You’ve submitted your application, your GPA meets our academic requirements, and you’ve mastered your YouTube highlight reel – is this enough to be seen and accepted onto RIASA’s prestigious soccer program in the UK?
Follow our carefully crafted student-athlete success guide, in which we promise, may help maximize your chances of making it onto the RIASA soccer roster.
RIASA is the UK’s leading international college soccer program, offering an unrivalled footballing and academic experience that matches no other program. When recruiting, we usually seek to bring in between 20-40 new soccer players every fall and an additional 10 in January as we have two player intakes per year for our roster.
So there’s the potential for RIASA to recruit a maximum of 50 freshmen in any given year, but of course this all varies on the current performance of the roster and at which stage each student-athletes is at during their RIASA journey.
We couldn’t put an exact figure on the actual rate of acceptance, but we can share some figures with you which highlight how popular our undergraduate college soccer program is proving, especially over recent years.
In a 6-month period in the first and early second quarter of 2021, RIASA received over 650 applications. Of these applications, RIASA coaches reviewed over 150 highlight reels alongside a further 100 static application reviews.
So the total number of applications that we reviewed and considered for our programme was 250 out of 650 which is a percentage of 38% – however this is not the percentage who were offered a place.
Now that you know RIASA receives large numbers of applications for its undergraduate soccer academy program, it’s important that you understand the requirements needed and what we look for when reviewing any application.
There are multiple factors involved when reviewing any application, however these are the most important that we consider:
These 5 factors are considered at every stage of any single application to join RIASA. At each stage the student-athlete in question needs to meet the criteria of each step, but they also need to show character, hunger, talent and have a positive attitude.
Student-athlete success guide
We’ve shared the most important factors that are required to join RIASA, you also know roughly how many applications RIASA receives, and what percentage of these applications were reviewed by our coaching and recruitment team.
We now want to share some detailed tips and helpful advice with regards to improving your chances of being aspected on to the world’s only college soccer programme, offering a dual accredited US/UK degree.
American student-athletes are aware of the recruitment process of joining any established college soccer roster, which includes attending many try-outs, ID clinics and ID soccer camps.
Most students already do this, but there’s definitely a large percentage of applications who don’t attend any ID camps (this is a huge shame, as you’re not giving yourself the best chance on the pitch).
Why is this a useful tip? Well to put it simply, you’re showcasing your talent in front of staff members of the programme, the head coach and his team can closely monitor your playing ability, they will be able to see your desire and commitment as well as being able to physically talk to you.
That’s why attending any college soccer ID camp can help put your application in front of others. Be careful when booking any ID camp as some events can be tricky to showcase your talent, and you may end up registering alongside 300 other players.
We regularly host US ID camps, which are solely for the purpose of allowing you to showcase your playing ability. We cap our events to a maximum of 40 players per event, so that we can monitor each player correctly and give them the coaching focus they deserve.
It’s 2022! Make sure that if your application is going to be through a highlight reel, that it’s crystal clear and coaches can easily identify you as the player on the highlight reel.
We see this a lot, and we appreciate not everyone is a wizard on Premiere Pro, or even at video editing on their iPhone, however there’s people who can edit videos for cheap on websites such as Fiverr and PeoplePerHour (so there’s no need to send a poor quality reel).
Sending in a high definition video of you playing will make your application smoother. It may sound too simple to be effective, but even our coaches are sometimes shocked at the amount of poorly edited videos or just the amount of videos which are unclear and unidentifiable.
This tip relates to making sure you fully understand the funding requirements for attending any collegiate soccer program, not just ours.
If you’re looking to attend a private college institution in the US to play your soccer, on average according to www.topuniversities.com you will be paying $48,510 per year for a 4-year program.
In direct comparison, to join RIASA it would cost you $33,600 per year roughly, saving nearly $15,000 per year. (obviously this is a rough comparison in relation to D1 & D2 college programmes in the US).
Depending on where you want to play your soccer, the funding element is going to be the most stressful. As highlighted above, playing at RIASA in the UK is cheaper than your average US institution, and as we offer a 9-month playing season with a dual accredited US/UK degree.
FAFSA, self-funded, GI Billing, Sallie Mae loans or private scholarships, however you intend to fund your college soccer journey, be sure to sit down with your parents, family or guardian to thoroughly understand the costs involved.
What do we mean by work smarter, not harder? This means you should try and prioritise anything important, don’t overwhelm yourself with the bigger picture, because if you do, you’re bound to get caught up in the emotion of what you’re trying to achieve.
Relating that theory to college soccer recruitment, we have a few small tips that could help you work smarter and be more accessible to the coaches and the programme.
Before you even apply, make sure you meet the academic requirements. It goes without saying but this is something we see daily. You need to meet the minimum GPA to be able to apply.
Schedule a call / Zoom call with the head of recruitment. This gives you the chance to put a face to a name and also you can show your character.
Load up your football CV. What we mean by this is make sure your playing info is correct and have a few coaches at hand to give you a recommendation.
Socially engage with the programme you’re wanting to join. Take note of how they present themselves online. We’re talking Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Schedule an on-site campus tour and see if you can train with the programme too. You’ll know for sure then if you want to be part of the squad.
Have faith in what you do. Your time will come, and when it does, be sure to take it.
So now you know how to improve your chances of being seen! We’ve also tried to include as much information about our unique college soccer program as possible, however, if you want to see more information, you can do so below:
See Men’s Undergraduate Soccer programme
See Women’s Undergraduate Soccer programme
Book a 20-minute call with our head of recruitment