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Firstpoint USA

Firstpoint USA

Old Jun 29th 2009, 5:59 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

i have some q's about firstpoint as i am considering to use them but i dont want to have to pay them the fee that they charged when you are not guranteed a thing.
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Old Jun 29th 2009, 5:59 am
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Old Jun 29th 2009, 6:00 am
  #33  
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Old Jul 5th 2009, 12:37 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi

I’m new to the forum; this is my first post. Please bear with me it’s a long one!

I’ve read threads here about Firstpoint over the last few months (looks like some may perhaps have been deleted?) and felt that now would be an appropriate time to contribute.

I’ve read with interest the comments on Firstpoint, I was particularly interested in Toadster’s comments as he/she is in Scotland (like me) and their son appears to a similar age to mine (1991).

I thought some people may be interested in our experience:

In late 2007 (while in 5th year at High School) my son made it clear that he wished to study in the States hopefully on a soccer scholarship. Of course at that time we knew absolutely nothing about the process, but we quickly leaned. It is my experience that if you have the time to research the subject, you can quickly become very well informed in all relevant aspects of the process, for example:
  1. NAIA, NCAA (three divisions) NJCAA
  2. the relevance of soccer being an equivalency sport in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA
  3. Registration with the NCAA
  4. The finer details of amateur status, and how issues such as receiving travel expenses, meals before or after participation or competing with or against professionals can impact on the NCAA process
  5. Strategies to take the SAT (very important)
  6. Availability of academic scholarships and scholarships from other sources
  7. Marketing yourself to appropriate schools, or using a recruitment service to do so
  8. And so much more...

After our initial enquiries, which included making tentative enquiries of over 70universities across the states, together with contacting three recruitment’ companies the UK, we were very much of the opinion that we could ‘do this ourselves’ essentially, we felt that if we were prepared to put the time and effort into marketing our son, then we could achieve an acceptable offer.

However, we were also in the fortunate position that we had some savings set aside (then, not now!) and so we wondered if it would b appropriate to go with a recruitment company while still working to achieve an offer our self. We spoke with the three companies, and came to the conclusion that Firstpoint USA were (by a long way) the most professional. They may have been the most expensive, however many things about them persuaded us that they would be the best choice for our son, so we decided to sign up with firstpoint while still trying to secure an offer directly ourselves.

I’ll come back to our firstpoint experience shortly, however you may be interested to know a little about what my son did himself over the past year to sell himself to Unis in the States. Firstly he identified his own criteria, which took account of size of Uni, standard of soccer programme, academic choices and the size of the town/city.

He then identified and contacted many Coaches to tell them about himself. He developed a short bio which covered not only his athletic and academic achievements but also spoke about him in a wider context, essentially the type of guy he is and the voluntary work he has been involved in. From this contact he developed ongoing communications with several Coaches in different States who expressed an interest in him and asked to be kept informed of any decisions he was thinking of making.

One Uni in particular (a private liberal arts uni in Kentucky) told him they were really interested in him attending – that’s both the International student office and the soccer coach. My son in turn decided that of all the Unis on his list, this one is Kentucky was (by far) his preferred one. To try and cut this part short, the Kentucky Uni invited him to apply for admission, and offered him a scholarship of around 50% of total costs – this did not include any athletic money. The soccer coach kept telling him he was interested and would send an indicative athletic scholarship ‘soon’, however weeks went by and the athletic offer was still not here... in hindsight the coach was most probably trying to recruit others and was holding my son as a second option if his first choice did not happen.

So, back to FirstPoint. The consultant allocated to my son was excellent. He properly managed our expectations of the process correctly and at no time did he indicate that my son would obtain a scholarship offer to cover all costs. Rather he indicated that FirstPoint saw him competing at NCAA lower Div 1 level or most likely NCAA Div 2 level, and that FirstPoint would do their best to ensure as good an offer as possible. When pushed on the likely %, FirstPoint indicated somewhere between 60 to 75% could be possible.

