Education and training

Behind the Scenes: The Role of the College Agent in Facilitating Sport Scholarships

In recent years, the landscape of college recruitment and scholarships has undergone a significant transformation. What started as a niche service has now become a crucial support system for prospective and current student athletes.

College agent development: From niche service to essential support

In the past, student athletes and their families were left to navigate the complex and competitive world on their own. Limited resources, lack of connections and knowledge of the process often led to missed opportunities and frustration. NSSA was born in 2017 in the wake of this frustration. 

There were also a lot of college agencies before this – come on. However, as college sports as a whole have become more professionalized  as well as specific sports have seen great growth in the United States (football being the example), not only have new organizations like us emerged, but existing organizations have been forced to change. 

The first college agencies emerged because they recognized the need for expert guidance and support in the pursuit of a scholarship.
A trusted partner equipped with the knowledge, experience and network to help student athletes navigate the complex landscape.
This is still the case today.
Over time, however, the industry has evolved to meet the changing needs of not only the many student athletes, but also the colleges, universities and high schools that are crucial to having something to offer a client. They are the ones who bring the money.
The assessment of each client’s sporting level is more important than ever. Assessments, personalized college matching and college strategy. Negotiating with ourselves is one of the things we spend the most time on.
Technological advancements have accelerated the ability of college agencies to evaluate and promote clients, but have also increased the demands of colleges.
Video, data and statistics are increasingly in demand.

More international student athletes

In general, thethe percentage of international student athletes in the US is steadily increasing, as a result of colleges now being better able to assess an individual’s level regardless of geographical location or personal connections. Recruitment is active all over the world.

This increase is set to continue and college agencies will have a big part to play in facilitating this development.

Today, the industry is in a place where you, as an aspiring and potential student athlete, will find it very difficult to get a good scholarship offer if you haven’t partnered with an agency that can facilitate the dialog and promote your profile to the right colleges and universities. That’s where the evolution has come from and that’s why we have our raison d’être.

What does a college agent actually do?

While the dream of becoming a successful student athlete is appealing, the process can seem overwhelming. This is where a college agent enters the picture.
But what does the role of a college agent actually entail?
Here, we dive into the key elements that make up the support a college agent offers – from personal consultations to athletic evaluations – and how they help shape your path to a future as a student athlete in the US.

Personal consultations

We offer 1:1 conversations with interested young people and have a dialog about dreams, hopes and goals. Understanding the motivation behind the stay and the person behind the athlete is paramount to creating a great college experience

Academic evaluations

Early in the process, we assess the client’s academic abilities and opportunities. There are varying academic requirements for playing collegiate sports in different federations; the academic evaluation therefore forms the basis for the type of university to which you can be admitted.
There are 3 different associations. You can read more about them here.

Athletic evaluations

We carefully evaluate the client’s athletic level and potential. This involves a thorough analysis of matches and events, both by being present in person and through video recordings. We also delve into sports history and statistics to get a holistic picture of the client’s performance.

As an example, we hold a 100-meter swim time against NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA standards. We do the same with a runner. Or a thrower.

Whether it’s in soccer, swimming or Track & Field, the level of athleticism is crucial to the opportunities that can arise in the US. This can affect which universities show interest, as well as what financial and academic offers can be made available.

It’s important to understand that the athletic aspect plays a key role in the college system. The system is designed to promote and reward sporting ability and performance, which can open doors to sporting challenges, financial support and academic opportunities.

College matching

A big part of our job is knowing the landscape and maintaining in-depth knowledge of the athletic situation at the many colleges and universities in the NCAA, NJCAA and NAIA. What kind of football do they play? What ambitions do they have for their swim team? How have their athletics teams done historically?
How is the academic offering?
These are just some of the questions we need to answer to be able to match our clients with the right colleges and universities.


This point primarily refers to sports such as football, tennis or basketball where the eye test is crucial for college coaches’ ability to assess the athletic level of the client in question. We therefore help clients collect video (we lend VEO cameras to clients) and set up highlight videos that showcase their skills in the best possible way.


Once all preliminary work is completed, we have a finalized college profile of our client.
We promote this profile to selected colleges and universities in our network.
In some cases, we start broad and in others, we know exactly which ones might be a match for our client.
We actively market the client, have a dialog with the college coaches about themselves and facilitate the contact between them and our client.

