Tennis Scholarships in the United States
Internationally, tennis is one of the most popular sports, and the process of finding a tennis scholarship at a university has become very competitive.
With tennis especially, every part of the process is hugely important – creating an academic and sports profile, summary of results, tournaments, and statistics.
Another key part of the process is creating a video that displays your skills on the tennis court. This video must be guided and recorded by professionals in order to increase the chances of success, so at Global College USA we take care of the whole process and make the video in person to ensure a quality video.
There are many universities with tennis programs in the United States. These universities belong to these divisions: NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA.
It is very important for the tennis player to have the help of Global College USA in sufficient time so we can evaluate the player’s options in the United States and determine which division would be most appropriate for the player to be able to compete with a tennis scholarship. Also, within these divisions, there are very different levels of tennis, so for each tennis profile, you will have a variety of colleges that will provide great options.
Why the United States?
University sports in the United States is the only system that combines sport and competition with university studies, along with athletic scholarships and in many cases academic scholarships.
American universities offer tennis scholarships for players on the team which then allows the student athletes to finance their studies through tennis.
In addition, with thanks to this opportunity, players can live an amazing experience in the United States combining studies and sports, travelling around the country with the sports team, achieving a university degree from an American university, and meeting people from many different countries and cultures. Tennis players are opened to a world of possibilities with thanks to their sport.
Tennis Scholarships in United States
Each university division has a maximum number of tennis scholarships they can distribute. Within these scholarships, the university grants the amount of money that is available to the players.
College coaches distribute the money in full and partial tennis scholarships to team players. In most cases, you must be among the best singles or doubles players in the team in order to receive a tennis scholarship. There are also other opportunities on the tennis team such as being a “walk-on”. Being a walk on allows the player to be part of the team but the player will not receive a tennis scholarship. After a year in this position, depending on performance, the player can obtain a tennis scholarship for their remaining years at the university.
Limited Number of Scholarships in Tennis Teams
The number of tennis scholarships available in each university differs between all universities. Each university division has a maximum number of tennis scholarships they can offer, but they can offer fewer tennis scholarships than their limit if they decide to.
A clear example of this is the IVY league universities (a league of universities of academic prestige, such as Harvard) that do not offer athletic scholarships.
In addition, tennis is a sport in which coaches can divide the number of tennis scholarships among team players. For example, in NCAA D1, tennis coaches can divide the value of 4.5 scholarships among as many players as they want.
Women’s tennis in NCAA D1 is a sport that has up to a maximum of 8 athletic scholarships for 8 tennis players, so if you are at a level they are looking for, you would receive a full scholarship.
Here is a table displaying the limited amount of tennis scholarships that each university can provide, the average size of the tennis teams, and the number of universities in each division for both men and women:
|University Division||Amount of universities||Limited amount of scholarships per Team||Average number of players per team|
|NCAA D I||263||4,5||10|
|NCAA DIII *||314||–||11|
|University Division||Amount of Universities||Limited Amount of Scholarships Available per Team||Average Number of Players per Team|
|NCAA D I||320||8||9|
|NCAA DIII *||361||–||10|
* Universities competing in NCAA Division III are universities that cannot offer athletic scholarships so they do not offer tennis scholarships, however other major scholarships can be obtained.
What Do Tennis Scholarships Cover in the United States?
Tennis scholarships in the United States cover a percentage of college expenses. In the case of obtaining a full tennis scholarship, the following expenses will be covered:
- Tuition and Fees
- Accommodation (residence or apartment)
- Health insurance
In addition, all tennis players at the university, regardless of whether they have a tennis scholarship or not, always have tennis expenses covered: tennis training, physical conditioning, sports equipment (string, overgrips, clothing, shoes …) official competitions, trips to competitions, (travel, hotel, and meals) academic tutors in case you need help with classes, sports medicine, physiotherapy …
Another important factor in being able to attend a good university is the academic side- the institute’s notes, the SAT, and the TOEFL … If two students are at a similar tennis level but there is a noticeable difference in their academic levels, the coach will usually offer the tennis scholarship to the better academic student.
