you. Your educational background and academic achievements, your athletic level and history, your physical condition, your age, the timing in relation to demand, the time when you start your college process, and much more all play a role. 

Here at Keystone Sport, we assist and guide you through the process and offer plenty of good advice. But ultimately, it’s your decision, which is why it’s important for you to focus on your dreams and ambitions.

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About the author

Jeppe Marquardsen

Jeppe Marquardsen, originally from Svendborg, Denmark, is a Promo Specialist specializing in Scandinavian student-athletes. He joined Keystone Sports Nordics in December 2018. Jeppe’s collegiate journey took him to Davenport University in Michigan, where he played soccer. After completing his degree in Sports Management, Jeppe returned to his hometown to continue his career. His passion lies in helping student-athletes achieve their goals and experience the transformative power of collegiate sports.

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