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First Point USA assessment

(41 Posts)
WhyNotDuckie Fri 28-Jul-17 18:38:17

Hi. My DS, 15, recently went for an assessment with First Point USA. (It's a company which assesses kids in various different sports and says whether they're good enough to be put forward for a sports scholarship in an American college)

We've just had an email to say that he was successful.

Has anyone had any experience of this company?

Given that you have to pay for them to 'advertise' the child's skills to the various colleges, is it a scam?

I would be really grateful for any advice from anyone with any contact with this company.

Thank you!

lljkk Sat 29-Jul-17 11:54:02

No idea, but will bump for you. What do they charge & what do they say they do for you?

What do they do that you couldn't do for yourself with lots of Google searching?

lljkk Sat 29-Jul-17 11:54:14

ps: what sport does your son play?

cdtaylornats Sat 29-Jul-17 14:51:56

BBC don't seem impressed

VimFuego101 Sat 29-Jul-17 15:02:04

The Fulbright trust helps kids in the U.K. apply to US colleges. I'm not sure if they deal with sports scholarships specifically but they may have some advice on how to go about this.

Are you prepared to pay the remaining costs if he doesn't get a full scholarship?

WhyNotDuckie Sat 29-Jul-17 16:52:59

Thanks for your replies, everyone. You've made some useful points. I can't open the link at the moment because I'm on holiday and the Wi-Fi is dodgy, but will investigate when we get back. Much appreciated!

swingofthings Sun 30-Jul-17 09:32:31

Definitely read it! I studied in the USA as an international student. Got some help in Y2 and Y3 (studied in the summer too so did it in three rather than four years) but had to work and use inheritance to pay most of it. During my time, I only met one international student on a good scholarship and he was highly talented in gymnastics recognised in his own country (and end up in the Olympics).

It's very hard to get a good sport scholarship for Americans because competition is so fierce, let alone as international students.

Merrylegs Sun 30-Jul-17 09:50:26

What's the sport?

Also do you mean uni?

Because I would say 15 is a little young still.

For eg DS did this but at 6th form and chose a company that specialised in his sport as did his fellow sports friends.

There is an element of advertising yourself (they all had videos done for eg and paid the company, so that part rings true. The company helped with everything from application to SATs for eg) but they all started the process in the latter half of L6, really no point before. There was a mix of full/part scholarships depending on the prestige of the college. The girls got better deals as there were less of them so higher demand.

(TLDR:choose a company that specializes in the sport, not a generic cover-all.)

mathanxiety Mon 07-Aug-17 04:41:58

15 is not too young at all to start thinking about this, as there will be academic hurdles to deal with on top of excelling in the sport. The NCAA will want to see detailed school reports from about the 9th year of school on.

I am in the US and I know students who have been scouted from age 12 on by college (i.e. 'university' coaches), several in softball, but also in tennis, track and wrestling.

Your student will need American SAT or ACT scores. These tests will require preparation. Look at for information on preparing for these tests and test taking itself. You will need to set up an account in order to register for test taking and for scores to be processed. Prep for the tests will require a good deal of time and commitment. Start early.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) guidelines/ requirements.
Normal NCAA email to prospective student-athletes from the UK. Specific instructions are included in this email, as well as links, with a timetable, specific tasks and deadlines, etc.

Good luck! There are about 17,000 international student athletes in the US.

Be aware though, that if your student should end up admitted to an American university, he will only retain eligibility for the scholarship as long as he remains a student in good standing (there is a minimum grade point average - aka GPA) and as long as he continues to make the team - an injury could end his academic career in the US as well as ending his sport dream.

Be choosy about the universities on your list. Not all university degrees are worth the paper the diploma is printed on.

Lots of American students, both athletic hopefuls and non sports students get unsolicited offers in the mail from companies running what amounts to travel agent services for 'leadership experiences' or other experiences, and all you have to do is fork over several thousand dollars, for example, for a week in Washington DC, attending a few lectures, doing tours, and what not. The letters begin with a 'Congratulations, you have been chosen!' spiel.

So be careful - the 'you've been chosen' bit is sometimes about extracting money from you.
Scroll down to 'Questions to ask an athletic recruiting service'.

Daisymay2 Mon 07-Aug-17 05:18:34

A girl from my son's year was approached by US universities at hockey tournaments, she played at regional/ country squad level. They found her rather than she went looking as far as I know.
Have you spoken to the school or club? If they2 deal with elite sport regularly they may have contacts or know the company to help you assess whether the chances are realistic.

