NCAA? Don’t Forget SAT!

Your teen has long had a dream. It may have started with that gymnastics or Sportsball class you put him in as a toddler; continued in elementary school and middle school as your daughter first made the cross-country team, then took it to OFSAA; now in high school, your varsity basketball star is getting written up in the local papers and dreams of playing NCAA ball in the States and then being signed by a pro franchise.

You listen to these dreams in a bitter-sweet way; you know that a half-million college students compete annually in college sports in the United States, and the odds of going pro are long indeed – but you want to support your kid all the way. The compromise: a US college that offers a strong academic program in addition to sports, so your teen has a fallback later in life. But how will you find such a school? What kinds of criteria are important to consider? How will you afford it? And perhaps most critical: how will they get in?

PrepSkills can help with all of your concerns. Students often come to us with a particular school in mind; we work with their goals while broadening their horizons with key insider resources that reveal multiple schools in multiple states that could work ideally with their desires for sports achievement, scholastics and culture/community. When it comes to US Colleges, we have the inside scoop: what’s hot, what’s up-and-coming, and exactly who is coming out of these schools to reach the top of their chosen professions.

It may surprise you to learn, for instance, that under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to international athletes for playing a sport, while Division III schools cannot; that might affect your teen’s decision if finances are a factor.

Most American Colleges use the SAT to determine entrance eligibility. Unfortunately, most Canadian high-schoolers have never taken a grueling, timed test with penalties for wrong answers. Students who experience the academic version of performance anxiety might face difficulties in managing their time, which inevitably results in scores that do not reflect their true abilities. That’s why many believe that performing well on the SAT is not just a matter of intelligence; rather, it reflects how well-prepared a student is to take a standardized test under time pressure.

PrepSkills can prepare your child with expert coaching and testing on SAT content, which can make a huge difference in a student’s test score in a relatively short period of time. We provide students with personalized teaching support, test-taking strategies and time management skills to build their confidence, improve their test-taking skills, and alleviate performance anxiety.  But more than that, we have had the pleasure of supporting thousands of families through the admissions process in all its aspects – from transitioning to the US and the new school, to resume-building and one-to-one mock interview practice.

What does all this mean for your teen? It means that when the time comes to shine in the test centre, they will…so they can shine on the court, or the field, or the track, or the pool…at the US College of their dreams.