Updated: Jul 23, 2020
A lot of families will ask me "When is it okay to ask about scholarships?" I think there is a lot of confusion about this question and the appropriateness of asking it. It doesn't take long to google or go to some recruiting websites before you are hit with mixed messages about asking a coach about a scholarship. Even within the same recruiting website I found 2 blog posts that differed in their opinion about whether or not to ask about a scholarship. In my opinion, it's okay to circle around this question in the beginning. A lot of the reasons to NOT ask this question revolve around poor word choice and a potential lack of interest on both sides. Cold calling a coach and asking the question "are you going to give me a scholarship?" is just an example of athletes going through this process with very little or 0 guidance.
With my clients, we aren't really getting on the phone with a school until there is some kind of mutual interest. Once a coach has watched her play live or on film, it isn't a hard question to ask or answer. It's honestly a question I try and find out as early on in the process as I can. It's an important aspect as far as interest level and checking boxes. We don't want to get into a situation where we are talking about making a visit (with both parties being interested) and find out that they don't have a scholarship! That is potentially a huge waste of everyone's time. It's also an easy and un-intimidating question for me to ask a coach. It's also NOT completely out of the ordinary for a coach to ask me the question, "Does she need a scholarship?" in the very beginning. Again, sometimes that piece is a deal breaker from the beginning. With D1 volleyball being a head-counter sport there is not any wiggle room when it comes to scholarships.
Some positions, recruiting situations and D2 schools can have distinct scholarship situations that we probably need to figure out before we get very deep into the process. Is it a 2/2? Is this a walk-on position? How much money is available in the class? All of these are genuine questions that need to have answers. Just a quick look online and I saw several sites that tell you NOT to ask these questions. It's not the question that is bad at all. It's either HOW the question is being asked or the process the athlete is going through is backwards. If school A is interested in athlete B and athlete B is interested in school A, why is it a bad thing to ask about the current scholarship situation? It isn't. It's a great time to ask the question. Scholarships aren't always a deal breaker. Sometimes 2 years at a school might be better than a 4 year scholarship at another school. Entirely possible! Different situations work for different athletes and you can't know without asking.
Coaches do NOT like the scholarship question when it is asked with no context. Hopefully athletes are getting the correct guidance and assistance throughout their recruiting process to where this is happening less and less. If you need and help or guidance with the recruiting process or asking a college coach tough questions, let me know!
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