US Scholarships


Understanding the US scholarship system can be a daunting task. Determining the right division, state and college can potentially be a minefield and a long process to work through. Not all athletes are talented enough to be offered scholarships from prestigious schools or have the appropriate contacts and networks to initiate the process. 

As a means of support Softball New Zealand has engaged with the Kiwi Athletes Agency (KAA) as a provider to support individuals identify an appropriate college, one that meets the needs of the athlete. We see KAA as an option to support female Softballer’s and must point out that individuals have the option of working through the system themselves and identify their own contacts.

Please note there are costs involved when using agencies for such a service. KAA offers many years of experience and is a reputable agency and the reason why SNZ promotes their service.      


A U.S. Athletics Scholarship is financial aid awarded to student-athletes that have excelled in their chosen sport i.e. Softball. The amount of scholarship each athlete receives is based upon the Coaches’ opinion of the Softballers ability and what she can contribute to the team, the individual University Athletic Department’s budget, the National Governing Body’s rules and regulations, and academic requirements.


The largest National Governing Body that oversees U.S. Collegiate Sports Rules, Regulations, and Athletes is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA is made up of Divisions I, II and III, and the member Universities are classified under these Divisions. The oldest governing body is the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with its own member Universities. The third is the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA). Athlete criteria varies between the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA.


The reasons are numerous, but it is the opportunity of a lifetime. Competing at a high level, exceling physically and mentally as an athlete, making new friends, traveling the United States and possibly the World, all while earning a quality four-year degree with little or zero debt…why wouldn’t you investigate further? For a small, isolated country, it is a great stepping stone from amateur to professional sport.
What do I need to do as a Collegiate Student-Athlete?
Your responsibilities are to play Softball, perform and compete at your best, represent the University to the highest level, and keep on top of your schoolwork, maintaining a 2.3 GPA (Grade Point Average).


Scholarships can be full or partial. A full sport scholarship is the maximum an institution can allocate for a student-athlete in one academic year and can cover the following:

  • University tuition and fees, full coverage of textbooks and school supplies
  • Room and Board in Campus Dormitory or equivalent (off campus)
  • On campus meal plans or equivalent (off campus)
  • Medical Insurance
  • Monthly Allowance
  • Academic tutors and career/course option counsellors
  • All costs associated with Softball including coaching, equipment, clothing, and travel costs.



When you value all of the above,
a scholarship can be worth over $100,000U.S. per year –
that is over $400,000U.S. – currently $580,000NZ!




There are thousands of opportunities in the U.S. University system for talented student-athletes, but it is a complicated process, figuring out which University will be the best fit for you, how to convert NCEA to the American grading system, applying for the correct visas and navigating the hundreds of complex rules and regulations. The NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA as well as the individual University must approve the athlete before he or she is eligible to compete. There are numerous other factors including Conference, location, scholarship type and value, so it’s important to know exactly what is being provided.

  • Fully personalised service focused on each student-athletes’ priorities - no bulk emails
  • 100% success rate
  • Based in NZ. We can work with you wherever you live in NZ.
  • NCAA Compliant
  • Part of the largest Asia-Pacific College Network with over 250 years combined experience
  • Our former and current student-athletes include some of the top athletes in their sports in New Zealand
  • Travel regularly to the U.S. to stay connected with University programs and their Coaches
  • Exclusive arrangements with SAT/ACT test tutors and Strength & Conditioning Coaches
  • Personal
  • We offer a free, non-obligatory, one-hour consultation so we can get to know you better. We will honestly tell you if you have a chance of achieving a scholarship. We will not waste your time.
  • Our agents:
    • have all been involved in U.S. Collegiate sport as student-athletes or coaches
    • include NCAA Champions and some competed professionally in their sport
    • have a complete understanding of high performance sport
    • are personable, professional, ethical and diligent


Every University has a different definition of what a full or partial scholarship covers, which is why KAA is here to help. We recommend beginning your journey in Year 10. Our 70-step process handles everything from start to finish including:

  • Academic and Athletic requirements
  • Athlete information package including resume, athletic online profile and video
  • SAT / ACT exam preparation and advice
  • Communication with Universities and guidance when conversing with Coaches
  • Scholarship explanations and details
  • National Letter of Intent
  • Personalised service and contact
  • NCAA, NJCAA & NAIA Eligibility Centre rules, regulations and approval
  • Student Visa and University applications
Courtney Gettins (top), playing for Florida SouthWestern State College.
Ellie Cooper (bottom) playing for Florida State Seminoles.

Anna Thomson - Student-Athlete Agent Anna rowed for Wellington Girls’ College from 2003-2007, and went on to row at the Central High Performance program and was a NZ junior trialist. She began her full scholarship to The University of Texas at Austin in 2008, where she was a four-time Conference Champion and an eight-time selection to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honour Roll. Anna graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Television and Film. She moved to Los Angeles, worked in the film and music industry, then shifted to Toronto, Canada to work in the advertising industry.

Carissa Makea - Student-Athlete Agent Carissa is from Auckland and represented New Zealand U16’s in 2008. She played field hockey on scholarship at Saint Francis University from 2011-2014 where she captained the team her Junior and Senior year. She was selected for the Division I Senior All-Star Game in 2014 and received NFHCA All- Region Selection from 2011-2014. She has returned home to Auckland and is working on her Masters.

Brendon Polyblank - Student-Athlete Agent Brendon played basketball for Northern Arizona University and Texas State University, majoring in Exercise Science with a Minor in Sociology. Afterwards, he played for numerous professional teams, including AO Dafini in Greece, Roseto del Abruzzi in Italy, Geneva Lions in Switzerland and Bourg, France. He finished in New Zealand with stints for the Otago Nuggets, Southland Sharks, and Wellington Saints.

Rob Cheyne - Director Rob represented New Zealand in the Davis Cup 2003. He played tennis on scholarship at California State University of Fresno from 1996-2000. He was also the Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach at Baylor University in 2003-5, winning the 2003/4 National Championship and then going undefeated in 2004/5 until the final against UCLA.

Liesl Cheyne - Director Liesl is a native Texan, who attended Texas A&M University for her undergraduate degree and then Baylor University for her Masters in Sports Management. She was the Assistant, then the Marketing Director of the Baylor Athletic Department, 2003-5. Liesl has also worked for the Dallas Cowboys in Special Events and Marketing, Texas Rangers Baseball in Community Relations and the NZ Breakers Basketball Ltd. as the Marketing and Event Manager.

KAA works with our partners David Hodge and Sandon Stolle in Australia, who represent Aussie Athletes Agency (AAA).

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are placed in an environment that will allow you to thrive and be happy for the four years of your Collegiate life. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at

Visit, FB – Kiwi Athletes Agency, Twitter - @NZathletes

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