Ohio State has most student athletes in Ohio

Ohio State University ranked No. 1 for student athletic participation in the state, according to an Ohio Business Daily analysis of college sports participation.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education collects athletics data annually from all institutions with intercollegiate athletics programs that receive funding through federal financial aid programs. Data for 2016 – the latest year available – includes more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

The number of Ohio State students taking part in athletic programs was 1,050 –  549 men and 501 women – representing the largest contingent of student athletes in Ohio.

In all, there are 24,067 students – 14,764 men and 9,303 women – playing on athletic teams at 68 colleges and universities in the state.


Colleges with the most student athletes

RankSchoolDivisionTotal UndergraduatesMale Student AthletesFemale Student AthletesTotal Number of Student Athletes
1Ohio State University-Main CampusNCAA Division I-FBS41,6665495011,050
2University of Mount UnionNCAA Division III with football2,100575246821
3The University of FindlayNCAA Division II with football2,561370323693
4Ohio Northern UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,047445205650
5Tiffin UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,748445203648
6Notre Dame CollegeNCAA Division II with football1,247405201606
7Baldwin Wallace UniversityNCAA Division III with football3,013436163599
8John Carroll UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,910408183591
9Ashland UniversityNCAA Division II with football3,262402158560
10Wittenberg UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,844350205555
11Denison UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,259334206540
12Otterbein UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,247353187540
13Heidelberg UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,105345187532
14The College of WoosterNCAA Division III with football1,972308210518
15Walsh UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,778338177515
16Miami University-OxfordNCAA Division I-FBS16,109266245511
17Kenyon CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,688284204488
18Kent State University at KentNCAA Division I-FBS19,034229249478
19Malone UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,135313165478
20Case Western Reserve UniversityNCAA Division III with football4,973299170469
21Ohio Wesleyan UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,621297170467
22University of Cincinnati-

Main Campus

NCAA Division I-FBS21,445270182452
23Muskingum UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,292284164448
24Capital UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,450275157432
25Ohio University-Main


NCAA Division I-FBS17,794238181419
26University of DaytonNCAA Division I-FCS7,867237177414
27University of Akron Main CampusNCAA Division I-FBS13,367228185413
28Bowling Green State University-Main CampusNCAA Division I-FBS13,111229181410
29Oberlin CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,869226183409
30Lake Erie CollegeNCAA Division II with football723296112408
31Youngstown State UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS8,618219181400
32University of ToledoNCAA Division I-FBS12,810203188391
33University of Northwestern OhioNAIA Division II3,415227153380
34Ohio Dominican UniversityNCAA Division II with football998246123369
35Bluffton UniversityNCAA Division III with football723245103348
36Mount Saint Joseph


NCAA Division III with football996244101345
37Lourdes UniversityNAIA Division II842202136338
38Wilmington CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,069211127338
39Hiram CollegeNCAA Division III with football84222997326
40Cincinnati Christian UniversityNAIA Division II61924184325
41Marietta CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,042210106316
42Cleveland State UniversityNCAA Division I without football9,148162147309
43Defiance CollegeNCAA Division III with football507190110300
44Cedarville UniversityNCAA Division II without football3,010163134297
45Xavier UniversityNCAA Division I without football4,292148129277
46Wright State University-Main CampusNCAA Division I without football9,582142125267
47Urbana UniversityNCAA Division II with football41717281253
48Franciscan University of SteubenvilleNCAA Division III without football1,986114138252
49University of Rio GrandeNAIA Division I808126108234
50Shawnee State UniversityNAIA Division I2,95814384227
51Mount Vernon Nazarene UniversityNAIA Division II1,708125100225
52Ohio Christian UniversityNAIA Division II2,45210489193
53Cuyahoga Community

College District

NJCAA Division II4,9377075145
54University of Cincinnati-Clermont CollegeUSCAA1,4517064134
55Central State UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,6018333116
56Ursuline CollegeNCAA Division II without football463

57Lakeland Community CollegeNJCAA Division II1,6077331104
58Hocking CollegeNJCAA Division III2,264782199
59Sinclair Community CollegeNJCAA Division II5,616423678
60Lorain County Community CollegeNJCAA Division III2,831423375
61Cincinnati State Technical

and Community College

NJCAA Division III2,421293867
62Edison State Community CollegeNJCAA Division II560442367
63Columbus State Community CollegeNJCAA Division III6,490283159
64Wright State University-Lake CampusUSCAA890242347
65Clark State Community CollegeNJCAA Division II1,344261642
66Owens Community CollegeNJCAA Division II2,660142438
67Southern State Community CollegeUSCAA74726834
68Wilberforce UniversityNAIA Division II496151530
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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Organizations in this Story

Ashland University Capital University Case Western Reserve University Cedarville University Defiance College Denison University Heidelberg University John Carroll University Kenyon College Marietta College Miami University-Oxford Muskingum University Oberlin College Ohio Northern University Ohio State University-Main Campus Otterbein University Shawnee State University Tiffin University University of Dayton University of Mount Union University of Northwestern Ohio Urbana University

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