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Firstpoint USA

Firstpoint USA

Old Mar 13th 2011, 10:42 pm
  #76  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

5 live investigates on radio 5 live now talking all about Firstpoint.
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Old Mar 13th 2011, 11:34 pm
  #77  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by Manc View Post
5 live investigates on radio 5 live now talking all about Firstpoint.
They wanted us to contact them about the story and our experience with it but I was too lazy (and only getting the facts secondhand) to email them back.
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Old Jun 19th 2011, 6:50 pm
  #78  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by mercymercy456 View Post
Hi my son has signed up to first point usa and is about to travel to london for his profile video, then a wk later for his dreaded acc test we are very doubtfull about this as it is costing far to much but, we cant pull out now as we have paid our £2.500 ouch i sold my car to do this..we never realised what we had to come but he is really enjoying doing this,they have said they get free lodgings in usa with all the kit they need aswell as food etc,, is this true please help as i have no idea of the cost ie, if he falls ill etc thanks
Hi - I am a new menber and novice to this thread and posting stuff. I think, however, I am gong to enjoy it and hopefully be able to contribute to all. I am very interested to find out how your son got on with his profile video etc. My son is very interested in going to USA to play football and has been 'chosen'. I am in the process of paying but very confused and unsure. I have read all the threads and particularly found TOADSTER to be very encouraging.
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Old Jun 21st 2011, 12:10 pm
  #79  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by TOADSTER View Post
My son has recently passed his trial and been accepted onto First Points program. We are in Scotland.

If anyone has any feed back on first point, ie their success rate on having students placed and on what level of scholarship it would be much appreciated. Also what colleges seem to be their target areas. Any hints and tips on the SAT would also be greatly appreciated. My son has passed his Highers with good grades so we are hoping for a decent score.

I will update with our experiences as we move through the process.

Thanks in advance
How did your son get on with First Point. I am in the decision stage - do I pay or do I go!
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Old Jun 21st 2011, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by TOADSTER View Post
Quick update.

My son is due home in 2 weeks after finishing his freshman year. He opted not to pick a major this year leaving his options open. He has had an absolute ball (pardon the punn). We visited his Uni before Christmas and were amazed with the facilities. My son has grown up so much in the past year, so far this has been a great experience for him. His physique and fittness levels are absolutely amazing. Educationally he is keeping his GPA up and has no issues with his elligability.

A few people have PM`d looking for further info, some of your accounts arent set up yet to receive PM so if you can PM me again with an email address or phone number I will get in touch

All the best

Toadster
Toadster I am very keen for your help and knowledge - I am eager for my son to go to fulfill his passion. Does your contact give advice over the telephone - can I PM you?
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Old Jun 22nd 2011, 12:12 pm
  #81  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Yes you can PM me, no problem I`m glad to help
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Old Jun 22nd 2011, 12:17 pm
  #82  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

We didnt use firstpoint.... thank god!
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Old Aug 21st 2011, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by TOADSTER View Post
We didnt use firstpoint.... thank god!
Hi Toadster,
Its all new to me too, but my boy is on the path. we have had our assessment and are heading to Lilleshall in early December. Not with Firstpoint but with a non profit organisation affilliated to BCS and the ESFA.
Ive been happy so far and have paid out less than some on this site.

Need to make a few posts on this site before I can contact, but would love to share your experiences and knowledge
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Old Aug 21st 2011, 10:50 pm
  #84  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by victor-1 View Post
Hi Lady preacher,

Sorry for the delayed reply but just happened to check this thread again and saw your question.

Things have moved on quite a way since my last post. My son signed up with Pass4soccer and paid the £775 fee. He attended a trials day where they had around 40+ coaches over from the US. He played two games of 45 minutes duration and at the end of the day talked to seven coaches from NCAA 1 & 2 leagues.

Pass4soccer also posted his video on their website and this gained further interest from another 5 coaches but 2 of these were from NCAA3 which doesn't offer any scholarships.

It became pretty obvious through ongoing correspondence who was really interested and who wasn't and he narowed his choice down to two (one NCAA1 & one NCAA2) who showed real interest in him. Ultimately for us the scholarship was so important as the cost of the US education meant that it had to be a good offer for us to consider it.

He decided to accept the offer from the NCAA2 College as this was the best deal financially and the coach was fantastic with his follow up to all our questions. He's due to leave next month and is really looking forward to the experience.

The scolarship has taken care of around 90% of the overall costs and includes lodgings, food, insurance etc. Extra costs to us are the additional 10% education cost, visa fees (around US$400 plus travel costs to London for the interview), return flight to the US at £800, college housing deposit at US$500, bedding at $200, book costs estimated to be around US$1500 and other incidental set up costs (electrical items for the US, mobile phone, spending money, etc) which we've allowed another US$3,000 for in the first year.

So even with a good offer there are still add-on costs to consider and there is a lot of paperwork to get through but we found it fairly logical. A lot depends on the Uni as they can help with so much advice and assistance which in our case we found really useful.

Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Centre is also fairly easy but time consuming and you have to do the SAT test and submit the results of this to the NCAA. You also have to send certified copies of your UK results to them through your current school.

We found Pass4soccer to offer a great service, they hosted the trials day superbly and were always there to answer e-mails or phone calls with advice so I'd have no hesitiation to recommend them to you. Look them up on the web and give Barry or Daniel a call and you'll see what I mean. They don't do things for you but will guide you through a lot of the process.

