Smith College is one of the best U.S. Colleges to attend for international female students – the campus is one of the most beautiful and safe amongst the 30 squash-playing U.S. colleges. The violent crime rate at Smith College and in the town of Northampton has been close to zero per cent since the founding of the College in 1875.
Here are the four most common questions international squash-playing students ask about going to university or college in the United States:
Can I Get an Athletic Scholarship?
The answer is “No!” you cannot. Most squash colleges are NCAA Division III schools and scholarships based on athletic ability are not allowed. Division III has other rules to protect the student-athlete so they have sufficient time to do a great job with their studies. It is a serious NCAA and ethical violation (cheating) for a college to give extra financial aid based on your squash playing ability. Scholarships are allowed in NCAA Division I and II schools – however the Division I schools (called the Ivy league) where squash is played (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, etc.) have their own rules forbidding athletic scholarships. Right now there is only one squash University with a limited amount of athletic scholarship money: George Washington University.
How Good a Squash Player do I have to be to get into a U.S. College?
If you want to use your squash ability to help get accepted into one of the top five colleges (like the Ivy’s) you have to be a very good player – at least a “B” county or national standard player – and most probably an “A” player, someone who has played on her country’s Junior National Team.
At some of the best academic institutions, like Smith College, who are not highly ranked in the squash rankings, simply being a good “C” or “B” player can help get you into one of these elite academic institutions. These colleges have thousands of applicants, all with very good grades, so sometimes being a passionate squash player can make the difference in getting in or not.
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How Good do my Grades Have to be to Get into a Squash College?
The answer is: your grades have to be very good – amongst the top at your high school! Many of the top squash playing schools do have 1-2 places set aside for students who do not have good grades. The squash coach can use his or her influence with admissions to fast track these students into the college. That is really only about 10-20 places total with many spots going to Americans (since packaging financial aid is easier). So only really 4-5 spots for international students without good grades.
How Much Money do I Need to Study at a U.S. Squash Playing College?
If you are a top student like the Smith College Squash team’s captain Alice Reznickova (from the Czech Republic) you may not need to pay a cent (she has a perfect 4.0 GPA and is a chemistry major). However, the pool of financial aid is very small for international students (different for Americans), so unfortunately you and your family will have to pay most of the costs unless you are absolutely brilliant! Remember however that going to one of these colleges is a life-transforming experience and a chance to join the elite of the world (Hillary Clinton went to a women’s college just like Smith). Most graduates of Smith College start their first job making a lot more money than their peers at lower-ranked colleges – and can quickly pay back the student loans needed to finance their education. The only way to find out how much it will cost is to actually apply!
Remember however that going to one of these colleges is a life-transforming experience and a chance to join the elite of the world (Hillary Clinton went to a women’s college just like Smith:).