Power Rankings

NCSA’s 11th Annual Power Rankings Announced

The 2013 NCSA Power Rankings highlight the top colleges in the country based on a combination of athletic and academic information. NCSA has been compiling this list on a yearly basis for more than a decade.

The NCSA Power Rankings are both informative and interactive. The rankings allow users to dynamically research:

  • Athletic program offerings
  • Admissions and financial aid opportunities
  • Tuition cost and enrollment information
  • Campus life information
  • Important contact information and sport-specific messages from coaches

No other online destination provides this depth of college and athletic program analysis. The list is delivered in an easy-to-navigate format and is compiled by a credible, nationally respected organization.

Learn more about our top 10 below!

1) Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,500

Athletics Nickname: Blue Devils

Duke is best known as a college basketball powerhouse. The Blue Devils have won four NCAA national basketball championships since 1991 and play their home games in the famed Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke has also claimed Division I championships in soccer, men’s lacrosse, women’s golf and women’s tennis.

The school is a well-respected academic institution and has had its fair share of Nobel Prize winners.

2) Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,800

Athletics Nickname: Lord Jeffs

Amherst was founded in 1821 and consistently ranks among the best liberal arts colleges on the annual list put out by U.S. News & World Report. But the Lord Jeffs have also found athletic success. Amherst has claimed nine Division III team national championships in men’s basketball, women’s hockey, women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, women’s cross country, women’s basketball and men’s tennis.

2) Stanford University

Stanford, California

Undergrad Enrollment: 7,000

Athletics Nickname: Cardinal

Academics and athletics mix seamlessly at Stanford. The school has claimed the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, which honors colleges for overall success in athletics, 19 seasons in a row. The Cardinal has won 104 NCAA team national championships and more than 400 individual titles. A slew of Academic All-Americans and 11 Rhodes Scholars have suited up for Stanford.


2) University of Notre Dame

South Bend, Indiana

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,500

Athletics Nickname: Fighting Irish

The football tradition at Notre Dame is hard to beat. The Irish have won eight national titles and can claim seven Heisman Trophy winners. But Notre Dame athletes also find success in the classroom. The Irish have had 231 Academic All-Americans, an impressive number that is second only to the University of Nebraska.


2) Williams College

Williamstown, Massachusetts

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,000

Athletics Nickname: Ephs

Williams College was established way back in 1793. Since then it has established itself as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. And while academics are a strong suit, athletics are extremely popular at the small college. Roughly 36 percent of the students at Amherst play intercollegiate sports at the NCAA Division III varsity level.


6) Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,200

Athletics Nickname: Tigers

The fourth oldest college in the United States was founded in 1746. The academics at this Ivy League school are first rate, but the Tigers have found success on the playing field too. Princeton has won at least one team or individual national title for 42 years in a row. In 2013, the Tigers claimed team championships in field hockey and fencing.


7) Washington University

St. Louis, Missouri

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,300

Athletics Nickname: Bears


This highly regarded college was founded in 1853 and is now considered one of the best universities in the Midwest. Washington University has found success both in and outside the classroom. The Bears have won Division III national championships in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s cross country and men’s tennis.


8) Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,700

Athletics Nickname: Crimson


The oldest college in the United States was founded in 1636 and has been an outstanding academic institution ever since. Case in point, Harvard has claimed more Nobel Prizes than any other university in the United States. Harvard has also stood out in Ivy League athletics. The Crimson have claimed dozens of league titles, and won NCAA championships in men’s hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing and fencing.


8) Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,000

Athletics Nickname: Wildcats


Northwestern has a sterling academic reputation and the school earned the No. 12 spot on last year’s U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings. The university just north of Chicago has eight men’s and 11 women’s varsity programs and is a charter member of the Big Ten.


10) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Undergrad Enrollment: 4,500

Athletics Nickname: Engineers


MIT has very high academic standards and is extremely selective when it comes to admission. Only nine percent of applicants are admitted into the prestigious school. But it’s not always about academics. MIT has 33 varsity sports, the most of any NCAA Division III school.


10) Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Undergrad Enrollment: 5,400

Athletics Nickname: Bulldogs


The third-ranked school on the latest list by U.S. News & World Report of the best colleges in the country was chartered in 1701. Yale has 35 varsity athletic teams and recently found success on the ice. The men’s hockey team won the 2013 NCAA national championship.


For the full list check them out here!

About the author
Aaron Sorenson