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2021 Top Women's D1 Softball Schools

273 Colleges
$41,907 Avg Tuition & Fees*
63% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

Women's Division I Softball BadgeIt'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 Women's Softball ranking is part of that endeavor.

After analyzing 273 schools in the United States, we came up with our list of those that offered the best educational experiences for D1 Women's Softball athletes. 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.

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 the U.S. for D1 Women's Softball athletes

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

University of Florida tops this year’s ranking as the best school for D1 Women’s Softball athletes. UF is a public institution located in Gainesville, Florida. The school has a large population, and it awarded 9,663 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at UF took home $648,592 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 991, signifying that team members care about their grades.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UF also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#2

Baylor University

Waco, Texas
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Out of the 273 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Baylor University landed the #2 spot on the list. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Waco, Texas, and it awarded 3,798 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at Baylor brought home $2,375,263 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 997 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. Baylor 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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#3

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Top 25% in Quality in the United States

A rank of #3 on our list means University of Arizona is a great place for D1 Women’s Softball athletes working on their bachelor’s degree. University of Arizona is a large public school located in Tucson, Arizona that handed out 8,231 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at University of Arizona made $1,109,688 in revenue. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 993.

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#4

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of California - Los Angeles. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Women’s Softball athletes list. This large public school is located in Los Angeles, California, and it awarded 9,069 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at UCLA made $592,598 in revenue. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 977.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UCLA also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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Top 15% in Quality in the United States

Out of the 273 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, The University of Tennessee - Knoxville landed the #5 spot on the list. UT Knoxville is located in Knoxville, Tennessee and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,103 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at UT Knoxville took home $712,294 in revenue. The team had a perfect academic progress rate of 1000.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UT Knoxville also is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking.

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#6

University of Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

University of Tulsa did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking, coming in at #6. University of Tulsa is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It awarded 820 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at University of Tulsa brought home $1,373,452 in revenue in a single year. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 993.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%. In addition to its great ranking here, University of Tulsa is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. U-M is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,815 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at U-M made $488,298 in revenue.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. In addition to its great ranking here, U-M is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#8

Fordham University

Bronx, New York
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

Fordham University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Located in Bronx, New York, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,501 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at Fordham U made $1,294,687 in revenue. With a perfect academic progress rate of 1000, the team is showing that they know how to hit the books, too.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Fordham U 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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#9

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Florida State University landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Florida State is a large public school situated in Tallahassee, Florida. It awarded 9,688 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at Florida State took home $2,860,820 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 997 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. Florida State 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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#10

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, Virginia
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

James Madison University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking, coming in at #10. Harrisonburg, Virginia is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,665 students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at JMU made $1,545,527 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 980, signifying that team members care about their grades.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, JMU 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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#11

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Syracuse University ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball list. Syracuse is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Syracuse, New York. It awarded 4,101 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at Syracuse brought home $1,171,225 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 996 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Syracuse 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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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Washington - Seattle Campus came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. University of Washington - Seattle Campus is a large public school located in Seattle, Washington that handed out 9,269 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at UW Seattle brought home $1,104,039 in revenue in a single year. The team has a great academic progress rate of 997, signifying that team members care about their grades.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 94%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UW Seattle 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

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Top 20% in Quality in the United States

The University of Alabama did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking, coming in at #13. Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the large public school awarded 7,542 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at UA took home $1,309,168 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 997 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 87%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, UA also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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Top 20% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #14, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. University of Oklahoma Norman Campus is a large public school located in Norman, Oklahoma that handed out 4,805 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at University of Oklahoma brought home $2,418,462 in revenue in a single year.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. University of Oklahoma excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#15

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #15, Boston College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Boston College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,062 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at Boston College brought home $1,316,903 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 988 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Boston College also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#16

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Texas A&M University - College Station did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking, coming in at #16. Texas A&M College Station is a public institution located in College Station, Texas. The school has a large population, and it awarded 13,198 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at Texas A&M College Station brought home $748,826 in revenue in a single year. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 991.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 92%. In addition to its great ranking here, Texas A&M College Station is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#17

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #17, Boston University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Boston University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Boston, Massachusetts that handed out 4,780 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at Boston U brought home $1,330,030 in revenue in a single year. The team has a great academic progress rate of 992, signifying that team members care about their grades.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Boston U also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#18

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities landed the #18 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Minneapolis, Minnesota is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 8,988 students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at UMN Twin Cities took home $177,508 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 993, signifying that team members care about their grades.

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, UMN Twin Cities is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#19

Furman University

Greenville, South Carolina
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Furman University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking, coming in at #19. Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 732 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Furman took home $916,985 in revenue and paid out $911,674 in expenses in recent times. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $5,311.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Furman 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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#20

Hofstra University

Hempstead, New York
Top 20% in Quality in the United States

Hofstra University landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Located in Hempstead, New York, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,745 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at Hofstra took home $1,137,541 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 988 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

In addition to its great ranking here, Hofstra is in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#21

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois
#12 in Quality in the United States

Northwestern University landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Located in Evanston, Illinois, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,770 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Softball team at Northwestern took home $180,852 in revenue. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 992.

The student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. Northwestern excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#22

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana
#14 in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #22, University of Notre Dame did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking. Located in Notre Dame, Indiana, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,642 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at Notre Dame made $174,194 in revenue. The team had a perfect academic progress rate of 1000.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 98%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Notre Dame excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#23

University of Oregon

Eugene, Oregon
Top 20% in Quality in the United States

University of Oregon ranked #23 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball list. Located in Eugene, Oregon, the large public school awarded 5,139 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at UO made $530,266 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 962.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UO excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#24

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

Villanova University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking, coming in at #24. Villanova is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Villanova, Pennsylvania. It awarded 2,240 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Softball team at Villanova brought home $1,383,652 in revenue in a single year. The team has a great academic progress rate of 996, signifying that team members care about their grades.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Villanova also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#25

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

Auburn University ranked #25 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball list. Auburn is a public institution located in Auburn, Alabama. The school has a large population, and it awarded 5,370 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Softball team at Auburn made $396,302 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 981 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Auburn 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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Rest of the Top 15% Best Colleges for D1 Women's Softball athletes

Not only did these schools make the top 41 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#27

Elon University

Elon, North Carolina
#28

University of Missouri - Columbia

Columbia, Missouri
#30

Stanford University

Stanford, California
#31

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois
#32

University of the Pacific

Stockton, California
#32

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
#35

St John's University - New York

Queens, New York
#36

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia
#38

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
#39

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin
#41

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Softball ranking:

Rank College Location
42 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
43 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
44 University of Mississippi University, MS
45 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
46 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
47 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
48 University of Georgia Athens, GA
49 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
50 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
51 Belmont University Nashville, TN
52 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
53 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
54 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
55 Providence College Providence, RI

More Rankings >

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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