Colorado Mesa University has most student athletes in state

Colorado Mesa University ranked No. 1 for student athletic participation in the state, according to a Colorado 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 Colorado Mesa University students taking part in athletic programs was 632 –  421 men and 211 women – representing the largest contingent of student athletes in Colorado.

In all, there are 6,630 students – 3,892 men and 2,738 women – playing on athletic teams at 22 colleges and universities in the state.


Colleges with the most student athletes

RankSchoolDivisionTotal UndergraduatesMale Student AthletesFemale Student AthletesTotal Number of Student Athletes
1Colorado Mesa UniversityNCAA Division II with football7,252421211632
2Adams State UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,623358214572
3Colorado State University-PuebloNCAA Division II with football3,391352155507
4Colorado School of MinesNCAA Division II with football4,359344134478
5Western State Colorado UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,900252159411
6University of Northern ColoradoNCAA Division I-FCS8,242231155386
7Colorado State University-

Fort Collins

NCAA Division I-FBS21,211199170369
8University of Colorado


NCAA Division I-FBS25,692205154359
9University of DenverNCAA Division I without football5,478192157349
10Colorado CollegeNCAA Division III without football2,084171148319
11Fort Lewis CollegeNCAA Division II with football3,137175140315
12University of Colorado Colorado SpringsNCAA Division II without football7,932152147299
13Otero Junior CollegeNJCAA Division I54813099229
14Colorado Christian UniversityNCAA Division II without football1,734115109224
15Regis UniversityNCAA Division II without football2,35998120218
16Metropolitan State University

of Denver

NCAA Division II without football12,352101108209
17Northeastern Junior CollegeNJCAA Division I89911774191
18Trinidad State Junior CollegeNJCAA Division I7097873151
19Lamar Community CollegeNJCAA Division I3577970149
20Colorado Northwestern Community CollegeNJCAA Division I4776761128
21Johnson & Wales University-DenverNAIA Division II1,1415077127
22Colorado Mountain CollegeOther1,599538
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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