College-bound football players have a lot of college football teams to choose from—nearly 900, in fact. The trick: Figuring out what the right program is for your athlete. A good place to start is by understanding the differences between the division levels. This will help your family determine what kind of schools to target based on athletics, academics and what your athlete is looking for in a college experience.
Use this information to help you create your target list of schools. We always advise that student-athletes include a mix of schools in their list, as you never know which division level might be right for you athletically, academically and socially until you do your research. Every day, we hear from athletes who signed with a school they never would have thought of until they broadened their school search.
We’ve compiled the full list of football colleges at each division level. Families can sort by conference, state and college name.
There are approximately 858 football colleges spanning five different division levels: NCAA Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and NJCAA. We calculated which states have the most college football teams, and the numbers shook out like this: Pennsylvania (55), Ohio (40), Texas (49), New York (36), North Carolina (36), Massachusetts (27), Illinois (33), Minnesota (30), Virginia (38) and California (56).
There are a couple different ways to find college football coaches looking for players:
Unique to football, D1 football colleges are split into one of two subdivisions: The Football Bowl Subdivision (originally called Division 1-A) and the Football Championship Subdivision (or Division 1-AA). FBS football is considered the most athletically competitive division in football, with FCS football colleges not far behind. The two subdivisions are, for the most part, pretty similar. They play against each other, and players are allowed transfer from one subdivision to the other without incurring the one-year eligibility penalty. However, there are four main differences to note:
NCSA created a Power Rankings system that allows us to provide student-athletes with a comprehensive picture of their college options. This system ranks NCAA and NAIA schools that offer college football programs based on factors that we know play a large role in the student-athlete’s college search, including cost, academics, size, location and more.
View the full list of colleges that offer football below.