47+ Best cheerleading colleges in 2022| How To Get Admitted

college cheerleaders
college cheerleaders

Cheerleading colleges: Are you looking for the best cheerleading colleges to apply to? well, this article list some of the top cheerleading colleges in the united state.

There are over 250 institutions offering cheerleading programs in NCAA Divisions 1, 2, and 3, as well as NAIA and junior colleges.

So, there are plenty of options for student-athletes interested in joining a college team.

However, every institution differs in a few essential ways, and candidates must thoroughly research cheerleading colleges to determine which ones are the best fit for them.

This article includes a thorough list of colleges that offer cheerleading as well as Cheerleading recruiting guidelines that is; What coaches look for in athletes before they are recruited.

College Cheerleading Requirements | Cheer Recruiting Guidelines

If you are thinking of applying to cheerleading colleges, the first thing to consider is What coaches look for in athletes before they are recruited to be part of their cheerleading team.

Recruiting for college cheerleading is unlike any other sport. Cheerleading is not recognized as a sanctioned sport at the NCAA Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 levels, as well as NAIA and junior colleges.

As a result, college coaches and student-athlete can begin recruiting at any time throughout high school.

That’s why successful student-athletes put in the effort required to get on a coach’s watchlist: they meticulously research cheerleading colleges, make a recruitment video, attend camps and clinics, and attend cheerleading trials.

What cheer skills are needed to compete in college?

How to prepare for cheerleading tryouts will largely depend on the requirements for each specific program. Overall, Cheerleading tryouts typically include:

  • Sideline cheers
  • Fight song
  • Tumbling (running and standing)
  • Jumps and stunts

Cheerleading coaches often examine a cheerleading recruit’s overall ability, from leaps to stunts to tumbling, using recruitment video and in-person auditions.

While each school has its own set of requirements, many coaches seek a set of standards in each position, such as flyers, tumblers, stunters, and dancers.

The amount of cheer stunts required is entirely dependent on the program. Basic cheer skills will be evaluated by non-competitive teams, while advanced skills will be evaluated by top programs around the country.

Basic cheer skills For New Recruits

Skill   Requirement   Examples
TumblingApplicants that are capable of both running and standing tumbling are sought after by coaches.Applicants that are capable of both running and standing tumbling are sought after by coaches.
Professional teams may require you to perform a standing back tuck or perhaps whole twisting layouts while standing. Specialty passes, like as an Arabian and whips, may be included in top programs’ testing your tumbling skills.
JumpsIn complex jump combinations, coaches assess jump height, flexibility, and landing with feet together.A toe touch, tuck, pike, right or left hurdler, and herkie may be requested by some teams.
StuntsIt’s essential to be able to stunt with many partners, and most college cheerleaders should be able to complete a two-part stunt combo. Tosses, typical game-day stunts, and pyramids are also considered by coaches.Extensions, liberties, walk-in stunts, and toss stunts are all basic cheer stunts. Full-up stunts, rewinds, and handspring-up stunts may be required by highly competitive teams.
DanceIn addition to conventional capabilities, some schools ask for dancers who can complete a tumbling pass.Quadruple pirouettes, aerial (ideally both sides), advanced turns, and advanced jumps are all common talents required at top institutions.
CheersFrom voice projection to proper motion technique, coaches analyze a recruit’s cheer performance.Every school will expect the recruit to perform his or her cheer and fight song.

That being said, It takes some research to figure out what skills are required for each program.

Student-athletes who can perfect elite cheer skills and perform them consistently are sought after by top programs that place well at national competitions.

Remember that coaches prefer cheerleaders who can make an immediate impact, so your skillset should match or be better to the team’s present talent.

How to Become a College Cheerleader and Get Recruited for Cheer

Cheerleading’s recruiting procedure differs from those of other sports because it is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, which means there are no clear rules regarding coach contact or recruitment calendars.

As a result, coaches and recruits can connect at any time and indicate interest.

While most cheerleading coaches focus on juniors and seniors, there are actions student-athletes can take to become a college cheerleader while they are still in their high school years.

