Much like the traditional college admissions process, the athletic recruiting process is another area of college interaction that can benefit from the understanding and proper use of available web data.
The internet is filled with services that help student athletes get recruited for college. Traditionally, the recommended process includes video, outreach, and visiting. However, we believe that much more can be done to increase the odds of prospective student athletes playing at the school of their choice. The intelligent use of data from university websites, league records, and beyond can help those who are willing to dig get an edge. An introduction to some ways data can help athletic applicants is glossed below.
1) With our library of student survey responses, we are able to best match students with schools where the students at the schools suggest the experience is most like what the student athlete is looking for. All would agree that only targeting schools a student athlete would be happy at outside of sports is critical in the recruiting process. While our data enables us to do just that, there are other services and data sources on the internet that can help with 'fit' as well for those who are willing to do some digging.
2) Being a good student can be a big help in the recruiting process. At most schools, the admissions office will have the final say in the athletic pre-read process and know how a candidates grades, test scores, and in some cases prospective major stack up against their typical accepted student. When athletes are considered mediocre candidates by admissions a coach may struggle to get them past the admissions office. To help structure a plan of action with realistic target schools and develop an understanding of the headwinds or tailwinds an athlete may face in the pre-read process, detailed enrollment data for most colleges is available on the internet --if you know where to look.
3) Along the lines of grades and scores, know your coach. Rosters and team histories can show you the longevity of a coach as well as their recent level of success, all of which will factor into their ability to help shepherd the student athlete through admissions . Web scraping and a thorough search of the Internet can also often help reveal a coach's history and reputation with past recruits, information that can help a recruit and their family interact with the coach more effectively .
4) Rosters and historical rosters can provide some clarity as it relates to the student athlete's opportunity at a specific school. In a process where coaches sometimes lack transparency about probability and guidance counselors often lack any real knowledge and understanding of the process, students and their families can feel alone. A careful look at historic rosters can show key trends in recruiting behavior that can tell a prospective student athlete how they should best focus their energy. How many players are recruited at the candidate's position each year? What is the traditional physical profile of players in the recruit's position? Are specific geographies favored? Does the coach carry large numbers of international players? What is the mix of public and private school players? Ultimately, an understanding of these tendencies allows athletes and their families to better understand the likelihood of playing at specific schools.
5) Finally, scholarships and aid data can help student athletes and their parents determine if aid dollars are possible, the likelihood of aid dollars and what the average granted amount of aid would most likely be. What a student athlete receives in aid versus the average student can often help the recruit determine where they really stand on a coach's recruit list. Much like historic rosters and admissions data, most university sites will provide extensive aid and scholarship detail.
The reality is that there is a great deal of data that can be culled from the internet that can be additive to a more traditional recruiting processes. For those looking to avoid the time, and energy associated with the search, Admissions Laboratory can help with both the traditional process as well as using data to help target schools and improve the odds.