50 Best Cheerleading Colleges In 2023 | All you need to know

Do you want to know about cheerleading colleges, teams, scholarship, clinics, coaches and what it takes to become a college cheerleader?

Are you looking for the best cheerleading colleges to apply to but you do not know where to start from?

Do you want to know the cheer skills that give you an edge over other college cheerleader applicants?

Do you want to know how to get past the recruitment coach and become part of the best cheerleading squads in the USA?

Here is an all-inclusive article that guides on all you need to know about college cheerleading. In this guide you will find out what makes a best fit for cheerleading. 

Also we have given you skull options to keep you in a Cheerleading coach radar. This article also 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.

Sit tight and get informed!!!

Who is a College Cheerleader?

If you’ve ever seen those pretty ladies and gentlemen with sash in their hands jumping, pulling stunts and making some cute moves before a game starts then you’ve probably seen a college cheerleader before.

College cheerleaders call for and direct organized cheering team for games. It’s a sport that attracts many college students who do not have flair for volleyball, football or such like.

Although 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, it’s a prominent sport with lots of fans.

Best Cheerleading Colleges

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Cheerleading Competitions and Medals

  Most American schools and colleges have cheerleading squads. There are even cheerleading scholarships offered for students. The main purpose of a school cheerleading team is to encourage audience participation and cheer for sporting events. It is quickly becoming a year-round activity.

There are many local, regional, or national cheerleading competitions. To improve skills, teams may attend organized cheerleading camps and practices. The winning team would get custom medals for cheerleading. A cheerleading medal would bring you a good opportunity to get into the Cheerleading team of the college.

What are the Requirements for College Cheerleading Recruitment? | Cheer Recruiting Guidelines

To become part of a cheerleading team in any of the colleges which have such, you must get past the cheerleading coach.

By showcasing the necessary skills needed by the team, the coach may find you worthy before recruiting you into the cheerleading squad. Some of the things you can do before meeting the coach includes;

  • Research on cheerleading colleges.
  • Make a recruitment video.
  • Attend camps and clinics.
  • Attend cheerleading trials.
  • Develop cheerleading skills.

What are the Cheer Skills Needed to Compete in Cheerleading Colleges?

Before you get into a cheerleading team, you have to possess the following cheer skills:

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

All these you get to showcase before the cheerleading coaches in a recruitment video and in-person auditions. However, note that there is no one size fits it all recruitment standard for all schools.

Also, depending on the position you will be playing in the cheerleading team, some cheer skills will favour you more than the others during recruitment. 

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How Do I Become a College Cheerleader and Get Recruited for Cheer?

For all intending cheerleaders, this is a question of concern. Although we have tips to help you answer this question, it’s important you know that the cheerleading recruiting procedure is not the same in all schools.

So to become a cheerleader here are some steps you can take:

#1. Make a List of Cheerleading Colleges Within Your Location.

If you’re passionate about cheerleading, you need to desire to study in colleges that allow such sport. So, first, you need to make a priority list of colleges that offer such experiences. 

While you’re at that, consider the level of rigour of training, curriculum, location, game-day atmosphere, campus life, and cost of the school. 

Such colleges should fulfil your athletic, academic, and personal interests.

#2. Try Contacting Cheer Coaches of the Colleges.

Another step you should take is contacting the cheer coach. This is a strategic step to get yourself on the coach’s radar. 

You can do this by sending them an email stating your skills and expertise, grades, and interest in the program. Also, you can attach a recruiting video.

The coach will give you feedback on whether you should continue or not. Or he can give you tips on how to become better. Or better still, you get a welcome note.

#3. Participate in College Cheerleading Clinics.

If you’re really serious about joining a college cheer squad, you should be attending Cheerleading college clinics. 

What are cheerleading college clinics?!!!

Cheerleading college clinics are more like camps where cheer recruits learn the content they will perform and be graded during cheer tryouts.

Usually, Cheerleading college clinics begin in the fall. However, the majority take place in the spring before the actual tryout. Go to your college website to find out when their Cheerleading college clinics commence.

#4. Excel in Your Academics.

Cheerleading colleges are interested in students who are sound in athletics and academics as well. 

#5. Practice Tryout Formats On Your Own.

Most cheerleading schools have their tryout formats on their website. Try out those formats. Focus on the specific talents as required of the school. 

Following these steps we have listed, you can find your way into becoming one of the cheerleading teammates in your desired college.

How Many Cheerleading Colleges are There?

There are more than 250 universities or colleges offering cheerleading programs. Some of the cheerleading programs are offered at the NCAA Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and junior institutions.

Each division has its own cheer experience. Some have coed programs, just all-girl programs, and some have both.

Here is a list of colleges that offer cheerleading programs according to division;

Division 1 Cheerleading Colleges.

Under this division are about 150 colleges. Usually, they compete in the Universal Cheerleader Association or the National Cheerleaders Association.

Colleges under this cheer division include;

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

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Division 2 Cheerleading Colleges.

There are 48 cheerleading colleges under the NCAA Division 2. It’s harder to get into Division 2 Cheer Colleges. 

Also, their experience is more intense than in division 1. In addition to that, they compete at the NCA or UCA level. 

