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Best Cheerleading Colleges in the USA

Cheerleading is one of the most popular designated sport at many schools and colleges across the US. If you’re looking for the best Cheerleading Colleges in the USA, or just curious to know about the best cheerleading colleges, we will guide you through the most competitive, noteworthy, and popular universities.

However, you must also look for cheer organizations and associations –Such as the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and the National Council for spirit safety and Education (NCSSE).

Now let’s understand cheerleading and it’s dynamic, before heading for the best colleges in Cheerleading.


Cheerleading is officially known as an Olympic sport. It is a team-based sport that comprises stunning, baskets, pyramids, tumbling, dance and jumps. Initially, it was started in the USA, however, now it’s the fastest-growing sport in the world.

Indeed, those involved in cheerleading feel champion being part of a group activity. Some people enjoy it for the athletic acts, similar to gymnastics, while some are part of it for the pride of being on the squad.

When it comes to colleges, they do not typically recruit cheerleaders like other sports. Rather, they rely on the decision of the cheerleaders which college they would like to attend. Furthermore, they contact the coaches about trying out for the team or cheerleading group.

Also, the recruitment for Cheerleading is a bit different from other admission processes. Usually, college cheerleaders get recruit by joining clinics hosted by the college. Additionally, they email a recruiting video and participate in high-level club cheerleading team competitions. For example, Team USA and All-star.

UCA programs VS NCA programs

If you are looking to get into best Cheerleading College, is suggested to narrow down your options. Decide, if you want to go to a college within the National Cheerleaders Association or the Universal Cheerleaders Association. Though, the difference is, UCA programs are more focused on pyramids and stunts. Also, they are more close to traditional cheerleading and heavily focused on routine and actual cheering. However, NCA focuses on All-star cheer such as dance, stunt, and tumbling. They also focus on Choreography and jumps.

Mainly the colleges are divided into:

Division 1 Colleges

The majority of the Division 1 colleges are competitive and participate in the Universal Cheerleader Association or National Cheerleaders association competitions. Those who are not competitive are known as spirit squads. Competitive teams require more time commitment and training, however, less competitive teams require less practice. Even in Division one, there are further two categories, Division 1A and one. Generally, 1A schools are larger than 1.

In comparison with others, Division one colleges are harder to make and also rank as best cheerleading schools. As these programs tend to be larger, public universities with energetic teams, atmosphere, and crowds. Some of the well-known division 1 Colleges include the University of Kentucky, Alabama, Central Florida, Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University, University of Louisville, University of Mississippi, and the University of Tennessee.

Division 2 Colleges

In comparison with  one, these colleges provide fewer opportunities, however, a handful of non-competitive division 2 programs are available. Almost 48 cheerleading colleges within Division two, and compete within NCA or UCA. Also, most students are attracted to these programs for non-competitiveness. Which allows them to focus on their academics, internships, and part-time work and also be cheerleaders. These colleges tend to be smaller but they offer more balance between sports and academics. The best Cheerleading Colleges in Division two include California Baptist University, University of West Georgia, Drury University, Mckendree University, Wilmington University, Oklahoma Baptist University, University of Central Oklahoma, The College of New Jersey, and Grand Valley State University.

Division 3 Colleges

Division three colleges are 28 in numbers, though they compete in either UCA or NCA, there are few non-competitive colleges as well. Similar to other levels, they offer all girls, coed, and both teams. Also,  Students have a better chance of getting scholarships for their academics while still being competitive cheerleaders. They get time to focus on their studies. Cheerleading is not a competition between divisions, while at NCA, and UCA National Championships, the top Division 3 programs have a higher score than the other two divisions. A few of the highly ranked division three cheerleading colleges include Davenport University, Bridgewater State University, Endicott College, Brenau University, Stevenson University, Montclair State University, SUNY Cortland, Fitchburg State University, and Frostburg State University.

Here is the details of few of the best Cheerleading colleges that will help you in your decision making.

