Personal Finance

The 10 Largest Universities In The United States

The 10 largest universities in the United States don't reside in the states with the highest population. You won't find New York or California on this list but if you're a Big 10 or Big 12 fan, it's right up your alley.

Some of the country’s largest universities are hailed as the most entertaining due to the sheer amount of people that attend and the range of activities offered. You might just be one of the crowd if you attend a large school, but who’s to say that can’t be the most fun?

According to Fall 2009 student populations, the largest U.S. universities are as follows (largest to smallest):

Arizona State University (55,552 students) With 55,552 students, Arizona State University, also known as ASU, is the country’s largest university. ASU consists of four campuses located in the same metropolitan area; however, this count is for the Tempe, Arizona campus, only.

ASU offers undergraduate students over 250 majors and has more than 100 graduate programs leading to master’s and/or doctoral degrees. According to the 2011 US News and World Report ranking of US colleges and universities, ASU’s undergraduate program was ranked 143rd of 262 national universities.

The Ohio State University (55,014 students) OSU, home of the Buckeyes, ranks as the second-largest U.S. university in terms of student enrollment at 55,014. Located in Columbus, Ohio, OSU has been officially recognized as the flagship institution of Ohio’s public universities.

OSU has a strong following in part because its athletic teams are so strong, having won national championships in all three of the major men’s sports (baseball, men’s basketball, and football).

The University of Central Florida (53,537 students) Located in Orlando Florida, the University of Central Florida or UCF has the third-largest student enrollment in the U.S. at 53,537. UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida.

With 12 campuses, enrollment has increased by over 60% in the new millennium with 15% of students either graduate or professional students. Fun fact: women make up 55% of the student body.

The University of Minnesota (51,659 students) The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota is a public research university. According to the 2011 rankings in the U.S. News & World Report, the undergraduate program was ranked as the 64th best National University in the U.S.

The Chemical Engineering program was named the third-best program, and the university’s sports teams, members of the Big Ten Conference, are called the Golden Gophers.

The University of Texas at Austin (51,032 students) Located in Austin, Texas, this university is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Also known as UT, the University of Texas at Austin was named one of the original eight Public Ivy institutions (a public ivy is a school that provides an Ivy League college experience at a public school price).

The university contains 16 colleges and schools and two academic units and offers more than 100 undergraduate and 170 graduate degrees.

The University of Florida (50,691 students) Otherwise known as U of F, University of Florida, Gainesville is the most academically comprehensive university in the state of Florida with 50,691 students. The university is comprised of a diverse student body and has the 12th highest enrollment for international students in the U.S.

U of Fs intercollegiate sports teams, known as the Florida Gators, have an extremely loyal following. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Florida as the 15th best public university in the U.S.

Texas A&M University (48,885 students) With 48,885 students, Texas A&M is the oldest public university in Texas and is comprised of ten colleges. Although it is a secular university, university students have a reputation for being religious and conservative.

The main campus, spanning 5,200 acres, contains the George Bush Presidential Library. As a prestigious research institution, ongoing projects are funded by NASA, the NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.

Michigan State University (47,100 students) Founded in 1855, Michigan State University or MSU is a public research university located in East Lansing, Michigan. Students hail from 50 states and 130 countries.

The school is home to more than 600 student organizations and more than 200 academic programs. In recent years, MSU faculty and administration have shifted their focus from growing their student body to advancing their national and global reputation.

The University of South Florida (46,612 students) Coming in as the 9th largest university in the U.S., the University of South Florida, located in Tampa, is a public institution founded in 1956. It is the second university in Florida to make the top ten list in terms of student enrollment.

The university is situated in an urban setting, and the campus size is 1,941 acres. The university has been classified as a “Research University with Very High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The Pennsylvania State University (43,998 students) Commonly known as Penn State, the University has 24 campuses throughout the state of Pennsylvania, with University Park being its largest.

Penn State University is considered a Public Ivy and is ranked in the top 15 nationally for public universities. As of November 2009 on the University Park campus, 778 student organizations were recognized. The mascot of Penn State is the Nittany Lion, which represents a type of mountain lion that once inhabited what is now University Park.

These are the top 10. An interesting side note, you won’t find any of these schools on the 10 most expensive universities list. Certainly, you will not be lacking in terms of student organizations, athletics, or educational programs if you choose to attend one of the above. However, if a smaller, more intimate setting is what you are in search of, these probably are not the schools for you.

Rob Berger

Rob Berger

Rob Berger is the founder of Dough Roller and the Dough Roller Money Podcast. A former securities law attorney and Forbes deputy editor, Rob is the author of the book Retire Before Mom and Dad. He educates independent investors on his YouTube channel and at

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