Tagged: social media

Using Social Media To Connect With College Coaches

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Another great guest blog post from our friends over at NCSA Athletic Recruiting!

The following is a post by Chris Burget, a head scout at NCSA Athletic Recruiting, who regularly contributes to the NCSA blog, as well as to his own at CoachChris99.com. Chris played football at the University of Arizona, where he received a full scholarship. You can find Chris on Twitter @Coach_Chris99, and you can talk to Chris and other football scouts about your football recruiting process and how you can maximize your chances of getting a football scholarship.

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are invaluable online tools, as they allow coaches to link to the power of prospective college athletes’ social media profiles, helping these student athletes to share their recruiting profiles, videos, and stats. Recently I put up a Twitter poll asking student-athletes, among all of their accounts, what kind of social media tool did they most prefer to use in order to connect with college coaches?

Coach Chris

Over 2,100 votes came in and, overwhelmingly, Twitter was the main tool that responding athletes used to increase their exposure to college coaches.

Twitter Is A Great Social Media Tool To Connect With College Coaches

It’s not surprising that Twitter ranks so well, especially when you consider the amount of tweets that go out daily on Twitter and the ease for prospective college athletes of targeting their videos to colleges and coaches. Every day, I meet with student-athletes and their families and at some point I ask which social media platforms they currently use. Most athletes tell me that they’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – and all of them want to know how to increase their chances of connecting with college coaches.

TwitterAs a Head Scout with NCSA, I have the opportunity to guide these teens, helping them to navigate the competitive recruiting process. The number one thing I tell them is that you need to have an online presence in order to connect with college coaches. Here at NCSA, we have more than 35,000 active college coaches who use our database of the very best student athletes in the country! As a verified third party, we help to match student athletes with colleges and coaches. Still, to successfully connect with coaches, student athletes also have a role in promoting themselves on social media.

Remember: Only 1% of student athletes earn a Division I full ride. Furthermore, more than 94% of the college athletic programs are outside of Division I. This being the case, you need to get out in front of coaches and promote yourself — especially if you haven’t seen that team playing on TV, or making national headlines. Who knows? That coach might just be at the school that is the perfect fit for you academically, socially and athletically.

If you’re interested in playing sports at the next level, regardless of whether you’re just starting high school or are finishing up your final season, there are certain steps that you should take in order to increase your exposure and put yourself in the best possible position to obtain a scholarship. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile. And, of course, remember to take full advantage of your social media presence while connecting with coaches and colleges – it’s a great way to increase your exposure to coaches and to give yourself a boost during the recruiting process!

When It Comes To Your Athletic Recruitment…

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Dear Readers, in an earlier post I let you know about Admitster’s new partnership with NCSA Athletic Recruiting, a great organization that helps high school athletes to connect with college coaches.  Today you’ll find the first of many guest blog posts by NCSA on our site – enjoy!

I’m sure a parent, coach or teacher has warned you about putting things online. Sometimes it feels like over time, various social media outlets have done more harm than good — for celebrities like Ariana Grande, as well as for student-athletes.

With college coaches and administrators heavily monitoring Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the other social media outlets of their prospects, we definitely hear more cautionary tales than smart social behavior when the topic comes up among collegiate programs.

But there’s good news. There are ways you can use social media to your advantage when it comes to your recruitment. Like various tips on posting that we’ve offered in the past, they’re all pretty simple.

NCSA image


Take a look at the top seven things you should do while you use your social media accounts so that you’ll help — not hinder — your recruiting.

Search your name and delete old accounts

See what comes up. If there’s anything you don’t like the look of, research where it came from and get it taken down or taken care of. Additionally, deleting old accounts minimizes different social media avenues that are putting your information out there – and getting rid of the ones you no longer monitor.

Follow coaches

Following coaches at colleges that interest you is good for a few reasons.

First of all, you get all of their updates so you can keep up with the team and what the program is up to. You can also get a feel for the coach and his/her personality. Even if they have someone else posting for them, chances are good that they have the majority of say over the voice and content they’re putting out there.

There’s also a chance the coaches will follow you back once you’ve followed them, which could help you to gain attention if you make the right kind of posts.