Most essential, athletes must remain proactive rather than waiting for coaches to locate them.

This part of the article will answer frequently asked questions about how to become a college cheerleader as well as advice on how to navigate the recruiting process.

How to cheer in college: Making the move from high school cheerleading to college cheerleading

Many families don’t know where to begin when it comes to making a choice from the numerous good cheerleading colleges as this be can be a very daunting process.

There are several actions student-athletes can take to find the best cheerleading colleges and aggressively advertise themselves to get on a coach’s radar, even if it isn’t a clear-cut linear process.

Here are a few key actions athletes could take if they are wondering how to become a college cheerleader:

#1. Make a list of cheerleading colleges to target:

Make a priority list and ask critical questions that will determine your college experience. Do you care about competing, and if so, do you prefer UCA or NCA? What level of rigor do you desire in your training? Consider the curriculum, size, location, game-day atmosphere, campus life, and cost of the school.

You may begin to compile a realistic list of target colleges once you’ve narrowed down your athletic, academic, and personal interests.

But, before you add them to the list, double-check that your abilities match the coach’s requirements. Visit the team’s website, look over the roster, and watch videos of their routines to discover more.

#2. Coaches at colleges can be contacted:

There are no formal cheerleading recruiting guidelines or timeline for cheerleading because it is not an NCAA sanctioned sport.

Coaches and student-athletes can communicate with one another at any time, and athletes can even come to the school to meet with the coach in person.

If you wish to get on a coach’s radar, send them an email as soon as possible, explaining your skills, grades, and interest in the program.

You should also send them a recruiting video if you have one. Coaches will give you input on whether or not you should keep trying out for their squad.

#3. Participate in college cheerleading clinics:

Athletes interested in trying out for a college cheer squad should attend a college cheer clinic.

Some clinics begin in the fall, but the majority take place in the spring, just before the actual tryout.

Recruits learn the content they will perform and be graded on during the tryout during this time.

#4. Excel academically:

Every college coach is on the lookout for student-athletes who will make a smooth transition to college.

Recruits who have good marks and a strong academic record demonstrate to coaches that they can manage their time and be accountable.

#5. Get a feel for the tryout format by doing the following:

Various tryout formats exist for college cheerleading programs. To begin, go to the school’s website, as most of them provide an explanation of their process as well as a list of required requirements.

As a condition of your tryout, certain schools may need you to submit a video showcasing specific talents. Make sure you practice these skills in advance so you’ll be ready when the time arrives.

How many cheerleading colleges are there?

Cheerleading programs are offered at the NCAA Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 levels, with over 250 universities offering them. NAIA and junior institutions provide competitive programs as well.

Even within the same division level, there are numerous types of experiences accessible in cheer colleges.

The majority of colleges have coed programs, while some have all-girl programs, and still, some have both.

Some programs also have a team-level system in place, comparable to JV and Varsity, in which only the best players participate.

However, the most significant distinction between programs is whether they are competitive or not. Take, for example, NCAA Division 1.

You can have two squads that provide completely different college cheer experiences—one could be a well-known established contender, such as the University of Kentucky, and the other, like the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, don’t compete in competitions and only cheer during games.

If a student-athlete wants to compete in college, they must restrict their choices even more by determining whether they want to attend a school that is a member of the National Cheerleaders Association or the Universal Cheerleaders Association.

The NCA is more All-Star cheer, with a concentration on dancing, stunting, and tumbling.

Cheerleaders who have competed in All-Star cheer have a higher chance of succeeding at schools that compete in the NCA.

UCA is more comparable to traditional cheerleading, with acrobatics and cheering a big part of the performance.

Cheer colleges, as previously stated, can be extremely diverse. That’s why it’s essential for student-athletes to narrow down the type of college they want to attend and do extensive study on the programs they want to pursue.

List of Division 1 cheerleading colleges

Cheerleading is offered at about 150 Division 1 colleges, with most of them competing in the Universal Cheerleader Association or the National Cheerleaders Association.

