Northwestern University tops in Illinois for women's athletic student aid

Northwestern University spends $34,976 per player on student aid for its women’s team athletes -- the highest rate among Illinois colleges -- according to an Illinois Business Daily analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. 

In comparison, DePaul University had the second-highest athletic aid rate for women’s teams ($25,122 per player), followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ($19,763 per player).

In total, Northwestern spent nearly $8.5 million on athletic aid for its 243 female athletes in 2016.

In Illinois, the 69 colleges with women’s teams spent a total of more than $62.4 million on athletic student aid. 

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education compiles athletics data annually from more than 2,000 schools receiving federal financial aid. The Illinois Business Daily analysis was based on those numbers.

More than 1,300 of those schools provide student aid to players on women's teams. In all, they spent more than $1.77 billion in 2016 on aid for 186,773 female players

Women’s athletic student aid among Illinois colleges

SchoolDivisionUndergraduate EnrollmentWomen's Team Athletic Student AidTotal Women's Team ParticipationAthletic Aid Per Athlete
Northwestern UniversityNCAA Division I-FBS8,249$8,499,161243$34,976
DePaul UniversityNCAA Division I without football13,126$3,944,198157$25,122
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignNCAA Division I-FBS32,126$5,256,915266$19,763
Loyola University ChicagoNCAA Division I without football10,261$2,706,809166$16,306
Chicago State UniversityNCAA Division I without football1,464$1,127,64076$14,837
University of Illinois at ChicagoNCAA Division I without football16,408$2,867,279194$14,780
Northern Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I-FBS12,323$3,148,376216$14,576
Bradley UniversityNCAA Division I without football4,278$2,082,793155$13,437
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleNCAA Division I-FCS10,509$2,444,801189$12,935
Kankakee Community CollegeNJCAA Division II1,064$434,53739$11,142
Illinois State UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS17,420$3,004,225274$10,964
Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleNCAA Division I without football9,883$1,316,218129$10,203
Trinity International University-IllinoisNAIA Division I631$712,02072$9,889
Southwestern Illinois


NJCAA Division I3,860$570,83463$9,061
Robert Morris University IllinoisNAIA Division II2,253$3,066,567367$8,356
Lewis UniversityNCAA Division II without football3,741$1,816,895225$8,075
Saint Xavier UniversityNAIA Division II2,599$963,985122$7,902
Western Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS7,482$1,524,232196$7,777
University of St FrancisNAIA Division II1,320$1,551,606204$7,606
Judson UniversityNAIA Division I786$918,635132$6,959
Quincy UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,035$1,078,573155$6,959
Eastern Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS5,117$1,521,091220$6,914
Lake Land CollegeNJCAA Division I2,261$338,14449$6,901
McKendree UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,820$2,063,767304$6,789
Lincoln CollegeNJCAA Division III727$839,715124$6,772
Danville Area Community CollegeNJCAA Division II973$202,23631$6,524
Wabash Valley CollegeNJCAA Division I464$224,57535$6,416
John A Logan CollegeNJCAA Division I1,899$279,57746$6,078
Rend Lake CollegeNJCAA Division I1,135$306,82358$5,290
University of Illinois at SpringfieldNCAA Division II without football1,896$752,686146$5,155
Olivet Nazarene UniversityNAIA Division II3,019$1,564,123310$5,046
Heartland Community


NJCAA Division II2,107$211,26142$5,030
Frontier Community CollegeNJCAA Division I257$133,49227$4,944
Southeastern Illinois CollegeNJCAA Division I457$126,75527$4,695
Trinity Christian CollegeNAIA Division II903$647,275141$4,591
Kaskaskia CollegeNJCAA Division I1,233$316,27573$4,333
Illinois Central CollegeNJCAA Division II3,082$282,85466$4,286
South Suburban CollegeNJCAA Division II1,328$247,50059$4,195
John Wood Community CollegeNJCAA Division II965$107,09427$3,966
Governors State UniversityNAIA Division II1,923$156,00040$3,900
Lincoln Land Community CollegeNJCAA Division II2,269$181,66848$3,785
Lincoln Trail CollegeNJCAA Division I386$173,96246$3,782
Lewis and Clark Community CollegeNJCAA Division I1,731$222,33664$3,474
Olney Central CollegeNJCAA Division I479$106,04233$3,213
City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey CollegeNJCAA Division II781$21,5047$3,072
Black Hawk CollegeNJCAA Division II1,909$101,38034$2,982
City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright CollegeNJCAA Division II3,149$34,62112$2,885
City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King CollegeNJCAA Division I1,570$31,55411$2,869
Shawnee Community


NJCAA Division I739$99,98135$2,857
Sauk Valley Community CollegeNJCAA Division I792$144,87051$2,841
Parkland CollegeNJCAA Division II2,978$189,42070$2,706
Carl Sandburg CollegeNJCAA Division II929$160,65962$2,591
Prairie State CollegeNJCAA Division II1,400$121,53947$2,586
City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X CollegeNJCAA Division I2,420$58,71625$2,349
Lincoln Christian UniversityNAIA Division II357$77,41635$2,212
Oakton Community CollegeNJCAA Division II2,596$110,58753$2,087
Kishwaukee CollegeNJCAA Division II1,570$25,45213$1,958
City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman CollegeNJCAA Division I1,599$22,99413$1,769
Highland Community


NJCAA Division I823$72,95744$1,658
McHenry County CollegeNJCAA Division II1,944$68,84842$1,639
Roosevelt UniversityNAIA Division II2,250$177,500111$1,599
Benedictine UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,687$376,000254$1,480
Triton CollegeOther3,107$111,87078$1,434
Moraine Valley Community CollegeNJCAA Division II6,186$121,72486$1,415
College of Lake CountyNJCAA Division II3,808$58,05042$1,382
Morton CollegeNJCAA Division II1,253$80,89062$1,305
Waubonsee Community CollegeNJCAA Division II3,101$89,14569$1,292
Illinois Valley Community CollegeNJCAA Division II1,256$69,37857$1,217
Spoon River CollegeNJCAA Division II727$16,79916$1,050
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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