08 December 2019
Myth One: Only Rich Students Can Study in the USA
There are several myths about studying abroad, especially in the USA. These myths can be countered with the deep knowledge of the schools that we aim for.
Whenever I speak to young golfers, I often ask them why they play or what their ambition is. Some told me it was merely for fun; some say their parents played golf so they were sort of “forced” into the game; some gamble on the chance of getting drafted to the National or State teams and earning some money; and some have bigger dreams of turning professional, especially since male golfers in the country have successfully inspired the younger generation.
Whilst these all provide motivation to play, I think it’s important to ensure that the dream goes far beyond the ambition of a “national team spot” or “turning professional”. I have seen a lot of student-athletes sacrificing their school time, whether it’s high school or college, to get drafted to the national team. Only for a very short-lived career!
What if there was another way to “make money” that would not jeopardize your education or your sporting career? The answer is US University Athletics!
Many people who have heard of playing golf and studying at a US University would say that it was either too far or too expensive or both! There is a common belief that only affluent families can afford to send their children to study abroad in the US. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Studying in the US is indeed expensive. However, US universities offer opportunities for students who have the right skills and ability to get recruited by the University Athletic Team and receive financial support from the school.
There are two main ways to “make money” at US universities: Financial Aid and Athletic Scholarship. What’s the difference?
Financial aid is offered at a handful of top US universities, especially in the Ivy League and other schools with huge endowment funds. These schools aim to give good students access to quality education, even if their parents’ financial situation will not support the costs of studying at the university. At Harvard, 50% of students receive some sort of financial aid, while 20% of students get a full ride. At Princeton, 60% of students receive financial aid. For families that have an income of less than US$65,000 per year, such an aid package will cover full tuition, residential fees, room, and board.
There is also the misconception that financial aid is only available for US students or that asking for financial aid will reduce your chances of getting admitted. This is a myth. Financial aid is available to every student, no matter where they are from. It is also often not a part of the consideration for admission. If the student has the right skills and credentials, schools have the ability to cover the tuition and other expenses.
So how do you get this seemingly-amazing aid? Apply!
But before applying, do your research. The research is both intensive and extensive. Read up on every university or college you are targeting; find out how to apply for the aid. You will have to provide a lot of details about yourself: your academic qualifications, your athletic talent, your interests, and abilities, why you will be an asset to the University, and of course, your family’s financial situation.
The beauty of financial aid is that it is not contingent on whether you continue to compete for your university’s athletics team or not. Even if you decide to leave the team, the financial aid will still be available to you.
Athletic scholarships, on the other hand, are contingent on the golfers’ ability and participation on the university’s golf team. So, if you love your sport - why not aim to get an athletic scholarship?
On top of these, there are also on-campus jobs where students can earn more money at an hourly pay-rate. The on-campus jobs vary from being the residential assistant to academic tutoring to waiting tables at school cafes, working in the University Library, and many more. It is definitely not true that only rich students can afford to study in the USA!
In our next article, we’ll talk more about athletic scholarship opportunities at US Universities and how to apply for them based on your golf and academic levels. Stay tuned!