Saudi student athletes set to benefit from US scholarships
RIYADH — More than 200 athletes in Saudi high schools have the potential to play competitive sports in universities across the United States. They will also benefit from full scholarship opportunities that cover the cost of tuition, accommodation, food and books, according to visiting American education experts.
Recruited athletes at the Division I level are eligible to receive an American undergraduate education, which can often cost more than SR1 million, for free and secure preferential treatment by admissions officers when applying to university, they said.
Peter Davos, managing director of Carian College Advisors, and Rob Miller and Lance Easton, NSR directors of recruiting, were speaking in Riyadh during the signing ceremony of an exclusive partnership and cross-marketing agreement that will cover student athletes living in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.
Davos said: “What makes 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 Saudi Arabia has many 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 said: “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.”
Davos added that there is a misconception in GCC states that academic and athletic excellence must be mutually exclusive. Quoting examples, he said, 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.
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.”
NSR 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 and have a placement success rate of over 98 percent.”