December 22, 2010

Scholarship Offers - 2 year versus 4 year schools

This question is somewhat related to a recent post regarding scholarships. DD is a senior and is evaluating offers from a few schools. The choices are partial scholarships from 4-year schools (DII); or full scholarships (including room & board) from 2-year schools. Obviously, the academic path is our major criteria, but out of pocket expenses are also one aspect that we are very aware of. However, we are concerned with her volleyball future if she attends a 2-year school.

So, the question is how many recruits do 4-year programs really pull from 2-year programs? When you look at rosters you always see a couple of players with “previous school” listed as a 2-year school, but certainly not a majority. It may be that many of 2-year players aren’t really looking to move to another program. DD just isn’t sure that she wants to go through the recruiting process again in 2 years if the opportunities aren’t really there. Any thoughts are appreciated. KS

I would say that your observation about a few players being from JC's and not the majority is accurate for NCAA DI/DII rosters. Some NCAA coaches don't recruit JC players just because of the issues with unit counts and transfer eligibility, or they feel two years is too short of a time to have them on the team. I do recruit JC players because I feel there are any number of players which slip through the recruiting cracks or are late bloomers. It is hard to put a 'for sure' count for JC players being recruited to 4 year schools.

Focus on three items:

1. Academics - Is she happy with the academic standing and opportunities of the 4 year schools which are recruiting her?
2. Scholarships - Is your family in a position that a Full scholarship is needed or would really be a help?
3. Volleyball - Where is she going to play more, a JC or 4 year? And, is this important to her?

Focus on these three items and how they influence your daughter. Sit down as a family and answer each question because a partial scholarship puts a financial responsibility on the family to empower a child's volleyball and education.

My suggestion - If there is a 4 year school that hits the mark for your daughter with academics, location and volleyball, and scholarship covers enough to make it manageable/comfortable for the family, then go with the 4 year.

If the 4 year schools don't meet the goals of your daughter and the financial parameters of the family, while the JC's look to be competitive programs then go with the JC knowing that it is a two year, all expense covered opportunity to improve skills and market her abilities to 4 year schools. It may be that as a Junior, she is going to a 4 year school with a partial scholarship, but at least she had two years on a full, and two years of competitive experience.

I understand the concern of having to re-do the recruiting process again, but if your daughter is talented, then there will be opportunities. My feeling is more and more 4 year schools are finding the positives of going recruiting at the JC's.

My last piece of advice....wait. Wait until the club season is in full swing because you don't know what the new year will bring with NCAA schools. Right now is the silly season of coaches being fired and hired, players flunking out, players bailing out, coaches realize that they need a left side hitter or another MB, etc.

All this translates into opportunities for the senior class, but with the DI Dead Period and Holidays, things will be rather slow in the recruiting craziness for all schools. Just be patient and make sure you keep reaching out to potential NCAA schools over the break in preparation for recruiting after the new year.

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