January 10, 2010

Division II Scholarship Question

My daughter is a Jr in High School. She will be a 2011 graduate.
I understand that NCAA Div II can NOT give full-ride scholarships but how do you know if you really are getting a fair scholarship offer? Is the scholarship amount firm or do you try to barter???
We have started the recruiting process and have made one "Unofficial " college/coach visit.
I have several DII colleges interested in her but as of now I believe we should keep our options open..
When is the earliest time frame a coach can make a scholarship offer to my daughter and when is the soonest date my daughter can sign a Letter of Intent?
Thanks for your help!!!!


Let me go ahead and jump right into answering your questions:

1) There is no rule in Division II limiting the amount of an individual scholarship offer. It can be from 1 penny to a Full ride.

2) Determining "fair" is a tough call. There are two ways to consider if an offer is fair - Does the offer provide the necessary financial support for your daughter to attend a school? Does the offer reflect the ability of your daughter? If your family enjoys a positive financial situation, then maybe a fair offer makes college costs easily manageable. If your daughter is a solid player, but not elite, then maybe a fair offer is a half or three quarter scholarship. Fair is an awfully subjective term.

3) You can always barter. Coming to an agreement is part of determining a scholarship amount that works for the program and the family. The program wants to get a player as inexpensively as possible, and a player/family wants to get as much scholarship support as possible. This meeting of the financial minds is part of being an Equivalency Sport, no matter the NCAA Division.

4) I believe it is beyond way too early to commit to a DII program as a Junior, unless it is just the absolute, with out a doubt, perfect fit in every possible way. I caution DI players from making early Junior commitments, even though the peer/family pressure may be big. Most DII schools are down stream a bit, and make their selections after the DI's are done fishing. Again, I would caution an early DII commit, unless it is exactly what a player wants.

5) A college volleyball coach can make a verbal financial offer at any time they wish. I could offer Logan Tom's future grand daughter a scholarship right now.

6) The National Letter of Intent, the legal document binding the school to the athlete, has specific signing dates for each division and each sport. You can look these exact future dates up at this web site here.

For some general information - NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball places a limit of 8 athletic scholarships to be awarded. This is the NCAA maximum, and it is up to each individual member school to determine if they will fund the sport to the NCAA maximum number. Many, many schools do not financially support the Women's Volleyball program with a full allotment and in fact, some conferences make it a conference rule that Women's Volleyball may only be funded at a certain number, say 4.

NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball is an Equivalency Sport, as opposed to a Head Count Sport, which is what NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball is classified. Equivalency Sports are allowed to distribute their scholarship totals in any way they feel fit, with the total amount awarded being equal to the NCAA or conference limits. For example, a fully funded NCAA DII program can have 18 kids on some amount of athletic scholarship, as long as the total of all those awarded scholarships equal 8 Full rides (or less).

It is important to note, that NCAA Division II programs are very good about obtaining other scholarship support for their prospective student athletes. Some different examples of non athletic scholarships which are available include academic, merit, need based, state supported or federal government supported. It can get a little tricky to determine which types of scholarships may be stacked or combined with athletic scholarships, while still staying under the limit (this is a complicated situation that must be worked out with the school's Compliance person).

I hope this information was of help and don't be in a hurry - Your daughter has lots of time to explore her options.


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