Which Universities do Study & Play USA work with?

There are approximately 4500 Universities in the USA. In short, we work with all of them. However, not all 4500 Universities are suitable to each individual. Narrowing the search eventuates through a series of filters such as family budget, scholarship availability, suitability of environment, academic and athletic eligibility and more. Study & Play USA works with each family to develop a search criteria that is realistic and attainable.

When is the best time to start the process?

As qualified educators and coaches, Study & Play USA staff understand that student-athletes develop at different rates. The same applies to making what is a very important family decision to send one’s son or daughter to the USA for a study and play experience. In our experience, the families that are best educated and prepared about the pathway tend to get the best outcomes for their sons and daughters. For these reasons, we recommend being informed and educated about all that is involved in the pathway. Some student-athletes start planning as early as Year 8 but do not start the official application process until the commencement of year 11 (recommended). Some student-athletes only discover the pathway late in high school and therefore commence in Year 12. Whilst this is getting a little late to be starting, Study & Play USA will work with any student-athlete who is ready and willing to engage in the exciting process.

Ideal commencement timelines:

Year 8- engage with Study & Play USA staff to ask any initial questions about the pathway

Year 9- start to consider what academic markers need to be met, which, for the USA University system, starts in Year 9

Year 10- meet with a Study & Play USA Talent Coordinator

Year 10 Term Four – Year 11 Term 1: Ideal time to commence the process with Study & Play USA to maximise scholarship opportunities

Year 11 and Year 12- The earlier one starts, the less stress for the student-athlete and more time coaches in the USA have to track the progress of our student-athletes

What costs do my family need to budget for in this process?

As early as Year 10, student-athletes and their families will meet with a Study & Play USA Talent Coordinator for an obligation free assessment. One of the useful outcomes from the meeting is that families walk away with a comprehensive guide to budgeting for the pathway, both in Australia and then once in the USA on scholarship. This budgeting guide is customised to each family and is based on the student-athlete’s sport, their athletic trajectory, academic level and overall eligibility. For almost all families, the true cost of living in the USA as a student-athlete compares very favourably with staying in Australia beyond high school.

Can I work whilst on a student visa and in College?

A small number of our student-athletes seek part time work on a non-immigrant student visa. This form of visa (recommended) permits student-athletes to work strictly on campus. Student-athletes can also access off campus work through paid internships by applying through the University. With an internship visa student-athletes can work as an intern anywhere in the USA over the summer break, which runs from May through August every year. One important stipulation is that the internship visa requires that the paid work must be directly related to the student-athlete’s areas of study. How much employment each student athlete undertakes on or off campus is a decision based on balance between sport and study commitments. For some families, this extra income can help offset costs not covered by scholarship.

Do I set up my own bank account in the USA?

Many of our student-athletes decide to open a bank account in the USA. It can be useful for student-athletes who have attained a part-time job on campus and it can be helpful for those on paid internships to have a local bank to manage their money whilst in the USA. University staff are very helpful in aiding in this process for out student-athletes.

Do scholarships include medical insurance?

Many scholarships include insurance. If the scholarship does not include insurance, we recommend that you have protection. US insurance costs about $US500 -$1000 per annum, which covers sports related injury and non-sports related illness or injury. It’s best to research all of your options and as part of our program, Study & Play USA can recommend cover from both Australian based or US based insurers. The exact costs would be advised at the time of seeking protection.

Do I lose scholarship if I am injured in the USA?

Getting injured is an unfortunate risk of being an athlete. Colleges in the USA know this and therefore commit to helping athletes rehabilitate.


Whilst rehabilitation is happening, student-athletes remain on scholarship, continuing their studies. In many cases, student-athletes will sit out or ‘redshirt’ a season of competition. This enables the athlete to continue towards graduation academically, but also access the missed season once their four years of eligibility has expired. Losing scholarship is very uncommon due to injury – the main causes are poor academic effort, poor behaviour or poor attitude towards athletic training.

What happens if I get injured during the process before heading to the USA?

US Colleges offering athletic scholarships are aware that athletics sustain injuries. In our experience, provided the damage is not one that ends a student’s athletic aspirations completely, injuries do not impact on getting or maintaining a scholarship. In fact, in many recent cases, our student-athletes who have sustained injury during high school have been able to turn their injury recovery into a demonstration of resilience, which has been very well received by coaches in the USA.

How do I know if I qualify? Am I good enough?

The best way to find this out is to contact us, and we will provide for you an obligation-free academic and athletic assessment. These assessments provide you with definitive feedback that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not this pathway is for you.

Why can’t I just do it myself?

You can do so if you wish. However, while much of the process may be able to be completed by yourself, it only takes one small error or oversight in paperwork to impact your eligibility to compete in College, causing you to run out of time or miss out on the opportunity altogether. Many applicants come to Study & Play USA after attempting the process on their own, having hit a ‘brick wall’ in the process. It is unfortunate for those who have given up on such a great opportunity due to these obstacles turning them off. For this reason, engaging Study & Play USA to facilitate and guide you through the process gives you peace of mind and a wealth of experience.

Who contacts the coaches?

The benefit of Study & Play USA speaking with coaches is that coaches in the USA would rather obtain information on potential recruits from a reputable service such as Study & Play USA. As Study & Play USA is in regular communication with coaches in the USA, we are aware of where the opportunities are available for any given level. We put you in touch with the appropriate coaches according to your level, your needs and availability of scholarship.

Which colleges do you work with?

This is a very common question, which has a simple answer – Study & Play USA can and will put you in contact with any University in the USA. We do not have special agreements or arrangements with specific Universities. However, if past student-athletes are particularly happy and successful at certain colleges, and the coaches are happy with their past Australian players, then the chances of future students attending that college obviously increase.

Are collegiate sports a good launch pad into professional sports?

If you desire to pursue your sport professionally, going to College in the USA absolutely gives you every opportunity to do so. The facilities are second to none, the training schedule is as intense as you want it to be, and coaches are very supportive of athletes wishing to continue their sport beyond graduation. In fact, one of Study & Play USA’s student-athletes in recent years was granted leave from University for National Championships and even the Olympic Games representing Australia.

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An Aussie's Transformative
US College Journey

By Study & Play Director, Chris Bates