2017 Best Colleges for Student Athletes in America

The 2017 Best Colleges for Student Athletes ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews. Top-ranked colleges have both elite academic programs and competitive sports programs that support student athletes on and off the field.
See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Duke University

    • Durham, NC
    • 1,003 reviews
    College Sophomore:Duke is difficult, but I would choose it again if I had to do it all over. The classes make me think, the basketball is fantastic, and the people are amazing.
    More about Duke University
  2. 2

    Stanford University

    • Stanford, CA
    • 1,085 reviews
    College Sophomore:Stanford is truly the most amazing place in the world. Before my freshman year I never felt like a really had a home, but I have finally found one at the Farm. The academics are amazing and the people are even better. While I wish that the financial aid was better I still stand by my decision to attend because the experience I am having is priceless.
    More about Stanford University
  3. 3

    University of Southern California

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 3,308 reviews
    College Sophomore:It feels extremely personal. There are opportunities everywhere and especially as an engineer we're encouraged to mix and match the parts of USC that matter to us. For me, I work on campus doing research, I'm head of a club, I'm a student ambassador, I'm in a design club and that's my life within the school. But someone else in my major is on the varsity hocket team, in totally different clubs etc. So life here feels extremely personalized and I like that. The school also has a ridiculous amount of resources for its students, at least within engineering. There is so much energy put into the well-being of the students that it always feels like you have a strong support network.

    Fight on!
    More about University of Southern California
  4. 4

    University of Florida

    • Gainesville, FL
    • 6,634 reviews
    College Sophomore:The school offers plenty of chances for research, jobs, and diverse activities. The all around experience of UF generally great, and the name UF on you degree gives a person an edge up in the work field.
    More about University of Florida
  5. 5

    University of Notre Dame

    • South Bend, IN
    • 1,216 reviews
    College Junior:The community aspect of the University of Notre Dame is unmatched by any other school that I applied to during my college application process. It was the perfect fit for me from a social, an academic, and a religious perspective.
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  6. 6

    Vanderbilt University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 1,156 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love Vandy even though it's super hard and my first year was really tough. The classes are really challenging but the social life and the people you meet here make up for it.
    More about Vanderbilt University
  7. 7

    University of Texas - Austin

    • Austin, TX
    • 5,348 reviews
    College Sophomore:This university has it all. There are over 1000 clubs you can join so there is something for everyone if they want to get involved. There are such a wide range of majors that it's easy to find something that fits what you want to do. The professors are always so passionate about what they teach and you can tell they genuinely care about their students. They always make sure to explain things clearly and offer more than enough opportunities to reach them outside of class hours. The advisors on campus are life savers, I wouldn't have been able to navigate this far without their amazing help. This university really makes me feel like my needs are important instead of feeling like just another student out of 50,000. The people are friendly, the culture is fantastic, and the school is stellar. I couldn't see myself attending anywhere else.
    More about University of Texas - Austin
  8. 8
    College Sophomore:Chapel Hill is a great college town- it is especially fun during basketball season because the whole town is excited. While sports are always fun to go watch, there are plenty opportunities to get involved on campus in clubs and other things such as intermural sports.
    More about University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  9. 9

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    • Ann Arbor, MI
    • 3,758 reviews
    College Sophomore:Well I'm currently studying at the University of Michigan, which is known for its business and engineering programs. But I'm currently triple-majoring in Linguistics, Spanish, and Japanese. And I am constantly impressed by just how amazing our faculty is here. In almost every department, there is at least one professor that is a leading contributor in his/her field. I've taken several classes where the textbook that we use to structure the class was written by the professor him/herself.

    I personally have never attended another school, but I assume that this is very atypical for colleges. And it's something that I take pride in as a Wolverine. One of our slogans here is "the leaders and the best". Now I will admit that I can see the pride, and perhaps the arrogance as well, in this statement, but I find it to be quite fitting. I came to Michigan because it's a university taught by the best, for the best.
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  10. 10

    University of Miami

    • Coral Gables, FL
    • 2,585 reviews
    College Sophomore:Beautiful weather, awesome academics, gorgeous and diverse student body, always something fun to do (whether you party or not). Who wouldn't love to live in Miami?
    More about University of Miami
  11. 11

    Ohio State University

    • Columbus, OH
    • 4,686 reviews
    College Sophomore:I cannot say enough good things about The Ohio State University. Everyone is so passionate about what they do, and I could not ask for a better place to complete my undergrad.
    More about Ohio State University
  12. 12

    Rice University

    • Houston, TX
    • 960 reviews
    College Sophomore:I'm incredibly happy with my decision to come to Rice. It's a small campus, so you'll have pretty small class sizes (max 150 for intro STEM classes, once you get past those its usually 15-40 people in a class) and personal relationships with your professors. It's pretty easy to make friends since you see a lot of familiar faces everywhere and you'll see a lot of the same people at events you're interested in (i.e. make sports friends at athletic events, party friends when you go out, school friends in classes- and a lot of these overlap). Rice academics very heavily favors the natural sciences, then social sciences, then humanities. That being said, there are still humanities majors at Rice, they just aren't as dominant as engineers or pre-meds. Students here really (really) care about doing well, so sometimes you'll get caught up in the "Rice bubble" where there's a lot of pressure to do everything (i.e. be involved in a ton of clubs, hold leadership positions, and get great grades), but as long as you learn to balance and keep thing in perspective you'll be fine. Professors aren't trying to fail you, students help each other, and it's a lot of fun. I would very highly recommend Rice, it's an amazing experience and I've learned so much.
    More about Rice University
  13. 13

