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How to Choose the Right University and Program

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

Choosing the right university and sports program can feel a bit overwhelming. Get the best advice from Keystone Sports in our article!

Choosing the right university and sports programme 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 university for you. From researching the sports programme 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 sports programme?

When evaluating the sports programme at a college or university you should be aware of several factors. 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 university. Sometimes it can also be very beneficial to get in touch with some the the current players on the team.

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 young athletes 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 university in the USA is that it allows you to pursue both your athletic and academic interests. 

Therefore, we recommend you to 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 university meets your educational needs and the academic level you aspire to.

How to fund university with the help of sports scholarships?

The financial size of a sport scholarship depends, of course, on your athletic and academic level. Furthermore, the costs vary greatly among different universities. 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. 

This means that the cost of the university 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 university 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 an 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.

Tennis team hugging

We guide, you decide

One of the biggests mistakes one can make in the pursuit of a scholarship is comparing oneself too much to others. It’s a natural tendency – 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  multitude variables. Your educational background and academic achievements, athletic level and history, physical condition, age, timing in relation to demand, 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 you need to focus on your dreams and ambitions.

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Jeppe Marquardsen

About the author

Jenppe 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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