High school softball players looking to compete at the highest level in college will be targeting NCAA Division 1 colleges and universities. These schools offer the most scholarships and the most competitive level of play and is the second largest of the NCAA softball divisions. The table below is a listing of all D1 softball colleges.
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What Kind of Colleges have D1 Softball Programs
The states with the largest population also have the most programs. New York (20), California (20), and Texas (19) have the most colleges with D1 Softball programs. Eleven states have 10 or more D1 softball programs. Alaska and Wyoming don’t have any softball programs and six states only have one D1 program.
Most colleges are public and around a third are private. Over half of all D1 softball programs are at Doctoral Universities according to the Carnegie Classification. Approximately another third are at Master Level Programs. Only ten are at Baccalaureate Colleges.
Subsequently, it’s not surprising that a little less than half of all programs have 10,000 or more full-time undergraduates. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for students interested in playing at smaller schools, 74 D1 Softball programs has 5,000 or fewer full-time undergraduates.
Who Spends the Most on D1 Softball?
The Office of Postsecondary Education collects information on college athletic financial information, including Operating Expenses which cover only “Game Day” expenses. The NCAA average for all divisions in 2016, the most recently available year, was $99,138.
On average, D1 colleges spent $213,480 on operating expenses per team. The University of Oklahoma spent the most and the only one over $900,000. Texas A&M was second with just under $900,000 in operating expenses. Ole Miss, Washington, Texas, Michigan, and Florida all had expenditures over $700,000. There are 43 teams with totals less than the overall NCAA average and six less than $50,000.
The SEC and Big 12 had the highest average per conference, $597,586 and $539,303 respectively. The PAC-12 was third followed by the Big 10 and the ACC. Only three conferences had average less than $100,000. The Southwestern Athletic Conference had the lowest average at $61,975.
Graduation Rates for Colleges with D1 Softball Programs
It’s not convenient to lookup the graduation rates by sport. Colleges are required to report them, they just don’t have to include it with all of the other data they have to report to federal databases. You can find out how to lookup the information in How to Find Student-Athlete Graduation Rates. In general, student-athletic graduation rates are higher than the general student population’s.
The average 4 year graduating rate for the general student population at these schools was 42%. Forty percent of the colleges had graduation rates less than 30%. Only a third had graduation rates over 50%. The Ivy Group and Patriot League had average graduation rates above 80%. Six had averages in the 60’s percentiles.
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294 D1 Softball Colleges
The information in the table below is based on data from the NCAA, the Office of Postsecondary Education, and the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System. Given conference realignments and schools changing divisions, it’s very likely to contain some inaccuracies or outdated information. Use at your own risk. All of this data can be found in the DIY College Rankings Softball Spreadsheet.