How to get a scholarship for an international student

Hey, so I’m French and I want to study and play basketball in US college. In order to do that in think I need a scholarship but I don’t really know how to get one and also I don’t know if I have a chance to get one. So my question is how to get a scholarship with sports and school grades while being foreign.

I would read a lot of the information on these pages

You can familiarise yourself with the differences in Divisions (D1, D2 etc) on the NCAA website.

As an overseas player you will have to work really hard to raise your profile and get your videos out to recruiting coaches. There are agents you can pay but I would not recommend this avenue, be very cautious of false promises.

A final option is a “sports academy”. These schools would take you after your final year of school in France, it’s called a “post graduate” year. This avenue would allow you to remain fully focused on finishing your high school qualifications in France so that when you are in post-grad year in USA all you need to work on academically is preparing for the ACT/SAT exams (required for US entry to unis). You will play a lot of basketball, travel by bus and receive plenty of profile raising exposure to coaches from all manner of universities. I have a friend who is at this academy for basketball. I can’t speak for their success or the quality of coaching etc etc but you can consider this as an idea.

Lots to think about
Good luck

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A big question is are you good enough to become a recruited athlete for a school that might give you a full scholarship? Basketball is huge in the US, with many excellent players competing to play for colleges. How good are you compared to your peers in France? Compared to US high school players?

As for academic scholarships, again, you need to be very highly qualified to get a scholarship at the few schools that give scholarships to international students. There is a small number of highly competitive schools that fully fund any international student accepted, but it’s very hard to get into these schools. And there are some other excellent schools that offer scholarships to very highly academically qualified international students, but not to every international student whom they might accept.

People here can give you some feedback on your chances, academically, if you post your grades, class rank, awards, standardized test scores, etc. But to get a full scholarship for an international student based upon academics, you really need to be one of the best in your region, if not your nation. As for athletics, again, you probably would need to be one of the best players in your region, if not your country.

The above mentioned sports academies are NOT cheap. You’re talking about 40K US dollars for a six month program, late August through end of March. So if you’re looking for a full scholarship, I have a feeling that these are out of your reach, financially.

It is also possible to get a scholarship to said Sports academy… if you are well connected in your home country. Our friend was recruited, full scholarship to Combine from a basketball academy in UK.

Are you in 1e?
What spé are you taking right now and will you keep next year? Or are you bac techno?
What sort of mention can you reasonably expect? Do you have very good English grades (14+)?
Is your UNSS team nationally ranked?
Does your club play at the regional or national level, or are you INSEP level?
What matters more to you, playing basketball or getting a good degree at a good college?
Do your parents support your goals?

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In the US high school basketball coaches know how to interact with college recruiters. I am wondering if you need to pick a few schools that seem at least possible, and contact the basketball coaches directly and see what they say.

Do you know how the level of basketball played in high schools in France compares with American high school basketball? It is quite a serious sport here. I have seen one case of an average what you would call football and what we call soccer high school player from Europe come over here and run circles around American high school soccer players (while maintaining control of the ball). I really do not know whether it is the other way around in basketball or not.

I did notice that McGill has a basketball team, as does Concordia University (which is also in Montreal). One thing to think about is to study in Montreal and as a citizen of France get to pay at the worst case “citizen of Canada” tuition at a Canadian university. This would also have the feature that if you decided to drop basketball you would still be a citizen of France and therefore would still get to pay Canadian rather than international tuition.

No I’m in term but next year I will take a gap year to prepare my project. I kept SES (average 14) an HGGSP (average also 14) in a general high school. I haveI have an average of 19 in English and I know I need to pass the TOFEL and the ACT. I not in a ranked team this year but I hope that next year I’ll be in a team that plays at least a national level. Playing basketball matters more to me and my parents obviously support me.

I also thought about going on junior college because I know that this is the way that lots of American student take when they haven’t good grades so if I go their since I already have good grades I could go their to be better in basketball

Community College is a bad choice for most international students who need financial aid because then they rarely qualify for financial aid when they transfer. It’s a bit different for athletes but still not ideal - you could qualify for aid based on academic merit+athletic skills but you’re making a bet and could end up stuck. You could obviously spend 2 years, generally “full cost” (ie., no scholarships for internationals at CCs), improve your basketball skills, then hope your skills and grades are sufficient to provide you with a scholarship to a university. It’s a risky bet.

Keep up your grades, 14 is very good.

What do you want to study? Economics? International relations/geopolitics? History?

