The cost of a degree. Graduation rates. Post-graduate earnings. The average amount of student debt. All of these factors are important in choosing the right college.
But what about the football team you have to root for every Saturday?
While we’d never recommend you pick a college based on its football team's ability to win championships, a school's atmosphere is important. And if you love football, you'll want to choose one with a team worth cheering on and a student section that knows how to bring it on game day.
These 13 colleges have not only packed their stadiums this season but also scored big in Money's Best Colleges rankings, with comparatively strong graduation rates and alumni career outcomes.
When ranking these schools, we didn't favor college teams that are bowl game contenders or that ranked high in the AP Top 25 Poll—although many of our choices are and do. Instead, we used home game stadium attendance numbers for this season (regular season games through Nov. 29) provided by the NCAA to see which colleges sold out, or came close to selling out, their seats week after week. Using that measurement, we took the top 40 schools and checked that list against our Best Colleges 2015 rankings, to find the ones that deliver the best educational value to their students.
The 13 colleges that follow all placed in the top 150 of Money's Best Colleges rankings. They're listed here from lowest to highest in terms of our overall ranking.