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2021 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region

69 Colleges
8,429 Bachelor's Degrees
$28,387 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students 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.

For this year's Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region ranking, we looked at 69 colleges that offer a bachelor's in parks and rec. This ranking identifies schools with high-quality parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies programs as well as strong support for students classified as non-traditional.

When determining these rankings, we looked at things such as overall quality of the parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies program at the school, affordability, and presence of non-traditional students. See our ranking methodology to learn more.

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

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Parks & Rec Schools for Non-Traditional Students list to help you make the college decision.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region

The colleges and universities below are the best for non-traditional students studying parks and rec.

Top 10 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Illinois State University has taken the #1 spot in this year's parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies ranking for non-traditional students. Located in the midsize suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public college with a fairly large student population. Illinois State also made our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list, coming in at #3.

About 3.9% of Illinois State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 3,895 students take at least one class online at Illinois State. 2,428 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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The #2 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. UIUC is a very large public school located in the small city of Champaign. UIUC also made our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list, coming in at #1.

The student loan default rate at UIUC is lower than is typical, just 1.9% of students default in three years. Approximately 12,503 students take at least one class online at UIUC. 6,389 of UIUC students are attending part time. UIUC does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Indiana University - Bloomington landed the #3 spot in our 2021 best parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools for non-traditional students. Located in the small city of Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public school with a fairly large student population. IU Bloomington not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #2 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list.

About 3.6% of IU Bloomington students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 5,026 students take at least one class online at IU Bloomington. About 5,192 of the students at IU Bloomington are attending part time. IU Bloomington does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#4

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

The #4 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Michigan State University. Located in the small city of East Lansing, Michigan State is a public college with a fairly large student population. Michigan State also made our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list, coming in at #4.

The student loan default rate at Michigan State is lower than is typical, just 3.4% of students default in three years. Approximately 9,273 students take at least one class online at Michigan State. About 6,488 of the students at Michigan State are attending part time.

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Our rankings recognize University of Wisconsin - La Crosse as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of La Crosse, UW - La Crosse is a public school with a fairly 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.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.6%. There are approximately 2,292 students at UW - La Crosse that take at least one class online. There are roughly 1,049 part time students in attendance at UW - La Crosse. UW - La Crosse does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Western Illinois University earned the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings. WIU is a moderately-sized public school located in the remote town of Macomb. WIU 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.

Approximately 2,495 students take at least one class online at WIU. There are roughly 1,724 part time students in attendance at WIU. WIU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#7

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL

Eastern Illinois University comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. EIU is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Charleston. EIU also took the #9 spot in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region rankings.

The student loan default rate at EIU is lower than is typical, just 7.2% of students default in three years. There are approximately 1,510 students at EIU that take at least one class online. 2,759 of EIU students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#8

Indiana State University

Terre Haute, IN

The #8 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Indiana State University. Indiana State is a fairly large public school located in the city of Terre Haute.

Approximately 2,979 students take at least one class online at Indiana State. 3,251 of Indiana State students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor landed the #9 spot in our 2021 best parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies schools for non-traditional students. U-M is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Ann Arbor. U-M did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region list.

About 1.1% of U-M students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 487 students take at least one class online at U-M. 2,376 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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The #10 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Located in the small city of Carbondale, SIUC is a public college with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, SIUC also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Great Lakes Region ranking.

Approximately 2,504 students take at least one class online at SIUC. 2,431 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Great Lakes Region non-traditional students studying Parks & Rec that almost earned our Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
11 Ohio University - Athens Campus Athens, OH
12 Concordia University, Chicago River Forest, IL
13 Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Bowling Green, OH

Best for Non-Traditional Students Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges by State

Explore the best for non-traditional students 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 9,367
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 546
Recreation Administration 397
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 24
Outdoor Education 9

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Parks & Rec

Related Major Annual Graduates
Public Administration & Social Service 15,105
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 12,341
Legal Professions 7,583
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 28

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • 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).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to NPS Photo/Zurbuch.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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