The Facts about College Recruiting Services

Many student athletes say: “I hired a recruiting service that sends my profile to hundreds of schools. This service has a success rate of 95%, and their student athletes receive on average $9,000 a year in scholarship dollars.”

FACT: The benefits of recruiting services rarely justify the cost.

A recruiting service will never hurt you in the process—in fact, it can only help. However, many of these recruiting services cost thousands of dollars for the creation of a profile and/or video, which they then email to hundreds of coaches nationwide.

The overwhelming majority of the schools these services send your information to are probably schools you would never consider attending. With that being said, it is clearly much cheaper to create your own list of schools, and send your own information out to them yourself.

FACT: Recruiting services send out multiple profiles and videos each day to the same college coaches who rarely evaluate them.

Because there are numerous recruiting services doing the same thing on a daily basis, college coaches are inundated with similar emails from recruiting services who are recommending prospects that the services themselves barely know.  In short, many of these emails are considered nothing more than junk mail, and are consequently never opened.

FACT: College coaches want prospect information from sources they trust.

If student athletes are paying a recruiting service to market them to college coaches, the recommendations and evaluations that these recruiting services provide will clearly be biased.

FACT: Any college coach will tell you that they want to hear directly from the student athlete, not mom or dad, and not from an outside source that is being paid to recommend and represent you.

Contacting college coaches on your own is a proactive approach to the recruiting process that shows maturity, poise, and responsibility, aspects that college coaches are looking for in all of their potential players.

FACT: Recruiting services are profit-driven organizations whose primary focus is to sell as many programs as possible.

In order to keep enrollment high, recruiting services often dishonestly evaluate potential prospects and make promises they cannot keep. While many recruiting services insist that their primary focus is on student athletes, in all reality this is secondary to meeting their enrollment numbers.  With such a large number of student athletes enrolled in a particular recruiting service, they cannot possibly provide everyone the individual attention that they need and deserve.

FACT: It is unclear as to the role the recruiting service actually plays in the recruitment process.

Similar to showcases, many recruiting services publicize the names of their student athletes and the scholarship offers they receive. In all reality, the role the recruiting service played in the process cannot truly be determined.

FACT: Many recruiting services provide inaccurate success rates and inflated scholarship dollars awarded.

Recruiting services get their success rates from graduating seniors who CHOOSE to fill out a survey indicating their overall satisfaction with the recruiting service during the process. Thus, the satisfaction rate can represent a VERY small portion of a service’s entire client base.

The same can be said for average scholarship dollars awarded. These numbers are also accumulated by those graduating seniors who CHOOSE to fill out the survey and disclose this information.

In addition, some recruiting services may include academic scholarships and financial aid into this average scholarship number. Clearly, student athletes do not need the help of a recruiting service to earn an academic scholarship or to be awarded financial aid dollars.  Secondly, there is a clear difference between academic scholarships, financial aid, and athletic scholarships.

FACT: A recruiting service is a tool that has its limitations.

If you decide to go with a recruiting service, understand that it is still really critical that you do some work on your own as well. At the end of the day, you need to be your own advocate.

In addition, be sure that you consistently communicate and follow up with your recruiting service, and hold them accountable for everything they say they will do for you.