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2021 Top California Men's D1 Football Schools

4 Colleges
$34,629 Avg Tuition & Fees*
43% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when there are so many options available for student athletes. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Best Colleges for Division I Men's Football in California ranking is part of that endeavor.

After analyzing 4 schools in California, we came up with our list of those that offered the best educational experiences for D1 Men's Football athletes in California. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the athletic competitiveness of the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. So, even if a school has a great team, it won't place well if it is also considered a low quality college or university.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as online students or returnings adults.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering, or bookmark the tool so you can experiment with it later.

Top Colleges in California for D1 Men's Football athletes in California

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

University of San Diego

San Diego, California

University of San Diego tops this year’s ranking as the best school for D1 Men’s Football athletes in California. USD is a private not-for-profit institution located in San Diego, California. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,501 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the FCS Men’s Football team at USD made $1,532,784 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 977 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. USD also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

Full University of San Diego Report

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Out of the 4 schools in California that were part of this year’s ranking, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo landed the #2 spot on the list. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is located in San Luis Obispo, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,185 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

On the financial side of things, the FCS Men’s Football team at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo made $4,546,931 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 983 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 95%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

Full California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo Report

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#3

University of California - Davis

Davis, California

The excellent sports programs at University of California - Davis helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for D1 Men’s Football athletes in California. UC Davis is a large public school situated in Davis, California. It awarded 8,711 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the FCS Men’s Football team at UC Davis took home $5,754,648 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 970.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. In addition to its great ranking here, UC Davis is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

Full University of California - Davis Report

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A rank of #4 on our list means California State University - Sacramento is a great place for D1 Men’s Football athletes in California working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Sacramento, California, the large public school handed out 7,479 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The FCS Men’s Football team at Sac State brought home $5,515,779 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 959.

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Best Colleges for FCS Men's Football in the Far Western US Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 4 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 our data about colleges.
  • Revenue and expense information comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website.
  • The academic progress rate (APR) of each team was made available by the NCAA.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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