Men’s college lacrosse is offered at over 400 four-year institutions and 21 junior colleges. Student-athletes who are determined to play lacrosse at the collegiate level should start by researching all options to build a list of prospective schools. In this section, we take a look at each NCAA Division, as well as the NAIA and NJCAA and the top men’s lacrosse colleges at each.
The number of players on a men’s lacrosse team varies from division to division, with the NAIA reporting the smallest average roster size.
The NCAA is home to 397 of the 431 men’s college lacrosse teams offered at four-year institutions. The NAIA governs the remaining 33 men’s lacrosse teams. Student-athletes looking to start their collegiate lacrosse career at a junior college have the choose of 28 lacrosse programs. The vast majority of these teams are located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
This highly competitive division, located in the Northeast region and Mid-Atlantic, recruits the top five percent of men’s lacrosse players each year. Athletes at this level achieve success athletically and academically and can be rewarded for both with scholarships. Even at the D1 level, athletic scholarships are hard to come by and full rides are almost unheard of. Student-athletes interested in competing at the Division 1 level should start by researching the best Division 1 men’s lacrosse colleges.
Over the past five years, Division 2 lacrosse colleges have become increasingly competitive. These programs are often overlooked, as they lack the notoriety of Division 1 programs and the vast opportunities to play at Division 3 school. If a student-athlete isn’t currently considering a Divisions 2 program, they should start now. Student-athletes can begin their research on top Divisions 2 lacrosse colleges with NCSA’s power rankings.
Student-athletes have the widest variety of college lacrosse programs to choose from in the Northeast region and across the Midwest and southern states at the NCAA Division 3 level. These programs vary in talent, but athletes will find that the level of competition at top Division 3 lacrosse colleges is comparable to that of Division 1 colleges. Rather than athletic scholarships, Division 3 schools award student-athletes with other forms of financial aid including academic scholarships, grants and needs based financial aid. These forms of financial aid are based on the athlete’s GPA, test score, and other requirements determined by each school. What colleges have lacrosse teams? We’ve created a list of the best Division 3 men’s lacrosse college.
The NAIA offers an alternative option to the competing with the NCAA and the most opportunity to play at a school in the Midwest. Student-athletes looking for more college options in the Midwest can find these opportunities at the NAIA, which has lacrosse programs in Midwestern states, such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa. Learn more about these programs and discover which NAIA lacrosse college rank in the top 10 with NCSA’s Power Rankings.
Not everyone is bound for a four-year institution right out of high school. Student-athletes who just missed the opportunity to play for an NCAA lacrosse team or need to raise their GPA can opt to play at a Junior College before transferring to a four-year college. JUCO lacrosse programs allow athletes to sharpen their lacrosse skills and focus on improving their academic standing or just reduce the overall cost of a college degree.
Using data on college desirability among current student-athletes, academic performance and affordability, NCSA have produced the following Power Rankings. Of the over 400 four-year colleges that offer men’s lacrosse, these are among the top 10 programs across all divisions.