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October 6, 2021

9 Best DI Colleges for Athletes

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Every high school athlete who hopes to continue their collegiate career is looking for the best school, program, and team to do so. It is important not to look only at what the coach and team offer you as an athlete, but what the school offers you as a student. To help you make your decision, we’ve compiled the top 9 top schools for student-athletes based on data from US News and NCSA College Rankings. The college you choose is not for the next four years, it’s for the next forty, so make sure it’s the right fit for you.

*GSR: measures student-athlete graduation rates over a six-year period from the first year of enrollment
*Data from NCSA is from the 2020-2021 school year unless otherwise noted; rankings are based on athletic categories and academic categories.
*Data from US News is for the 2022 school year; US News National University rankings are based on student outcomes (40%), faculty resources (20%), expert opinion (20%), financial resources (10%), student excellence (7%) and alumni giving (3%). US News best value rankings are based on four indicators, seen here.

  1. Harvard University
    • #2 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $50,420
    • Total Enrollment: 20,604 (6,766 undergraduates)
    • #2 Best Value Schools
    • 40 Varsity Sports (20 Men, 20 Women)
    • 20% of the student body in athletics
    • 24 teams with a 100% GSR (99% in 2017)
  1. Princeton University
    •  LRT Rating: 3.7 stars
    • #1 General Rank
    • #4 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $50,340
    • Total Enrollment: 8,273 (5,394 undergraduates)
    • 35 Varsity Sports (18 Men, 17 Women)
    • 18% of the student body in athletics
    • GSR > 95%
  1. Stanford University
    • LRT Rating: 4.1 stars
    • #6 General Rank
    • #5 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $51,354
    • Total Enrollment: 17,178 (7,062 undergraduates)
    • 36 Varsity Sports (20 Women, 16 Men)
    • 12.7% of the student body in athletics
    • 97% GSR (17 programs with 100% GSR)
  1. University of California- Los Angeles- UCLA
    • LRT Rating: 3.9 stars
    • #20 General Rank
    • #85 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuitions: In-state: $13,240; Out-of-State: $42,994
    • Total Enrollment: 45,428 (31,002 undergraduates)
    • 24 Varsity Sports (11 Men, 13 Women)
    • 3% of the student body in athletics
    • 90% GSR
  1. Yale University
  1. Duke University
    • LRT Rating: 3.9 stars
    • #9 General Rank
    • #13 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $55,695
    • Total Enrollment: 15,984 (6,639 Undergraduates)
    • 25 Varsity Sports (12 Men, 13 Women)
    • 9.7% of the student body in athletics
    • 98% GSR
  1. Columbia University
    • LRT Rating: 4.2 stars
    • #2 General Rank (tie)
    • #6 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $59,430
    • Total Enrollment: 25,968 (6,162 undergraduates)
    • 30 Varsity Sports (14 Men, 16 Women)
    • 13.7% of the student body in athletics
    • 99% GSR (14 Varsity teams with perfect scores)
  1. University of Pennsylvania
    • LRT Rating: 4.1 stars
    • #8 General Rank
    • #12 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $55,584
    • Total Enrollment: 25,860 (10,605 undergraduates)
    • 31 Varsity Sports (16 Men, 15 Women)
    • 9.7% of the student body in athletics
    • GSR > 95%
  1. University of Notre Dame
    • LRT Rating: 4.5 stars
    • #19 General Rank
    • #22 Best Value Schools
    • Annual Tuition: $53,391
    • Total Enrollment 12,467 (8,576 undergraduates)
    • 26 Varsity Sports (13 Men, 13 Women)
    • 9.2% of the student body in athletics
    • 98% GSR 

Picture sources: Fan-A-Peel, Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos, Imagicglass, Wikipedia//Harvard University, Wikipedia//Notre Dame, Fathead, 1000 Logos, Yale University

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