US Junior Open is becoming the hub of international squash recruiting


By Julian Illingworth

co-founder College squash insiders

9 time us national champion and yale 06'


The US JR Open has turned into the largest JR squash tournament in the world.  With over 1000 players, roughly 50% whom are international.  It’s clear that despite the history and prestige of the British Open, this is transforming into THE worldwide junior showcase event of the year.   

The draw of playing in front of US college coaches and the allure of a potential birth at a US college has fueled this growth, along with US Squash’s long term incremental approach to growth and improvement in all areas.  Even at the younger age groups, parents are introducing their kids to concept of US Colleges as a future option, and implanting a seed of wonder at the size and impressive nature of the colleges and their world-class squash facilities. 

While some colleges have the resources and energy to send a coach to the World Juniors or British Open, most don't.  With this event on their doorsteps relatively speaking, it is in my estimation becoming the premier showcase event for international kids angling for US college admission.


College Squash Insiders has put together a few pieces of information for those international students and their families thinking about making the leap to US College.  

1.     Get out of the squash courts and the hotel!  Walk around the college, take the tour, and take full advantage of your trip! 

2.     It’s not all about HARVARD.  Just because Harvard has the most international name recognition, doesn’t make it the “best” school, nor necessarily is Harvard the best fit for you as a student.  Along the same lines, there are so many great schools outside of the Ivy League, don’t limit yourself to a few schools, or take an all or nothing approach when thinking about US Colleges.   The goal is to find the right school for you!  Keep an open mind as you explore and learn about different colleges.  

3.     Athletic scholarships are hard to come by in squash.  This is a trend we are watching closely, but currently there are only 2 colleges that offer true athletic scholarships for squash (Stanford and University of Virginia). 

4.     There is need based financial assistance offered at all or most colleges that have squash teams, but that is determined on a case-by-case basis, and depends on a ton of factors.  A “need blind” admissions policy means that the college doesn’t factor in families financial situation when determining admissions.  At this time, international need blind is much less common than domestic need blind admissions.  A dirty secret of college admissions is that they need a certain % of their students each year to actually pay tuition for college, so the allocation of financial aid students at a school as a whole is closely monitored. 

5.     Financial aid usually doesn’t mean everything is free (unlike a scholarship).   It usually consists of a package of grants and scholarship dollars, work-study, and student loans.  All in all it is usually still a very good deal, but it's important to note that it is unlikely you will have a "free ride".  

If you are thinking of coming to the US to play squash in college, we can provide guidance, feedback, and facilitate the process. 

To schedule an initial consultation, fill out a form at our website contact page, or email us at



Julian Illingworth and Ben Oliner