“Leadership isn't about your own achievements, it's about how you influence others to accomplish theirs” - Tyler Hollingsworth, Co-Founder of USA Scholarships
USA Scholarships has been in existence for almost two years. Our team of recruiters have noticed a common trait amongst the students who apply to our programme. At its core, students who have leadership qualities make it while the others do not.
Most high school students do not know what they want to achieve in life, which is fine, as we know they are only kids. However, there are a select few who do and will go to extraordinary lengths to accomplish their goals. Before hearing about our company, most students and parents never thought studying in the USA could be possible, once they realise their dreams are attainable, two groups of athletes emerge: The "Go-Getters" and "The Avoiders". The Go-Getter students, effectively utilise all opportunities at their disposal to win huge scholarships, while the Avoiders tend to preserve the status quo, play it safe and miss out on life changing experiences.
Avoiders tend to have low empathy and lack assertiveness, only asserting themselves when stressed or uncomfortable. They tend not to care about the scholarship procurement process and only want results to go their way. Avoiders do not like taking advice and will keep a low profile. Students who fall into the Avoider category may enjoy early successes but will need to adapt a Go-Getter attitude to maintain that success throughout their careers.
Go-Getters are highly assertive and possess an ability to set goals and achieve them. They have high expectations of themselves and those around them, exhausting all available resources. Go-Getters are optimistic, consciously knowing the risks yet confident in the abilities of others. They actively engage in the recruitment process with our agents, ask questions, meet deadlines and consistently follow up on our progress. One of the most prevalent traits of the Go-Getters in our programme is their willingness to research colleges that have shown interest in them. USA coaches are blown away when communicating with these athletes, who, inevitably, received more funding.
Go-Getters In Action: One of the most influential students to pass through the USA scholarships programme is Gerald Lowe. Gerald is a South African Rugby player who joined USA Scholarships back in 2015. Gerald was the Deputy Head Boy of Menlo Park High School, and Captain of the Blue Bulls U/19 Academy. During his senior year at Menlo Park, the team suffered a number of major setbacks: The coach was replaced in the middle of the season and the majority of the team sustained injuries - the season looked bleak. When speaking to Gerald about these experiences, he downplays them, as he has the Go-Getter leadership traits. He is naturally confident, charismatic and he exudes optimism. Gerald will be attending Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, where he will be a member of the Goldern Bears Rugby team.
When asked to pen his thoughts on leadership, Gerald produced the following: "...A natural leader is someone with good work ethic, influential skills and adaptability. Leaders set goals and work hard each day to achieve them. I believe that a leader's ultimate goal is to become the best possible version of themselves; one can achieve this through balance, discipline and working harder than anyone in the room to achieve their goals."
It's important to remember these athletes are only kids and both types of students are important. As USA Scholarships grows and expands its reach into Europe and Asia, students will come in all shapes and sizes and may not fit the mould of the Go-Getter. We strive to ensure that all our recruiters are examples of the Go-Getter leader. The better we are as a company, the more Avoider's we will be able to guide and nurture into becoming world-class student-athletes.
Why Choosing the Correct Subjects for Matric is Vital for Aspiring Athletes.
Choosing your subjects wisely can play a major role in your USA athletic chances. There are three major sporting associations that you need to know; the NCAA, NAIA, and the NJCAA. By following the subject requirements set out by the NCAA, you will qualify for all three and will give yourself the best opportunity to win a scholarship.
All the above-mentioned associations take your marks into consideration from Grade 9 to Grade 12. The NCAA requires South African students to take; Mathematics, English and an additional language for four consecutive years. They also require 2 Social Sciences and 2 Natural Sciences. (Maths Literacy is not accepted)
When choosing your Social Sciences, the following subjects will give you credit; History, Geography, Religion, Archaeology, Criminology, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology and Economics (Business Studies and Business Economics do not qualify).
Ways to Ensure Social Science Compliance:
When selecting subjects in grade 9, you should choose either History or Geography. This is the best way to qualify for NCAA eligibility.
If your high school does not combine History and Geography into Social Science in grade 9, you will get two credits. It does not matter that both subjects were taken in the same year.
If you are in Grade 11, and it is too late to switch subjects. You can complete an online course to make up. These online courses are eight weeks and are turned in and marked online. (Contact us for more information.)
The following subjects will give you credits toward your Natural Science requirements; Biology, Life Science, Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, Anatomy, Environmental Sciences and Physiology. The NCAA requires students to complete two years of a Natural Science in high school.
Ways to Ensure Social Science Compliance:
In Grade 9 you took Biology and Physical Science which were not combined into Natural Science.
In Grade 9 you should select Biology or Physical Science as a high school subject. This is the best way to qualify for NCAA eligibility.
You are in Grade 11, and it is too late to switch subjects. You can complete an online Natural Science course. These online courses are eight weeks and are turned in and marked online.