The reason for this is because students must meet minimum requirements at university, so the academic side is just as important as tennis in several aspects:
- Sports eligibility: Minimum test scores must be met in order to be eligible in all university divisions.
- In order to be accepted at universities, the tennis player must meet the academic requirements on the exams.
- You can receive an academic scholarship that is added to the amount of athletic scholarship, resulting in a greater total scholarship. In order to obtain academic scholarships, you must have good high school grades and high scores on the SAT exam.
The higher the grades, the greater range of options the player will have and the greater amount of money received by the university.
Each college or coach has different minimum requirements in terms of the academic level they require. Therefore, at Global College USA, we study every academic and sports profile to find the university that best suits each player.
Level of Tennis Needed to Obtain a Tennis Scholarship in the United States
In the United States, there are over one thousand universities with tennis teams that belong to the different university divisions. Within the wide range of universities, the tennis level is very broad. We advise you about the level of tennis required to qualify for tennis scholarships in the United States depending on the university division:
NCAA Division I:
Larger universities with a greater number of sports. Most universities in this division have a higher sports level than those of the other divisions.
Academic Requirements: SAT exam.
Men’s tennis level: Actual level of play * top 200 men’s open ranking in the UK, top 600ITF junior, and experience in ITFs and ATPs tournaments.
Women’s tennis level: Actual level of play * top 300 women’s open ranking in the UK, ITF junior ranking, experience in ITFs and WTAs tournaments.
NCAA Division II:
Smaller universities with a high sports level, similar size to NAIA universities.
Academic Requirements: SAT exam.
Men’s tennis level: Actual level of play * top 100/150 18 and under ranking in UK, experience and some success in national and regional tournaments.
Women’s tennis level: Actual level of play * top 250 18 and under ranking in UK, experience and some success in national and regional tournaments.
NCAA Division III:
Universities that cannot provide athletic scholarships, but they have other types of scholarships such as academic scholarships that can reduce costs considerably. NCAA Division III universities are mainly very good academic universities.
Academic Requirements: SAT exam with a good score. High academic level.
Men’s tennis level: Experience in national and/or regional tournaments. Very good academic level.
Women’s tennis level: Experience in national and/or regional tournaments. Very good academic level.
Universities with similar characteristics to universities in NCAA Division II. Eligibility rules are much simpler in NAIA.
Academic requirements: SAT exam.
Men’s tennis level: Actual level of play *experience and success in national and regional tournaments.
Women’s tennis level: Actual level of play * experience and success in national and regional tournaments.
Two-year colleges, where the first two years of university are completed and then transferred to a university belonging to any other division. Junior College is a good option to improve academic and sports level to then transfer to a bigger and better university.
Academic Requirements: SAT exam.
Men’s tennis level: Different levels of tennis within each university.
Women’s tennis level: Different levels of tennis within each university.
* Here’s how to measure the actual level of play of tennis players.
How do College Coaches in USA Measure the Level of a Tennis Player?
Coaches measure the level of a player through several factors:
- Tennis Ranking (ITF Juniors, ATP/WTA Ranking, national ranking, state/county ranking, rating)
- Experience in national, international, or professional competitions. (It is important to have good results and be active with appearances in tournaments).
- Results against opponents (players with a national ranking, ITF, ATP/WTA ranking).
- Results against players at American universities
- Video of tennis player
- Global College USA evaluation (we watch the player in person and evaluate his/her tennis level. After several years of good work, coaches in America value our opinion hugely. Sometimes ranking does not display the real level of tennis players due to inactivity in competitions or various other factors).
- Personal visits of university coaches. At Global College USA we organise visits from college coaches to our players at the highest level. This gives our players and their families a chance to meet the coaches in person and the coaches can also watch them play in person to gain a better understanding of their level. Doing this increases the chances of obtaining a tennis scholarship at a high-level university.
