by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Coach, how often do you hear a recruit tell you at the end of the process that they cannot afford your school and are choosing a cheaper option? Probably fairly often with the consistent rise in costs of a college education.
The reality is cost is an easy out for recruits. Sure, many times they actually probably cannot afford your school, even after financial aid. But very often when cost is their excuse, they probably really mean “I don’t think what you have to offer is worth that much money.”
How can you minimize hearing this answer after you have been recruiting a prospect for months or maybe years? Here are two ways.
1) Eliminate those that cannot afford your program EARLY
Have the money conversations early. Have them with the prospect but also with the parents. Get an idea of what they think they can afford and see if that matches up with the ballpark number you expect them to have to pay.
What if they say they can only afford a certain amount but you think they really can afford more? If you have an idea of what other schools they are looking at, compare the costs to attend those schools to yours. If they are in the same range, maybe they have more wiggle room than they are telling you.
But, if you find out that what they can pay is just not going to come close to what the final cost will be at your school, you need to walk away. That can be very hard, I know.
Coach, in the end you know it is not going to work out and it is in the best interests of you, your program, and that recruit that you part ways.
If you can eliminate these recruits from your pool early on, it doesn’t remove all obstacles but you at least now know it will come down to how effectively you can tell your story which leads to number two on today’s list.
2) Tell a story that shows them you are worth the cost of attendance
Just because all the recruits left in your pool now could potentially pay to go to your school, it does not mean they will want to.
In order for your prospects to commit, you need to effectively explain why they should pay that much to play for you.
There are many ways to do this effectively but here are a few core principles to follow:
- Tell your story consistently, every 6-9 days
- Tell your story through several different mediums of communication
- Tell your story to the parents as well as the recruit
Coach, if you are sick of hearing the “cost” excuse after spending months and years investing into recruiting an athlete, follow these two pieces of advice. Eliminate those that cannot afford your school and then tell the ones that can a story that shows why they should choose to spend that much on you!