My son played in 4 ‘trial’ games and a showcase game. We were delighted with the footage they produced, and we were equally pleased with the information that went on to their web site about our son. The consultant was in regular contact with our son – so much so that my son, and we as parents now look upon him as a friend. He constantly reminded our son of the importance of applying himself academically and studying for the SAT exam. Perhaps we were lucky with the consultant, but he (Stewart Burke) was a credit to FirstPoint.

Now while we were waiting on the Kentucky coach to contact our son with an athletic offer (as he said he would) my son was contacted out of the blue by another NCAA Div 2 Head Coach (I won’t say where, as what follows could be seen as confidential and I wouldn’t want details of the Coach/Uni put into the public domain without their knowledge or consent). This coach made it clear to my son, that via FirstPoint, he knew all about him as a player and as a prospective student. He also made it absolutely clear that he wanted my son to join his programme, but equally he said that he didn’t want to pressurise him. He agreed to call my son once per week until he had decided, and in the meantime he sent my son lots of info about the Uni and the area. He also sent him a proposed scholarship offer, which I have to say was outstanding, and far better than we had ever anticipated. The Coach explained to my son that he had recruited players from FirstPoint previously (currently 3 British guys in the roster) and had been delighted with the calibre of player and their approach to studies, and that was why the offer was so good. Again to try and cut what is a long story short, my son accepted the offer, signed a national letter of intent, and moves to the states on 6 August for pre season training.

So, what’s the bottom line here? It’s my view that you can most certainly do it yourself. In our case we had a couple of definite verbal offers and of course a firm offer from Kentucky. What I will say though is that we could not have achieved the offer we did without the help of FirstPoint. I now look upon the firstpoint fee as an ‘invest to save’ payment, and am convinced that FirstPoint has saved us £000s in Uni fees, accom and meal expenses which we will not now have to pay.

FirstPoint has worked for us, of that there is no doubt. How well it works for others I’m not sure, but what I will say is that if we had received scholarship offers in the region of 60 to 70% via firstpoint we’d have felt they delivered. I also note that Firstpoint recently announced over 200 athletes going to he States in the Fall via their service. I did think that FirstPoint could have done more to raise awareness of the SAT and to help prepare their clients for the exam, but having said that we took responsibility for that and my son achieved an 'acceptable' score. I think taking responsibility is important.

In conclusion, it’s perhaps also worth making clear that I have no involvement with FirstPoint whatsoever except as a client.

Finally, here’s my advice to anyone reading this who may be thinking of studying in the States with the help of an Athletic scholarship, whether or not you employ firstpoint. You need to differentiate yourself from the competition so you must:

1. Start Early, especially if your looking at NCAA Div1
2. Have a step by step plan
3. Be willing to spend a huge amount of time on research and perhaps work harder than you’ve ever done before
4. Market yourself correctly to coaches – politely and tell them about you as a person
5. Work as a team with your family and anyone else who can help.

I’d be happy to answer any questions on our experience or to share my thoughts on the process, SAT exam etc.

Good luck

John S
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Old Jul 5th 2009, 5:08 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by mikehicks08 View Post
Hi toadter, i was also wondering if you could give me some information on the person you used.
I went for my trail yesterday and it seemed like they take anybody who is willing to pay the money

Send me a PM and I will give you the details. You will have to make 3 posts before you can PM, so get posting.....anything will do!

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Old Aug 20th 2009, 12:41 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

John S, I`m Glad things worked for you and your son. Who knows our sons may cross swords on the pitch this coming season!

I agree with a lot of what you have said, especially about Stewart Burke he is a wholly decent guy and a credit to himself. One thing I would add to your list of "to do`s" is make as much head way into the visa process as possible and be aware of the costs involved in obtaining a visa. (directly and indirectly)

My son has now arrived in the US and is loving it. The weather, facilities, food, accom and staff are all of an excellent standard.
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Old Sep 17th 2009, 10:53 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi, i was just wondering if it was possible that you could pass on the information of this person that you went with at a cheaper price to get a scholarship thanks and luk forward to hearing from you in the future.