With all this information, Global College USA evaluates each player and works with universities that match the player’s level of tennis, giving them a good chance of obtaining an athletic scholarship and playing on the team.
How Does the Process of Obtaining Tennis Scholarships in USA Work?
The goal of Global College USA is to help tennis players who have the potential to be accepted at a University in the United States with a tennis and/or an academic scholarship. We are always looking for the best universities for each player as well as the maximum tennis scholarship that we can find.
Here we tell you about how the process of obtaining a tennis scholarship at an American university works. The main factor is the level of the tennis player:
- Reach the highest level of tennis possible: The higher the level of tennis, the greater the chance of being offered tennis scholarships. In addition, a greater range of options will be available to the player. It is important to plan tennis training and frequently compete in tournaments to reach the highest possible level for each individual.
- Achieving the highest possible academic level: It is very important to focus on studies to reach a high academic level. Being strong academically has great benefits as we can find many more options for the athlete and find academic scholarships as well as athletic scholarships which will greatly reduce the annual university costs. Good preparation for the SAT exam is an essential part of this.
At Global College USA, we take care of the rest of the process. It is very important to contact Global College USA well in advance so we can start preparing the process in good time, doing this will increase our chances of finding tennis scholarships in the United States, so we will therefore have more options available for each athlete to choose from.
We analyse each individual and determine their possibilities of obtaining a tennis scholarship in the United States. We look at the level of tennis and expectations of the student and his/her family. From Global College USA we conduct this free evaluation without any commitment and we meet with the tennis player and the family in person to explain the options and possibilities. Once the student and his/her family is ready to start the process we take the following steps:
- We study the individual profile of each tennis player– tennis level, academic level, and preferences regarding university. We look for the options that best suit your sport, academic, and financial preferences. We talk to the player’s family and find the best options that suit the requirements of the family.
- We create a personal route sheet for each player – in this roadmap, with the family we plan; the steps to follow, dates of exams, preparation of these exams (depending on the approach of the division), as well as short, medium, and long term objectives of the process.
- We offer support for the SAT exam.
- We make the video for each player. We travel in person to visit each tennis player and his/her family and make the video in person. We take care of the editing and performance of the video. The video is very important as it will be included in our letter of introduction to the American coaches. At Global College USA we ensure the video is produced to the highest quality.
- With the final video in hand, we create an academic and sports profile of the tennis player which we use to contact university tennis coaches.
- We start contacting universities that fit the profile and preferences of the tennis player and his/her family. We work with all universities in the United States and all the states that correspond with the profile of the tennis player.
- We negotiate with each coach or university to obtain the maximum scholarship and best possible conditions for each player .
- We present a report with several options in sufficient time to make the decision. The report includes information such as: name of the university, location, size, academic level, tennis level, costs without scholarship, scholarship amount, annual costs payable …
- We offer several options within the budget. We will always offer several alternatives so that families can choose between a few different options. We continue to search for options until the family is ready to make a choice.
- We help the player and his family with the choice of university and give advice, but we don’t interfere with the family’s final decision.
- We process the signing of the final offer from the university that the player has chosen.
- We help with the college division eligibility procedure in which the college competes in (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA).
- We help complete the admission process with the chosen university (sending SAT exams, paperwork admissions …)
- We arrange the meal plans and living arrangementsfor the tennis player.
- We take care of obtaining medical insurancein the USA.
- We handle the processing of the US student visa with each player.
- We arrange the flights and the arrival of the tennis player so that you have someone on your arrival.
- We help each player settle into their university with advice and help with various areas (sending money to USA, bank cards, questions regarding arrival in the USA)
- We help enquire about jobs within the university.
- If interested, we can help tennis players land jobs during the summer months at American Summer Tennis Camps.
- We offer support during the player’s entire stay in the United States with anything you need: transferring university, general questions, help with paperwork, all without ANY extra cost.
In addition to all these factors, we maintain a very close relationship and are in continuous contact with our athletes and their families. We communicate using WhatsApp, phone calls, email, and in case of urgency you can contact us outside of office hours.