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2021 Top Great Lakes Region Men's Football Schools

113 Colleges
$45,234 Avg Tuition & Fees*
69% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

When pursuing a degree in today's world, student athletes have many different options to choose from. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Colleges for Men's Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

We analyzed 113 colleges and universities across the Great Lakes Region to determine which were the best for Men's Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region. 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.

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We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as online students or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another. Bookmark it so you can compare any new schools that might interest you.

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

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan
#4 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor tops this year’s ranking as the best school for Men’s Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the large public school awarded 7,815 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at U-M made $122,270,243 in revenue, while incurring $47,430,574 in expenses. That boils down to a yearly profit of $74,839,669 for the sports team.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. In addition to its Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, U-M is ranked #4 for overall quality in the Great Lakes Region .

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#25 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

A rank of #2 on our list means Ohio State University - Main Campus is a great place for Men’s Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region working on their bachelor’s degree. Ohio State is a public institution located in Columbus, Ohio. The school has a large population, and it awarded 11,596 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Ohio State took home $115,091,304 in revenue and paid out $60,076,743 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $55,014,561, which isn’t bad at all.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 94%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, Ohio State is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#3

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois
#1 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Out of the 112 schools in the Great Lakes Region that were part of this year’s ranking, Northwestern University landed the #3 spot on the list. Located in Evanston, Illinois, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,770 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The team at Northwestern took home $63,246,903 in revenue and paid out $32,136,417 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $31,110,486, which isn’t bad at all. The team has a great academic progress rate of 995, signifying that team members care about their grades.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Northwestern also took the #1 spot in our overall quality rankings.

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#4

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin
#8 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

A rank of #4 on our list means University of Wisconsin - Madison is a great place for Men’s Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region working on their bachelor’s degree. UW - Madison is located in Madison, Wisconsin and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 8,915 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

UW - Madison brought in $89,944,636 while tallying up $31,714,090 in expenses for its Men’s Football team. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $58,230,546 in profit. The team has a great academic progress rate of 986, signifying that team members care about their grades.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 95%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UW - Madison also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#5

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana
#2 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

The excellent sports programs at University of Notre Dame helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for Men’s Football athletes in the Great Lakes Region. Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame, Indiana and, has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,642 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The Men’s Football team at Notre Dame made $115,510,518 in revenue, while incurring $50,201,929 in expenses. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $65,308,589 in profit. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 970.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Notre Dame also took the #2 spot in our overall quality rankings.

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#6

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
#3 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

University of Chicago did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #6. Chicago, Illinois is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 2,024 students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at UChicago brought home $641,173 in revenue in a single year.

With a freshman retention rate of 99%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UChicago not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #3 on our overall quality list.

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#7

DePauw University

Greencastle, Indiana
#5 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #7, DePauw University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. DePauw is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Greencastle, Indiana. It awarded 595 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Football team at DePauw made $683,986 in revenue.

With a freshman retention rate of 89%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. DePauw also made our overall quality list, coming in at #5.

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#8

University of Dayton

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

University of Dayton did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #8. Located in Dayton, Ohio, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,167 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Football team at UDayton made $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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#9

Kenyon College

Gambier, Ohio
#10 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Kenyon College came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Gambier, Ohio, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 517 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at Kenyon took home $483,374 in revenue.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its great ranking here, Kenyon is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#10

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Western Michigan University landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Western Michigan University is a large public school located in Kalamazoo, Michigan that handed out 3,824 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at WMU took home $9,257,979 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 948.

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#11

Denison University

Granville, Ohio
#13 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #11, Denison University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Granville, Ohio, and it awarded 643 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at Denison brought home $606,065 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 972.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its great ranking here, Denison is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#12

Wheaton College Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois
#14 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #12, Wheaton College Illinois did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Wheaton College Illinois is a small private not-for-profit school located in Wheaton, Illinois that handed out 720 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at Wheaton College Illinois brought home $647,870 in revenue in a single year.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Wheaton College Illinois excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#13

Illinois Wesleyan University

Bloomington, Illinois
#22 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Illinois Wesleyan University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #13. Located in Bloomington, Illinois, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 434 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at Illinois Wesleyan took home $434,374 in revenue.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Illinois Wesleyan also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#14

Hope College

Holland, Michigan
Top 10% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Hope College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #14. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Holland, Michigan, and it awarded 838 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at Hope took home $506,748 in revenue.

With a freshman retention rate of 88%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Hope excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#15

Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, Michigan
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Kalamazoo College came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. K College is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 373 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at K College took home $554,643 in revenue.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, K College is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#16

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana
#17 in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Indiana University - Bloomington came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. IU Bloomington is located in Bloomington, Indiana and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,952 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The team at IU Bloomington took home $52,577,443 in revenue and paid out $24,216,483 in expenses in recent times. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $28,360,960. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 969.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. IU Bloomington excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #17, Ohio Northern University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Ada, Ohio, and it awarded 415 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at ONU took home $822,136 in revenue.

ONU excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#18

The College of Wooster

Wooster, Ohio
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

With a ranking of #18, The College of Wooster did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in Wooster, Ohio, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 522 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Wooster College brought in $354,366 while tallying up $335,742 in expenses for its Men’s Football team. Thus, the team actually made $18,624, which isn’t bad at all.

On top of its placing in this ranking, Wooster College also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#19

Augustana College

Rock Island, Illinois
Top 15% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Augustana College ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region list. Augustana is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Rock Island, Illinois. It awarded 855 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at Augustana brought home $793,936 in revenue in a single year.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Augustana also is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking.

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#20

Saint Norbert College

De Pere, Wisconsin
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Saint Norbert College landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Saint Norbert College is a small private not-for-profit school located in De Pere, Wisconsin that handed out 604 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at SNC took home $502,564 in revenue.

SNC also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#21

Ripon College

Ripon, Wisconsin
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Ripon College landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Ripon is located in Ripon, Wisconsin and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 197 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The Men’s Football team at Ripon made $212,234 in revenue, while incurring $209,334 in expenses. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $2,900 in profit.

Ripon also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#22

Knox College

Galesburg, Illinois
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Knox College ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region list. Knox is a private not-for-profit institution located in Galesburg, Illinois. The school has a small population, and it awarded 367 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at Knox brought home $293,069 in revenue in a single year.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Knox also is in the top 20% of our overall quality ranking.

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#23

John Carroll University

University Heights, Ohio
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

John Carroll University landed the #23 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Located in University Heights, Ohio, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 831 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Football team at John Carroll took home $760,483 in revenue.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 86%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, John Carroll also is in the top 20% of our overall quality ranking.

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#24

Ohio Wesleyan University

Delaware, Ohio
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Ohio Wesleyan University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Delaware, Ohio is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 395 students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Football team at OWU made $544,319 in revenue.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. OWU excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

Full Ohio Wesleyan University Report

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#25

Beloit College

Beloit, Wisconsin
Top 20% in Quality in the Great Lakes Region

Beloit College landed the #25 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Football in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Beloit, Wisconsin, and it awarded 417 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Football team at Beloit brought home $303,857 in revenue in a single year.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Beloit also is in the top 20% of our overall quality ranking.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are 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 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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