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10 Colleges With the Most Undergraduate Students

US News & World Report – EDU logo US News & World Report – EDU 11/15/2022 Sarah Wood
200930florida_international_university6 © Florida International University 200930florida_international_university6

Often known for their booming athletic programs and lecture hall classes, public colleges and universities typically enroll more students than private institutions. In some cases, undergraduate enrollment exceeds the population of small cities in the United States, according to U.S. News data.

For example, the number of undergraduate students at Florida International University in Miami, about 46,000, was nearly double the number of residents in neighboring Key West in July 2021. Meanwhile, Texas A&M University's student body, around 56,700 in fall 2021, shared a similar population to DeSoto, a Dallas suburb.

However, a large student body is not just reserved for public institutions. Among the 10 schools with the highest undergraduate enrollment, one is a private school: Liberty University in Virginia.

Eight of these 10 colleges are National Universities, institutions that are often research-oriented and offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Two – the University of Maryland Global Campus and Utah Valley University – are Regional Universities, which offer bachelor's degrees, some master's programs and limited doctoral-level options.

These 10 colleges enrolled an average of nearly 49,000 undergraduate students in fall 2021. But most institutions enroll far fewer. Across all 1,252 ranked colleges that reported data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average headcount was 6,230.

Compared to the larger institutions, some campus communities are equivalent to the population of a small town or even neighborhood.

Thirty-three colleges enrolled fewer than 500 undergraduates, with Alliant International University in California totaling the lowest at 178, according to U.S. News data.

Below is a list of the 10 colleges that enrolled the most undergraduates in fall 2021. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report. Several of the institutions on the list included enrollment from their other campuses due to their integrated institutional structure.

Arizona State University 64,716 121 (tie), National Universities
University of Central Florida 60,075 137 (tie), National Universities
Texas A&M University 56,723 67 (tie), National Universities
Liberty University (VA) 48,135 331-440, National Universities
Ohio State University 47,106 49 (tie), National Universities
Florida International University 46,079 151 (tie), National Universities
University of Maryland Global Campus 45,100 133-175, Regional Universities North
University of Texas at Austin 40,916 38 (tie), National Universities
Pennsylvania State University 40,600 77 (tie), National Universities
Utah Valley University 40,542 90-117, Regional Universities West

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find admissions and retention statistics, complete rankings and much more. Sign up for the U.S. News Extra Help: College Admissions free email newsletter to receive expert advice twice a month.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,850 colleges and universities for our 2022 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News' data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News produces lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News' rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The undergraduate enrollment data above is correct as of Nov. 15, 2022.

Copyright 2022 U.S. News & World Report


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