Best Women’s Basketball Colleges

Women's basketball
December 20, 2022
Best Colleges for Women’s BasketballFAQs: Women’s Basketball Colleges

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

If you’re applying to college and are interested in playing women’s basketball, read on to find the best women’s basketball colleges that’ll kickstart your sports career!

Sue Bird is argued to be the best WNBA player. She won five Olympic gold medals for team USA, was on four World-cup winning teams, and was on many title-winning leagues. 

Her prosperous sports career kicked off in university, when she attended the University of Connecticut, joined its basketball team, and won two NCAA championships. 

If you have aspirations to become a great athlete like Sue, an excellent way to begin training like a pro and even get drafted is to join a top college for women’s basketball.

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Best Colleges for Women’s Basketball

To give you a variety of options to choose from, here are 20 of the top women’s basketball colleges according to NCSA - the largest college-recruiting platform:

​​1. Stanford University

Stanford University is a prestigious institution that ranks as the number one college for student athletes interested in playing women’s basketball. 

Playing 35 NCAA tournaments and winning three NCAA championships, Stanford is known to produce excellent athletes. As a Division 1 school, they are also the highest-level college athletes by NCAA standards!

Speaking of standards, Stanford holds all prospective students to high ones! With an acceptance rate of only 4%, Stanford expects students to have 3.9-4.0 GPAs and SAT scores of 470-570. 

Tuition to attend this top-ranked school is $57,693 a year.

2. The University of Florida

The University of Florida is another Division 1 school that ranks second as the best women’s basketball college.

These athletes live up to their name as the Florida Gators by being intimidating opponents on the court! According to their 2021-2022 stats alone, the Gators consistently dominated their opponents in not only its points per game but also its shooting, rebounding, assists, and steals. 

The University of Florida has a relatively high acceptance rate of 30%. Students should aim to have a GPA of at least 3.5 and SAT scores around 1300-1470 to be considered competitive.

Tuition to attend this school is $6,830 for in-state students and $28,658 for out-of-state students.

3. The University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA ranks third as the best college for women’s basketball, and is another Division 1 school with elaborate facilities for its athletes. Adhering to its motto “champions made here”, the UCLA women’s basketball team consistently makes headlines for their athletic triumphs

These UCLA players are not only athletically accomplished, but also academically accomplished. The median GPA of accepted students is 3.65-4.0 and the median SAT scores are 1290-1520. Only 11% of all applicants are able to meet this school’s expectations and gain admission to UCLA!

Tuition is $13,804 a year for in-state students and $44,830 for out-of-state students.

4. Princeton University

In fourth place is Princeton University, a Division 1 school that has proven itself to be a major collegiate athletic power. In fact, WNBA star Blake Dietrick graduated from Princeton and won a 30-0 regular season, leading to her title as the unanimous Ivey League Player of the Year. 

Princeton has an acceptance rate of 4%, median GPA of 4.0, and average SAT scores between the range of 1460-1570.

Basketball enthusiasts wishing to follow Dietrick’s footsteps can expect to pay $57,410 a year for tuition.

5. Harvard University

As another college giant on this list, Harvard is the fifth-best college for women’s basketball. This Division 1 school consistently outperforms its opponents. In 2021-2022 alone it outranked its opponents in its points per game, shooting, and assists.

Harvard is a prestigious school with a low acceptance rate of only 4%. Students are expected to have a GPA of 3.8-4.0 and SAT scores between the range of 1480-1580 to be considered competitive applicants. 

Tuition for this school costs $57,261 a year. 

6. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a D1 school that has appeared in 27 NCAA tournaments and won five NCAA championships. This school is also the only school in the history of college basketball to have four national titles.

UNC has an acceptance rate of 19%, a median GPA of 3.68-4.0, and average SAT scores of 1320-1510.

UNC costs $8,988 a year for tuition for in-state students and $37,558 for out-of-state students.

7. The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan comes in seventh place and has made 10 NCAA appearances in its school’s history. In the 2022 NCAA tournament, U-M’s team received the number three seed, the highest seed the team has received thus far. 