Scholarship negotiations

One of the most important areas of work for a college agent is negotiating the size and length of scholarships. A scholarship varies in size and can cover anything between 10,000 kr. annually to 500,000 annually.
In other words, these are large sums of money that colleges are willing to award to the right student athlete.
Therefore, they also need to be confident in their decision. They have X amount of money to spend in an annual budget to be distributed across a squad. They save where they can.
Our job is to provide the best financial package within the academic and sporting framework that we have set out with the client and their backers.

NCAA Compliance

We guide our clients through the important eligibility process; a process that ensures that you maintain all the requirements to participate in collegiate sports as an international student in the US.
This includes the verification of relevant school documents as well as proof of amateur sporting status.

Support throughout the college journey

Providing support and being someone you can call for advice has always been a big priority for us here at NSSA. We’ve been there and know what considerations you go through as a student athlete. These considerations often require someone who knows the system inside out.
A large part of our daily life is therefore spent in dialog with current clients who are in the US.
The goal has always been to collect relationships; not clients.

Networking, college transfers and the professional dream

In addition to providing support throughout the journey, we also facilitate some of the opportunities that come with being a student athlete in the US.
2 times a year we help our existing clients with internal college transfers. Especially when you’re a student athlete, it’s normal to switch between colleges during your 4-year college career. This could be because you have delivered sporting achievements that justify a higher level.
In addition, various tournaments are held throughout the summer where student athletes and other skilled players periodically join a team and showcase themselves to MLS and USL Championship teams.
Whether in Europe or in the US, we also wholeheartedly support our clients’ professional dreams and try to leverage our networks in Denmark and the US to their advantage.
Last year, our client Peter Swinkels signed a professional contract with One Knoxville SC from USL 1.
During the same period, Søren Ilsøe got a trial with the New York Red Bulls from MLS and is now a regular for AB in the 2nd Division after great stays at Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut.
We strongly believe that there will be many more of these stories to come.

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The best universities in the US in 2023

Known for its excellent education sector, the US offers a wide range of highly regarded universities that attract students from all over the world. If you’re considering studying in the US, or are just curious to discover some of the most recognized academic institutions in the country, you’ve come to the right place.

These universities have been recognized for their academic excellence, research and commitment to providing an excellent education to students around the world. Below we have compiled a list of the top 10 universities in the US to help you decide which university is considered the best in the country.

The 10 best universities in the US in 2023

# University Number of Students International Students Number of students per student Employee Female:Male Ratio
1 Harvard University 21.997 25 % 9.6 50 : 50
2 Stanford University 16.164 24 % 7.1 46 : 54
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 11.425 33 % 8.2 40 : 60
4 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 2.237 34 % 6.2 37 : 63
5 Princeton University 8.279 23 % 8.0 46 : 54
6 University of California, Berkeley 40.921 24 % 18.4 52 : 48
7 Yale University 13.482 21 % 5.9 52 : 48
8 Columbia University 21.781 38 % 5.9 n/a
9 The University of Chicago 15.366 36 % 6.0 47 : 53
10 University of Pennsylvania 21.453 23 % 6.3 53 : 47

How is a university rated?

Every year, World University Rankings publishes their list of the best universities in the world.
The ranking takes into account a number of factors, including academic reputation, research influence, faculty quality, infrastructure and international diversity.

When you look at the rankings, you’ll notice that there is a strong representation of American universities among the best worldwide. The US is home to some of the most prestigious and innovative educational institutions, attracting students and researchers from all over the world.

When we take a look at the list of the top 10 universities in the US in 2023 based on the World University Rankings, you’ll find that these institutions are characterized by their academic excellence, research accolades and involvement in both academic and sports activities. Whether you want to pursue a career in sports, science, technology or humanities, these universities will provide you with an excellent educational experience and open doors to exciting opportunities.

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Understand the 4 stages of College: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior

Starting a university education as a Student Athlete is an exciting and challenging journey. Not only do you have the opportunity to pursue higher education, but you also have the privilege of participating in college sports. However, navigating the college experience can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding the different terms associated with each year. In this article, we go through the different stages of a university education for student athletes, from first to final year, so you can understand what each year entails and how it affects your academic and sporting activities.

Freshman Year: A new beginning

Year 1

As a freshman, you enter campus with a sense of anticipation and enthusiasm. It is a time of adjustment, both academically and athletically. You will attend introductory courses, build up a routine and get to know your teammates and coaches. The first year of college lays the foundation for your college career, as you adapt to the demands of balancing sport and study.

When you arrive in the US as a student athlete, you are not far from the traditional media day where the first pictures of you in your new gear are taken.

