Introduction to US System
The US offers the most competitive level of university sport in the world. The top three divisions of college sport are governed by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). More than 400,000 student-athletes participate in over 20 varsity sports, with NCAA universities awarding over 150,000 scholarships each year. Athletic scholarships are merit-based awards and can range in levels of support up to tuition, books, room and board. Access to physios/trainers, flights to games/competitions, hotels and trip expenses are all costs absorbed by the universities, irrespective of a student-athlete’s scholarship status. Furthermore, university teams have sponsors such as Nike, Adidas, Asics or Under Armour, who provide student-athletes with athletic clothing, footwear and equipment.
For athletes in many sports, enrolling in the US collegiate system is a perfect stepping stone to the professional ranks, where they are able to benefit from exceptionally strong competition, world class coaching and comprehensive resources. While the NCAA ensures complete amateurism, student-athletes are provided with the resources and facilities typical of professional sport, enabling them to maximise their sporting potential, all while working towards their degree.