Approximately 2000 American colleges and universities offer athletic opportunities or financial aid to gifted student-athletes from the U.S.A and other countries. Due to lack of knowledge of the recruiting process and lack of exposure, thousands of superior athletes are overlooked every year.
The major problem is that most parents and students know very little about this process. They have heard about a few students who receive large scholarships to major universities, but they aren’t certain how it can happen for them. Most parents will want to do the very best for their sons and daughters of course, and some will even try to do it entirely on their own. Very few will succeed. Here are just a few reasons the vast majority do not:
- They wait until it is too late.
- They target their inquiries to schools within the price range they think is affordable.
- They limit their search to a narrow geographic area or to places others have attended or told them about.
- They have no way to do a systematic search for schools that match the student’s abilities, needs and interests.
- They can’t name more than 10 or 20 colleges and most of those are close to home or in the top 50 receiving exposure on TV (mostly because of athletics).
- They forget that the most selective schools (often with proportionally large endowments) are found in small communities or “college towns”.
- They think that because a few colleges have sent catalogs or letters of inquiry they have enough schools on their radar.
- They fail to realize that the window of opportunity is usually open for only a short period of time between the middle of the Junior year and March 1 of the Senior year and then it closes, in most cases, forever.
- The most discouraging part of all: The student and his or her parents (both as purchasers of education and providers of talent) are amateurs in the business of college recruiting, while the college coaches and financial aid personnel (seekers of students and providers of education) are experienced professionals.
On this last point, we must face the fact that higher education is big business in America. A lot of money changes hands and a marvelous product is offered. Because of its high value and high cost, comparative shopping and careful decision making are essential.
The Recruiting Process is a closed door. What’s on the other side? If you don’t open it, you’ll never know. But just opening the door is often not enough. The Recruiting Process has several twists and turns, like a maze, that can be very difficult to navigate.
The secret of giving the student the very best chance of succeeding in this process is to open as many doors as possible while offering sound advice on how to navigate the complications. The more doors a student opens, the more doors he or she has a chance of making it through with the best results. This strategy provides more choices that result in a school that the student wants to attend and eventually more bargaining power to obtain the very best financial aid offer possible. There is no better way to improve one’s chances. That is a law – the law of probabilities.
That is our task – expanded exposure with professional guidance and promotion in order to give the student the best choices possible.