Grand View University has most student athletes in Iowa

Grand View University ranked No. 1 for student athletic participation in the state, according to an Iowa Business Daily analysis of college sports participation.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education collects athletics data annually from all institutions with intercollegiate athletics programs that receive funding through federal financial aid programs. Data for 2016 – the latest year available – includes more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

The number of Grand View University students taking part in athletic programs was 691 –  465 men and 226 women – representing the largest contingent of student athletes in Iowa.

In all, there are 15,317 students – 9,733 men and 5,584 women – playing on athletic teams at 42 colleges and universities in the state.


Colleges with the most student athletes

RankSchoolDivisionTotal UndergraduatesMale Student AthletesFemale Student AthletesTotal Number of Student Athletes
1Grand View UniversityNAIA Division II1,643465226691
2University of IowaNCAA Division I-FBS20,690347344691
3Saint Ambrose UniversityNAIA Division II2,187451215666
4Iowa Central Community CollegeNJCAA Division II2,732490155645
5Morningside CollegeNAIA Division II1,293376240616
6Loras CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,400383213596
7Graceland University-LamoniNAIA Division II1,166382198580
8University of DubuqueNCAA Division III with football1,679397166563
9Wartburg CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,433360202562
10Central CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,176352167519
11Simpson CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,379326183509
12Northwestern CollegeNAIA Division II1,041312194506
13Luther CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,107299175474
14Dordt CollegeNAIA Division II1,367287178465
15Iowa State UniversityNCAA Division I-FBS28,791249194443
16Coe CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,305271155426
17Briar Cliff UniversityNAIA Division II788285138423
18University of Northern IowaNCAA Division I-FCS9,119219200419
19Grinnell CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,653217175392
20Mount Mercy UniversityNAIA Division I1,046183207390
21Drake UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS3,091209171380
22Iowa Western Community CollegeNJCAA Division I2,82630468372
23Waldorf UniversityNAIA Division II1,413241125366
24Cornell CollegeNCAA Division III with football973237115352
25Upper Iowa UniversityNCAA Division II with football2,224238110348
26Clarke UniversityNAIA Division I732167171338
27Buena Vista UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,523224107331
28William Penn UniversityNAIA Division I1,111191117308
29Indian Hills Community


NJCAA Division I2,085165110275
30Iowa Wesleyan UniversityNCAA Division III with football47916165226
31North Iowa Area Community CollegeNJCAA Division II1,31715173224
32Ellsworth Community CollegeNJCAA Division I59716436200
33Iowa Lakes Community


NJCAA Division II98712663189
34Southwestern Community CollegeNJCAA Division II70310248150
35Des Moines Area Community CollegeNJCAA Division II6,3486664130
36Marshalltown Community CollegeNJCAA Division I7569335128
37Kirkwood Community CollegeNJCAA Division II5,6416251113
38Southeastern Community CollegeNJCAA Division I1,245633396
39Emmaus Bible CollegeOther230372259
40Faith Baptist Bible College

and Theological Seminary

NCCAA Division II194293059
41Eastern Iowa Community College DistrictNJCAA Division II1,758262450
42Hawkeye Community CollegeNJCAA Division II2,572262147
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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