August 11, 2011

NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Scholarship Clarification

Hi Coach,

Sure love your site!  The information that you share with all of us is invaluable.  We sure appreciate it.  I have a question regarding my volley daughter who will be entering her Senior year in high school.  My daughter had a conversation with a DI volleyball coach today who stated to her that she does not offer full scholarships, only partial athletic scholarships combined with academic scholarships. 

When my daughter told me this, I was completely baffled as from everything that I've read about vball through NCAA and from what I've read on your website...I thought that women's volleyball was a head count sport?  Now this school is in a NCAA DI conference, and although it is a private school, I can't find any other reason for why they would not offer full scholarships to the SA's.  I've been told numerous times by club coaches and other folks that only DII schools offer partial scholarships. 

What have I missed here or has my daughter just misunderstood what the coach may have said to her?  I appreciate your opinion regarding this when you have the time.  Thank you!

Your Fan, IL Volley Mom


What the coach told you was not incorrect, just not common.  Women's DI Volleyball is a Head Count sport, while DII is an Equivalency.  What makes this statement by the head coach uncommon, is that the DI Volleyball program at her school is not fully funded.  This means that this coach has less than the NCAA DI Women's Volleyball maximum of 12 scholarships. She (the head coach) is still constrained by the DI Head Count limit of 12 heads on scholarship, but since the program may only have 6 or 8 or 10 full athletic scholarships, she must put each of her 12 heads on a partial scholarship (believing she wants 12 players on a partial athletic scholarship) and then try to supplement the athletic scholarship with academic funding.

There are still a few DI programs which are not fully funded.  There is no NCAA rule which states member institutions must fund DI Volleyball at the maximum of 12 scholarships; fortunately a great many do.  With Division II Women's Volleyball, the maximum number of athletic scholarships is 8, but a  coach can put as many players as desired on some level of athletic scholarship provided the total value of said scholarships equals a maximum of 8 full athletic scholarships.  In DII, you have a higher incidence of schools deciding at what level to fund the volleyball program up to a maximum of 8.  I have seen the spectrum of DII's which provide no athletic scholarships, to those which are funded at 8 (and are very open with their academic and merit scholarship support - to the extent some DII athletes can reach a funding level beyond a traditional DI full scholarship).

As to what the DI coach told your daughter, treat this as a defacto DII program and request that the coach provide an exact athletic scholarship offer, and then determine how much academic scholarship money your daughter will qualify for.  The bottom line is the bottom line; if you can package a full scholarship between athletic and academic, then that is still a full scholarship.  Get exact numbers of athletic and academic; any coach worth their clipboard can give your near exact numbers provided your daughter has taken her SAT/ACT (main driver of academic scholarships). 

Hope my answer helps!


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