DM (Direct Message) coaches that follow you

While there are rules regarding when, where, and how a college coach can contact a high school student-athlete, a student-athlete can DM a college coach at any time. Depending on the time period or other factors surrounding NCAA rules, the coach may not be able to write the player back but, as with calling, a student-athlete can send a DM without penalty, at any time.

Take 30 seconds before you post anything

Ask yourself: “What is my message? Is there any chance this could be misinterpreted negatively? Is there any chance this could hurt my recruitment or reputation?”

Post updates on your recruiting

  • Academic and athletic awards or accolades
  • Recaps of combine/camp performance
  • College visits
  • Firm scholarship offers

Monitor the people you follow

As you do your best to keep your social media pages as squeaky clean as possible, pay attention to the people you’re following. A coach may check who you follow to get a feel for your interests. If you follow someone or something questionable, or with a crass handle, it makes the most sense to unfollow them for the time being.

Be gracious and humble

Remember: posts you put online have little-to-no tone in them, so coaches who haven’t met you in person might not understand your sarcastic sense of humor. Plus, this is just a good rule of thumb at all times.

Bonus tip!

Make sure you’re getting the best recruiting advice by following us on Twitter @ncsa, Snapchat and Instagram @ncsa_sports and on Facebook.

Our scouts can give you more tips about how to use social media to your advantage or improve your digital presence and connect with college coaches. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

Top Ten Colleges For Social Media Addicts

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Hands off the hashtags, put away your guilty-pleasure Pinterest Board — college admissions pro Admitster‘s got the lowdown on where to get your social media fix while you (find enough time away from Facebook to) apply to college. At least one of our Top 10 Best Colleges should get you in the mood to #jumpstagram out of sheer joy.

  1. U of Michigans Instagram is kinda amazing:

  1. At SNHU, your online marketing bachelor’s degree can have a concentration in social media. We checked. It’s real:
  1. …or you can get an in-person associates degree in social media from FIDM. Fashionista-style.
  1. Purdue University posts at least 6 times a day on FB — at least one of them on creepy Purdue Pete:


  1. Get at least 15 Dwight-worthy tweets a day from the University of Wisconsin:
  1. Texas A&Ms one of the few schools to be a stud on all of three of the big networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  1. USC is a Twitter powerhouse, getting at least five mentions, hashtags or tweets every minute.


  1. Harvard = The. Social. Network. #dropsmike



  1. Yahoo!, Google, Snapchat, Periscope: all started by social-savvy Stanford kids. Plus FB’s headquarters is basically right down the street.



  1. Proof that Emerson College is tops for social media after high school: you can take a class there that requires you to tweet. #craycray




LET US KNOW — which college is your social media paradise?

Before you go, head to Admitster to find help making your college dreams a reality. You may now resume practice with your selfie stick.

Social Media Data – It’s A Thing!

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This blog has, on many occasions, turned to the topic of your social media presence and the role it plays in the college admissions process (see, for instance, here and here).  Today we focus once again on this important topic, spurred on by a recent PBS article entitled, “The New Tool Colleges Are Using in Admissions Decisions: Big Data.”  The article’s author writes: “The point (of using social media data in the admissions process) is simple: to increase graduation rates by using big data to identify the kinds of students who, experience has proven, are most likely to stick around.”



This means that at some colleges and universities, admissions officers are taking a look at your online presence to help them determine your likelihood of attending AND graduating from their institution.  Under the article’s magnifying glass is Ithaca College, a school that launched a website called myIthaca, which is a “portal for prospective Ithaca College students.”  Through myIthaca, prospective students can register for admissions events, get academic information, track their application, and learn more about the Ithaca College student experience.  Anyone can register for myIthaca, and accepted students can also join IC Peers, the college’s “exclusive social networking community.”  Through these initiatives, those in the admissions office are granted a further window onto their prospective students, as activity on myIthaca and IC Peers (e.g. being enthusiastic about the college, posting photos, and being generally engaged) is an indicator of just how interested a student is in attending the college.  Remember, college admissions is a two-way street, and one of the factors that admissions officials consider is not only how interested they are in you (based in large part on the information in your application), but also how interested you are in them.  As the Vice President of Administration at Sarah Lawrence College is quoted in the PBS article as saying, “How interested an applicant was is heavily correlated with the student who is going to be a good fit and stay on past the first year.”