Cheerleading is offered at about 150 Division 1 colleges, with most of them competing in the Universal Cheerleader Association or the National Cheerleaders Association.

non-competitive teams than cheer at football and basketball games. 

Both types of programs include scheduled practices, but competitive teams demand greater training and time commitment.

The division 1 is divided into two subcategories: Division 1A and Division 1. Division 1A schools are usually bigger than Division 1 schools.

Division 1 squads, on average, are more difficult to join than the other cheer college divisions, however, this varies greatly depending on the program.

Some of the best junior colleges and NAIA teams have a skill that is comparable to that of the NCAA.

Division 1 cheerleading colleges have more financing than other colleges, so you may have a better chance of receiving a cheerleading scholarship.

Some of the well-known Division 1 cheerleading colleges include:

  • University of Kentucky
  • The University of Alabama
  • University of Central Florida
  • Texas Tech University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Louisville
  • The University of Mississippi
  • University of Tennessee
  • Mississippi State University
  • Ohio State University
college cheerleaders
college cheerleaders

List of Division 2 cheerleading colleges

With 48 cheerleading colleges, NCAA Division 2 offers fewer chances than Division 1, but student-athletes can still explore these programs.

While there are a few Division 2 programs that are not competitive, the majority of the colleges compete in the NCA or UCA. These universities are often smaller than Division 1 schools and provide a better balance between school and practice.

Many student-athletes are drawn to this level because it allows them to compete while also focusing on their studies, interning, or working part-time.

All-girls and co-ed teams are available in these programs, and a selected few provide both. Here are some of the top Division 2 cheerleading schools:

  • California Baptist University
  • University of West Georgia
  • Drury University
  • Oklahoma Baptist University
  • Blinn College
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • Wilmington University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Mckendree University

List of Division 3 Cheerleading Colleges

Division 3 cheerleading is offered by 28 colleges. These colleges, like earlier levels, provide all-girls, coed, or both teams.

Only a few Division 3 cheering universities compete in either UCA or NCA contests; only a few are non-competitive.

The majority of these schools are small and private. Many cheerleading recruits are drawn to Division 3 because it allows them to concentrate on schoolwork or internships while still competing in college cheerleading.

Student-athletes with a high GPA and good test scores frequently do well at this level because they have a better chance of acquiring financial aid, particularly at private universities.

Division 3 is proof that there is no correlation between a team’s ability and its division in college cheerleading. The top Division 3 programs have higher scores than certain Division 1 team at the NCA and UCA National Championships.

Here are some of the top Division 3 cheerleading schools:

  • Davenport University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Elmira College
  • Montclair State University
  • SUNY Cortland
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Stevenson University
  • Brenau University
  • Frostburg State University
  • Endicott College

Top NAIA cheerleading colleges

All NAIA cheerleading colleges are governed by the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics.

The NAIA cheer and dance competition have 50 schools, the majority of which are located in the Midwest and southern states.

NAIA colleges appeal to many student-athletes because of their smaller class sizes and overall flexibility in terms of athletics, academics, and social life.

The NAIA organizes its own cheerleading competitions, with the top 12 teams qualifying for the NAIA Championships. The top NAIA cheerleading squads are:

  • Missouri Valley College
  • Oklahoma City University
  • University of Saint Francis
  • Concordia University
  • St. Ambrose University
  • Midland University
  • Lourdes University
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Martin Methodist College
  • Missouri Baptist University

List of Best Junior college cheerleading

Only nine junior colleges offer cheerleading, but the greatest programs, such as Navarro College and Trinity Valley Community College in Texas, are among the best in the country.

The junior college division is divided into two categories: advanced and intermediate, with the majority of programs competing in the intermediate category.

This distinction was made because junior college cheerleading talent varies greatly. Junior college provides student-athletes with an excellent opportunity to improve their academic achievement before transferring to a four-year institution.

The following is a list of junior colleges that have cheerleading programs:

  • Navarro College
  • Trinity Valley Community College
  • Shelton State Community College
  • Tyler Junior College
  • Wallace State College
  • Barton Community College
  • Butler Community College
  • Itawamba Community College

List of best cheerleading colleges in United State

When it comes to college cheerleading, there is no clear-cut “best of the best.” Similarly, a certain division does not produce more competitive programs.

