Athletics and academics don’t have to be mutually exclusive. To prove the point, each year the NCSA releases its Collegiate Power Rankings, a list that evaluates universities’ combined sports and smarts. And this year, six schools from Maryland rank in the top 100. Can you guess which ones?
First, a bit about the methodology: the NCSA averages each school’s academic rankings (via data from U.S. News & World Report); its student-athlete graduation rate; and the strength of its athletic department (as determined by the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup.) The idea is to create “an objective tool to empower student athletes to find the right fit in a college or university, not only for its athletics, but academics as well,” according to NCSA COO Lisa Strasman. “Our hope is to educate these student athletes and their parents on the importance of evaluating schools that will provide the education for an enriched, successful career after college, in addition to athletic success.” This is the kind of ranking system where Williams, Amherst, Duke, Notre Dame, and Stanford make up the top five.
So where does Maryland fit in? Those lacrosse champs over at Loyola University Maryland rank 19th among Division 1 schools, while the Naval Academy comes in 33rd and the University of Maryland is 62nd. The brains at Johns Hopkins are 29th overall, and 10th in the Division 3 rankings, while St. Mary’s sneaks on the list at number 97.