(See the end for the updated list for 2022) When high school baseball players start thinking of playing at the college level, they naturally start with the NCAA D1 baseball schools. NCAA D1 is the most competitive for baseball and provides the most scholarships. Yet it might not be the right division based on their athletic abilities and academic requirements. Nonetheless, players need to start the recruiting process somewhere and it can’t hurt to start with D1 baseball colleges. Just keep in mind, chances are that’s not where you’ll end up.
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According to the Office of Postsecondary Education, of the 309 D1 baseball schools, the most are found in California with 25. Texas follows with 22, and North Carolina and New York tied for third with 18 each. Thirteen states have 10 or more D1 college baseball programs. There are 9 states with only one D1 college baseball program and Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming don’t have any universities playing D1 Baseball.
Who Spends the Most on NCAA D1 College Baseball?
The Office of Postsecondary Education collects information on college athletic financial information, including expenses. This includes game day expenses as well as scholarships, recruiting expenses, and basically any other expenses attributed to intercollegiate baseball. The average in 2019, the most recently available year, was $1,384,295. This is a decline from $1,59,909 in 2018 which can probably be accounted for by the start of COVID in early 2020.
Texas Christian University (TCU) had the highest expenses at $5,838,296 which is significantly lower than Florida State University’s high of $7,466,680 in 2018. Only two other teams, Vanderbilt and University of Mississippi, had totals over $5 million. Another six teams had totals over $4 million. The following were the top 10 D1 Baseball Colleges ranked by expenses in 2019:
- Texas Christian University
- Vanderbilt University
- University of Mississippi
- Florida State University
- University of Arkansas
- University of Miami
- Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
- University of Louisville
- Auburn University
- University of Virginia
Given the many cancelled or truncated seasons in 2020, the College World Series was cancelled, it’s not surprising the number of D1 baseball colleges reporting expenses under $400,000 increase from 7 to 11 in 2019. The following are the D1 Baseball programs with the lowest reported expenses:
- Coppin State University
- Utah State University
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Alcorn State University
- University of Akron Main Campus
- Alabama A & M University
- Saint Peter’s University
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore
- University of Massachusetts-Amherst
- College of the Holy Cross
Not surprisingly, the SEC had the highest average expense by conference at $3,674,141. The SEC accounted for 9 of the top 20 D1 baseball teams with the highest expenses. The Big 12 came in second and the ACC in third with 5 and 4 teams respectively ranked among the top 20. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference had the lowest average at $427,471 followed by the Southwestern Athletic Conference. These two conferences are followed by the non-athletic scholarship awarding conferences, The Ivy League and the Patriot League.
Which D1 Baseball Schools Have the Best Graduation Rates?
The average 4-year graduating rate for the general student population at these schools was 48.7% which is higher than the national average of 43.7%. The good news is that the graduation rates for athletes are generally higher than that of the general student population. Unfortunately, they don’t make it easy to show the specific sports athletic graduation rates but you can read How to Find Student-Athlete Graduation Rates to, obviously, look up graduation rates.
Yet players should still pay attention to the general student population graduation rate. The simple fact is that you never know when baseball is going to end. It only makes sense to know the school’s graduation rate and how it compares to other options.
Among D1 baseball schools, Notre Dame had the highest general student 4-year graduation rate of 93%. Georgetown, Princeton, and the College of the Holy Cross tied for second at 90% each. The University Virginia had the highest graduation among public schools at 89% which tied it for third with four other schools. The following are the top 10 D1 Baseball Colleges ranked by 4-year graduation rates:
- University of Notre Dame 93
- Georgetown University 90
- Princeton University 90
- College of the Holy Cross 90
- University of Virginia-Main Campus 89
- Boston College 89
- Villanova University 89
- Davidson College 89
- Cornell University 89
- Vanderbilt University 88
- Duke University 88
- Santa Clara University 88
- Dartmouth College 88
- United States Naval Academy 88
Unfortunately, 125 of the schools had graduation rates less than 40%, 39 (down from 46 the previous year) were less than 25%. The University of Akron had the lowest 4-year graduation rate at 4%. Texas Southern, Chicago State University, and Southern University and A&M College were also under 10%.
The Ivy League had the highest average 4-year graduation rate of 87% with 7 of its members ranking in the top 20 D1 baseball teams overall. The Patriot League follows with 85%. No other conferences had averages in the 80’s and only two, the ACC and Big East had average in the 70’s. The Ivy League and the ACC both had six teams each in the top 20 teams ranked by graduation rates.
Of the 32 D1 baseball college conferences, 17 had average graduation rates under 50%. The Southwestern Athletic Conference, Big Sky, and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference had averages less than 25%. The Horizon League and Western Athletic average graduation rates were less than 30%.
How Big are Colleges offering D1 Baseball?
Even when players are focused on getting recruited by a D1 college baseball team, they still have preferences. A major one for most high school students, prospective athletes or not, is size. And since players are looking at D1 schools, big is the expectation. And for the most part, they would be right. Of the 309 D1 baseball schools, 134 have 10,000 or more full-time undergraduates. Another 81 are between 5,000 and 9,999. Only 91 are under 5,000.