Originally Posted by TOADSTER View Post
My son has now been contacted by Lindenwood University MO, has anyone any info on this school? Good, bad or indifferent.....

We have opted not to use Firstpoint, they look great from the outside but what you actually get for £2500 is damn poor. They have literally hundreds of kids on their books that in my opinion (as a former scout for a pro club) are sub standard and must be there to prop up their bottom line. These kids have no chance of making Varsity squads in college soccer. I feel FP are trading on these kids dreams and more than happy to relieve them of there hard earned cash with no chance of a decent scholarship offer. If they get a kid an offer which may only be a 10% scholarship they have fullfilled their contract.....ouch!!

We have found a guy who charges £800 and does all the calling, videos etc etc, with a real personal touch and genuine interest in getting the kids the best offer out there. That also puts an extra £1700 into his education and not into FP`s bank account!
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Old Sep 19th 2009, 7:54 am
  #38  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Did the video shoot cost something extra?
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Old Sep 19th 2009, 9:16 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi everyone. This may sound a bit silly and possibly a stupid question but I've got a mate (James for the sake of this) and he attended a Scottish Uni for 4 years (he's 22/23 can't quite remember). And we were talking about this the other day (I'm a decent american football player, he's a very talented soccer player). Is he now too old to be considered for a US college/university? He has an ordinary degree and wants to go on and do a masters and thought of this as a possible option. Can anyone clarify? (I'll email him about this site so you may get a different user following this queary up!)
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Old Sep 20th 2009, 3:56 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by kenny1256 View Post
Hi everyone. This may sound a bit silly and possibly a stupid question but I've got a mate (James for the sake of this) and he attended a Scottish Uni for 4 years (he's 22/23 can't quite remember). And we were talking about this the other day (I'm a decent american football player, he's a very talented soccer player). Is he now too old to be considered for a US college/university? He has an ordinary degree and wants to go on and do a masters and thought of this as a possible option. Can anyone clarify? (I'll email him about this site so you may get a different user following this queary up!)
My stepson (age 24) got a soccer scholarship offer for about 1/2 of the total cost at a small US university. He needed to come up with the other 1/2 (about $8,000) for room and board. It all depends on the rules of conference they play.
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Old Sep 22nd 2009, 1:39 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi everyone, i'm from australia and have recently attended a trial match with firstpoint usa, they sent me a letter which said that they r happy to sign me up n sent me a "Legal Agreement" which mentions that they have no responsibility of providing me a scholarship which i totally understand but they also said that there r no guarantee that i am going to be offered with a scholarship which is totally opposite with what they have mentioned in an "Advertising" booklet i got from a consultant that interviewed me a few weeks before the trial match. In that "Advertising" booklet i got from the interview, they said that for every client they sign up with, there will be at least a guaranteed scholarship offer, they will guide the client through the entire scholarship but in the "Legal Agreement" booklet, they mention that they can terminate the agreement as soon as i get to a college/ university. i have read all the comments posted above but still unsure about how reliable firstpoint usa really is so could anyone please give me an idea about this. Thanks in advance
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Old Sep 22nd 2009, 2:06 pm
  #42  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by monkeyboy0402 View Post
Hi everyone, i'm from australia and have recently attended a trial match with firstpoint usa, they sent me a letter which said that they r happy to sign me up n sent me a "Legal Agreement" which mentions that they have no responsibility of providing me a scholarship which i totally understand but they also said that there r no guarantee that i am going to be offered with a scholarship which is totally opposite with what they have mentioned in an "Advertising" booklet i got from a consultant that interviewed me a few weeks before the trial match. In that "Advertising" booklet i got from the interview, they said that for every client they sign up with, there will be at least a guaranteed scholarship offer, they will guide the client through the entire scholarship but in the "Legal Agreement" booklet, they mention that they can terminate the agreement as soon as i get to a college/ university. i have read all the comments posted above but still unsure about how reliable firstpoint usa really is so could anyone please give me an idea about this. Thanks in advance
The scholarship can be for as little as $100 and it still counts as an offer. Be cautious.
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Old Oct 5th 2009, 2:00 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi, i am currently in the FP interview process and was wondering if there's any advice on what to do, on obtaining a scholarship in america, if anyone can give me their thoughts on what's the best way to go about it that would be great, cheers
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Old Oct 14th 2009, 8:09 am
  #44  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi all,
Like several people on this thread I seached the Internet for feedback on Firstpoint USA as I was concerned with the high fee they charged essentially for no commitment.

