October 12, 2011

NCAA Volleyball - Division III Recruiting

Hi Coach,

Thanks again for the great blog ... I am in the process of ordering your new book ... looking forward to reading it.

My daughter is a 2012 graduate and I have another question related to DIII scholarships that I was wondering if you could shed some light on ...

I recently read that parents and student-athletes should consider that other "need based" scholarships exist but are based on the school's need for the student as opposed to the student's financial need.  The information went on to state that a student athlete attending a DIII school cannot technically be awarded an athletic scholarship since the NCAA prohibits scholarships based soley on athletic ability, but that colleges can give out scholarships based on leadership, academics, or merit, as well as their desire to create a competitive grants-in-aid package to attract a student they need for their team and campus ...   

So my questions are ... 

If one of the schools my daughter is considering (D3) has said that she is a top recruit and they would like to have her down for weekend to play with the team this fall, etc. (and it is one of the schools she likes a lot for her area of study and  location), is it ok to let the coach know that my daughter is very interested, but unless she gets significant scholarships, it would be cost prohibitive (its a private DIII school)?  

Also, would the coach be involved in the admissions/financial aid process at the college to notify them that one of their PSA's is applying and they would work with the admissions/fin aid people to put together a financial aid package? 

Or does the coach just take whatever the admissions/fin aid people put together and not get involved?  I guess I am wondering if we should work through the coach for application, etc or just apply directly through the college website and then let the coach know that she has applied?

Also, if there are other D3 teams in this area expressing significant interest in her, should we let the coach know that and would that possibly increase her potential scholarships?  She would probably prefer this college over the others, but its is very expensive without significant financial aid.   

Thanks again for all the help. 


Thank you for the nice compliments on the site and for getting a copy of Inside College Volleyball.

Let's jump into your questions:

1.  You are well within the bounds to let the DIII coach know that without significant scholarship support, that committing to the school is not a possibility.

2.  The involvement of the coach in the admission and/or scholarship packaging depends on the school itself.  Some DIII's have a complete separation of church and state with athletics, so the coach would have zero influence upon anything.  While other DIII's may be much more interactive with the athletic department and give a bit more financial support to those students which happen to be very good athletes.  This is something which can only be determined by tactfully asking the coach their relationship or involvement with the financial aid office.

3.  I would work directly with the Admissions office to start because this is the safe bet.  If the athletic department/coach has a good relationship with Admissions/Financial aid, then they will jump into the process to provide influence or support.  But, if not, then you have done the smart thing and started this whole process with the proper office without involving athletics on the front side.  The coach can always play catch up, but it is hard for the coach to disappear if they are thrust into things on the front-side with an unwelcome Admissions Office.

4.  You should communicate where you stand with the coach in the recruiting process, both the importance of the financial package and where your PSA is with potential schools.  Again, the ability of this information to influence the availability of scholarships will depend upon the philosophy of the school. 

Good luck!


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