To find their best college fit, each student-athlete needs to consider their needs athletically, academically, socially and financially. In this section, we’ve broken down some of the main features of each division level to give student-athletes a better understanding of what they have to offer, which will help student-athletes create their target list of schools.
There are 239 men’s volleyball colleges. Potential recruits need to consider what kind of playing time they’re likely to get at each division level, what kind of financial aid they’ll be able to secure and what academic standards their college will have. Here is a breakdown of college men’s volleyball teams:
For student-athletes considering which region has the most men’s volleyball teams, California leads all states with 33 teams. However, the Northeast region of the country is where you will find the most teams, with 72 teams found across Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. After that, you’ll find the most teams scattered across the Midwest region, with 47 teams found in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Offering the highest level of college competition, NCAA Division 1 men’s volleyball colleges are known for their athletic rigor and increased exposure. Here are some ways Division 1 volleyball colleges stand out from the rest:
Men’s volleyball teams at this level have much of the athletic talent seen at the NCAA Division 1 level, and in some cases will even be ranked higher than D1 colleges. Here are some ways Division 2 volleyball colleges stand out from the rest:
Many people are surprised by this, but potential recruits will find the most men’s volleyball teams at the NCAA Division 3 level, which is also the division level that has the most college athletes across all sports. Here’s how Division 3 volleyball colleges stand out:
The NAIA has the second-most men’s volleyball teams with 43. Here’s how the NAIA stands out:
Student life balance. NAIA men’s volleyball teams are better at accommodating student-athletes’ personal and academic interests.
Joining a junior college men’s volleyball team may actually be the perfect fit for you and your family. Most JUCO volleyball teams are found in California and compete as part of the California Community College Athletic Association. Here are some benefits of joining a junior college men’s volleyball team:
To see men’s college volleyball rankings that take into consideration social, financial and academic fit, you can check out NCSA Power Rankings of the best men’s volleyball colleges. These rankings are based on a proprietary analysis using US News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, IPEDS graduation rates, average college cost after aid and NCSA Favorites activity to identify the best colleges that offer men’s volleyball.
To see men’s college volleyball rankings based purely on athletic performance, you can check out various AVCA polls, which include the DI–II Men Top 15 poll, the DIII Men Top 15 poll, and NAIA Men Top 10 poll.
New men’s volleyball programs present a great opportunity for student-athletes looking to earn a roster spot in college. When a new college men’s volleyball team pops up, the coaching staff needs to recruit an entire team from scratch, presenting more roster openings for those looking to earn a difficult-to-secure spot. Besides the obvious draw of available roster spots, new programs also can offer more playing time for underclassmen and a rewarding college experience for those that take pride in building something new.