Colleges under this cheer division include;

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

Division 3 Cheerleading Colleges

Division 3 cheerleading is offered by 28 colleges. Students who are academically sound in division 3 have a better chance of getting financial aid at private universities.

Colleges under this cheer division include:

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

NAIA Cheerleading Colleges

All NAIA cheerleading colleges are governed by the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics. NAIA colleges that cheer are 50 in number usually in the Midwest and southern states.

NAIA cheer groups organize their own cheerleading competitions. They compete against 12 teams.

Colleges under this cheer division include:

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

List of Best Junior Colleges For Cheerleading in the World

Just so you know, there are only 9 Junior Colleges that offer cheerleading programs. The junior college cheer division is divided into two categories: advanced and intermediate. 

However, most of the competitions are within the intermediate category. Here is a list of junior colleges that have the best cheerleading programs in the world.

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

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List of Best Cheer Colleges in the United States.

To help you make it to the best cheerleading schools in the United States, we have put together a list of colleges that have the best cheering programs.

The list includes;

#1. University of Kentucky.

The cheerleading team or squad at the University of Kentucky is one of the best in the USA. Kentucky cheerleading squad has dominated in the World Fans’ Championships.

Also, college cheerleaders in Kentucky have earned their 22nd national championship at the Universal Cheerleaders Association.

#2. University of Minnesota.

College cheerleaders at the University of Minnesota are called the Spirit Squad or the Golden Gophers Spirit Squads.

The University of Minnesota is known as the “birthplace of cheerleading”. Basically, the cheerleading coach aims at supporting the student-athletes to develop academic and athletic talents.

At the end, they end up producing intelligent, sincere, and unselfish Minnesota ambassadors.

#3. Concordia University.

Concordia University cheerleaders are some of the best college cheerleaders in the USA.  One thing that makes their cheer programs outstanding is the ability to get cheerleading scholarship and grants.

Also, this cheerleading scholarship can be renewed each year if the student-athlete continues to excel in sports and academics. 

#4. University of Alabama.

The University of Alabama has two cheerleading squads: an all-girls squad and a coed squad. Basically, the All-girls Cheer squad supports the women’s basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and home football games. 

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

#5. University of Hawaii.

The University of Hawaii is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the USA. 

Nonetheless, they do not just have an excellent team, they have great supporters who benefit from 12 to 14 full-time cheerleading scholarship.

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#6. University of Central Florida.

The UCF cheerleading team consists of 16 men and 16 women. UCF’s cheerleading squad has one of the best programs in the country.

College cheerleaders represent UCF at all home and away football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, and all home volleyball games and community engagements.

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

The UCF cheerleading team is sponsored by Nike. Therefore, all their 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.

Each cheerleader at Delaware State University receives support scholarships up to $7,500. 

#8. University of Mississippi.

The University of Mississippi is currently recruiting cheerleaders who can represent them in Ole Miss on game days, community, and on social media.

However, the criteria for recruitment is quite high such as professionalism/speaking abilities, physical training, academic performance, inhibition, and appearance will be considered.

Before you apply, you must be accepted, currently enrolled, or have applied to the University of Mississippi.

#9. Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

Oklahoma Panhandle State University is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the USA with great supporters. 

College cheerleaders in Oklahoma Panhandle State University get scholarships for both in-state and out-of-state student-athletes. 

Each receives up to $10,500 in financial aid. However, you must have at least a minimum GPA of 2.5.

#10. The University of Southern California.

The USC Cheer team is a big fish in the sports game. They aim at representing the University of Southern California at national tournaments.

However, you must have cheerleading experience and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.

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Frequently Asked Question about College Cheerleaders

Can I Cheer in College With No Cheerleading Experience?

Well, yes, it’s totally possible to cheer without a cheerleading experience. However, this decision is the school’s decision to make.

Most of the cheer skills such as tumbling can take years to master. But the fundamental skills are all you need to join a non-competitive team or spirit squad. 

However, we do advise you to learn the cheer skills and master them before you decide to cheer to avoid accidents.

What Colleges Recruit For Cheerleading?

Here is a list of some of the recruitment colleges for cheerleading;

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

How Do I Earn A D1 Cheerleading Scholarship?

You need to have an immediate effect or impact on the cheerleading team to earn a Division 1 scholarship regardless of the position.

Majorly, division 1 scholarship goes to college cheerleaders who have elite cheerleading skills such as tumbling, stunt, dancing, and jumping.

Also, the cheerleading scholarship favours students who have a good cumulative average.

How Do I Get Into a College Cheerleading Programs?

Here’s what you can do prior to the day;

  • Prepare Well The Night Before
  • Study The Team ‘Look’
  • Reach Out & Introduce Yourself.
  • Set Yourself Up For Success.
  • Then relax.
  • Let Your Personality Shine.
  • Pay Attention To The Little Things.
  • Also, Know The Material.

When is the Best Time to Start Your Cheerleading College Hunt?

The best time to start the cheerleading college hunt is at the point you are making a move from high school cheerleading to college cheerleading.

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The cheering recruiting process is not a smooth sail but if you follow the guides we have listed here, you’re bound to come off without a sweat.

Also, you can get a Cheerleading scholarship if you play your cards well.

We wish you good luck as you take this bold step!!!



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