Sophomore Year: Building Momentum.

Year 2

By the time you are in your second year, you are more familiar with college life and have found a rhythm. You continue to take majors while delving deeper into your field of study. On the sporting front, you have gained experience and may even contribute greatly to your team. The second year is a crucial time for growth and development, both academically and athletically.

Junior Year: You dig deeper.

Year 3

The junior year is often considered to be the most challenging and crucial year academically. You will delve deeper into your field of study, explore specialized subjects and maybe even do some research. As a student athlete, you are in full swing with your sport and have built up momentum. You take on leadership roles and have a big impact on your team. The junior year is a time of increased responsibility and preparation for what lies ahead.

During your time as a student athlete, you might even be lucky enough to win an individual award, academic recognition or even a championship!

Senior Year: The culmination.

Year 4

Your senior year is the culmination of your college journey. You will complete your major, perhaps participate in internships or research projects, and prepare for your postgraduate plans. As a senior athlete, it’s your last year of college sports. You will cherish your last moments on the pitch and hopefully leave a lasting impression on your team. It is a time for reflection, celebration and preparation to move on to the next phase of your life.

Embrace the whole journey!

While the terms freshman, sophomore, junior and senior describe the individual stages, it is important to recognize that college education for student athletes is about more than just years. It is a holistic experience that encompasses personal growth, character development and lifelong connections. Embrace the entire journey, believing that each stage contributes to your overall development as a student athlete and prepares you for success after college.

As a student athlete, it is important to understand the different phases of a university education in order to effectively navigate your academic and athletic endeavors. From the exciting first year as a freshman to the culmination of senior year, each phase offers unique opportunities and challenges. By taking the whole journey with you, you will make the most of your college experience and forge a path to academic excellence and sporting achievement. We are here to support you every step of the way and ensure that you thrive throughout your life as a student athlete.

Remember that your college education is not only defined by these terms. It is a transformative experience that includes personal development, close friendships and valuable life lessons. Embrace the journey, seize every opportunity and make your mark on the experience.

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High School in the US: The alternative to a sports boarding school

If you want to combine your passion for sport with an international education, high school in the US can be the perfect alternative to a traditional sports high school. We are seeing increasing interest from young athletes and their parents who are looking for the opportunity to spend a year at a high school after primary or middle school.

In this short article, we’ll write about what high school is, why it can be a rewarding experience, and we’ll present five key reasons to choose high school in the US. In addition, we’ll also dive into how to live in high school and find the ideal home away from home. Read on to discover the opportunities for sporting and academic development at high school in the US.

What is High School in the US?

High school in the US is the American education system’s equivalent of upper secondary school in Denmark, but there are some key differences.
First, high school in the US typically lasts four years, while in Denmark, upper secondary school lasts three years. In addition, high school is more focused on developing students’ personal and social skills through various clubs and sports activities, which are an important part of American culture and the school year itself.
In addition, high school students can choose specific subjects from a wide range of options and in many ways design their own timetable. In Denmark, this is more at line level, where you choose a general direction such as biology or mathematics.

Why go to High School in the US?

There are many different reasons why High School in the US might be a good idea for you. 
Whether it’s sporting dreams, academic ambitions or the desire for a different experience after school, a stay at the American version of a high school may give you what you need. 

The opportunity to practice sport at a high level

For young people who are passionate about sport, high school in the US can be an exciting option. In the US, sport is a big part of school culture and many high schools have strong athletics programs where talented athletes can develop their skills and compete at a high level.
American high schools offer a high level of training and competition in sports such as basketball, soccer, swimming, athletics, tennis, golf, volleyball and many more.

A different culture

High school can also be a great opportunity to experience a new culture and learn about a different way of living and thinking. The United States is a large and diverse country with many different regions and communities, and a high school experience can be an eye-opener for young people looking to broaden their horizons.

An everyday life reminiscent of an after-school stay

One of the reasons to go to High School in the US is the unique everyday life, similar to a boarding school experience. Students live on campus with other students and have plenty of opportunities to participate in clubs and sports activities that are an integral part of the school year. In addition, many high schools also offer a wide range of subjects and courses that allow students to explore their interests and learn more about their future career options. It is a great opportunity for students who want an education that also focuses on personal and social development, while giving them the chance to get to know a new culture and meet new people.

Improve your language skills

High school in the US can also be a good opportunity to improve your language skills. Many high schools offer language courses, but simply living “in another language” is enough to quickly learn to speak English in a more natural and fluent way.

