University of Washington has most student athletes in Washington

University of Washington ranked No. 1 for student athletic participation in the state, according to a Washington 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 University of Washington students taking part in athletic programs was 617 –  338 men and 279 women – representing the largest contingent of student athletes in Washington.

In all, there are 8,083 students – 4,172 men and 3,911 women – playing on athletic teams at 40 colleges and universities in the state.


Colleges with the most student athletes

RankSchoolDivisionTotal UndergraduatesMale Student AthletesFemale Student AthletesTotal Number of Student Athletes
1University of Washington-Seattle CampusNCAA Division I-FBS28,165338279617
2Washington State


NCAA Division I-FBS21,534257247504
3University of Puget SoundNCAA Division III with football2,487251204455
4Pacific Lutheran UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,690234220454
5Central Washington UniversityNCAA Division II with football9,405245183428
6Whitworth UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,246259155414
7Gonzaga UniversityNCAA Division I without football5,029174190364
8Seattle UniversityNCAA Division I without football4,463145200345
9Eastern Washington UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS9,507150139289
10Western Washington UniversityNCAA Division II without football13,354109155264
11Whitman CollegeNCAA Division III without football1,450127127254
12Saint Martin's UniversityNCAA Division II without football1,036116120236
13Spokane Falls Community CollegeNWAC3,763132100232
14Seattle Pacific UniversityNCAA Division II without football2,99562131193
15Walla Walla Community CollegeNWAC1,71910785192
16Clark CollegeNWAC4,4839685181
17Grays Harbor CollegeNWAC1,0108969158
18Skagit Valley CollegeNWAC1,7718870158
19Columbia Basin CollegeNWAC3,3389362155
20Everett Community CollegeNWAC2,8997775152
21Northwest UniversityNAIA Division II8865694150
22Bellevue CollegeNWAC2,3747969148
23Wenatchee Valley CollegeNWAC1,9078365148
24Highline CollegeNWAC2,9706773140
25Edmonds Community CollegeNWAC2,2316962131
26Pierce College-Fort SteilacoomOther2,2976362125
27Shoreline Community CollegeNWAC2,0747250122
28Olympic CollegeNWAC3,0195962121
29Green River CollegeOther3,8255647103
30Lower Columbia CollegeNWAC737415899
31Tacoma Community


32Yakima Valley CollegeOther1,857385896
33Centralia CollegeOther1,395355792
34The Evergreen State


NAIA Division II3,456434487
35Big Bend Community CollegeNWAC1,294473885
36Whatcom Community CollegeNWAC1,624443478
37Peninsula CollegeNWAC816334073
38Walla Walla UniversityNAIA Division II1,585373269
39South Puget Sound Community CollegeNWAC2,349332356
40Northwest Indian CollegeOther42910818
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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Organizations in this Story

Bellevue College Central Washington University Columbia Basin College Eastern Washington University Everett Community College Gonzaga University Green River College Lower Columbia College Northwest University Olympic College Pacific Lutheran University Peninsula College Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom Saint Martin's University Seattle Pacific University Seattle University Shoreline Community College Skagit Valley College South Puget Sound Community College Spokane Falls Community College Tacoma Community College The Evergreen State College University of Puget Sound University of Washington-Seattle Campus Walla Walla Community College Washington State University Western Washington University Whitman College Whitworth University Yakima Valley College

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