As the Pre-University Coordinator and Director of University Advising at Lower Canada College, I have had the pleasure of working with Holly Smith Abbott for over 12 years. Both in her capacity at the NCAA Eligibility Center and, more recently as an NCAA initial-eligibility consultant, Holly has provided invaluable information, guidance and insights to our college-bound, student-athletes. She is knowledgeable about academic requirements as well as each individual sport that falls under the NCAA umbrella.
Holly provides extensive support to her clients, meticulously reviewing academic credentials and crafting thorough consultation briefs that include critical information about core-course credits earned, GPA and standardized testing requirements. The briefs are easy to understand and the timeline for completing the recommendations is clearly explained. Additionally, Holly guides clients through the recruiting process, ensuring the student-athletes maintain the NCAA recruiting standards while communicating with coaches or athletic directors and when visiting college campuses.
In every interaction, Holly is a consummate professional, providing exceptional customer service. She is efficient, responds to questions in a timely manner, and provides ongoing support to students right up to their admission to university. Lower Canada College students have benefitted substantially from Holly’s expertise and I would highly recommend her to any student-athlete interested in applying to US universities and colleges.
Ms. Kimberly Tulloch Wynn, B.A. M.A. Formerly of Lower Canada College in Quebec, Canada Currently at The York House School in British Columbia, Canada
Holly played a significant role in the admission of Benjamin St.-Juste at the University of Michigan. Holly was assigned as the personal international academic counselor for our son's to be NCAA eligible during his high school years.
She was sitting next to Benjamin the day he received a full scholarship offer to play football at the University of Michigan. She knew that we would need a lot of help getting through this process because Benjamin studied in Québec, Canada (French Canadian) . It was a very complicated situation, and we had a very short amount of time to do it.
We were so overwhelmed with the offer that we didn't even know what it meant to be NCAA academically eligible, but Benjamin knew that a lot of academic work was ahead for him. Holly followed him step by step, encouraged him, and prepared him for what was coming. We were so happy that we and he could count on her. When we met Holly, we knew we were in good professional caring hands. And now she has an eye on the youngest brother Noah; lucky Noah!
Thank you, Holly - you are the most generous person we know. The St- Juste Family Wilbert, Louise, Benjamin, Noah ***(Benjamin has since completed a graduate transfer to the University of Minnesota, and competed for the Golden Gophers for two seasons. He has since graduated with his Master's degree.)***
We were referred to Holly by my daughter’s academic advisor. The advisor was unable to assist us in her complex and unique situation to be NCAA academically eligible. Holly’s guidance and assistance through the recruiting process and understanding the NCAA procedures was invaluable! Holly’s knowledge was in-depth (when she did not have the solution, she would find one) and communications with her were always fast and efficient. We were able to reach her by phone, text or email even when she was travelling. Holly always provided us with a solution that WORKED!
She treated us with respect and consideration for our concerns and feelings. My daughter, Tatiana, is now at the Iowa State University and runs track for the Cyclones.
We are so grateful to have met Holly! Ms. Alexandra Kulovics
With the services and expertise of Holly Smith Abbott, Filip Rebraca, a men's basketball student-athlete at the University of North Dakota, was able to gain four years of NCAA Division 1 eligibility. Holly’s insight and experience with prospective international student-athletes was the difference maker. Her in-depth evaluation of Filip’s academic profile was impressive to say the least. Holly was with us every step of the way until the final decision was made. The NCAA’s eligibility rules are complicated and to have someone like Holly to guide you through the process is invaluable!
Benjamin Farmer Assistant Director of Admissions/Head Men's Basketball Coach Williston Northampton School
At the age of 12, my AAA hockey playing son, decided that he wanted to trade his skates for a tennis racket and enroll in high school at an American Tennis Academy. His ultimate dream was to play in the NCAA while earning a degree. Many obstacles were overcome to get him there, but get there he did! Navigating college placement and the NCAA initial-eligibility process is daunting under the best of circumstances, but helping your son do so from Canada with no knowledge of the system made it particularly difficult.
When I was introduced to Holly, I couldn't believe my good fortune! Here was someone who knew the system intimately and was willing to devote her time, energy and expertise to helping my son realize his dream. Holly truly went above and beyond for us. She was incredibly generous and patient. Family conference calls were set up whenever it was convenient, often on weekends and evenings, emails and phone calls were answered quickly and thoroughly, and important decisions were always considered carefully with Holly ensuring that we had all the pertinent information. Holly made us feel like a priority.
We are all pleased to report that our son is now in his final year at Stonehill College, studying business and playing on the men's tennis team. He is happy and thriving.
Our sincerest thanks, Holly! Ms. Jennifer Copeland
Living in Montreal, we had a unique and complex situation to overcome for our son to be NCAA academically eligible. No one was able to find a solution, and we were stressed out about missing this opportunity. We heard about Holly’s knowledge, the communications were fast and efficient. Holly provided us with a specific solution that WORKED. Our son is now at Sacramento State University and plays baseball for the Hornets.
We are really grateful to have met Holly! Mr. Luc Simard