A stepping stone to sporting and academic opportunities

Finally, a high school in the US can also be a good preparation for the future. American high schools typically offer a wide range of subjects and activities to help young people identify their interests and strengths and take the first steps towards their career or educational goals.

In addition, playing sports in high school can be a stepping stone to further career opportunities. Many US schools have close links with colleges and universities, which can open doors for scholarships and sports scholarships in the US. This gives young people a unique chance to pursue their sporting dreams and access higher education at the same time.

A collection of images from Ole Jessen’s year in the US at Putnam Science Academy, an American high school.

How do you live in High School in the US?

When attending high school in the US, there are typically two main options for accommodation: living on campus with other students or living with a host family.

Living on campus (boarding school style)

Living on campus can be an exciting opportunity to experience life at an American school up close. Many high schools have dormitories or dormitories where students can live with other students of the same age group and from different parts of the country or even the world. This can give students the opportunity to get to know other cultures and build friendships with students from elsewhere in the US or abroad.

On campus, students typically live close to their classmates and can easily participate in school and extracurricular activities as they are often within walking distance. Schools usually also provide meals in dining rooms or canteens so that students don’t have to worry about cooking for themselves.

Stay with a host family

Another option is to stay with a host family. This can give students the opportunity to experience the daily life and culture of an American family first-hand. Host families can also help students adapt to life in the US and improve their language skills. Many students choose to stay with a host family if their high school does not have dormitories or if they want a more homely atmosphere.

Whether you choose to live on campus or with a host family, it is important to carefully examine the different options and find the best solution for your individual needs and wishes.

If you would like to explore the possibility of attending High School, or know someone who has, you can sign up and read more right here.Then we will have a dialog about the possibilities in the US, either by phone or at our office in Copenhagen.

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College and High School Age in the US: An Overview

For those unfamiliar with the US education system, understanding the age requirements for high school and college in the US can be a little confusing.
The American education system is slightly different from that in Scandinavia.
Below we provide a brief overview of how age is related to high school and college in the United States.

Age at High School

High School is the American equivalent of college and is typically for students aged 14-18. The program has a duration of 4 years and during these years you go from being a freshman to a senior.
Here’s an overview of the typical ages for each grade level:

Class English designation Age
Freshman 1st grade (1.G) 14-15
Sophomore 2nd grade (2.G) 15-16
Junior 3rd grade (3.G) 16-17
Senior 4th grade (4.G) 17-18

Age at College

In the United States, the words ‘college’ and ‘university’ are often used interchangeably and in many cases the two terms are synonymous. But there are some nuances between them, which may vary from institution to institution. Generally speaking, ‘college’ often refers to a smaller institution offering undergraduate degrees, while ‘university’ is usually larger and offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees. However, some institutions also use “college” as part of their name, even if they are universities. Therefore, it can sometimes be confusing to distinguish between the two concepts in the US context.

College offers higher education for students after high school.
The typical age of a college student varies depending on circumstances and you don’t have to start at 18.
Here’s an overview of the typical ages of students at different levels of education:

Education and training age
Associate’s Degree (Junior College) (2 years) 18-20
Bachelor’s Degree (4 years) 18-22
Master’s Degree (2 years) 22-24
Ph.D. (doctoral degree) 27-33

Age For Student Athletes

If you are interested in playing sports in high school or college in the US, age may play a different role. To participate in high school or college sports, you must meet specific age requirements.

In high school, age requirements are usually quite flexible, as students are still under 18 years old. However, if you want to take part in sports at high school, you usually need to be between 14-19 years old.

The rules regarding Being able to play sport in college depends mainly on when you graduated from high school or equivalent – rather than your age. We elaborate on this in an article on sporting eligibility.
The typical age of a college athlete is between 18-23 years.

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Boost your quota 2 application at College in the US

When you graduate from secondary school, you start a whole new chapter in your life. A wealth of possibilities and considerations. The whole world is open. What does the future hold? Are you taking a gap year? Do you want to study a higher education course right away or do you want to wait a year? Do you even need to continue your studies? Maybe you have your heart set on a program that requires a quota 2 application? We know all about these considerations. We went through it ourselves and now have daily dialogs with our wonderful clients who are themselves in this tangle of considerations and decisions.

In this short article, we put on our academic glasses and try to make you a little more aware of what a study abroad program in the US can offer you.

Strengthen your quota 2 application for college in the US.