However, this does include 36 under 3,000 which includes 9 traditional Liberal Arts Colleges. While these schools provide a small college experience, it also means the absence of “Big Time” college sports. Only two of the schools are members of the Power 5 conferences.
How Much do D1 Baseball Colleges Cost?
While every player hopes for a full-ride scholarship, the 11.7 scholarship limit for Baseball means that players have to accept that they will be paying for a significant part of their college costs. Remember, chances are that the school doesn’t fully fund all of their scholarships. Then there’s always the possibility that students will quit the team for a variety of reasons. So you need some idea of what to expect in terms of tuition costs and financial aid.
The average Total Price for 2020-21 for the 99 private D1 Baseball schools was $64,403, up from $62,933 the previous year. Northwestern’s sticker price of $81,283 was the most expensive and one of five schools topping over $80,000 last year. It was one of 35 schools with price tags of $70,000 or more. There were only 13 private D1 baseball colleges with total costs under $50,000.
For the 209 public institutions, the average total cost of attendance was $26,759 for those paying in-state tuition. Many schools that offer athletic scholarships charge students in-state tuition as part of their scholarship. However, if they should lose the scholarship, they pay out-of-state tuition which averaged over $40,099. Ten of the public schools charged out-of-state students more than $60,000 with the University of California passing $70,000. Another 29 had sticker prices over $50,000.
Of course, few students, athletes or not, pay the actual sticker price. Students, especially at private colleges are likely to receive some combination of need or merit-based aid that will significantly reduce the actual costs. That’s why players need to pay attention to the average net price after gift aid. This is the average price students paid after deducting all gift aid which does not include loans or work-study.
The average net price for private colleges for 2019-20 was $30,188. For public institutions, those paying in-state tuition had an average net price just over $15,000. Relatively speaking, these are more reasonable numbers. However, remember they are averages. Those in higher income categories can expect to pay more. Even when just considering average net price, 15 private colleges had averages over $40,000 a year. Families should always use the net price calculator for any school they’re considering.
309 NCAA D1 Baseball Schools
The table below lists all D1 baseball schools based on information available from the NCAA, the Office of Postsecondary Education, and the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System. Given the frequency of colleges changing conferences and the occasional change in division, the data are not going to be 100% accurate. Consider it a place to start. This data is part of the DIY College Rankings Baseball Spreadsheet which also includes test scores, acceptance rates, and financial aid information.
NCAA D1 Baseball Schools with Graduation Rates
|wdt_ID||Name||ST||Type||Baseball Conference||2019 Expenses||Full-time Under-grads||4 yr Grad Rate|
|1||Alabama A & M University||AL||Pub||Southwestern Athletic Conference||318,774||4,663||11|
|2||Alabama State University||AL||Pub||Southwestern Athletic Conference||585,549||3,289||15|
|3||Auburn University||AL||Pub||Southeastern Conference||4,130,812||22,458||51|
|4||Jacksonville State University||AL||Pub||Ohio Valley Conference||801,430||6,031||22|
|5||Samford University||AL||Pri||Southern Conference||1,168,615||3,501||66|
|6||The University of Alabama||AL||Pub||Southeastern Conference||3,220,365||27,750||52|
|7||Troy University||AL||Pub||Sun Belt Conference||942,953||8,208||27|
|8||University of Alabama at Birmingham||AL||Pub||Conference USA||1,022,122||10,402||38|
|9||University of North Alabama||AL||Pub||Atlantic Sun Conference||512,093||4,708||27|
|10||University of South Alabama||AL||Pub||Sun Belt Conference||1,372,116||7,611||26|
|11||Arizona State University-Tempe||AZ||Pub||Pacific-12 Conference||3,250,539||57,485||51|
|12||Grand Canyon University||AZ||Profit||Western Athletic Conference||1,282,827||19,937||39|
|13||University of Arizona||AZ||Pub||Pacific-12 Conference||3,364,638||28,556||49|
|14||University of Arizona-Sierra Vista||AZ||Pub||Pacific-12 Conference||258|
|15||Arkansas State University-Main Campus||AR||Pub||Sun Belt Conference||748,143||5,836||37|
|16||University of Arkansas||AR||Pub||Southeastern Conference||4,693,548||20,252||50|
|17||University of Arkansas at Little Rock||AR||Pub||Sun Belt Conference||1,079,850||3,541||26|
|18||University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff||AR||Pub||Southwestern Athletic Conference||436,485||2,158||24|
|19||University of Central Arkansas||AR||Pub||Southland Conference||630,582||7,301||31|
|20||California Baptist University||CA||Pri||Western Athletic Conference||1,583,646||7,243||41|
|21||California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo||CA||Pub||Big West Conference||1,244,021||20,198||53|
|22||California State University-Bakersfield||CA||Pub||Big West Conference||1,021,653||8,432||15|
|23||California State University-Fresno||CA||Pub||Mountain West Conference||1,698,460||19,297||19|
|24||California State University-Fullerton||CA||Pub||Big West Conference||2,578,699||29,721||26|
|25||California State University-Long Beach||CA||Pub||Big West Conference||1,553,985||29,110||29|
|Name||ST||Type||Baseball Conference||2019 Expenses||Full-time Under-grads||4 yr Grad Rate|