College Volleyball Scholarships and Recruiting

How to Get a Volleyball Scholarship?

Earning a volleyball scholarship has a lot do with finding the right program. With hundreds of programs, chances are good that there is a school looking for a player like you, but the chances that a coaching staff will find you are very low. Learn more about how to communicate with coaches the right way and get the opportunities you deserve.

Getting College Coaches to Watch You Play

Volleyball coaches use large tournaments to go out and watch the players they have already been in contact with. Lots of players ask coaches to come to their games, but few succeed. Set yourself apart from the competition with this strategy.

How the College Volleyball Recruiting Process Works

Success in the volleyball recruiting process relies heavily on gaining the right exposure. Athletes who play club volleyball assume that coaches are watching them at their tournaments, but the reality is that there are too many players at each tournament for coaches to be able to focus on any one person. If you want the opportunities you deserve, here are the steps you need to take.

Making Sure You Meet the Academic Eligibility Requirements

Volleyball coaches want to keep their team GPA high. The only way to show them that you can help them toward this goal is to be well above these basic standards.

How Good do You Have to be?

These are the general guidelines for what coaches look for in volleyball players at each position. You will find players that don’t meet these standards at every level, but these are the averages.

Women’s Volleyball

NCAA DI NCAA DII NCAA DIII NAIA
Libero/Defensive Specialist 5’5″+ 5’3″+ 5’2″+ 5’2″+
Middle Hitter 6’1″+ 5’10″+ 5’10″+ 5’9″+
Outside Hitter/Right Side 6’+ 5’11″+ 5’9″+ 5’8″+
Setter 5’10″+ 5’9″+ 5’6″+ 5’4″+

NCAA DI

  • All-American
  • All-Region
  • All-State
  • All-League/District
  • Club team experience at the national level

NCAA DII

  • All-State
  • All-League/District
  • Club team experience at the national/regional level.

NCAA DIII/NAIA

  • All-League/District
  • Club team experience. 

Men’s Volleyball

NCAA DI NCAA DII NCAA DIII
Libero/Defensive Specialist 6’+ 5’8″+ 5’8″+
Middle Hitter 6’6″+ 6’5″+ 6’3″+
Outside Hitter/Right Side 6’4″+ 6’3″+ 6’1″+
Setter 6’3″+ 6’0″+ 6’0″+

NCAA DI

  • All-American
  • All-Region
  • All-State
  • All-League/District
  • Club team experience at the national level

How Many Volleyball Scholarships are Available at Each Level?

Volleyball can offer some of the best scholarship opportunities if you know where to look. Each division level and school has a different amount of scholarships to offer.

Not all colleges that are eligible to offer scholarships will choose to do so. For example, Ivy League schools choose not to offer athletic scholarships.

Men’s volleyball is an equivalency sport which means all scholarships are not full scholarships. For example, in NCAA DI, men’s volleyball coaches can divide the value of the 4.5 scholarships available to them between as many players as they see fit.

Women’s volleyball is a head count sport in NCAA DI only, which means all scholarships in NCAA DI are full scholarships.

Women’s Volleyball

NCAA DI: 12
NCAA DII: 8
NAIA: 8

Men’s Volleyball

NCAA DI: 4.5
NCAA DII: 4.5

Number of Programs by Division Level

Men’s Volleyball

NCAA DI: 21
NCAA DII: 23
*NCAA DIII: 83
NAIA 32
CCCAA 15

Total 174

Women’s Volleyball

NCAA DI: 330
NCAA DII: 300
*NCAA DIII: 434
NAIA: 219
NJCAA: 330

Total: 1,613

*NCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but do offer other forms of financial aid.

What Are the Top Programs in Each Division?

On any given year, different programs can make a run at a conference or national championship. The following programs have consistently finished near the top and are home to some of the top recruits at their division level.

Women’s Volleyball

What Are the Top Programs in Each Division?

NCAA DI: Nebraska, Stanford, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, UCLA, Florida, Penn State, Washington, San Diego, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina

NCAA DII: Concordia-St. Paul, Tampa, Nebraska-Kearney, Minnesota Duluth, Wayne State, Palm Beach Atlantic, Western Washington, Lewis, Angelo State, Ferris State, Winona State, Grand Valley State, Southwest Minnesota State, Winona State, Washburn

NCAA DIII: Calvin, Emory, Northwestern-St. Paul, Tufts, Stevens, MIT, Mary Washington, Juniata, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Texas-Dallas, Cal Lutheran, Wisconsin-La Crosse, Gustavus Adolphus, Washington U. in St. Louis, Southwestern Texas

NAIA: Eastern Oregon, Park, Missouri Baptist, Indiana Wesleyan, Carroll, Hastings, Westmont, Grand View, Ottawa, Lindsey Wilson, Georgetown, Viterbo, Oklahoma City, Webber International, Lourdes.

Men’s Volleyball

What Are the Top Programs in Each Division?

NCAA DIII: SUNY New Paltz, Rutgers-Newark, Springfield, Carthage, Stevenson, UC Santa Cruz, Kean, Vassar, Nazareth, NYU, Wentworth, MSOE, MIT, Endicott, Mount St. Joseph.

IMPORTANT: NAIA Rule Changes. You must now register with the NAIA Clearinghouse.

NCAA Volleyball Scholarships

Beach Volleyball History

Attending a college volleyball summer camp could be the best recruiting move you ever make.

Author: David Frank

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