COVID-19 Update – U.S Sports Scholarships

COVID-19 – LATEST COLLEGE SPORTS UPDATES

Updated August 1st, 20:00

We are continuing to closely follow the latest Government advice and are working hard on what this means for our athletes. The current situation is naturally having an impact on universities and colleges, SAT exams, Eligibility Centres, playing schedules, visa applications and flights so we thought we would provide you with some useful information below to help you get the latest updates.

U.S ICE ANNOUNCEMENT

US President Donald Trump’s government has dropped its plans to deport international students whose courses move fully online because of the coronavirus pandemic. The U-turn comes just one week after the policy announcement. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University sued the government over the plan. The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March, amid the virus outbreak, which allows international students to attend their classes virtually if necessary and remain legally in the country on student visas, according to the New York Times.

Harvard announced recently that, because of concerns over the virus’s spread, course instruction would be delivered online when students return for the new academic year. MIT, like a number of other educational institutions, said it would also continue to use virtual tuition. Foreign students were told last week that they would not be allowed to stay in the US this autumn unless they switched to a course with in-person tuition.

Those who had returned to their home countries when term ended in March – as the coronavirus crisis grew – were told they would not be permitted to return if their classes had since moved online. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency had said people could face deportation if they did not comply with the rules. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which is run by ICE, had originally permitted foreign students to continue with their spring and summer 2020 courses online while remaining in the country. But on 6 July the agency said foreign students who then failed to switch to in-person courses could face “immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings”.

The policy applied to holders of F-1 and M-1 visas, which are for academic and vocational students. The state department issued 388,839 F visas and 9,518 M visas in the fiscal year 2019, according to the agency’s data. According to the US commerce department, international students contributed $45bn (£36bn) to the country’s economy in 2018.

NCAA RESPONSE

The impact from the COVID-19 virus has been significantly felt across the NCAA’s 1,100-plus institutions and nearly 500,000 student-athletes. On March 12, the global health threat led to the cancellation of the remaining NCAA winter and spring championships. Seasons were canceled before they started. Others ended abruptly. Universities across the country have since shifted to online learning for the rest of the semester. A new normal is still being formed, as the NCAA and its members work together to navigate these difficult times. They do so #UnitedAsOne. 

Schools have closed and test centres have cancelled standardised tests due to the COVID19 pandemic. This is making it difficult for future students to meet requirements needed academically by certain colleges. College coaches are also just as interested in academic ability as they are with athletic ability. 

To help in the unprecedented time, the NCAA Eligibility Center has announced they are waiving ACT/SAT standardised test score requirements for incoming freshman student-athletes. This is called the COVID-19 Automatic Wavier and is only available to student-athletes starting college the 2020-2021 academic year. 

In order to qualify for the waiver students athletes must reach the below requirements. 

For Division 1 

  • Complete 10 NCAA-approved core course units
  • Units must include English, Math or Science
  • Have a 2.3 GPA or higher

For Division 2

  • Complete 10 NCAA-approved course course units
  • Have a 2.2 GPA or higher

Student athletes planning to be an incoming freshman for the 2020/2021 academic year will be eligible to receive an athletic scholarship under the COVID-19 eligibility waiver. 

The planning for the 2020 fall NCAA championships is moving forward with the idea to prepare for adjustments in these unpredictable times. Senior Vice President of Championships Joni Comstock said “If we can, and it makes sense, we certainly would like to have a complete experience for the student-athletes this fall.” On Wednesday, the Division I Council voted to allow football and basketball student-athletes to participate in on-campus voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1, as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed. On Friday, the Council voted to allow voluntary athletics activities in all Division I sports beginning June 1.

For the latest updates from the NCAA check out: www.ncaa.com/

NAIA RESPONSE

The NAIA is closely monitoring COVID-19 and the impact it is having on our members. The NAIA Council of Presidents and other councils and committees will continue to make decisions they believe are in the best interest of student-athletes.

Following the lead of some Division II conferences, the NAIA will move most fall championship events to the spring. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Council of Presidents voted Tuesday to move national tournaments for volleyball, football, women’s and men’s soccer, and cross country to the spring of 2021. Individual conferences can dictate when their regular season takes place.

In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent. The NAIA is continuing to address outstanding questions related to these unprecedented changes and will share new information as it becomes available.

For the latest updates from the NCAA check out: www.naia.org/

NJCAA RESPONSE

On July 13th the NJCAA released the following statement regarding the upcoming fall sports:

Following the recommendations from the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council and the NJCAA Board of Regents, the NJCAA has announced its adjusted plan of action for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year. Following the Board of Regents’ vote on Monday, a majority of competition will be moved to the spring semester.

“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “Through a unified effort from our Presidential Advisory Council, the Board of Regents, and leadership staff, our most recent plan of action provides a path that keeps our student-athletes competing at the highest level with proper safety measures in place. As we move forward as an association, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student-athletes, coaches, and all those involved with the NJCAA to be safe and successful.”

The most recent plan of action shifts all close-contact fall sports to the spring semester. These sports include football, men’s and women’s soccer, and court volleyball. The NJCAA cross country championships for all three divisions and half marathon championships will remain as their originally scheduled dates in the fall as well as Division III women’s tennis.

All winter sports competition will begin in January with a majority of championship seasons moved from March to April. These sports include men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and swimming and diving. Men’s and women’s bowling and men’s and women’s indoor track and field will be held at the beginning of March.

Spring sports competition remains intact with minor adjustments to dates. These sports include baseball, softball, beach volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, track and field, and men’s and women’s tennis.

Along with the adjustments to competition season and championship dates, the NJCAA has provided information as it relates to scrimmage and practice dates and allowances in the fall.

For the latest updates from the NJCAA check out: www.njcaa.org/

COLLEGEBOARD RESPONSE (SAT)

Fall SAT registration is open to all students. Please note they are experiencing high volumes due to unprecedented demand. As a result, some students may encounter delays. They have asked colleges to extend deadlines for receiving test scores and to equally consider students for admission who are unable to take the test due to the coronavirus.

They are doing all we can to expand availability of the SAT at test centers. They will provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new SAT administration on September 26 and a new SAT Subject Test administration for international students on November 7. They will also add a test date in January 2021 if there is demand for it. Please note that as the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic continues to evolve, they will continue to monitor and will let you know if circumstances change closer to the test dates.

For the latest updates from Collegeboard check out: https://pages.collegeboard.org/sat-covid-19-updates 

U.S EMBASSY IN THE UK RESPONSE

The United States Embassy in London is cancelling routine nonimmigrant visa appointments and reducing immigrant visa appointments, and no visa appointments will take place at the Consulate in Belfast. They will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.

If you have scheduled a visa interview appointment, the Visa Appointment Service will contact you if your appointment is being postponed. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.

For the latest updates from the U.S Embassy in London check out: https://uk.usembassy.gov/

U.S SPORTS SCHOLARSHIPS FAMILY

It is important to note, our recruiting has and will not stop. College coaches, our staff and athletes can still communicate over email, phone, text and social media. At U.S Sports Scholarships we are focused on helping athletes and families understand the US college recruiting process and find success throughout their US college journey.

 Keeping you informed

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a rapidly changing situation from a public health perspective, we are committed to keeping you informed and we will continue to keep you updated through email, our social media accounts and website.

 If you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss, please speak to your representative or if you are an unsigned player drop us a note at admin@ussportsscholarships.com

Stay healthy and safe.

The U.S SS Team

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2020-08-02T15:03:07+01:00