NCSA

NCSA’s List of Best Softball Colleges

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NCSA releases Power Rankings annually to help student-athletes identify schools that may be a good fit for them. Finding the right softball program requires research on academics, athletics, size, location, tuition and a lot of other factors. Student-athletes are encouraged to create a list of dream, target and safety schools early on so that they have ample amount of time to make the right decision. Finding the right school is more than a four-year decision because it’s a decision that could affect your life 40-years from now.

How can a softball athlete possibly make a list of schools with over 1,100 four-year colleges across four division levels (D1, D2, D3, and NAIA)? NCSA’s annual Power Rankings breaks the list down by the top 100 overall schools and the top 50 schools by division. The 2019 NCSA methodology evaluated colleges and universities based on NCSA favorites, U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges, IPEDS Graduation Rate and IPEDS Average Cost After Aid.

As a result of the data, here are the top-ranking schools across all four divisions:

Division 1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC): It’s no surprise that UNC tops the charts for Division 1 softball schools. UNC is a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which means it goes up against some pretty tough schools – yet it’s managed to win five NCAA National Championships.

Off the field, UNC students are pretty hands-on. For 16 years, they’ve held a Neighborhood walk so students can get acquainted with the community around the campus. This annual walk helps students get involved in the community and give back to the neighbors around them.

Division 2

University of California – San Diego (La Jolla, CA): Back on the list for another year ranking #1 on the list of D2 schools is the University of California-San Diego. The school is a part of the California Collegiate Athletic Association and won the D2 Softball Championship in 2011.

The campus has more than 220,000 Eucalyptus trees, which could possibly decrease your chances of getting sick. To experience even more natural beauty beyond the campus limits, take a five-minute walk to the beach and spend some time in the sand or surfing.

In terms of academics, the university has six colleges and 63 majors.

Division 3

Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (Claremont, CA): With more than 200 clubs, 2,000 classes and study abroad opportunities, Pomona-Pitzer may be the school for you if you want to be active on campus. Ponoma-Pitzer ranked #1 on the D3 list, and last year they wrapped up their season with a 31-12-1 record overall (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) and 21-7 in conference play.

There are plenty of exciting things to do around campus such as hiking the Claremont Wilderness Trail, visiting Mount Baldy, taking a trip to the Pomona College Museum of Art and so much more. If that doesn’t entice you, students can participate in hands-on learning through the Draper Center for Community Partnerships. One thing for sure, there is always something to do on or near campus.

NAIA

Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Indiana): Indiana Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts school with 80 undergraduate degrees. They were the recipient of 19 Scholar-Team awards for the 2018-19 academic year with an overall department GPA of 3.3. More than 25 buildings have been constructed in the last two decades.

Indiana Wesleyan competes in the Crossroads League and have made five appearances in the NAIA Softball Opening in a row.

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