When it comes to overall scores, the finest Division 3 cheerleading teams compete with Division 1 programs. In reality, junior colleges have two of the best programs in the country.

As a result, a student-“best” athlete’s college is entirely dependent on the type of program and experience they desire.

Families must determine if they want a competitive or non-competitive program, whether they want a team that participates in UCA or NCA, and what type of squad they want—all girls, coed, small, etc.

Even once a recruit narrows down their athletic requirements, other crucial factors of a college, including academics, school size, location, and campus culture, must be taken into account.

To assist you with getting started, we’ve prepared a list of well-known cheering programs from across the country:

  • University of Kentucky
  • The University of Alabama
  • University of Central Florida
  • Texas Tech University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Louisville
  • The University of Mississippi
  • University of Tennessee
  • Mississippi State University
  • Ohio State University

#1. University of Kentucky

One of the most successful student programs in the world is the University of Kentucky cheerleading squad.

Kentucky has dominated the World Fans’ Championships like no other college cheerleading team.

On Sunday in Orlando, Florida, fans of the University of Kentucky cheerleaders earned their 22nd national championship at the Universal Cheerleaders Association.

Cheerleaders frequently attend Athletics Association and Alumni Association events at the University. They also represent the university at a variety of community and charitable activities.

#2. University of Minnesota:

The Spirit Squad coaching staff’s objective is to support the University of Minnesota’s student-athletes and help them develop academic and athletic talents.

They will provide genuine care and advice to their teams as a result of their various qualities and features. Their ultimate purpose is to develop intelligent, sincere, and unselfish Minnesota ambassadors.

The University of Minnesota is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Golden Gophers Spirit Squads is a cheerleading squad on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.

The University of Minnesota is known as the “birthplace of cheerleading” since it was the first program of its kind in the world.

#3. Concordia University:

Concordia University cheerleaders are regarded as one of the greatest cheerleading universities because they offer a variety of sports scholarships based on students’ qualifications, abilities, and experience, among other factors.

These sports scholarships are extended each year if the student-athlete continues to be relevant. In addition to their athletic scholarships, student-athletes can seek academic awards.

The former is normally determined and awarded during the admissions process, and it is usually merit-based.

There are also a number of need-based grants available to fans. Each student-athlete must be a member of one of the university’s competitive teams, which include females and NAIA students.

For the purpose of placement, a pre-competition evaluation will be done. Movement between teams may be required at the discretion of the head coach.

#4. University of Alabama:

Each year, the University of Alabama’s cheerleading squads are among the finest in the country.

They have two cheerleading squads: an all-girls squad and a coed squad. Women’s basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and home football games are all supported by the All-Girl team.

All home and away football games, as well as men’s basketball, are supported by the Coed team.

In January, both teams compete in the UCA national competition. Fans are supposed to schedule their classes around the coaches’ schedules. Fans are needed to attend weekly workouts in addition to practice.

#5. University of Hawaii:

The University of Hawaii is genuinely concerned about its supporters! Members of the school’s support staff are eligible for 12 to 14 full-time scholarships.

Both in-state and qualifying out-of-state fans are eligible for these scholarships, which pay the entire cost of training.

Furthermore, the university grants a second scholarship to its international supporters! Fans from outside the state who fit the criteria will just have to pay half the cost of training, which is a huge relief.

If they meet the qualifications, fans can apply for a variety of WUE scholarships and tuition costs. The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is a scholarship agreement that allows students at more than 160 public colleges and universities to save money on tuition.

#6. University of Central Florida:

The UCF cheerleading team normally consists of 16 men and 16 women, according to the University of Central Florida’s team organization. UCF is largely regarded as one of the best cheerleading programs in the country.

The squad represents the University of Central Florida at all home and away football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, and all home volleyball games, as well as making several community engagements each year.

All away football games, as well as post-season conference finals and tournaments, are attended by the UCF Cheerleading team.