You may already know that your dream degree requires a quota 2 application. You may have tried to apply and not been admitted, for example because of your grade point average. -You have probably already familiarized yourself with the possibility of applying via quota 2 again next year. When applying via quota 2, other criteria besides your average are taken into account. Many degree programs emphasize a study abroad experience. You may want to check
what is taken into account when applying to CBS

A stay abroad can be done in many ways. We are seeing an increasing tendency for young people to use their gap year to optimize their quota 2 application by studying a semester at a college in the US. Our clients are typically athletes and they therefore combine their semester/sabbatical by practicing their sport at the given College – as a fully integrated part of their everyday life as Student Athletes.

You can put together a pretty cool study program at College in the United States and in this way choose subjects that are relevant to the education you may want to apply for via quota 2. After a semester (which typically lasts about 4 months) you get a transcript or a certificate that documents the subjects you have completed – and which can be used in your applications and for your CV. In general, the chances of being admitted are very good. The USA is the country with the highest number of international students and they are very proactive in their approach. to increase this number.

NOTE: The opportunities for admission – as well as the costs associated with admission – are even better if you show an athletic level that can contribute to your sports department. It is here
port Scholarships become highly relevant.

Our client, Esben Wolf, took 1 year at Providence College and was then admitted to a Bachelor in International Business at CBS via quota 2.

Gain work experience through College in the US.

Work experience is also one of the elements taken into account for quota 2 applications!

However, it can be quite difficult to get exciting and relevant work experience when you only have a secondary education. It is not easy to be hired for something you are not trained or qualified for. This is where internships come in!
When you study a higher education program in Denmark or Scandinavia, it is normal to have a student job on the side and some programs include a compulsory internship. In College in the US – especially if you are a student athlete – it is a decidedly full-time study and very few students have a job on the side. On the other hand, they have a really long summer vacation (+3 months) and it is during this period that many students take internships and gain relevant work experience.

The different universities are also doing a lot to strengthen internship opportunities for their students, and throughout the spring semester you will experience internship fairs and workshops that can prepare you even better for it. Unlike in Denmark, many of these internships are also
making it an easier decision.

Our client, Alvin Mazaheri (right) did 1 year at MacEwan University and was then admitted to a Bachelor in Business Administration at CBS via quota 2.

Why not just do the whole program in college in the US?

In the US, different entry requirements apply and in many cases there will be more places and more ‘relaxed’ entry requirements. It is a real priority for the US to maintain their position as the most used destination for international students. This benefits us, you and all our clients. It may therefore be an obvious option to simply study the entire bachelor’s degree in the US instead of worrying about the quota 2 application. The really cool thing about this is that you don’t have to make that decision before you go there. Many of our clients go to college in the US with the intention of staying for a semester or a year – but end up doing their entire undergraduate degree over there. A bachelor’s degree in the US typically takes 4 years! Many colleges have a start date several times a year, so you’re not limited to perhaps waiting a year before starting the process.

This sounds really good! And it’s true – an education in the US is a huge investment in your future and in yourself. But it also costs money to get an education in the US. It does in Denmark and Scandinavia too, we are just very privileged with our welfare system. Fortunately, there are good financing options! In addition to the possibility of SU, the scholarships (scholarships) awarded by universities themselves, a golden opportunity to make the education and experience affordable – or even free. A distinction is made between
scholarships and here in our little shop, it’s the athletic scholarships that we spend all our time on.

Please contact us if you are curious about the athletic, academic and financial aspects of attending college in the US. There are opportunities for all priorities, levels and ambitions!

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The 5 major differences between high school and college in the US

The transition from high school to college is a big change for any young person. For most people, it’s the first time they move far away from home and learn to live on their own. It is entirely up to you to attend classes, prepare for exams, eat properly and do the laundry. Boring yes, but stimulating! For student-athletes, this leap can feel even bigger.
To help you get clear on what to expect if you’re going to be a student athlete at a college in the US, here are 5 major differences between high school and college life.

1. Being a college athlete feels like more than just a full-time job

During the season itself, Division 1 and 2 athletes will dedicate an average of 50-60 hours per week to sport and study. Between early gym sessions, school lessons, training, study time and matches, the weekly calendar of a student-athlete will be packed! While it’s always rewarding to be outgoing and get to know the many other students, only your teammates and other student-athletes will understand what it’s like to balance your college sport with the responsibilities that come with being a full-time student. It requires passion, opt-outs and time management. That’s just the way it is.