Your basketball level seems to indicate you may qualify for D3 colleges - about 20 hours of basketball a week, strong academics. (There’s also NAIA, where sports are equally strong but academics more in synch with techno/pro students.) I don’t think you’d qualify for D2 basketball and you may be overqualified academically there except at a handful of universities.
BTW the D1, D2, D3 system is not the same as in France. It refers to the scholarship level: D1 is for future professionals and you’d need to be among the top 2-3 in Pôle France to have a shot there, in addition to decent grades (10-11); colleges will cover the full cost of attendance for these students, who will then often spend 35-40 hours a week on their sport (even though officially they’re not supposed to, they have an athletic scholarship); these students have been on 20+ hours/week athletics during high school.
D3 means you are academically qualified to get into the college and your scholarship is a combination of academic merit and financial need (ie., if your parents make 200K a year, you’re out of luck). Your sport helps you “get in” but your scholarship depends on your academic merit as well as your parents’ income.
This is what the US calls D3:

Look at each website very carefully.
Some of these universities (Tufts, Colby, WashU) are incredibly difficult to get into so your level of basketball would have to be really, really good to have a shot (your 14s are solid, but they’re recruiting 16+ typically; athletics can help though if your skills are strong). However they meet “full need”, meaning that if your parents make 100K a year or less, you’ll have a very good scholarship.
Other universities don’t meet “full need” (Stevens, Ithaca, CNU) but offer merit aid (= you’d get some financial aid for your grades and basketball would help you get into the college+be prioritized for aid).
You can also look into NAIA colleges, where academics aren’t so strong (ie., bac pro students would be ok) and where the level of athletics can be good, although a lot of NAIA colleges are very religious and most French kids aren’t into church, christian music, and religious requirements at all, so you’d have to pick carefully.

@simonquentel : have you been able to read the above links and watch the videos?
How does your level compare to that?
BTW, how tall are you?

Getting a scholarship depends on the scholarships offered by the Universities for international students. First, you must have knowledge of the eligibility criteria for this scholarship. The second thing is how much is the scholarship amount? Also, you may know that is there a separate application required for a scholarship? There are different types of scholarships provided by the university like- Sports Scholarships, and many more and they have different criteria.

Div I contains a ton of schools; 350 of them (so obviously most do not go pro; the entire Ivy League is Div I) and at most of them, you don’t have to be all that great academically to get in as an athlete (just meet or cheat to meet the bare NCAA minimum). They would offer full-ride scholarships.

Have you been able to find any college basketball games online to watch? How does your skill level compare?

This student is a very good student, so academically there’s no problem (think of a full IB student getting a 32-36 – not enough info to estimate more precisely, but definitely strong). The issue would be athletics. Basketball is quite a bit less intense in France than in the US, so that even lower-level D1 might not be accessible.

I hope that @simonquentel watched the games from teams I listed and can estimate whether he’s at that level, lower, or higher.
We don’t even know his position :stuck_out_tongue:
Height/size/weight/speed also matter, as does level of club competitiveness (or at least a top national rank in the UNSS championship for the team. UNSS is the high school championship.)

Some kids are lured to “sports academies” where all they do is practice for the SAT/ACT and practice basketball for videos and potential recruiters. It’s very, very costly and not that useful for a strong student with a decent athletic profile ready to do work or… for a strong student without a decent athletic profile. It’s useful for students with a weak grasp of English and pretty good athletic skills, in the same way PG years can be good for rough-around-the-edges promising athletes.

There’s almost certainly a few colleges for this kid, but without details it’s hard to provide advice. :frowning:

Thank’s for all these answers !!
So I’m point guard and I’m 1m75 for 60 kg and my feet size are a 9 us. I don’t know if I’ll be bigger so I take that as my "final size ". I’m going to watch so university games for sure. I’m not aiming the D1 level, I juste want to have a chance to play on a decent level any here in the US (not really interested by Canada but if it’s an interesting alternative why not). For my academic level, I think I’m good even very good. About basketball I’m working every day on my game and my body to have the best level I can and I’m sure that I can get to a very very good level if I have the environment and the people ready to accompany me.
Tell me if you need any other informations :slight_smile:

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So that sounds like about 5’9 to me. That is short, even for a point guard. You would need to be exceptionally good to get a scholarship. And I mean pretty amazing. Like everyone you know, including coaches, talk about what an amazing basketball player you are. D3 schools do not offer athletic scholarships. If you are only good enough to play D3, you may make a team, but you won’t get any money. If all you want to do is play basketball, most colleges have intramural teams.

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However, D3 colleges offer academic and need based scholarships, so that’s what this student should aim for.