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2021 Top Great Lakes Region Men's D1 Football Schools

9 Colleges
$26,000 Avg Tuition & Fees*
38% 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 the Great Lakes Region ranking is part of that endeavor.

We analyzed 9 colleges and universities across the Great Lakes Region to determine which were the best for D1 Men's Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as the athletic competitiveness of the school and the school's overall quality. This means that a school must provide students with a great education in addition to having a good sports team if it wants to rank well.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to online students or returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head! If you don't have time right now, you can bookmark it for later.

Top Colleges in the Great Lakes Region for D1 Men's Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio
#21 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Our 2021 rankings named University of Dayton the best school for D1 Men’s Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region working on their bachelor’s degree. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Dayton, Ohio, and it awarded 2,167 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the FCS Men’s Football team at UDayton took home $159,593 in revenue. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 991.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 90%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UDayton also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#2

Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois
Top 25% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Illinois State University. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Men’s Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region list. Illinois State is a large public school situated in Normal, Illinois. It awarded 4,822 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the FCS Men’s Football team at Illinois State made $4,429,532 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 962.

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#3

Butler University

Indianapolis, Indiana
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Out of the 9 schools in the Great Lakes Region that were part of this year’s ranking, Butler University landed the #3 spot on the list. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 1,065 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the FCS Men’s Football team at Butler took home $1,048,440 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 989, signifying that team members care about their grades.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Butler also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#4

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, Indiana
Top 25% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

You’ll join some of the best athletes around if you attend Valparaiso University. The school came in at #4 in this year’s ranking. Valparaiso University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Valparaiso, Indiana that handed out 893 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Valpo took home $1,221,085 in revenue and paid out $1,182,843 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $38,242, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 956.

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#5

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois

You’ll join some of the best athletes around if you attend Eastern Illinois University. The school came in at #5 in this year’s ranking. Charleston, Illinois is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,244 students in 2018-2019.

The FCS Men’s Football team at EIU brought home $2,971,448 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 930.

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#6

Western Illinois University

Macomb, Illinois

Western Illinois University landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. WIU is a medium-sized public school situated in Macomb, Illinois. It awarded 1,785 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the FCS Men’s Football team at WIU took home $3,100,811 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 959.

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#7

Youngstown State University

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #7. Youngstown State University is a fairly large public school situated in Youngstown, Ohio. It awarded 1,645 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the FCS Men’s Football team at Youngstown State University made $4,349,972 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 956.

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With a ranking of #8, Southern Illinois University Carbondale did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Carbondale, Illinois, the fairly large public school awarded 3,120 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the FCS Men’s Football team at SIUC made $4,212,321 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 971.

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#9

Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Indiana State is located in Terre Haute, Indiana and, has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,011 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The FCS Men’s Football team at Indiana State made $4,499,988 in revenue, while incurring $4,256,090 in expenses. That boils down to a yearly profit of $243,898 for the sports team. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 958.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 9 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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