There are over 250 UAE high school athletes that have the potential to play sports competitively at universities across the United States, as well as benefit from full scholarship opportunities that cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, food and books. Recruited athletes at the Division I level are eligible to receive an American undergraduate education – which can often cost upwards of 1 million AED – for free and secure preferential treatment by admissions officers when applying to university.
This is a tribute to sporting excellence in the UAE, where many students excel in golf, football, swimming, gymnastics, and tennis, in particular. The country is home to myriad sports academies, most led by former professional players and coaches, that help their student athletes prepare for competition at the highest level, through intensive after-school training and development.
These views were expressed by Peter Davos, Managing Director of Carian College Advisors, and Rob Miller and Lance Easton, NSR Directors of Recruiting, during the signing ceremony of an exclusive partnership and cross-marketing agreement. The agreement will cover outreach to student athletes living in the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
Davos said: “What make our partnership unique is that we will offer a combined service package that features both academic and athletic guidance. Unlike in the US, virtually all GCC student athletes are focused on securing an excellent education, as well as athletic scholarship and development opportunities. They are not strictly interested in athletics alone.” He added: “While the UAE has hundreds of talented student athletes, they are largely unaware of the complex recruiting and registration processes required to play intercollegiate sports in the US, as well as how to best leverage their athletic talent to secure full scholarship opportunities.”
Davos added: “We are delighted to sign this strategic and exclusive partnership agreement with such a reputable American institution as NSR. Being a recruited athlete often has the greatest impact on a student’s chance of admission, more so than being a legacy, under-represented minority, first generation college student, or socioeconomically disadvantaged candidate.”
Davos added that there is a misconception in the GCC that academic and athletic excellence must be mutually exclusive. Quoting examples, Harvard University has the largest Division I Athletics Program in the US, while Stanford and UC Berkeley sent 100 of their college athletes to the London Olympics, where they were able to secure 32 medals. Also, Stanford students alone have won 224 Olympic medals over the past 100 years.
He said: “We anticipate that dozens of UAE student athletes will be selected to represent their countries in national and international competitions around the globe.”
Carian College Advisors and NSR will work together to raise awareness about the lucrative financial, academic and networking benefits available to recruited student athletes at US universities, as well as create pathways for them to achieve their academic and athletic goals.
Rob Miller, NSR Director of Recruiting, said: “We have chosen to partner with Carian in the GCC because of their strong credentials, track record of success, and American staff and focus. Together with Carian, we will help Gulf student athletes achieve their goals of playing sports competitively in US universities, in all major disciplines.”
NSR, in operation for over three decades, has over 150 staff members, and will dispatch scouts to the GCC to assess athletes’ competitiveness and potential in major sports. Miller said: “We have helped thousands of student athletes and have the strongest relationship network with college coaches – as many of our staff are former Division I coaches themselves – and have a placement success rate of over 98%.”
Davos added: “This agreement will effectively promote UAE candidates to make their profile and videos available to every college coach in America in their respective sports, with the most competitive ones securing hundreds of enquiries from US university coaches.”
Hosting national showcase events and tournaments in the US, NSR is the most revered high school scouting and college recruiting organization in the world. Since 1980, US college coaches have depended on NSR to present quality prospects for recognition, evaluation and recruitment.
With over 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the US in 50 states, Carian College Advisors assists UAE students in their US university preparation and application endeavors. Carian has helped students secure admission to many leading US universities, such as Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Cornell, Yale, Brown, Columbia, UCLA, Berkeley and New York University.