Everything you need to know about gaining a Volleyball Scholarship to the USA.
Wanting to follow all the other Bay athletes across the shores to the USA? You have heard the stories and you have seen the photos on facebook, it's true! there are volleyball scholarships waiting for you!
Think you have what it takes to gain a scholarship? Follow the information below to find out what you need in order to get there!
Firstly there is no one single way to gain a scholarship, the young men and woman I have spoke to have all embarked on their own journey in gaining a scholarship. Although, here are some things which I found out were essential.
The AVSR website has almost everything you need to know about gaining a scholarship. It runs you through the complete process of what you need and what to expect, plus has plenty of athlete case studies you can learn from.
The website is run by a talent scout called Bill Fieldman. Bill is hired by the Universities to find international athletes, that's his full time job! I heard about Bill through BOP athletes who have used him. Bill does not charge anything as he is paid by the universaties, therefore if you are interested you can send an application form to him. Click Here to find out all the information about how to do that. If you are succesful Bill will then load your profile onto his website where potential University coaches will scout you. Please note this website is only for female players.
Whether you are going to send in an application form on not, the website is essential reading for male and female players.
Make a video!
You need to make a video of yourself playing! the better the video, the better chance you have of gaining a scholarship. Think about it, if you are stuck all the way over here in New Zealand, the only chance University coaches are going to get to see you play is through your video. From talking with successful athletes the advice was, "don't be afraid to make yourself look awesome". Sell yourself as much as you can in your video, show them all of your highlights and only your highlights.
Sitting your SAT exams-
You need to sit SAT's, and preferably you need to sit them early. For example if you are 7th form and you are applying for a scholarship for the following year (your first year out of school) you want to sit your SAT's during your 7th form year.
Yes it may be stressful having to sit your NCEA and SAT's at the same time. But it's the first thing Colleges will ask for when you start applying. So in order to fast track your application process, sit your SAT's early.
For more information on SAT's and what they involve check out the United States SAT website Click Here. For details of when and where you can sit your SAT's in New Zealand check out this website Click Here
Should I use a recruiting agency?
Many New Zealand athletes have gained a scholarship without using a recruiting agency. Although a lot of those same athletes have told me that the time they ended up putting into the process ended up costing them the same amount a recruting agency would charge.
If you don't have the money to pay a recruiting agency fee, then by all means you can still gain a scholarship by putting in the hard yards and promoting yourself.
For those of you who do have the money, it might be best to pay the fee and leave it up to the professionals to promote you to Colleges. It also might mean you end up with a better scholarship deal, therefore paying less in tuition and accomodation fees.
A recruiting agency which has been recommended is Play Atlantic, you can find their website Click Here. I am sure there are other recruiting agencies also, so do your homework.
If you have used someone yourself and would recommend them, please let us know so we can add the information.
Sending your video to Colleges-
For a list of boys colleges please check out this website Click Here. The website is not so well laid out, but if you scroll along the top tabs you can find lists of all the colleges underneath what division they play in. For example Division 1, Division 2 etc.
Once clicking on a school, it will take you to their home or athletic page where you can track down the volleyball coaches email.
Volleyball in Canada is very much the same level as what is offered in the United States. The scholarship process is also set up much the same. For the Candian Universites homepage which can put you in touch with all Volleyball Colleges please Click Here
Ways in which Bay athletes have gained scholarships in the past.
Current list of Bay athletes on volleyball scholarships in the USA
Alyse Barclay (Otumoetai College) Now playing as a setter at Nicholls State University. For Alyse's full playing profile please Click Here
Beniece Douch (Bethelehem College) Now playing as outside hitter at Lamar University, Texas. To follow her and her teams results please Click Here
Melissa Cairns (Otumoetai College) Now playing outside hitter for Missouri Western State University. For Melissa's full playing profile please Click Here
Kiriana Hirini (Bethlehem College) Now playing Middle Blocker for Alabama University. Full Kiri's full playing profile please Click Here
Amy Hunter (Otumoetai College) Now playing Middle Blocker at University of Albany. For Amy's full playing profile please Click Here
Stacy Niao (Kawerau College) Playing outside hitter for Illinois State University. For Stacy's full playing profile please Click Here
Andrea Tauai (Tauranga Girls College) Playing outside hitter at Hillsborough University. For more information on Andrea please Click Here
Krista Whitewood (Hillcrest Highschool) Playing outside hitter at Fordham University. For Krista's full playing profile please Click Here
Kelsie Wills (Matamata College) Playing outside hitter at Hofstra University. For Kelsie's full playing profile please Click Here
Sonny Arapeta Hirini (Tauranga Boys College) Plays outside hitter at Pfeiffer University, North Carolina.
Liam Matheson (Otumoetai College) Plays outside hitter at Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada.
If you know anyone currently on scholarship who we have missed of the list, please get in contact with us so we can add them.
Players perspectives on their scholarship experiences
"Well I am having the time of my life, I am seriously living the American dream. My volleyball team are my family and they are there throughout everything. We practise hard, play hard and do everything for eachother."
Beniece Douch, on scholarship at Lamar University, Texas.
“ After the first couple days I knew what was expected of me.....I knew I had to put my body on the line and keep up with the other girls. It’s ambitious but I’m half way around the world in a city I don’t know sharing my life with girls I don’t know, I think it’s an appropriate time to be ambitious.”
Rachael Morgan, graduate Florida State University.
"I was just re-awarded my last years scholarship while playing in the USA! (Going into my fifth year to begin my masters of business) By the time I'm finished all 5 years my scholarship will have accumulated to $225000 US dollars. All of which has helped me to gain an education (undergrad done, masters to start) with no student loan (mum and dad I owe you HEAPS haha but really), the valuable lessons of living in a different country and the life changing experiences of playing indoor and sand volleyball in college. So crazy to think about my life since moving here, wouldn't change it for the world because I am so fortunate! Hopefully I can push more people to pursue this!"
Kiriana Hirini, University of Alabama.
For a full list of international players on scholarship in the USA please Click Here
If you have any questions or need any help with the scholarship process, please don't hesitate to contact Volleyball Bay Of Plenty staff through the contacts tab.