UW-Madison has most student athletes in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked No. 1 for student athletic participation in the state, according to a Wisconsin 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 University of Wisconsin-Madison students taking part in athletic programs was 775 –  391 men and 384 women – representing the largest contingent of student athletes in Wisconsin.

In all, there are 12,275 students – 7,238 men and 5,037 women – playing on athletic teams at 37 colleges and universities in the state.


Colleges with the most student athletes

RankSchoolDivisionTotal UndergraduatesMale Student AthletesFemale Student AthletesTotal Number of Student Athletes
1University of Wisconsin-MadisonNCAA Division I-FBS28,201391384775
2Carthage CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,644502256758
3University of Wisconsin-WhitewaterNCAA Division III with football10,046328266594
4University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireNCAA Division III with football9,350287265552
5University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointNCAA Division III with football7,679352195547
6University of Wisconsin CollegesOther5,707350188538
7University of Wisconsin-

La Crosse

NCAA Division III with football9,142289232521
8Carroll UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,715303187490
9University of Wisconsin-OshkoshNCAA Division III with football8,264274182456
10University of Wisconsin-PlattevilleNCAA Division III with football6,950289134423
11University of Wisconsin-StoutNCAA Division III with football6,804232180412
12Concordia University-WisconsinNCAA Division III with football2,691274105379
13Milwaukee School of EngineeringNCAA Division III without football2,52527993372
14Saint Norbert CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,048232122354
15Marquette UniversityNCAA Division I without football7,919168171339
16Lakeland UniversityNCAA Division III with football808230108338
17Viterbo UniversityNAIA Division II1,482157172329
18Beloit CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,310205123328
19University of Wisconsin-River FallsNCAA Division III with football4,780182141323
20University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeNCAA Division I without football17,373152162314
21Wisconsin Lutheran CollegeNCAA Division III with football915199111310
22Ripon CollegeNCAA Division III with football776179128307
23University of Wisconsin-SuperiorNCCAA Division II1,806173133306
24Marian UniversityNCAA Division III without football1,184174127301
25Lawrence UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,492177111288
26University of Wisconsin-ParksideNCAA Division II without football3,247154114268
27University of Wisconsin-Green BayNCAA Division I without football4,042104131235
28Northland CollegeNCAA Division III without football557125101226
29Maranatha Baptist UniversityNCAA Division III with football66912179200
30Edgewood CollegeNCAA Division III without football1,44610297199
31Cardinal Stritch UniversityNAIA Division II1,2017480154
32Madison Area Technical CollegeNJCAA Division III4,1206458122
33Milwaukee Area

Technical College

NJCAA Division III4,5235952111
34Western Technical


NJCAA Division III2,357262147
35Silver Lake College

of the Holy Family

NAIA Division II214122032
36Fox Valley Technical CollegeOther2,21510818
37Southwest Wisconsin Technical CollegeNJCAA Division III7709

Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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Organizations in this Story

Beloit College Carroll University Carthage College Edgewood College Lawrence University Madison Area Technical College Maranatha Baptist University Marquette University Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee School of Engineering Northland College Ripon College University of Wisconsin-Madison University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh University of Wisconsin-Parkside University of Wisconsin-River Falls University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University of Wisconsin-Stout University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Viterbo University Western Technical College

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