College-bound volleyball players have a lot of volleyball colleges to choose from—more than 1,800, in fact. The trick: Figuring out what the right program is for your athlete. A good place to start is by understanding the differences between the division levels. This will help families determine what kinds of schools to target based on athletics, academics and what athletes are looking for in a college experience.
Families can use this information to help them create a target list of schools. We always advise that student-athletes include a mix of schools in their list, as they never know which division level might be right for them athletically, academically and socially until they do their research. Every day, we hear from athletes who signed with a school they never considered until they broadened their school search.
For families ready to start looking for volleyball colleges, we’ve created this guide, as well as a complete list of schools offering volleyball at each division level.
There are about 1,802 women’s varsity volleyball programs across the U.S.:
There are 334 Division 1 women’s volleyball colleges, competing in the following volleyball conferences: American East, American Athletic, ASUN, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East, Big Sky, Big South, Big Ten, Big West, Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Pac-12, Patriot League, Southeastern, Southern, Southland Southwestern Athletic, Sunbelt, The Summit League, West Coast and Western Athletic.
Student-athletes have the choice of more than 1,800 four-year NCAA and NAIA schools that offer women’s college volleyball programs. While it’s natural for student-athletes to first research the athletic programs at these institutions, there are a number of additional factors, such as cost, academics, size and location, that play just as large of a role in the college selection process. NCSA Power Rankings factor in these additional aspects to rank the top volleyball schools across each NCAA division and the NAIA.
Additional rankings data can be found from sites like the NCAA and AVCA.
These rankings can give athletes a snapshot of the most competitive college volleyball teams. However, the reality is that the majority of high school volleyball players aren’t going to play at a top 10 volleyball college. The priority in each family’s recruiting efforts should be finding the best volleyball college for their athlete, whether that’s a top 10 Division 1 program, a Division 3 school or a junior college for two years. There are so many opportunities for talented athletes to get a volleyball scholarship. But, recruits can lose those opportunities if they focus all their recruiting efforts on the wrong division level for them.
Not sure what the right division level is for your athlete? Check out our volleyball recruiting guidelines to get a baseline for what coaches look for in recruits at each division level.
There are a couple different ways to find college volleyball coaches looking for players:
We’ve compiled the full list of volleyball colleges at each division level. Families can sort by conference, state and college name. Find the lists: