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Colleges with Fencing Clubs (USACFC Members) Ranked by Admission Rates & Earnings of Alumni

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There is anecdotal evidence that collegiate club fencing has grown rapidly over the past decade or so, while the proportion of NCAA colleges and universities sponsoring men’s and women’s varsity fencing teams continues to decline. Club fencing provides an excellent opportunity for many college-bound students whose chosen school does not have a varsity fencing team. Many of the clubs have stronger fencing teams than some of the NCAA Division I, II and III varsity programs!

As a result of the growth in non-varsity college club fencing across the country, the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC) was established in 2003 with 13 teams to educate and promote fencing at the collegiate level throughout the United States. Eighteen teams participated in USACFC’s first National Championship held at the University of Florida in 2003. The number of colleges and universities participating in the National Championships grew to 42 in 2016, although the total number of USACFC members grew to 47 in the same year.  USACFC’s members account for about one-third of the schools with non-varsity college club fencing in the U.S.

The number of member clubs competing at the National Championships has grown at the compound annual rate of 6.7% between 2003 and 2016. In comparison, the number of NCAA men’s and women’s fencing teams have declined at the compound annual rate of -1.0% and -0.3% respectively, over the same period.

With so many postsecondary options, 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 non-varsity fencing clubs produce the highest-earning alumni and have the lowest admission rates, 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.

The following table provides important 2014-2015 data for all, but two of USACFC’s 45 members, the latest year for which data is available. Data is not available for U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy. The data in College Scorecard only pertains to colleges with students that are federal financial aid recipients, so this rules out both academies. The definitions of the terms used in the table are provided at the bottom of the post.

Ranking of Colleges with Fencing Clubs (USACFC Members) by Admission Rates

CollegeAdmission RateSAT - Critical ReadingSAT-MathSAT-WritingACTAverage Annual CostGraduation RateSalary After Attending
University of Chicago08.8%720-800715-800710-78032-35$26,28093%$64,000
Dartmouth College11.5%680-780680-770690-79030-34$27,14395%$67,800
Northwestern University13.1%690-770700-790690-77031-34$27,29194%$64,400
Cornell University14.2%650-740680-770n/a30-34$29,24093%$72,100
Swarthmore College17.0%680-770680-770675-77029-34$22,93794%$48,500
Tufts University17.2%680-760680-760690-76030-33$28,32992%$65,000
Georgetown University17.4%660-760660-760n/a30-33$27,50694%$84,000
University of Southern California18.0%620-720660-760640-74029-33$28,34491%$67,700
Liberty University22.3%460-590450-570440-57019-26$23,70650%$35,600
University of Virginia29.0%620-720630-740620-72028-33$17,86394%$60,100
University of Michigan32.2%620-720660-760620-72029-33$15,78790%$57,400
Oberlin College32.7%640-730620-720640-73028-32$29,48688%$40,300
College of William and Mary33.0%640-730630-740620-72029-33$17,19490%$55,000
Georgia Institute of Technology33.4%630-720680-770630-73030-33$10,99482%$74,500
Boston University34.5%570-680620-730600-69027-31$34,59285%$59,500
University of California Santa Barbara36.3%530-660570-710560-67026-31$15,75581%$51,400
University of Miami38.2%600-690620-730590-69028-32$32,29781%$54,500
University of Texas at Austin39.7%570-690600-720560-69026-32$17,15280%$53,000
Bryn Mawr College40.5%600-710600-730630-72027-31$27,51883%$53,600
Stony Brook University41.3%540-640610-710540-65026-30$13,51967%$55,000
Smith College42.2%n/an/an/an/a$27,40686%$44,400
George Washington University43.8%590-690610-700610-70027-31$30,05780%$65,400
University of Florida45.6%580-670590-690580-67026-31$11,77887%$51,100
University of Maryland - College Park47.9%590-690620-730n/an/a$15,81784%$60,500
Clemson University51.5%560-660590-680540-65026-31$16,30682%$50,800
University of Pittsburgh53.1%580-670600-690570-67026-31$28,00081%$48,800
Mt. Holyoke College54.7%n/an/an/an/a$27,32281%$44,100
University of Georgia55.7%570-660570-670570-66026-30$12,20884%$47,300
University of Wisconsin56.9%560-660620-740590-68026-31$18,39783%$51,600
Purdue University59.3%520-630560-700520-63024-30$14,79771%$54,300
University of Maryland - Baltimore County59.6%n//an//an//an/a$10,5586%$49,900
Rutgers University60.5%520-640570-700540-660n/a$20,07980%$54,500
University of Massachusetts61.4%550-640570-670n/a24-30$18,81974%$49,300
Michigan State University66.1%430-580540-690460-57023-28$16,38278%$49,900
Oakland University67.0%n/an/an/a20-26$11,63144%$43,000
Texas A&M University71.0%520-640560-670490-61024-30$11,31579%$53,900
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University72.6%540-640570-680530-640n/a$19,69183%$59,000
Xavier University73.2%490-600490-600480-59022-27$27,70174%$47,300
University of Vermont73.4%540-640540-650540-64024-29$15,83876%$43,900
Eastern Kentucky University73.9%420-560420-560400-52019-24$10,68640%$34,100
University of Tennessee74.8%520-630530-640n/a24-29$15,94968%$42,300
Indiana University76.1%520-630540-660510-62024-30$14,37077%$44,700
University of Rhode Island76.8%480-580490-590480-58022-26$18,38261%$47,600
East Carolina University77.3%470-550490-570450-53020-24$14,98158%$39,000
University of New Hampshire80%490-590510-610500-60022-27$23,51678%$47,600
Source: U.S. Department of Education: College Scorecard Data, V1.8.3. Please note: The University of Chicago has an admission rate of 8.8%. We have added a 0 before the 8 because the table does not differentiate one less digit when it ranks.

The admission rates range from 8.8% for the University of Chicago to 80% for the University of New Hamshire. Of the 45 schools with salary information, 21 or 47% have higher than average salaries compared to the entire group of 45 schools.  The average salary is $53,504 which compares favorably to the average of $33,800 for all schools in College Scorecard. The salary ranges from a high of $84,000 in the case of Georgetown University to a low of $34,100 for the Eastern Kentucky University.  Of the 10 colleges with the highest post-graduation salary, one is located in California and the rest are found in the East or Midwest.

Readers are referred to an accompanying post which ranks the performance of college fencing clubs at the annual USACFC College Fencing National Championships 2012-2016.

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.

4 Responses to "Colleges with Fencing Clubs (USACFC Members) Ranked by Admission Rates & Earnings of Alumni"
  1. E Grody says:

    I would’ve liked to see another column on this chart which listed the collegiate club’s performance at the CFCs for the same year (2014-2015). Fencing program strength varied at the collegiate club level. A nation-level competing high school senior who decides to take a merit based scholarship to a school with a club team may want to factor in the strength of that school’s fencing program before they enroll.

    • Ross says:

      Thank you for your comment. We had planned to rank the performance of fencing clubs at the USACFC College Fencing National Championships over the past few years and post it in a few weeks. Your comments and the queries from a number of prospective students have prompted us to upload our post a little earlier than we had planned. Please check out the post: “Ranking of Colleges by Men’s & Women’s Team Results at the USACFC College Fencing National Championships 2012-2016”.

  2. Raf.Guzman says:

    Cornell cost at about $29k? Is this list from 1990s?

    • Ross says:

      I refer you to the definition of “average annual cost” which is found in the Definitions at the bottom of the post.

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