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Top 10 Best Colleges That Thrive Athletically and Academically

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Picking a college is a tough choice. There are many factors to balance, such as the quality of the academics, the price of the university, the social scene, the campus-style, and the athletics. Here we will be taking a look at the schools that excel both academically and athletically and offer the best balance of the two.

How rankings will work

Points will be distributed for four categories: academic ranking, Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking, Best College Reviews ranking and a number of championships since 2010.

For academic ranking based on Forbes.com top colleges, scoring will be:

10 points for top 10 schools, 9 for schools 11-20, 8 for schools 21-30 and the pattern continues until 1 point for schools 91-100 and 0 for schools over 100.

For Learfield Directors’ Cup and Best College Reviews ranking, scoring will be:

5 points for top 5 schools, 4 for school 6-10, 3 for schools 11-15, 2 for schools 16-20, 1 point for schools 21-30, and 0 for schools over 30.

For a number of championships since 2010, scoring will be:

5 points for 20 or more championships, 4 for 15-19 championships, 3 for 10-14 championships, 2 for 5-9 championships and 1 for 0-4 championships.

A college must be ranked in the top 150 on the Fobres.com list in order to be qualified for the top 10.

 


Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

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  • University of Texas at Austin, 13 points
  • University of Oregon, 11 points (did not qualify)
  • University of Maryland, College Park, 9 points
  • University of Oklahoma, 9 points

10. University of Michigan, 15 Points

University of Michigan football stadium entrance

Wichai Cheva/Shutterstock.com

  • Forbes ranking: 20
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 24
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 8
  • Number of championships since 2010: 4

Best sports: football, ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s swimming and diving


9. University of California, Berkeley, 15 Points

University of California, Berkeley golden bear statue

Sundry Photography, Shutterstock.com

  • Forbes ranking: 13
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 19
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 16
  • Number of championships since 2010: 10

Best sports: men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming, women’s rowing


8. University of Virginia, 16 Points

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WAHOOWA!!!! NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!!! 🏆🔷⚔🔶🏆

A post shared by Virginia Men's Basketball (@uvamenshoops) on

  • Forbes ranking: 33
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 20
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 10
  • Number of championships since 2010: 11

Best sports: men’s soccer, men’s basketball, men’s lacrosse


7. University of Notre Dame, 16 Points

  • Forbes ranking: 18
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 17
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 15
  • Number of championships since 2010: 6

Best sports: football, women’s basketball, fencing


6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 17 Points

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dean Smith Center (basketball arena)

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  • Forbes ranking: 45
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 5
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 7
  • Number of championships since 2010: 7

Best sports: men’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse


5. University of Florida, 18 Points

  • Forbes ranking: 45
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 5
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 7
  • Number of championships since 2010: 7

Best sports: women’s tennis, men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field


4. Duke University, 18 Points

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March Mood #SI6HTS 🔵😈🏆💙

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  • Forbes ranking: 9
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 10
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 18
  • Number of championships since 2010: 7

Best sports: men’s basketball, women’s golf, men’s lacrosse


3. University of Southern California (USC), 20 Points

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Short week, tall task. Get up and get the Utes. #FightOn

A post shared by USC Trojans (@usc_athletics) on

  • Forbes ranking: 30
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 11
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 3
  • Number of championships since 2010: 18

Best sports: football, baseball, men’s outdoor track and field, men’s water polo


2. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 20 Points

  • Forbes ranking: 38
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 3
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 4
  • Number of championships since 2010: 14

Best sports: men’s tennis, men’s basketball, men’s volleyball, softball, water polo


1. Stanford University, 25 Points

Stanford Stadium on the campus of Stanford University located in Stanford, California on March 18, 2014. Stanford University is an elite private research university.

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  • Forbes ranking: 2
  • Best College Reviews ranking: 2
  • Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking: 1
  • Number of championships since 2010: 26

Best sports: women’s tennis, men’s tennis, women’s volleyball, women’s swimming


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