My son is a County level football player and has good o-level grades so we applied for Firstpoint as he wanted to consider a soccer scholarship in the USA. He went to Stamford Bridge in London for the interview & presentation and then a few weeks later he attended the assessment match. During the Firstpoint interview we were told that if he was successful they would give an assessment of his abilities and advise what level of football and academic he could expect to achieve in the US. They also told us of the £2500 fee for their marketing services (something we hadn't been aware of in checking them out through their website). They also said that if my son was accepted into the 'chosen 400' then they would guarantee an offer of a scholarship.

Well he was accepted and received the confirming letter and Firstpoint contract and a request to pay the £2,500 within four weeks. No mention was made of his assessment or what level they thought he would be able to achieve. In reading the contract it became very clear that this superseded anything that had been previously said or promised and made very clear that Firstpoint were in no way providing a scholarship, giving a guarantee of a scholarship or ultimately of providing anything at all. Now like most on this thread I don't have a spare £2,500 to spend on a promise or a possibility so I had some concerns.

By coincidence I found another site with a company that operates on a non-profit basis and operates for less that 1/3 of the fee charged by Firstpoint. They deal only with football and are affiliated with the English Schools Football Association and British Colleges Sport. I sent them an e-mail and the Director called me within an hour to introduce himself and his company. You can find them on the web under 'Pass4soccer'.

At the moment we've send the membership fee of £25 and my son is currently waiting to be informed of the assessment dates. I feel that for another £25 it's worth exploring another alternative as there is a big difference between £2,500 and £775 for the same service.

If I could give any advice it would be to look into this as early as possible and be aware that ultimately the only people who can guarantee scholarships are the Colleges or Universities themselves. All Firstpoint or others can do is to help bring you to more people's attention but as several on this thread have said, you can do this yourself if you are committed enough.

At this time my son hasn't accepted the Firstpoint offer and we haven't gone far enough with Pass4soccer to see how they measure up but I'll let you know.

Finally I would like to state that I don't have anything against Firstpoint, I am 100% convinced that they do place kids into scholarship programs and they are good at what they do but I'm not sure what quality of service an individual gets for the high marketing fee. It is therefore possible that you can pay your money and get nothing - that's what it clearly states in the contract. I feel that if they offered a 50% initial payment and then the balance to be paid on provision of an offer I would have felt much more confident in their commitment to my son and in their marketing abilities.

I would state that I am just a parent looking for the right opportunity for my son and I have no affilation with either Firstpoint or Pass4soccer. The comments I'm making are my honest opinions and hopefully will help to make others aware of what you get for your money.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 16th 2009, 5:20 pm
  #45  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Alrite people.
I've been taken on by first point USA, paid the money aswell, but am definetlly regretting it soo far.
I've taken my S.A.T's which they didn't help with at all, no help or idea's at what to do, just do them.
I really believe they take on anyone who pay's. I'm a good player and at a footage game a few months back i played with someone in center mid who had apparently already got a place aswell. He was overweight and unfit, and seemed to have little skill. (I Ran the game, but thats another story )
Currently im letting them do their thing for me but im also looking into getting to the u.s without them, sending e-mails to coaches etc.
Too add my "consultant" is terrible. He has almost no idea who i am ( I do realise he has loadsa people, but almost no contact) and seems to not be bothered at all.
In my opinion, go it your own way, but i'll let you know how it turns out for me with first point.
peace x
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