How many men’s volleyball colleges are there?
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:
- 23 NCAA Division 1 men’s volleyball colleges
- 25 NCAA Division 2 men’s volleyball colleges
- 107 NCAA Division 3 men’s volleyball colleges
- 43 NAIA men’s volleyball colleges
- 41 men’s volleyball junior colleges
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.
Division 1 men's volleyball colleges
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:
- The highest level of competition. Division 1 teams play on the biggest stage against the best competition.
- The best facilities. Due to larger budgets and alumni interest, Division 1 teams usually have the newest equipment and best athletic facilities of all the divisions.
- Big campus and classes. Though not the case 100 percent of the time, Division 1 colleges are often the biggest in size and have the most enrolled students when compared to other divisions.
Division 2 men's volleyball colleges
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:
- Strong, but balanced athletics. While top teams like Lewis University are perennial contenders that have even won an NCAA national championship in the past, others take a more balanced approach to athletics and student life than top Division 1 teams.
- More playing time for top recruits. Competition at the Division 1 level is stiff and even top recruits can experience competition for their position, which can result in few minutes of available playing time.
- A mix of campus sizes. At the Division 2 level, student-athletes will find campuses that are both big and small.
Division 3 men's volleyball colleges
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:
- Academically competitive. Division 3 colleges are some of the top schools in the country.
- Student life balance. Division 3 men’s volleyball athletes have the most flexibility in their schedules when compared to Division 1 and Division 2.
- Many financial aid opportunities. Athletic scholarships are not available, but schools work to offer academic scholarships and need-based financial aid.
NAIA men’s volleyball colleges
The NAIA has the second-most men’s volleyball teams with 43. Here’s how the NAIA stands out:
- Smaller class sizes. NAIA men’s volleyball colleges tend to have smaller campus sizes and also smaller classes where students can get more in-person feedback and interaction with their professors.
- Flexible recruiting timeline. NAIA men’s volleyball colleges do not have any recruiting rules or calendars to worry about, making the college recruiting process easier to navigate.
Student life balance. NAIA men’s volleyball teams are better at accommodating student-athletes’ personal and academic interests.
JUCO men’s volleyball colleges
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:
- Cost. In comparison to four-year schools, junior colleges offer tremendous value. The average published yearly tuition and fees for a public two-year junior college (for in-district students) is around $3,440.
- Academic opportunities. A junior college can help student-athletes boost their grades while they improve their skills on the court.
- Athletic development. Competing at a junior college gives athletes an opportunity to get experience playing against college-level athletes.
Men’s college volleyball rankings and the best men's volleyball colleges
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.
- UC Irvine
- UC San Diego
- UC Santa Barbara
- Ohio State
- Brigham Young
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.
Future men’s volleyball programs
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.