All of this is to say that, regardless of your feelings on the use of social media data in college admissions (“Great!” vs “It’s too ‘big brother’ and is freaking me out!”), it’s happening and you should act accordingly.  Use your social media presence to show admissions officials at your top-choice schools your enthusiasm – it can be an excellent resource in your toolbox of college admissions strategies!

First Impressions

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An earlier post on this blog discussed the possible admissions pitfalls associated with a less than pristine social media presence – think posting photos on your facebook page that you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with your grandparents and/or making lewd or inappropriate comments in your twitter feed. There is, however, one more aspect of your online profile to consider – your e-mail address. Much of the correspondence between you and various admissions offices across the country will be carried out over e-mail, and the last thing that you want to do is to create a negative impression with your choice of personal e-mail address. For instance, steer clear of the following:

  • schoolsucks@gmail.com
  • kegstandsrule@verizon.net
  • ihatepeople1234@yahoo.com
  • drunkjerk18@gmail.com
  • morebeerplease@hotmail.com
  • vodkagirl98@gmail.com
  • partyallnight@comcast.net
  • foxyfox3@yahoo.com


Having worked in admissions, I’ve come across applicants with e-mail addresses similar to those listed above and, believe me, it makes a very bad impression, no matter how stellar the rest of their application. Now, I understand if you don’t want to abandon your beloved “kegstandsrule” address – there’s no need for that. What you should do, however, is to take a few minutes to open a new e-mail account for use in college admissions and every other aspect of your professional life, for instance, for inclusion on your resume.  As Live Science reported, “With the increasing use of online screening, an applicant’s e-mail address could influence whether a resume gets tossed into the cyber-trash or makes it to human resources.” The same holds true for college admissions.

You don’t want something as simple to fix as your e-mail address to hold you back in the college admissions process. In thinking about the characteristics of an ideal e-mail address, know that it should make no references to sex, drugs and/or drinking or smoking, it should avoid anything potentially offensive or embarrassing, and the address should not make an attempt at humor (you may be the only one to understand the joke). What you should do is try to include some combination of your first and last name in the address, for instance, johnsmith@gmail.com or jpsmith@gmail.com. Remember, you have only one chance to make a good first impression with admissions officers – make it count!

In This Day and Age

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2Yesterday’s blog post discussed things that you may have done in the past that have unfortunately ended up on your permanent record, that is, on a school or police report.  However, there’s also another type of record out there that you should be thinking about during these whirlwind days of college admissions activity, namely, your social media presence.  Facebook!  Twitter!  Instagram! When you sign up for an account with any of these types of social networking services, you have an online presence, and whether that version of yourself reflects the real you or not is irrelevant when it comes to college admissions.  When we post photos or messages on Facebook, we’re often thinking about our audience as being our family and friends…but pulling up chairs in that virtual audience, eager for the lights to dim and the show starring you to begin, may be college admissions officers.  If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at some of the numbers.

Kaplan Test Prep carries out an annual survey of college admissions officers and in 2013 one of the focuses of the survey was what admissions officers had to say about their use of social media in the college admissions process.  Results showed the following (where the numbers in parentheses “reflect the findings of identically-worded questions from Kaplan’s 2012 survey of college admissions officers”):

June 9th

Let this sink in for a moment, especially the results for that last question – around 1 in 3 of the surveyed admissions officers have come across information on an applicant’s social networking page that has negatively impacted their application!  Social media is also used for college recruiting (and remember, a large part of the process from the admissions officers’ point of view is recruitment).  In short, the use of social media in college admissions is becoming more the norm, so be prepared:

  • Double check that for each of your various online accounts, your privacy settings are set to a level of privacy that you feel comfortable with.
  • Don’t post offensive, embarrassing or asinine messages, and steer clear of sharing with the world photos of yourself that you wouldn’t be happy for your grandparents to see.
  • In this day and age, having no online presence may also strike admissions officers as being odd, so keep on using Facebook and Twitter and all of your social networking tools – just be sure to use them responsibly!