2. Your college team feels like your family!

Going to college or playing sports is a great way to make new friends. Collegesport takes friendship and team spirit to a new level. Student-athletes spend just about every walking and sleeping second with their teammates. You live together, eat together, go to classes together, study together and exercise together. In many cases, you can even vacation with your teammates and go on Spring Break trips together. (That’s great!) Your college teammates are so much more than your friends. They are your support system, they feel like family and they are the ones who make your college a
far away from home.

stort nssa derby, evansville mod louisville
5 of our wonderful clients - here after one of the season matches where they played against each other on their respective college teams.

3. College training sessions can be as intense as the matches themselves.

The leap from high school and club sports to collegiate sport in the US can be a big one! Instead of competing and playing against peers, you compete against and with 21-22 year old pure athletes. Players and athletes are bigger, faster and stronger than we are used to. There is an extreme focus on the physical aspect of being an athlete, so there is a lot of weight lifting no matter what sport you do.

Some athletes react to the atmosphere with nerves, while others grow with the challenge and increase their intensity. It’s all about how you react to the changes you will face. Maybe you’ve been used to the fact that not all workouts have to be intense. That mistakes are part of the game. That concentration is not always at its best. Of course, this is also the case in the US. But you don’t have much to give in this regard. Athletes in the US fight tooth and nail for the chance to get a scholarship or improve their current one. Many American players and athletes wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford college if it weren’t for their sport. All of them are there because they have invested tons of time and energy in their sport. No one is going to give you their starting spot as an incoming freshman. You have to fight for it – and in the end, that’s pretty cool!

A short tour of the University of Tennessee facilities.

4. away trips can take several hours.

Whether you’re used to U19 league, divisional or league football, travel time to matches in Denmark and Scandinavia is at most 4-5 hours and most often the opposing teams are less than 1 hour away. In College, your opponents will often be located in other states and travel times can be 6+ hours and more. Usually you travel together in the team bus and fortunately it’s great fun and often becomes a bit of an event in itself. The away trips mean missed classes and weekends away from campus. You can use the time here to do your homework etc. but you are free to do so.

5. College athletes get tons of free gear and equipment!

How do you see who are the student-athletes when walking around the campus? You can be pretty sure they’ll be wearing team shirts, track pants and sneakers for most classes. College teams are sponsored by everything from Nike to Adidas and Under Armour which means you get what you need from shoes, shirts, shorts and more.

In general, the upheaval is big, but just as your life will change, you will evolve too. No matter how you’re doing athletically – or academically, for that matter. We believe in this and that is why we facilitate the opportunity for College in the US. Because it’s a development environment spiced with experiences and memories that you can’t get anywhere else.

Feel free to contact us if you are thinking about a stay in College – or if you just have questions or want to have a chat about scholarships, sports and the US.

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NSSA X FANT: Fatmata goes from Sierra Leone to the USA on a Sport Scholarship

At a time when politics is taking center stage during the World Cup in Qatar, we would like to highlight a story in NSSA that is a great example of how soccer can be used to improve future opportunities and happiness. Here’s a little story about our adventure to Sierra Leone last year.

Kroo Bay; Poverty and a love for soccer

Here, where the African dirt road bends into a bay, towards the busy center of Freetown, a drain runs. Where pigs swim around in knee-high pools of sewage, while women wash clothes a few meters away. In the area around the drain, 17,000 people are crammed into small houses built on top of piles of rubbish.
The slum area is called Kroo Bay; notorious for being burdened by extreme poverty and high crime rates.

In the middle of the jumble, you’ll find a large gravel field where all the neighborhood boys and girls gather around soccer. Here you see Fatmata, or Didisatu Turay as she is also known, in her usual surroundings with a ball tightly glued to her foot and a big smile on her face.

Soccer as a ticket to getting an education.

In September 2021, NSSA and FANT – For a new tomorrow came together in Sierra Leone for a meaningful purpose. A mission to help a young person from Sierra Leone to a brighter future by providing an education in the US with soccer as a driving force.

For 10 days, we traveled around Sierra Leone and got to know a lot of young players. We held training sessions in 8 different ‘clubs’, held workshops for both local coaches and players, and were eventually able to select some of the young people who, both academically and athletically, would qualify as potential Student Athletes at a University in the US.

The whole idea was that we could show the young people of Freetown how sport can be a catalyst for valuable education and a brighter future. To understand the importance of education and become aware that access can be achieved through hard work on the field.
If we could help just one young person go, it would move mountains for the other local people’s belief in this opportunity and this path.

