I understand that liberos often do not receive much, if any, scholarship money, and are frequently expected to be walk-ons for at least the first two years. My question is, do you have any suggestions on how to negotiate the best possible deal for her? She has received some, but not a lot, of interest from other schools but has had no other offers, so I don't feel like we have a lot of leverage.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
Per NCAA rules, a Division I volleyball program is able to award 12 Full Scholarship (if the program is fully funded, which a majority of DI programs are for volleyball) and they can award a scholarship to 12 players. Women's Volleyball is a "Head Count" sport, which means that only 12 "heads" can be on an athletic scholarship
To your question, other than when an athletic scholarship might start, there is no negotiations to be had with the volleyball coach. Your daughter's scholarship support will be obtained via the admissions office of the university and any/all conversations about scholarships (outside of athletic) will be with these folks.
A reason why Division I coaches like walk ons, is any scholarship issues and questions have to be managed by the admissions department.
It is still early in the 2017 Libero recruiting process, and as you mentioned, the trend is for Libero's to walk on for a season or two. College programs will still tend to recruit there Liberos last, and often times in the senior year of club, so it is not suprising that your daughter has only enjoyed a bit of interest at this point.
I would go in open eyes and open ears on the DI unofficial visit - This will be a great educational opportunity for your daughter and your family.
She is going to get the best possible financial deal because of her academic success, so the best thing she can be doing is to make A's in high school and achieve a high ACT/SAT test score. This suggestion is extremely important because walk on players have zero guarantee that an athletic scholarship will come into reality - Coaching change, injuries to attack positions, injuries to your daughter, etc. Too many variables can affect the "promise" your daughter would receive from any collegiate program.
The academic (and merit and need based) scholarships are outside of the volleyball program's or athletic department's control. Plus, if your daughter goes to this school and does not like being a volleyball player, but loves the school, then she can step out of the program and lose nothing but some clothes and shoes.
Focus on getting the most financial support from the Admission's Office and an appointment with a school's admission and/or financial aid counselor should be a MUST HAVE on any visit itinerary!
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