List of Top Academic Scholarship-Level Basketball Universities

The percentage of scholarship-level basketball players worldwide is very small. Most of those will not be recruited by the big-time D1 conferences, or will be D2 recruits. Players looking for the highest rated educational institutions at the scholarship level are often unaware of what is a relatively small list of choices. Excluding the power conferences, here is the list:


Division 1

It’s a given that the Ivy League and Patriot League are the two leagues with the best academic ranking.

  1. Ivy League (8 schools – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale)
  2. Patriot League (10 schools – American, Army, Boston University, Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Loyola (MD), Navy)

Here are the remainder of the schools, outside the power conferences, based on rankings used in the Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges.

  • Air Force
  • Binghamton
  • Bryant
  • Davidson
  • Denver
  • Elon
  • Fordham
  • Furman
  • George Washington
  • Gonzaga
  • Mercer
  • Miami University (OH)
  • Northeastern
  • Richmond
  • Pepperdine
  • Rice
  • Santa Clara
  • Stony Brook
  • Tulane
  • Tulsa
  • UC Davis
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UC Irvine
  • University of San Diego
  • William & Mary
  • Wofford

The total is approximately 44 (the case can be made for adding or subtracting one or two) out of about 268, or 16%.


Division 2

Finding an education at the Division 2 level with the same ranking is very challenging. Here’s the short list:

  • Bentley
  • Grand Valley St.
  • Hillsdale
  • Le Moyne
  • Mich. Tech
  • NYIT
  • Northern Michigan
  • Pace
  • St. Michael’s
  • Stonehill
  • University of the Sciences