How to Get into Colleges to play Volleyball

August 29, 2011
by Justin

Just because you’re the captain of your high school volleyball team and have been consistently awarded Most Valuable Player doesn’t mean you’re going to get to play volleyball for a top college. The first priority of educational institutions, especially colleges and universities, is to get their students to graduate. Your high school doesn’t let players who flunk in their subjects play. Academics in college are specialized so they are more difficult than your high school courses, and colleges with volleyball programs are much stricter with student athletes.

The volleyball recruiting process of colleges involves weeding out student athletes with below average academic records from those who are able to manage their time wisely between academics and their extracurricular participation in their schools’ volleyball teams. You don’t just want to get in college to play. You go to college to get an education.

So how are you going to make your academic records attractive to colleges and get scholarship offers from top schools?

At the beginning of your junior year, register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center. This non-refundable registration costs $65 for US students and $95 for international students. It’s worth it for you to be considered by Division 1 and 2 NCAA schools.

If you are just in your freshman or sophomore year, you can plan ahead for taking core courses required for NCAA eligibility. Check the NCAA College-Bound Student-Athletes link in Eligibilitycenter.org. It contains the list of core courses required by Divisions 1 and 2. Make sure you take them all throughout your high school and get high grades in those subjects. NCAA schools care more for them than your other classes.

Even if Division 2 schools require at least 2.0 GPA, don’t just settle for the minimum. Work hard at both your studies and volleyball training. By doing this, you learn how to manage your time well and not spread yourself thin. Time management is a valuable skill for college, especially for varsity players who have to balance both their academic studies and training.

Division 1 schools require athletes to have at least an Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 930, so if you get in a school in this division, you’ll have to maintain 930 APR in order to play. You’ll struggle with your academics in college if you don’t know how to manage your time.

Make sure you complete all your high school graduation requirements. If you can’t graduate on your expected date, you won’t be able to go to college and play for the NCAA. Make sure you take the necessary courses needed for you to graduate from high school.

Review for your SATs or ACT exams. NCAA schools will check your grades from your transcript and your scores on either the SATs or ACTs. If you don’t perform well in these exams, they will not consider you. So before even registering to take either, study for the subjects the exams cover. The coverage of SATs and ACTs test whether you have enough foundation for you to handle academics in college.

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