You’re a hot commodity.
Your name went into the admissions funnel!
Why Do You Get So Much Mail From Colleges?
Coaches and admissions departments send out mailings and emails to thousands of high school students each year. These may come in the form of information, a letter, or a questionnaire. Have you ever wondered why you receive so much email and mail from colleges you have expressed no interest in?
Admissions departments buy thousands of names each year. Those names are filtered into categories by the admissions department based on your activities, indicated major, where you live, etc. Colleges buy very specific names and then subdivide these names into categories. They place these names into automated mailers.
Yes, You Are the Perfect Fit!
Look at some of the mail and email you have received. You may notice there are specific things that appeal to you. If you have indicated on your ACT or SAT that you are interested in baseball, music and biology, you may be receiving material geared toward any of these things. The college is trying to let you know that you would be a perfect fit on their campus. However, the college does not know you from anyone else. Your name is at the top of the funnel.
The Admissions Funnel For Number Lovers
Look at this funnel provided by education.com. (I went back on their site to link it and cannot find the chart.) This was in a presentation given to colleges about managing their recruitment efforts. You will quickly notice that for every 100,000 students a college contacts, only 311 will enroll.
Colleges do their best to treat you like a person, but early in the process before you have applied, you remain a number. Until you apply you will receive some communication from the college, but it will not be personalized.
A couple quick definitions to help the graph make sense. A prospect is any name that gets into the admissions list. A prospective student becomes an inquiry when that student responds in any way to admissions. An applicant is anyone who has filled out the application. An applicant does not have to have sent in a transcripts or ACT/SAT scores.
The Athletic Funnel
Coaches work for the athletic department, not the admissions department. If a coach is interested in you, they will usually pursue you more aggressively than admissions will, even if you have not applied. However, the application is a delineation line for the coach as well. Once you have applied, the coach knows the likelihood that you will commit has greatly increased.
How can this help you?
If you remain a prospect to the college and the coach (i.e. you never respond to them) they will quickly lose interest in you.
Communicate and Respond
The first step is to respond in whatever way they have asked of you. Note that responding to the coach does not count as responding to the college. Coaches are in one respect working independently from the college admissions department, especially in regards to the communication channels. This will move you from a “prospect” to an “inquiry.” In the funnel you have now moved into the realm of possibility for both college and coach and they will take a closer look at you.
Next, fill out the application. I would advise that you begin filling out applications the summer before your senior year. Have all of your applications done by Christmas. Myth buster: you don’t have to wait until you have taken the ACT/SAT or have gotten the perfect score before you send in your application. Send applications to several schools: your dream schools, the secondary schools, and to schools that coaches are contacting you from (if you have any interest at all).
Tip: Many schools offer windows of time in which you can apply for free. Watch for emails or postcards announcing the dates and be ready to apply. Having application fees waived is an easy way to save $25 or $50 per school.
Make Yourself Worth the Attention of a College Coach
Applying to a school does not bind you to that school, but it will increase the attention a school and coach will give you. Now you have now moved yourself into the 1.5% (see chart) of those who were prospects. Now you are definitely worth attention.
If you are ready for a step-by-step plan to take your talent to the next level and need someone to walk you through the process, let me guide you.
How to Get Recruited: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited.
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P.S. Come join our Facebook group, The Recruiting Code. This is the place to be for parents and coaches to talk about college recruiting. Come learn from each other, share stories and get information that will help your child become a college athlete.