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Colleges with NCAA-Sanctioned Fencing Teams Ranked by Earnings of Alumni & Test Scores

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Postsecondary Options

As the school year begins, many high school fencers and their parents are thinking about their next educational steps. With so many postsecondary options and so few NCAA fencing schools to consider, it’s important that all prospective college level fencers have the information they need to make the best decision possible. Academic interests, selectivity, type of fencing program and affordability are just some of the factors to take into consideration. For those who look even further ahead to their post-college lives, the earnings of alumni can also be a factor in the overall decision.

To find out which schools with NCAA-sanctioned fencing teams produce the highest-earning alumni, we used the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which provides a variety of data on thousands of colleges, including the median earnings of federally aided students 10 years after enrolling and the average annual cost of attending. The database also includes admission rates, test scores, graduation rates and average annual costs.

Our rankings are restricted to colleges and universities with NCAA-sanctioned fencing teams. Not all college level fencing is conducted at the varsity level, so in a future post, we plan to rank the schools that are members of the US Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC) using the same criteria.

Earnings of Alumni

The following table provides important data for all but one of the 46 NCAA fencing schools for 2014-2015, the latest year for which data is available. Data is not available for U.S. Air Force Academy. The definitions of the terms used in the table are provided at the bottom of the post.

Ranking of Colleges with NCAA-Sanctioned Fencing Teams by Earnings of Former Students

College/DivisionAdmission RateSAT - Critical ReadingSAT-MathSAT-WritingACTAverage Annual CostGraduation RateSalary After Attending
Harvard University/1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology/111
Stanford University/1
Stevens Institute of Technology/111
University of Pennsylvania/1
Princeton University/1
California Institute of Technology/111
Duke University/1
Columbia University/1
Yale University/1
Cornell University/1
University of Notre Dame/1
Lafayette College/1
Boston College/133.9%630-720640-740640-73030-33$33,46491%$66,700
John Hopkins University/111
Tufts University/111
New Jersey Institute of Technology/1
Northwestern University/1
Brown University/18.7%660-770670-780670-78030-34$24,85495%$59,700
University of California, San Diego/11
New York University/111
Brandeis University/11135.2%590-710660-770640-71029-33$28,00490%$56,800
Haverford College/111
Wellesley College/111
Yeshiva University/111
Wagner College/1

Sacred Heart University/1
St. John's University/1
University of North Carolina/1
Drew University/111
Vassar College/111
Pennsylvania State University/1
Queens College, City University of New York/11
Fairleigh Dickinson University/1
Temple University/1
University of Detroit Mercy/1
Hunter College/111
LIU Post/11
McKendree University/111
University of the Incarnate Word/1
Ohio State University/1
Lawrence University/111
Wayne State University/11
Cleveland State University/1
City College of New York/111
Source: U.S. Department of Education: College Scorecard Data, V1.8.3

Of the 45 schools, 19 or 42% have higher than average salaries compared to the entire group of 45 schools.  The average salary is $59,564 which compares favorably to the average of $33,800 for all schools in College Scorecard. The salary ranges from a high of $95,500 in the case of Harvard to a low of $37,500 for the City College of New York.  Of the 10 colleges with the highest post-graduation salary, two are located in California and the rest are found in the East.

Interestingly, the average admission rate, average annual cost, graduation rates and salary are similar for Division 1 and Division 111 schools. The average admission rate for Division 1 schools is 38.5% compared to 37.6% for Division 111 schools and 58.8% for Division 11 schools.  The average salary for Division 1 schools is $62,268 compared to $58,325 for Division 111 schools and $47,625 for Division 11 schools.

Other posts that may interest the reader include:


Admission Rate: Is defined as the number of admitted undergraduates divided by the number of undergraduates who applied.

Test Scores: At schools that report their test scores, 50 percent had scores within this range. Of the remaining 50 percent, half were above the range and half were below. Not all schools require test scores. Students who were admitted and enrolled typically had standardized test scores in these ranges.

Average Annual Cost: The average annual net price for federal financial aid recipients, after aid from the school, state, or federal government. For public schools, this is only the average cost for in-state students. Readers can compare the average annual cost of a college with the national average of all colleges which is currently $16,595.

Graduation Rate: The graduation rate within 150 percent of the expected time to completion (typically six years for schools that award predominantly four-year degrees and three years for schools that award predominantly two-year degrees). These rates are only for full-time students enrolled for the first time. Readers can compare the graduation rate of a college with the national average which is currently 42%.

Salary After Attending: The median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school. Readers can compare the salary after attending a college with the national average of $33,800.


7 Responses to "Colleges with NCAA-Sanctioned Fencing Teams Ranked by Earnings of Alumni & Test Scores"
  1. Julia Noguchi says:

    This is very helpful. Please include me in your list.

  2. Doug Jean says:

    You forgot to add the United States Air Force Academy to your list.

  3. Ross says:

    Thanks for your response. We mention in the post that data is not available for the Air Force Academy. Nor is it available for the US Military Academy or the US Naval Academy. The data in College Scorecard only pertains to colleges with students that are federal financial aid recipients, so this would rule out the Air Force Academy. That being said, we had a call from the US Air Force Academy this morning. The representative said the Academy has certain information which it is willing to provide. We indicated that we would add it with a special footnote.

  4. Ann L. Jones says:

    Although a number of these schools have women’s teams only (Cornell and Northwestern, perhaps others), only Wellesley is a women’s college. Women have historically had lower earnings than men, for a variety of reasons, so choosing to rank these programs by the earnings of their alumni puts Wellesley at a disadvantage vis a vis the other schools on the list. I say this as a Wellesley alumna who fenced all 4 years in college and currently coaches a high school team. Any female fencer who is strong enough academically to consider applying to Wellesley owes it to herself to give the school a serious look!

  5. Lauren says:

    Couldn’t be happier with my daughter’s fencing experience at Stevens. Great coaches, great team. Highly recommend it for other female athletes in STEM. Great Div III experience.

  6. Chet Gunhus says:

    We have a fencing program in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and Des Moines. Most of the schools in your list are East Coast, except Northwestern and UCSD. Do you happen to have a list of the top colleges in the midwest that offer fencing programs?

  7. Ross says:

    I suggest you check out the membership of the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Club (USACFC).

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