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky is a public research-based university located in Lexington, Kentucky. It was founded in 1865 by John Bryan Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky. Undeniably, the University is the best Cheerleading College in the USA. It has won the most co-ed championships including 25 national titles. The College acceptance rate is almost 96%.

Kentucky University offers several different scholarships based on different eligibility criteria for the cheerleading squad. Subsequently,  almost sixteen members receive a scholarship which is equivalent to the amount of in-state tuition. It is one of the most successful cheerleading collegiate with best cheerleading squad in US.

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University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is also a public research University. It is located in the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota and has an almost 70% acceptance rate. It ranks 2nd in the world’s best sports management school. Moreover, the goal of the University of Minnesota Spirit Squad coaching staff is to build intelligent, authentic, and courageous ambassadors of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota is considered the ‘’birthplace of Cheerleading’’ and is among the top cheerleading colleges. The Co-Ed Cheer squad consists of both women and men. However, the All-Girl Cheer Squad comprises all women members. It is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the United States.

Address: Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

Phone: +1 612-625-5000

Before Aid: $28,827

After aid: $17,740

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University of Alabama


The University of Alabama is a public University in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was founded in 1820. Alabama is among the oldest and largest public universities. Its acceptance rate is almost 80%. The cheerleading team of the University of Alabama scores the best consistently. The team consists of two teams including all-girl and Coed. The All-Girl team cheers for Gymnastics, home football games, Women’s basketball games, Volleyball. The Coed squad cheers for all home and away football games, and also Men’s basketball. Additionally, they have practices for cheerleaders, and also weekly workouts.

Address: Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, United States

Phone: + 1 205-348-6010

Average annual in-state cost

Before aid: $31,050

After aid: $22,597

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University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is also a public research university in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s part of the Kentucky state university system. It has the credit of being the first city-owned public university in the United State. Additionally,  known as one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. Its acceptance rate is 65%. It has both Coed and All-Girl Cheerleader squads. It is recognized as one of the most elite college and best cheer-community programs in the country.

Address: 2301 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40292, United States

Phone: +1 502-852-5555

Average annual in-state cost

Before aid: $29,678

After Aid: $16,867

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University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida is a public research university in Florida. It is part of the State University System of Florida. They acceptance rate is 45%. The University of Central Florida Cheerleading team consists of 16 women and 16 men. It is widely known as one of the premier programs in all of the top cheerleading colleges. The team represents the university at all away football games and home. Every year scholarships are awarded to the top 16 new prospects and returning team members. As the UCF team is sponsored by the brand Nike, all the practice attire, shoes, game uniforms, bags, and warm-ups are provided for free.

Address: 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816, United States

Phone: +1 407- 823- 2000

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University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi, by name Ole Miss, is another public research university. Its state second-largest university by enrollment. Its acceptance rate is 88%. It is one of the best cheerleading college for cheerleaders who can represent the University at different events.

Address:  University, MS 38677, United States

Phone: +1 662-915-7211 

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University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private university in Los, Angeles, California. Founded in 1880 by Robert M. Widney is one of the oldest universities. It has only a 16% acceptance rate.

It is one of the universities that take cheerleading to the competitive world. Moreover, they keep their goals higher and aim to represent the university across the country. furthermore, they strongly focus on work ethic, traditional way of their university inspiring and fun environment making them best cheerleading college in the USA. However, students require cheerleading experience and must be enroll as a full-time student.

Address: Los Angeles, CA 90007, United States

Phone: +1 213-740-2311

Average Annual Cost

Before aid: $80,151

After Aid: $29,528

Apply Now

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to be thin to be a cheerleader? 

It is one of the misconceptions that cheerleaders have to be skinny. However, cheerleaders can come in all sizes. Their skills and abilities are more important than thin bodies. Additionally, Cheerleaders must be strong, healthy, and be able to perform actively.

What skills are require for a cheerleader?

A few of the most significant skills needed for cheerleaders include balancing, coordination, Dexterity, Endurance, Rhythm, Strength, and most importantly flexibility.



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