Common Problems Students Experience:
In Grade 9, South African schools often combine History & Geography into Social Science and Life Science & Physical Science into Natural Science. As a result, the NCAA will only recognise one year, and you will need to take additional subjects in grade 10.
Maths Literacy is not acknowledged by the NCAA. No matter how talented you are, you will not be eligible to compete in the NCAA for one year. The problem is, coaches do not offer scholarships to ineligible athletes when they can recruit someone who can play. Our advice is to avoid it at any cost; it is better to get 50% for Core Mathematics than 80% for Mathematics Literacy. (Maths Literacy is accepted by NAIA and NJCAA Colleges.)
Can I still play in the NCAA if I do not meet their requirements?
Yes, you can still play in the NCAA. The requirements listed above are specific to the NCAA which is the biggest athletic association in the USA with over 1100 top institutions. The NAIA has 300 member colleges, and the NJCAA has over 500. When students do not meet the requirements, they will have to spend at least one season outside the NCAA before being able to transfer in. This is not uncommon and is used by many top athletes in our program.
When people think of South Africa, they think of a place that is rich in culture, history and abundant resources. Often, we do not think of the successful people who left to make a distinctly South African mark all over the world. In this week's blog, we focus on five South Africans who are using their heritage to dominate their respective fields in the USA.
Richman Mahlangu - University of Las Vegas
Richman Mahlangu had to endure the hardship of growing up in a South African township during the Apartheid era. His passion for tennis put his life on a different path to most township children. Richman's first experience of tennis was hitting a ball against the wall with a time-worn racket that was missing one too many strings. Tim Gray, a local tennis coach, took note of Richman's drive and offered to coach him for free. Their bond grew, and so did Richman's talent and determination which lead him to receive a tennis scholarship from the University of Las Vegas in 2002, where he obtained a Master’s in Educational Psychology. He now dedicates his time to coaching his two sons who have both received full tennis scholarships to Harvard and Georgetown University.
Nomvimbi Meriwether - American University
Nomvimbi Meriwether grew up in Soweto South Africa during the apartheid era. Despite all the hardships black South Africans had to face, Mrs Meriwether managed to become one of the first black female lawyers in South Africa. After obtaining her Law Degree, Mrs Meriwether crossed the Atlantic and enrolled in the MBA programme at American University, where she met her husband, Dr Wilhelm Meriwether, who also happened to be the first African-American accepted into the Duke University Medical School. In 1987 the couple travelled back to South Africa where they spent eight years at a rural hospital helping over half a million people. Their daughter, Nana, is the 2012 winner of Miss USA and she hopes to continue what her parents started by helping the less fortunate in South Africa.
Roelof Botha - Stanford University
Roelof Botha grew up in South Africa and attended Jan Van Riebeeck High School. He studied Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town where he achieved the highest ever recorded GPA in UCT's history. He moved to the States where he obtained his MBA at Stanford University. Botha was listed 22nd on Forbes Most Successful Venture Capitalist list and is a crucial member of many well-known companies such as Paypal, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube and Weebly to name but a few. He is currently a partner at Sequoia Capital and has a net worth in the billions of dollars.
Liam Pedersen - George Washington University
Liam Pedersen was born and raised in Cape Town South Africa before completing his honours degree at Rhodes University. He eventually found himself studying M.S.E.E at George Washington University and received his PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr Pedersen currently works for NASA where he builds robotic systems to find life on Mars as well as robots that look for microbes in the Polar Ice Caps.
Elon Musk - University of Pennsylvania & Stanford University
Elon Musk grew up in Pretoria South Africa and attended Pretoria Boys High School. At 17 years old Musk moved to Canada to avoid being a part of the South African Military compulsory programme. He majored in Business and Physics at the University of Pennsylvania and attended Stanford University to get his PhD in Physics. He only landed up attending Stanford for two days before dropping out to focus his attention on his up and coming company called Zip2 Corporation which was bought for $307 million. He later played a major role in online payment services where his X.com company eventually became Paypal. Musk has a very interesting vision of the future and is doing everything he can to become a pioneer for future generations. In 2016 he was ranked 21st of Forbes Most Powerful People list.
South Africans are gaining a lot of international attention and are often complimented on the way they are changing the world. Whether it be a tennis father making his kids realise their potential, a lawyer helping million's of people or a philanthropist trying to make the world a better place, all these South Africans have the same thing in common: Determination. I think this is something every person who grows up in the Rainbow Nation gets instilled with.
Shelby Foote once said, "A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library". In this week's blog, we focus on some of the most beautiful of these Universities. From Ivy League Universities to State Colleges, find out who made their mark on these stunning campuses.
Princeton University - New Jersey
College of New Jersey was the original name of this Ivy League University when it first opened in 1746, changing to Princeton University in 1896. It was the fourth chartered institution of higher education making it one of the only colonial colleges established before the American Revolution. Princeton has a great reputation for education having a faculty to student ratio of 1:6, they are also extremely competitive in their sports programmes, having won the most Ivy League Championships since the league began.
