Kevin Anderson, the Men’s singles finalist in the 2017 U.S. Open is one of the many professional players who have benefited from playing College Tennis in the United States. It’s become so common that every Grand Slam over the past 4 years has seen more than 25 former College players make up the draws.
Some other well known players who have attended College prior to professional tennis are John Isner (Georgia), James Blake (Harvard) and John McEnroe (Stanford).
Over the past 5 years, we have seen a very strong trend toward Australian Tennis Players taking advantage of the incredible College Tennis scholarship opportunities in the United States. This is not surprising given the scholarship value which can be worth up to $500,000 AUD over a 4 year period.
At present, there are more than 40 Voyager Tennis Graduates currently on U.S. Tennis Scholarships at some of the best universities in the world.
A typical scholarship will cover tutoring and academic support, racquets, clothes sponsorship, travel around the USA, food and accommodation off campus, massage and physiotherapy along with a percentage of tuition, books, on campus housing and food.
Is College Tennis right for me?
For good young tennis players, with solid academic results, a U.S. College scholarship is very attainable and College Tennis can be a fantastic pathway if you are looking to pursue a career on the ATP or WTA tour. Many players believe that they are losing precious time by choosing College but this is simply not the case as the average age of a player inside the top 100 in the world is growing each year.
As of June 2017 the average age for Men is 27.5yrs and 25yrs for Women.
How Do I Choose the Right College?
In the United States there are over 24 million students enrolled in 4,500 College and 800,000 of these are international students. Of the 4,500 Colleges, 948 have tennis scholarships available for for Men and 1,144 have tennis scholarships available for Women.
As you could imagine, the choice of 4,500 colleges can be daunting and the application process is extensive. One of the hardest aspects of going to a U.S College is finding one that is the right fit for the individual. With so many to choose from, it’s no wonder that many people run into trouble.
Fortunately, we have some solutions that can help guide you through this process and take on some of the time consuming elements of the application process.
There are lots of common mistakes made with taking the application into your own hands including not fully understanding the eligibility criteria and rules that are often changing, prioritising the wrong thing (i.e. Location over Coach), waiting until Year 12 to begin the process and many more that can cost precious time.
What are Colleges Coaches looking for?
College Coaches are looking at a number of factors when recruiting players into their teams on scholarships such as:
– Universal Tennis Rating
– National Rankings
– Doubles results
– Proof of progression in results over a long period
– Recommendations from coaches
– Training history
How can I start preparing now?
It’s never too early to start planning. You can start by doing the following:
– Work with coaches who are willing to guide you along the College Scholarship pathway
– Play a healthy blend of AR Events and UTR Events
– Show an upwards trajectory with rating and ranking
– Show that you value academics and have meet the requirements for U.S. Colleges.
– Show that you value a team
How to get started
The Voyager Academy has partnered with Study & Play USA, an Australian based agency that has extensive experience in finding the best universities for each player, as well as the best possible scholarships. Study & Play have over 14 years experience and a 100% track record in placing students at placing young Australian sportsmen and sportswomen US Colleges. Their approach is focused around finding the right fit for their candidates.
VIDEO: Hear first hand from Millie Khoury, recent Voyager Tennis Graduate and Scholarship recpient, on her journey to U.S College