The University of Michigan only accepts 20% of all its applicants. This 20% generally have GPAs of 3.6-4.0 and SAT scores of 1360-1530.

Attending this Division 1 school costs $17,786 for tuition for in-state students and $57,273 for out-of-state students.

8. University of California - Berkeley

UC Berkeley is the eighth-best college for women’s basketball. This D1 school’s women’s basketball players are known as the Golden Bears, and certainly live up to their title as golden athletes. In its history, this school has produced 11 WNBA players for various teams!

Berkeley has an acceptance rate of 15%. Accepted students typically have SAT scores of 1290-1530 and GPAs of 3.7-4.0. 

To become a Golden Bear it’ll cost $14,226 for tuition for in-state students and $43,980 for out-of-state students

9. Yale University

Yale University is another one of the best women’s basketball colleges and is home to the Bulldogs, who consistently make headlines for their wins and streaks! Most recently, this D1 team celebrated triumph in their three-seed claim in Ivy Madness!

With an acceptance rate of only 5%, Yale is a competitive university. Accepted students typically have GPAs between 3.7-4.0 and SAT scores between 1480-1580.

As one of the most expensive schools on this list, tuition at Yale costs $62,250 yearly. 

10. Georgia Tech

Despite being known as a leading research university dedicated to advancing science and technology, Georgia Tech also has various Division 1 sports teams, including their women’s basketball team. This team made its tenth NCAA appearance in the 2020-2021 season, where they impressively earned the number five seed! 

Georgia Tech is also selective in its application decisions, with an 18% acceptance rate. Applicants should maintain a GPA of at least 3.62 and SAT score of at least 1360 to be considered ideal candidates.

Tuition to attend this university costs $11,764 for in-state students and $32,876 for out-of-state students.

11. The University of Georgia

The University of Georgia has another NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball team that is also known as the Bulldogs. These Bulldogs are tough competition! In their 2020-2021 season alone, they won 21 out of the 31 games they played!

Unlike many of the other universities on this list, the University of Georgia has a relatively high acceptance rate of 40%! However, applicants are still held to high standards, as the median GPA of accepted students is 3.7-4.0 and the median SAT scores are 1270-1450.

The University of Georgia’s tuition is $11,180 for in-state students and $30,220 for out-of-state students.

12. Florida State University

Florida State University ranks 12th as the best women’s basketball college and has produced accomplished players since the day the Seminoles began playing! The D1 team has had multiple Hall of Famers, various national championship titles, 18 NCAA tournament appearances, and several team awards.

Aspiring Seminoles must aim high academically to join this accomplished team! Florida State has an acceptance rate of 37%, median GPA of 3.6-4.0, and median SAT scores of 1180-1340. 

Tuition for this school is among the cheapest on this list, coming in at only $6,517 a year for in-state students and $21,683 for out-of-state students.

13. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University might rank 13th on this list, but is far from unlucky! This Division 1 team appeared in a whopping 27 NCAA tournaments, advanced to the Final Four in one game, and the Elite Eight in five. 

As yet another high-ranking school, Vanderbilt is highly selective in its admissions. It has an acceptance rate of 7% and expects students to have GPAs in the range of 3.8-4.0 and SAT scores between 1480-1570. 

Vanderbilt’s tuition is $60,348 a year

14. University of California - San Diego 

UC San Diego’s D1 women’s basketball team has proved itself to be fierce competition. They’ve set multiple team records, such as longest winning streak, and various individual awards, like having two NCAA Women Of The Year. 

UC San Diego has an acceptance rate of 34%, median GPA of 3.5-4.0, and median SAT score of 1260-1480.

If you’re interested in joining this successful team, you can expect to pay $15,348 a year for tuition if you’re an in-state student and $46,374 if you’re an out-of-state student.

15. Rice University

Rice University ranks 15th as the best women’s basketball college. The Division 1 Rice Owls appeared in three NCAA tournaments and were the champions of the 2017 and 2021 Women’s Invitational tournament. 

