Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies

2021 Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region

77 Colleges
8,429 Bachelor's Degrees
$23,712 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies School for You

Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes RegionOut of all the majors we analyze each year, parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies was ranked #13 in the country. In fact 54,385 bachelor's degrees were handed out in 2018-2019. Of those degrees, 8,429 went to students in the Great Lakes region of the United States.

This year's Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region ranking analyzed 77 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in parks and rec. Note that the phrase 'best value' does not mean the absolute lowest-priced. For this ranking, we are identifying those parks and rec schools that provide their students with a hiqh quality education at a price that is lower than other colleges and universities of the same caliber.

Average cost figures start with estimating tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses. We then subtract the average amount of financial aid that a student receives. You can use this as a gauge to estimate how much you may need to pay out of pocket to cover costs when financial aid isn't enough. Keep in mind that the net cost for you may be higher or lower, depending on your income and other factors.

More Ways to Rank Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Value Parks & Rec Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools in the Great Lakes Region

The colleges and universities below are the best for the money for parks and rec majors.

Top 15% Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools

The #1 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Located in the small city of La Crosse, UW - La Crosse is a public school with a large student population. UW - La Crosse also made our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list, coming in at #6.

At UW - La Crosse, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $19,185. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - La Crosse be around $85,373. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Request Information
#2

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL

Eastern Illinois University earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. EIU is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Charleston. EIU did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #9 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list.

The average student at EIU graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $16,976. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from EIU be around $75,034. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Eastern Illinois University

Request Information

Our rankings recognize Western Illinois University as the #3 school in this year's rankings. WIU is a moderately-sized public school located in the remote town of Macomb. On top of its placing in our value rankings, WIU also did well on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list. It's in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The average student at WIU graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,615. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from WIU is about $78,211. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Read full report on Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Western Illinois University

Request Information
#4

Manchester University

North Manchester, IN

Manchester University comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. Manchester University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of North Manchester.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Manchester University to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $22,098. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Manchester University be around $91,486. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Full Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Manchester University Report

Request Information
#5

Hanover College

Hanover, IN

Hanover College landed the #5 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools. Hanover is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Hanover.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Hanover to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $25,334. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Hanover is about $102,349. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Read More…

Request Information

Illinois State University earned the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the midsize suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public school with a very large student population. Illinois State did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list.

The average student at Illinois State graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $24,958. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State is $108,817. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Full Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Illinois State University Report

Request Information

#7

Monmouth College

Monmouth, IL

Our rankings recognize Monmouth College as the #7 school in this year's rankings. Monmouth is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Monmouth.

At Monmouth, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,828. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Monmouth is $96,106. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Read More…

Request Information

Bowling Green State University - Main Campus earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the fringe town of Bowling Green, BGSU is a public college with a large student population.

It takes the average student at BGSU about 4.4 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,327. This means that the average student pays around $101,706 to get a bachelor’s degree from BGSU. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Full Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Report

Request Information

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville comes in at #9 in this year's ranking. Located in the large suburb of Edwardsville, SIUE is a public college with a large student population.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at SIUE is 4.5 years, and it costs about $17,498 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the SIUE is $79,091. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Full Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Report

Request Information
#10

Carroll University

Waukesha, WI

The #10 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Carroll University. Located in the city of Waukesha, Carroll U is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Carroll U to complete their degree, and it costs about $28,626 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $120,515 to get a bachelor’s degree from Carroll U. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Full Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Carroll University Report

Request Information

#11

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI

Central Michigan University earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Mount Pleasant, Central Michigan is a public college with a fairly large student population. Central Michigan also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list. It's in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

At Central Michigan, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $24,977. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan is $116,393. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Full Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies at Central Michigan University Report

Request Information

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies students in the Great Lakes Region that almost earned our Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
12 Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH
13 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
14 Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI
15 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL

Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges by State

Explore the best parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools for a specific state in the Great Lakes region.

State Degrees Awarded
Michigan 2,122
Ohio 2,127
Illinois 1,636
Indiana 1,581
Wisconsin 951

Parks & Rec Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Health & Physical Education 7,623
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 450
Recreation Administration 342
Outdoor Education 9
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 5

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Parks & Rec

Related Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 7,202
Public Administration & Social Service 6,764
Legal Professions 692
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 9

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to NPS Photo/Zurbuch.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Find Schools Near You