Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Helping student athletes secure scholarships overseas

Published:Saturday | February 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jonathan Hibbert Foundation would like to thank all the student athletes, media, and sponsors for their valued support of our annual football showcase over the past seven years.

The most recent tournament on January 7 was our best yet. The talent on display was exceptional. Everyone competed, gave of his best, and the players arrived on time.

One of the coaches present said, "I have been to hundreds of tournaments and this is the deepest, in terms of talent, that I have ever seen." This is the kind of feedback we love to hear and that will keep top coaches coming back to the tournament.

Great sportsmanship and academic success should go hand in hand. Since more than half of the players who participated in the tournament were not aware of grade-point average (GPA) and Standard Assessment Test (SAT) requirements to attend college in the United States, the foundation would like to take the time to talk about GPA and SAT.

CALCULATING GPA

GPA is calculated by taking letter grades and converting them into a standard numerical value. The values can differ among high schools and universities, but the general principle is the same.

This is an example of calculating your GPA: A (90-100 per cent) = 4; B (80-89 per cent) = 3; C (70-79 per cent) = 2; and D (60-69 per cent) = 1. If a student is taking six subjects for the semester and at the midterm break has four As, one B, and one C, the student's GPA would be 3.5 - 21 points divided by six subjects.

As an athlete, anything above a 2.5 is good, and striving for a 3.0 above is encouraged. Try not to get below a C average. If you are weak in a subject, ask for help from your teacher or classmate. Asking for help will benefit you in the long run.

Admission to most colleges in the United States requires a student to take the SAT. SAT isn't something you can study for overnight. It takes weeks, months and, for some, years of preparation.

SAT is broken down into three sections: mathematics, critical reading, and writing. Each section has a maximum score of 800 and a minimum score of 200.

All three scores are added together to determine the student's SAT score. Typically, a percentile is included based on the scores from students who took comparable tests. Just like GPA, a student's score on the SAT improves his or her chances of acceptance into a university.

Aim for 3.0 GPA

As a student athlete, an SAT score of 900 or above (combined mathematics and critical reading), and a GPA of 2.5 or above are the basic requirements for admission to most universities.

Most universities only combine the first two scores - mathematics and critical reading. SAT and GPA work hand in hand. So a student with a high GPA and lower SAT score would still have an opportunity to be admitted. It is the same for a student with a low GPA and higher SAT score.

But always aim for a GPA of 3.0 and a SAT score of 1,000 to increase your opportunity for admission to the university of your choice. Remember, you are a student athlete, but being a student comes first. Maintain a solid GPA in high school so your habits carry over into college. You can lose your scholarship if you do not maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

Do your homework, study for your tests, talk to your guidance counsellor to find out when and where the SAT exams are being offered, and start preparing. Parents, you can also help. Make sure your child is attending school regularly, talk to your child, and find out how you can help.

Last but not least, the next Jonathan Hibbert Annual Football Showcase will be held on January 12, 2013, at Munro College. If you do not meet the GPA requirements or have taken or started studying for the SAT, you won't be able to participate in front of the coaches in attendance.

JONATHAN HIBBERT FOUNDATION