Princeton University was the first university to use the word ‘campus’.
Due to the beauty of the campus, many well-known movies have been filmed there, A Beautiful Mind and Transformers to name but a few.
In the University Art Gallery, there are original Monet paintings.
75% of Princeton University graduates marry each other.
If the football team beats Harvard and Yale in the same year, there is a massive bonfire ceremony held in the middle of the campus
Michelle Obama - Former First Lady of the United States
Woodrow Wilson - Former President of the United States
Rice University - Texas
Rice University is a small private institution based in Houston Texas. The university opened in 1912 after its founder William Marsh Rice, a businessman from Massachusetts, created a Charter in his will stating when he passed, his enormous fortune would be used to fund a top University. When Mr Rice was murdered by his Valet, the Charter to build Rice University was triggered, and the first classes were held in 1912. Today, Rice University has a large focus on research, having recently raised $115 million in sponsorship's for research. This is a considerable feet considering that Rice only has 7000 students.
Rice University is often voted as the University with the Happiest Students as well as Best Student Life.
Rice University students are known for their pranking antics and seniors will often have a big prank planned for their year.
The Baker 13 tradition is held once a year at 10 p.m at night. During this tradition, Rice students will race around campus wearing nothing but their shoes and shaving cream.
Freshmen Students have to matriculate when they start at Rice. To "Matriculate" freshmen have to walk through the Sallyport Archway and into the academic quad.
William Marsh Rice is buried in the University, making Rice the biggest cemetery in Texas.
Lance Berkman - Baseball player for Houston Astros
Larry Izzo - Football player for New England Patriots
Kwatsi Alibaruho - NASA’s first African-American flight director
Larry McMurty - Oscar-winning writer
Candace Bushnell - Writer
Stanford University - California
Leland Stanford purchased 650 acres of land in 1876 to develop a stock farm. Leland's farm grew from 650 to 8,000 acres, and formed the platform for this prestigious university. Life was looking good for the Stanford family until Leland's only son tragically passed away of Typhoid Fever in 1884. This passing inspired him to spend his money on the children of California as he no longer had children of his own. After six years of planning and building, Stanford University opened in 1891, and the rest as they say, is history.
Stanford Athletes have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1908
Fountain Hopping is when freshman are challenged to run around the campus to each fountain and jump in and out.
The Wacky Walk is a tradition where graduating students march and run into Stanford Stadium.
Students take part in an activity called Steam Tunnelling where they sneak into the universities elaborate underground steam tunnels at night and run through them without getting lost.
There are more registered bicycles on campus than there are students.
John F. Kennedy - Former President of the United States
Phil Knight - Founder of Nike
Tiger Woods - Professional golfer
Elon Musk - Founder of Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX
Reed Hastings - Founder of Netflix
University of Colorado Boulder - Colorado
This university is very fortunate to have a backdrop like Colorado, as it is so beautiful that you could put any building there and it will be breathtaking. The University of Colorado's buildings are magnificent in their own right, and the urban planning of the university has not drifted away from its routes. The University opened in 1876 to be the Colorado State’s main University. Boulder and Canon City had a competition where the losing town would have to open up a new prison. Luckily Boulder came out on top and we are now blessed with one of the world's most beautiful pieces of urban landscape.
Before every home football game fans gather around the bronze buffalo statue and rub its horns for good luck
There has been 5 Noble Peace Prize winners from the University of Colorado.
Their homecoming tradition is over 100 years old.
In 1949 a group of students hiked up and painted a huge CU on the Flatirons Mountains that can still be seen today.
The Nearly Naked Mile happens every October where students arrive at the race fully clothed, and you can guess what happens next.
Steve Wozniak - Co-Founder of Apple
Trey Parker - Co-Creator of South Park
Mat Stone - Co-Creator of South Park
Jim Gray - Emmy Award Winner
Billy Kidd - Olympic Skier
Miami University of Ohio - Ohio
Robert Frost complimented the university by saying it is “the most beautiful campus that ever there was”. Miami U, Miami of Ohio or Miami are often what is referred to when speaking about Miami University. The Univerisity held its first classes in 1824 with no more than 20 students. Now, Maimi consists of 18000 students. If the have an appreciation for beautiful architecture and Greek traditions then Miami is the place for you.
University of Miami’s on-campus Sports Hall of Fame houses an authentic Seminole war canoe that was hand carved and painted by tribes people in 1955.
As a football tradition, Miami players and fans hold up four fingers at the beginning of the 4th quarter at every home football game to indicate they own the last quarter.
You are not allowed to walk on the University Seal (crest) that sits in the middle of the campus.
The total cost of attending Miami during its first year was $93, including board, room, tuition, laundry, candles, and wood.
In the 1830's Miami was the fourth largest college in the United States trailing only Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth.
Enrique Iglesias - Singer
Benjamin Harrison - 23rd President of the United States