Only 9% of all applicants are accepted into Rice University. Prospective students must have a GPA of around 3.9-4.0 and SAT scores around 1490-1570 to be considered competitive.

To become an Owl and attend Rice University, it’ll cost $54,960 a year for tuition

16. University of Texas - Austin

The University of Texas is another D1 school on this list that has made a name for itself in collegiate women’s basketball. The Longhorns have not only appeared in 34 NCAA tournaments, but have been the champions of one, made it to the Final Four in three, and the Elite Eight in 11.

The University of Texas’ acceptance rate is 29%. To gain admission into this school and have a chance of joining the Longhorns, students should have a GPA of 3.6-4.0 and SAT score of 1230-1500. 

This school’s tuition costs $11,752 for in-state students and $40,996 for out-of-state students.

17. Ohio State University

Ohio State University ranks 17th for women’s basketball, and has made headlines for itself throughout its school history. The D1 Buckeyes have appeared in 24 NCAA tournaments, and have won 12 Big Ten titles. 

With an acceptance rate of 57%, median GPA of 3.5-4.0, and median SAT score of 1250-1440, Ohio State University is the easiest school to get into on this list. It is also worth mentioning that this acceptance rate increases to 64.5% for early applicants!  

Prospective in-state students can expect to pay $11,936 a year for tuition and out-of-state students can expect to pay $35,019.

18. The University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s Division 1 women’s basketball team has consistently bred excellent players. In the school’s history, 11 women have been taken into the WNBA drafts, 12 have played in the WNBA, and two have been WNBA champions.

To gain acceptance into the University of Virginia, students should aim to have a GPA between 3.6-4.0 and SAT score between 1390-1530. Around 21% of all applicants are able to meet Virginia’s admission requirements and gain acceptance to this university. 

If you’d like to join this WNBA player producing school, you’ll have to pay $21,831 a year for tuition as an in-state student or $56,837 as an out-of-state student

19. University of Washington

University of Washington has a Division 1 women’s basketball team that has appeared in 19 NCAA tournaments. Out of these 19, the Huskies have made it to the Final Four once and the Elite Eight three times. 

The University of Washington has a promising acceptance rate of 53%. Students with GPAs of 3.4 and above and SAT scores of 1220 and above stand a good chance of getting into WashU

Tuition at the University of Washington costs $12,242 for in-state students and $40,740 for out-of-state students

20. Columbia University

Last but certainly not least is Columbia University. As another impressive D1 team that lives up to its name as powerful players, the Columbia Lions have received numerous team and individual awards throughout its decades-long basketball journey. 

Columbia has an acceptance rate of 6%, a median GPA of 3.8-4.0, and median SAT score of 1460-1570. 

Becoming a Lion isn’t cheap! In fact, Columbia has the most expensive tuition on this list, coming in at $65,524 a year.

FAQs: Women’s Basketball Colleges

If you have any remaining questions about women’s basketball colleges, read on to find your answers.

1. What Is The Best College For Women’s Basketball?

Stanford University ranks as the best school for women’s basketball.

2. How Many D1 Girls Basketball Teams Are There?

There are currently 351 D1 basketball colleges in the nation.

3. What Schools Are D1 Women’s Basketball?

You can find the full list of D1 women’s basketball colleges on the NCAS Sports website.

4. How Do I Get A Roster Spot At A D1 College?

Considering only 1.2% of all highschool women’s athletes play on D1 women’s teams, getting a roster spot is challenging! It requires excellent athleticism, strong academic performance, and unwavering dedication to the sport!

5. What Is The Most Expensive College For Women’s Basketball?

Columbia University is the most expensive college on this list for women’s basketball. However, if students are recruited to join the team, they often receive full-ride sports scholarships.

6. What Is The Least Expensive College For Women’s Basketball?

Florida State University is the cheapest college for women’s basketball on this list for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to join a college basketball team for your simple love of the sport, or to advance your basketball career, the 20 schools listed here can provide you with the right resources, exposure, and opportunities to fulfill all of your sports dreams!

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