Each year, the 16 finest new prospects and returning team members are awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per year.

Because the squad is sponsored by Nike, all training gear, uniforms, shoes, warm-ups, bags, and other items are provided free of charge to students.

#7. Delaware State University:

In February 2020, the University of Delaware cheerleading team earned its second straight national championship in the Universal Support Association’s Open Division I.

The fan squad has come a long way to achieve success! You will also have access to support scholarships if you wish to be a member of the team. If you live in Delaware, you may be eligible for up to $7,500.

The Department of Interuniversity Athletics manages and awards these scholarships based on each student-academic athlete and athletic achievements.

The NCAA rules and regulations for sports scholarships and awards are followed by the department. Cheerleaders will be paid in various amounts.

#8. University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi is looking for devoted candidates who can favorably represent Ole Miss on game days, in the community, and on social media.

High performance on game day, ability to handle the audience, attitude/work ethic, professionalism / speaking abilities, physical training, academic performance, inhibition, and appearance will all be considered.

Before taking the mock tests, all candidates must be accepted, currently enrolled, or have applied to the University of Mississippi.

APPLY RIGHT NOW

#9. Oklahoma Panhandle State University:

Athletes at the University of Oklahoma Panhandle (OPSU), known as Aggie, are encouraged by his strong and sophisticated followers, with the exception of football and rodeo teams.

The university also provides considerable cheerleading scholarships to both in-state and out-of-state student-athletes. A qualified student may be eligible for up to $10,500 in financial aid

For state students, a minimum of three years of residency in Oklahoma is required, as well as a 2.5 GPA.

Scholarship-minded fans, like their NCAA-recognized university sports counterparts, are required to satisfy high academic and athletic criteria.

#10. The University of Southern California

USC Cheer is a sport that combines cheerleading with the competition. Their primary objective is to represent the University of Southern California at national tournaments.

They are dedicated to maintaining a strong work ethic, a sense of devotion, and tradition at their university in a fun and motivating environment as a team representing USC.

Cheerleading experience is required. For the academic year(s) you wish to be on the team, you must be enrolled as a full-time student. Every member is expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Frequently Asked Question about college cheerleaders

Can you cheer in college with no experience?

yes, it is possible but It depends entirely on the school and the program’s intensity. Tumbling requirements at some highly competitive colleges can take years to master, whereas non-competitive teams or spirit squads may only require basic fundamentals that can be learned on your own. Gymnasts who have never cheered before usually have the easiest time transitioning because they already have a strong foundation in tumbling.

What colleges recruit for cheerleading?

  • Academy of Art University Cheerleading Recruiting.
  • Bakersfield College Cheerleading Recruiting.
  • California Baptist University Cheerleading Recruiting.
  • California Lutheran U. …
  • Cal State Fullerton Cheerleading Recruiting.
  • Cal State San Bernardino Cheerleading Recruiting.

How do you become a d1 in cheerleading?

To earn a Division 1 cheerleading scholarship, regardless of the position, you need to be able to influence the team immediately. These coaches are looking for cheerleaders with elite tumbling, stunt, dancing, and jumping skills. In addition, they heavily take into account a recruit’s cumulative average.

How do you get into college cheerleading?

  • Prepare Well The Night Before. You will probably feel a bit nervous the night before tryouts, and that’s okay!
  • Study The Team ‘Look’
  • Reach Out & Introduce Yourself.
  • Set Yourself Up For Success.
  • Relax.
  • Let Your Personality Shine.
  • Pay Attention To The Little Things.
  • Know The Material.

What is d1 in cheerleading?

A program with 126 or more competitive cheer athletes will qualify as Division I, not including All-Star Dance and special needs athletes. Multiple Locations Sharing Athletes. A program that has more than one location and shares at least one athlete between any two locations.

CONCLUSION:

The cheering recruiting process is bound to have its ups and downs. It may appear that a lot is going on at times, such as when coaches are actively responding or when you’re attending camps and clinics. However, you may find yourself in a holding pattern at times. Never give up, follow your dream you’ll be glad you did.

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