April 20, 2011

Ivy League Volleyball Question

Any update to your November 7, 2008 post "Ivy League Volleyball Question"?

My daughter is a junior and has received e-mails from most of the Ivy League coaches but I'm curious about things like Early Admissions, walk-on, Letter of Intent versus Likely Letter, do Ivies seek earlier commitments because of their academic requirements or pursue commitments later after scholarship schools have received commitments?

Thank you for your help.  S.H.

As the Ivy League is a unique situation within NCAA Division I Volleyball, it can fly under the radar for the majority of PSA's.  To answer your questions:

1.  Early Admission is a common feature of elite level academic institutions, which tend to be located within the NCAA Division III realm. This effort is focused on securing those super smart students and locking up their commitment to pay to come to school.

2.  The term 'walk-on' is a bit of a misnomer for the Ivy League, since by the common definition of a walk-on, no athletic scholarship money is awarded.  The Ivies don't award athletic scholarships, so by DI/II definition, each player is a walk-on.  Maybe by the Ivies definition, a walk on might be a PSA who receives absolutely no scholarships or grants, and thus a full pay student?

3.  I have never heard of the "Likely Letter" - You will need to explain that one to me.

4. The Letter of Intent is short for National Letter of Intent which is a contractual vehicle which lists the exact athletic scholarship amounts which will be awarded to the PSA for coming to the school.  A NLI is only provided for Athletic Scholarships.  For academic/merit/need based scholarships, a written offer of enrollment might be extended by the school which lists the various financial support avenues being provided to the PSA since the Ivies don't award athletic scholarships.

5.  I can't give you a definite answer on the timing of the Ivy League's recruiting.  I think that each school might recruit based upon that school's admission philosophy or protocol; Yale might mandate early commitments while Harvard might provide time for recruiting after the traditional DI's exhaust their scholarships.  My instinct is that the Ivies will recruit more on the early side because they have to be so focused on academic quality in the PSA for admission and any academic scholarship support - Say late in the Junior year?

Hope that provides some guidance.  Best thing you can do is ask these same question to those Ivy League coaches who have contacted your daughter - They will know the answers because it is their job to know the answers!

Thanks for the prompt reply and continued good advice ("ask these same question to those Ivy League coaches who have contacted your daughter").

Likely Letter?  My understanding is that it is a tool that Ivy League schools and Coaches use to assure a PSA that they will be admitted and a way a Coach expresses strong interest because these letters are limited. Here's some information ... www.berecruited.com/resources/recruiting-advice/the-ivy-league-recruiting-process.  Just not sure how likely admission is if a person receives this sort of communication.
All Ivy Leaguers are walk-ons from a financial perspective (and most Ivies are "need blind').  I was wondering about levels of recruitment from Ivies. A few have been aggressive ("come and visit"), a few passive ("we're watching you play"), a couple indifferent.  I was wondering if she should cross the less interested off the list at this time.

My personal opinion - chose the school then hope volleyball works out but my daughter is 16....S.H.

I think you are correct with the school first, volleyball second.  The Ivies are big time DIII programs and with this in mind, Volleyball needs to come in a clear and distant second to the academic merits of each institution.  
In term of recruiting levels, the Ivy League programs will operate just like any other college team - If they want your daughter to come play for them, then they will be active in the recruiting process.  I would not use time/energy on those programs which are indifferent, and would drop the passive programs way down on list.  
Move forward with those programs which are aggressively recruiting, so your daughter can get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses. 

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