10 universities with the most undergraduate students

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.

Different students prefer colleges of different sizes. And in many cases, the undergraduate population of a university plays a significant role in deciding where to apply.

Among the 1,271 ranked schools that submitted these data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average undergraduate enrollment for fall 2015 was 6,176. The average among the 10 schools with the highest undergrad enrollment was more than seven times higher at 43,936.

All 10 of those schools are National Universities, which offer a range of undergraduate majorsplus master's and doctoral programs. Nine of them are public schools, with the exception being Liberty University in Virginia.

None of the 10 schools on the list ranked higher than No. 50 in U.S. News' 2017 Best Colleges rankings.

The University of Central Florida topped the list for the third consecutive year, enrolling 54,513 undergraduates in fall 2015. Liberty University and Texas A&M University—College Station followed in the second and third spots, respectively, as they did in the previous version of this list.

Indiana University—Bloomington was the only school new to this year's list, replacing DeVry University in Illinois.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was Marlboro College in Vermont, which had the lowest undergrad enrollment in fall 2015 at 192 students.

Below is a list of the 10 institutions with the highest undergraduate student enrollment in fall 2015. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School (state)Fall 2015 undergraduate enrollmentU.S. News rank and category
University of Central Florida54,513176 (tie), National Universities
Liberty University (VA)49,863RNP*, National Universities
Texas A&M University—College Station48,96074 (tie), National Universities
Ohio State University—Columbus45,28954 (tie), National Universities
Arizona State University—Tempe41,828129 (tie), National Universities
Florida International University41,038RNP, National Universities
Pennsylvania State University—University Park40,74250 (tie), National Universities
University of Texas—Austin39,61956 (tie), National Universities
Michigan State University39,14382 (tie), National Universities
Indiana University—Bloomington38,36486 (tie), National Universities

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one-fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find enrollment data, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2016 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 will now produce 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 come 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 enrollment data above are correct as of Sept. 22, 2016.

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report

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