A new life in the USA.

And mission accomplished!
With pride, we are proud to announce that Fatmata has achieved a four-year long education in the US without having to pay a penny. Food, housing, books and education costs are paid for through the scholarship she has received.

She will be found running around the fine turf fields of Charleston, South Carolina, dressed in bright blue from head to toe. Here she represents The Citadel University in the top women’s college ranks.

Didi has an exciting year ahead and is in good hands at The Citadel. She has been welcomed by the university, her coach and fellow students. Didi has already experienced Washington DC, been to the beach in Florida and many other exciting experiences on away trips.
We are so thrilled that we succeeded and that this opportunity was created.
Thanks to

FANT – Football For A New Tomorrow

for a great collaboration – we look forward to repeating the success in the future.

NSSA X FANT: Fatmata goes from Sierra Leone to the USA on a Sport Scholarship Read More »

What is Junior College?

When we talk about college in the US, Junior College is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Especially here in Scandinavia, not everyone knows about it.
The fact is, however, that it’s a great opportunity to take an alternative route on the road to the best sporting college programs in the US.

About Junior College in brief

Junior College (also known as Community College) is a 2-year program where students earn an Associate Degree and compete athletically in the NJCAA.
After these 2 years, you can transfer to a College in
where the last 2 years of the Bachelor program will be completed.
Confused about the federations? Read about the 3 associations and how Collegesport works here.

What is an associate degree?

An Associate Degree is the first half of a Bachelor’s degree in the United States. This is divided into 2 different aspects; core subjects and electives.
Core subjects are compulsory and include, for example, Mathematics, English and Social Studies. Electives are specific subjects that you choose in collaboration with a counselor who will help you with your studies. the direction you want to take with your education. For example, if you want to study Business, you will probably be pushed towards electives such as Economics, Finance or Marketing.

An Associate Degree is not directly comparable to anything in the European education system, but is effectively equivalent to last year of high school + 1st year of a Bachelor’s degree.
After you have completed your Associate Degree, you will move on to a University where you can complete the last 2 years of your Bachelor’s degree.

Why should I go to Junior College?

There are 2 main reasons why you should go to Junior College.
First of all, if your grades (your academic results) do not qualify you to go directly to a 4-year university. Junior Colleges have lower academic requirements for admission and therefore can be a perfect option for the person who did not get the exam results they expected, hoped or wished for.

In addition, Junior College is also a great opportunity for those athletes who have potential for a major
Division 1 college, but who may not currently have the results or athletic resume to get a financial offer that makes sense – yet.
Here, Junior College is a program tailored to development and the opportunity to prove yourself.
Coaches from major colleges and universities recruit international athletes directly from Junior College, as these athletes have already proven that they are capable of living away from home and performing both athletically and academically.
Of the many athletes we have worked with in the NSSA, the athletes with the most lucrative contracts, the greatest development and the best trajectory are often those who have chosen to start their journey at Junior College.

Our client, Rune Petersen who took 2 years of Junior College at West Valley College and is now studying at Grand View University in NAIA on a great Scholarship.

What else are the benefits of Junior College?

At the Junior College, the campus and individual classes are a lot smaller. It creates a closer community – often perfect for those who have not lived away from home before.
For those athletes who have a smaller budget, the Junior College would also be ideal.
As mentioned before, great performance while in Junior College will also open up greater Scholarship opportunities than if you went straight into a 4-year program.

Possibility of state aid.

Besides the fact that there are plenty of Scholarships at the Junior College, you can also apply for state aid for the entire period you are over there. This cannot be guaranteed in all Junior Colleges, but it is an option that should always be explored. This can make living costs very affordable. Ask us if it is.

What about the level and facilities at the Junior College?

Just because Junior College is not a 4-year program does not mean that the level or facilities are inferior.
There are a lot of top athletes running around the Junior College and the facilities are accordingly.
Check out a tour of the soccer facilities at Iowa Western Community College here:

What is Junior College? Read More »

Know your GPA: Why and how to calculate it.

GPA, or grade point average, is a measurement of a student’s academic performance. It is calculated by taking the average of a student’s grades throughout their academic career. GPA is important because it is used by colleges and universities as a means of evaluating a student’s academic potential. In this article, we take an in-depth look at how GPA is calculated and tell you why it is an important factor in the college admissions process.