WhyNotDuckie Mon 07-Aug-17 19:04:25

Great advice everyone, particularly @mathanxiety The next part of the assessment is tomorrow. I feel much better informed having read the links posted here. Still feeling a little worried but will go with an open mind and see what happens.

Travelledtheworld Mon 07-Aug-17 23:30:11

Good luck with this.
Don't know anything about the organisation you refer to, but if you are seriously considering college in the states you
need to research college tuition fees very carefully.
Even with a scholarship they can be astronomical. Worse now the pound is weak against the dollar.
Also think seriously about the location of the college, how accessible it is to get to from the UK. What is the climate like ? What are the politics and religion of the state and the city.

Evangeline3 Tue 08-Aug-17 00:42:52

I think it's a scam. I know a few people who were "offered to go there".

WhyNotDuckie Wed 09-Aug-17 19:23:06

Well the second part of the assessment was yesterday. This was to see whether his grades were up to scratch. Waiting to hear now. To be honest it sounds like a great opportunity for him when he's a bit older. I still have some concerns but am less worried.

I'm going to wait and see what they say, and then make a decision.

Shockers Fri 22-Sep-17 12:59:31

I'm currently sitting watching my son have his first assessment and I'm concerned that it may not be all it promises (hence the Google).

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 22-Sep-17 22:17:11

Do not hand over any cash to these people!

Shockers Sat 23-Sep-17 08:37:53

Have you had experience of them Allthebest?

I spent the journey home trying to explain to DS that there are probably ways to do this without paying a £2750 fee upfront to a company who are basically just going to show a video of him to a few American universities. They've reeled him in well though, with their talk of only choosing the students they know will succeed.

WhyNotDuckie Sat 23-Sep-17 09:18:58

To be fair, FirstPoint do say that you can do the college application process all yourself, there's no need to pay them, but that if you do choose to pay, you're paying them for a service (visa help, SAT exam prep etc).

My son has been really energised by the process and it's made him get his head down and work hard so far this term so for me it's money well spent. However I do appreciate that it's a huge amount of money.

Also they don't in any way guarantee that you'll get a full ride scholarship (which is where they pay tuition, accommodation and food) - it's about a one in six chance for this. I think it's more likely that my son will end up with something that means it'll cost about the same as a degree over here. I'm happy for him to have the experience of studying in the USA, if it works out at a similar price as studying here.

Ultimately it's up to each individual parent, but it's working for us so far.

Shockers Sat 23-Sep-17 09:46:57

How old is your son, Duckie and what sport does he do? Would he be going next August?

I think for me, it was the 'you have a month to pay after selection, or start the process again' which started the alarm bells, although I realise it's a lengthy process. DS is 17 and sits his A levels next year, so would be looking at next August to go.

WhyNotDuckie Sat 23-Sep-17 12:48:12

Hi shockers ,

He's 15 so wouldn't be going for three years yet. He's a footballer.

I know what you mean about alarm bells. It's an awful lot of money! We're paying in five instalments, which is a little bit easier, but still.....

I'd do more research and see what feels right for you.

Good luck!smile

WhyNotDuckie Sat 23-Sep-17 12:48:13

Hi shockers ,

He's 15 so wouldn't be going for three years yet. He's a footballer.

I know what you mean about alarm bells. It's an awful lot of money! We're paying in five instalments, which is a little bit easier, but still.....

I'd do more research and see what feels right for you.

Good luck!smile

WhyNotDuckie Sat 23-Sep-17 12:48:14

Hi shockers ,

He's 15 so wouldn't be going for three years yet. He's a footballer.

I know what you mean about alarm bells. It's an awful lot of money! We're paying in five instalments, which is a little bit easier, but still.....

I'd do more research and see what feels right for you.

Good luck!smile

WhyNotDuckie Sat 23-Sep-17 12:49:02

Wow what happened there??? Sorry for the triple posting!

Shockers Sat 23-Sep-17 13:15:55


Thanks! I'm still mulling it over, but also looking into how we might arrange it ourselves. I'm slightly concerned that DS might be viewing it as an easy option... which it definitely isn't!

WhyNotDuckie Sat 23-Sep-17 14:14:32

Definitely not an easy option!

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