If you need any more advice just let me know and I hope this helps.

Good Luck!
Hi Victor-1
My boy is also with Pass4Soccer and we are dealing with Daniel at the moment, We had first contact with Tommy Nutter who has been through the process and returned to help others which i believe is both commendable and encouraging. A few more posts and i hope to get in touch for your experiences if thats ok. I found the additional costs you gave helpful as a guide thank you.
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Old Aug 21st 2011, 11:28 pm
  #85  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
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
Hi John.
I hope you are still happy with your choice to go for US education? My boy has just set out in the hope to get offers for the fall entry in 2012.
Initial assessment of expected costs for his education are very resonable but we shall wait for real offers on the table.
We have a showcase to attend in December where some US coaches attend so hopefully we will have an offer or two to get a fix on reality.

He sits his SAT in November and i have used your post to drive home its importance, so thank you .

Please let us know how your son is getting on with football, academic and culture in the US
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Old Sep 29th 2011, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

JamJar feel free to PM me, I am happy to help
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Old Dec 8th 2011, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by jamjar101 View Post
Hi John.
I hope you are still happy with your choice to go for US education? My boy has just set out in the hope to get offers for the fall entry in 2012.
Initial assessment of expected costs for his education are very resonable but we shall wait for real offers on the table.
We have a showcase to attend in December where some US coaches attend so hopefully we will have an offer or two to get a fix on reality.

He sits his SAT in November and i have used your post to drive home its importance, so thank you .

Please let us know how your son is getting on with football, academic and culture in the US

Hi jamjar

I am rarely on the forum these days so please accept my apology for the delay in responding.

I hope your son achieved a good SAT score (not sure if he'll have it yet)? If so that, combined with a good showcase performance will, hopefully generate interest in him. In terms of his showcase he should prepare really well for it, what I mean by that is to perhaps develop an additional traing plan to ensure peak fitness on the day, and obviously to eat and drink well and get sufficient sleep prior to his big day so that he can give his best. This is an exciting time for him, and for you, and you'll find that time will go by very quickly after Christmas and before he knows it he'll be off Stateside.

You hit the nail on the head re costs; fundamentally you need to weigh up the offers carefully to be clear about your costs; remember, however, the most important considerations will be around the types of academic choices he will have, the location and perhaps the size of the Uni, the soccer program and facilities and things do do away from campus - bottom line is that he has to be happy there as it will be his home for 4 years.

In terms of our experience, our son is now a Junior, ie in his third year of four. We are indeed still happy with his choice to go for a US education; more importantly however is the fact that he is very happy in the States and has enjoyed a life experience that few others his age have the opportunity to experience. He has travelled and played soccer widely across the west coast and in Canada and this summer had a wonderful time playing PDL soccer on the east coast. He copes well with his studies, he has made a number of friends (indeed we had an American team mate stay with us last Christmas and New Year) and I expect these friendships will last a lifetime. It looks like he may continue his studies in the States at Masters level after 4 years so all in all it has very much been the right choice for him.

I hope this is useful; please send me a PM if you think it would be helpful to have a chat and I'd be very happy to call you.

Kind regards

John
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Old Jan 24th 2012, 8:06 pm
  #88  
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Im a college coach and deal with all companies!
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Old Mar 8th 2012, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Hi to all
My son is at the point were his profile is up on view ( with FPUSA) and is waiting for offers. Like the majority of young people he needs a good offer to consider the move over to US. We have just been requested by the clearing dept to state what our financial contribution will be. Has anyone else with Firstpoint been asked this specific question? I don't want to disadvantage his chances of securing the best possible scholarship but I'm reluctant to state a figure at this time. Any advice very much appreciated. Firstpoint have stated that it assists them knowing this info because they believe it pointless getting into discussions with a coach if the scholarship percentage isn't sufficient. However the choice of college/ Uni isn't just on scholarship percentage - its also about suitability, location, standards of education, facilities etc. We may decide that it's worth contributing more so therefore take an offer which is a little less than somewhere else. Hope someone can offer some advice. Thanks.
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Firstpoint USA

Originally Posted by TOADSTER View Post
My son is in his Sophomore year and living the dream! He loves his school and the life he has out there. We got a great deal from our consultant and they got us a great deal at the University too. We pay less than $5000 per year including his accomodation and meal package.

Feel free to email or PM me for more details
Dear Toadster,

I have read with baited breath about first point soccer. My Son has been for the trials and interview at Stamford Bridge and now have the contract sitting on the side with the coach calling my son asking him what he thinks, probably more to the point when are you going to sign it. we have I think 2 weeks left to make our minds up. I spoke with Stuart from another company, but beleive it is Stuart Burke as he said he used to work for them and directed me to the BBC /watchdog report about First Point USA, I am very aprehensive in dishing out money especially £2500 just like that so this has stopped me inmy tracks and not researching further sounds like not a good idea. I really feel for my son as they are oblivious at the age of 18 of con merchants and thinks everything will be ok. But today I will have to let him down gentle to tell him that I am not going to thorw my money in that direction. Although its been a complete waste of my time my sons and my husbands i would rather not to go any further and him or us being comeltely dissapointed. I reall dont know what to do at theis stage we are in London so any contacts etc would be great. We are now in touch with Stuart Burke but cant remember the company he is with and may just go with them. But I see on here someone paying £800 for the same job. Any help or information from any of you will be a big bonus but I need answers soon thank you all in advance
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