Understanding the American grading system

When it comes to evaluating a student’s performance at school, different countries and educational institutions use different grading scales. In the United States, the most commonly used grading scale is the traditional 100-point scale, where a student receives a numerical grade between 0 and 100 for each subject. In many other countries, including France, Germany and Denmark, the 7-point scale (00-12) is used as it is comparable to ECTS.

In the United States, the 100-point scale is the most common way to evaluate a student’s performance in school. Under this system, a student receives a numerical grade between 0 and 100 for each subject, where 100 is the highest possible grade and 0 is the lowest. This is then converted to a letter grade.
In general, grades between 90 and 100 are considered excellent and give the student an ‘A’ grade. Grades between 80 and 89 are considered good and give the student a ‘B’ grade.
And so on… We’ve set it out in a table below:

100-point scale Final mark (A-F)
90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
Under 60 F

Once your grades are converted to a letter grade from A-F, you can start calculating your GPA (your grade point average).
Before we can do that, we need to get a clear understanding of what GPA actually is.

What is GPA?

GPA stands for Grade Point Average. GPA is an important measure of a student’s academic level, and is often used by colleges and universities to assess a student’s admission qualifications, scholarships and other academic opportunities.
It is a numerical expression of a student’s average performance in their subject over a specific period of time, typically a semester or a year. The highest possible GPA is 4.00.

How do I calculate my GPA?

Convert from Danish to American characters.

To calculate your GPA, you must first convert each of your Danish grades to a letter grade.

Danish grading scale (12 to 03) American scale (A to F)
12 A
12 A-
10 B+
7 B
7 B-
4 C+
4 C
4 C-
02 D+
02 D
02 D-
00 F
Convert from letter value to numeric value

Next, convert each of your letter grades into a numerical grade value.

The GPA scale is standardized so that each letter grade has a numerical value corresponding to a certain percentage of the possible grade points. For example, an A grade is assigned a numerical value of 4.0 because it corresponds to 90-92% of the possible grade points.
A B+ grade is assigned a numerical value of 3.3 because it corresponds to 87-89% of the possible grade points.

You can see the conversion from letter grade to numeric value in a table below:

Letter grade (A – F) Numeric value (0.00 – 4.00)
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0

Once you’ve converted each of your letter grades into a grade value, you can calculate your GPA by dividing the total number of grade points you’ve earned by the total number of credits you’ve taken. For example, if you received an A in a 3-credit course and a B in a 2-credit course, your GPA would be calculated as follows:

A (4.0*3) + B (3.0*2) = 18

Total credits: 3 + 2 = 5

GPA = 18 / 5 =

Credits vs ECTS Point

In the Danish education system, we do not normally use “credits” as in the American system. In the US, “credits” represent the total workload or number of hours required to complete a particular course. This is usually standardized, where a course can be worth 3 or more credits, depending on the scope and difficulty of the course.

In Denmark and many European countries, we usually use ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). An ECTS credit is not directly equivalent to a US credit, as the two systems differ in their approach.

To calculate GPA in the US, they often convert ECTS credits to the American system. This can be done using a conversion scale that takes into account the difference in the systems. Typically, one ECTS credit is considered comparable to around 0.25 to 0.3 credits in the US system. This means that a course with 5 ECTS credits in the European system might be equivalent to around 1.5 credits in the US system.

However, it’s important to note that the conversion scale can vary from college to college in the US, and sometimes even from subject to subject. Therefore, you may want to contact the specific college or university you are applying to for precise information on how they convert ECTS credits to their credit system.

Is my GPA important if I am going to be a Student Athlete?

GPA is important because colleges and universities use it as a way to measure a student’s academic performance and potential. Universities want to ensure that student athletes can handle the academic demands of college, and a high GPA is one way to show this ability.
In addition, many college sports programs have minimum GPA requirements that student athletes must meet to be eligible to participate in sports. So while GPA is not the only factor universities consider when deciding whether to admit a student athlete, it is an important one.

Are you still confused?

Comparing grading scales across Denmark, the US and the rest of Europe is really difficult, to say the least. The calculation is not very simple and there are many variables.
In addition, the requirements for a GPA for a student athlete differ from college to college.
If you still don’t feel fully equipped to calculate your own GPA, this is not uncommon.
Contact us if you would like us to help you or have a chat about this.
GPA is relevant for sabbaticals, undergraduate programs, exchanges and a Master’s degree, so it never hurts to be on top of this.

Know your GPA: Why and how to calculate it. Read More »