    University of California - Los Angeles

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 4,393 reviews
    College Sophomore:UCLA's historical reputation for research contributes to an extremely positive aura around the school. The job opportunities are many; and so is the alumni network.
    More about University of California - Los Angeles
  14. 14

    Northwestern University

    • Evanston, IL
    • 1,238 reviews
    College Senior:Northwestern has given me the opportunities to learn professional skills outside of the classroom through networking, internships, and student group participation.
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  15. 15

    University of Alabama

    • Tuscaloosa, AL
    • 3,930 reviews
    College Sophomore:I would never want to go to any other college. The University of Alabama is by far the best fit for me. Everything from the football to the clubs to the professors, is amazing. I have never once felt like I didn't have a place to fit into the school. Every professor I have had as made me feel like they truly care about my education and are willing to help me.
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  16. 16

    University of Virginia

    • Charlottesville, VA
    • 2,003 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely adore my school. There is not a day that goes by that I don't walk to class, finding new reasons to be grateful for choosing it. The combination of history, academics, athletics, social scene and opportunities is one that cannot be compared.
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  17. 17

    University of Maryland - College Park

    • College Park, MD
    • 4,648 reviews
    College Sophomore:I have learned so much in the three semesters I have been here. Not only are the academics exceptional, I also learned things outside of the classroom. I was afraid that I would not be able to make new friends in college, but I have managed to form a very supportive and fun friend group. The school spirit here is very impressive. I love attending the soccer games and the basketball games. The crowd always gets very creative with the cheers and makes a welcoming atmosphere. I have also enjoyed being part of the club soccer team and playing intramural sports with my friends.
    More about University of Maryland - College Park
  18. 18

    Florida State University

    • Tallahassee, FL
    • 6,507 reviews
    College Freshman:Florida State is a great school. The academics are great; the football team is great; the students are great. I really like that FSU offers Freshman Interest Groups and Success Coaches. There are so many great programs for students to take advantage of here. Everyone's looking out for us and working to contribute to our success.
    More about Florida State University
  19. 19

    Yale University

    • New Haven, CT
    • 913 reviews
    College Junior:I absolutely love attending Yale University. I feel that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am entering my third year in the fall and couldn't imagine being anywhere else. What drew me to Yale was the close knit community and the welcoming and inclusive social space. I have friends from all walks of life and love to interact with people form all different backgrounds. I truly feel that I have grown as an individual as I have become equipped with the vocabulary to express eloquently just who I am and where I stand on certain issues to my peers.
    More about Yale University
  20. 20

    University of California - Berkeley

    • Berkeley, CA
    • 3,618 reviews
    College Junior:I love my school, it may not be perfect but nothing in this world is. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a cal bear. The professors are top notch! They want to see their students be successful, although they don’t go easy on us they challenge us, and thats the entire purpose of this university.
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  21. 21

    Penn State

    • University Park, PA
    • 6,144 reviews
    College Junior:Since I transferred from the University of Findlay, I have never been happier in my life. The atmosphere and curriculum is perfect for a college student.
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  22. 22

    Michigan State University

    • East Lansing, MI
    • 4,862 reviews
    College Sophomore:Moving into my second semester as a sophomore, I couldn't be happier with the choice I made to come here. I have met so many amazing people, and the endless opportunities to thrive make me feel like I am cared about here. The faculty and staff treat students as equals and work hard to ensure they understand the material in order to be successful. This summer I have been given the opportunity to study abroad in Europe, and I couldn't be more excited. Michigan State is an all-around fabulous school; I would highly recommend taking a tour and learning more about this university if you have an interest in attending.
    More about Michigan State University
  23. 23

    University of Wisconsin

    • Madison, WI
    • 2,816 reviews
    College Sophomore:This was my dream school and I know by the atmosphere it's where I belong. There are so many interesting courses to take and areas to explore. Overall, it is a fantastic school.
    More about University of Wisconsin
  24. 24

    Wake Forest University

    • Winston Salem, NC
    • 723 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love Wake Forest! I am so happy that I decided to go to Wake. Not only does it feel like home but it has truly become my home. The people I have met are incredible people and I have so many great memories from my first year of college.
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  25. 25

    Louisiana State University

    • Baton Rouge, LA
    • 2,880 reviews
    College Senior:LSU has provided me with so much more than just your "typical" college experience. My classes have been challenging, and my professors have always expected the highest quality of work from me and my peers. I would more than recommend this beloved school to anyone willing to listen. Take it from me, whose graduating class consisted of only 21 girls, LSU has become a home away from home. However, I am becoming increasingly aware of how quickly my time at LSU has come and gone. Make the most of it while you can! Geaux Tigers. Forever LSU.
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