10 Best Cheerleading Colleges in the US (How-to, FAQs) | 2023

Cheerleading is considered an athletic activity offered as a sport at several colleges and virtually all high schools across the United States.

If you’re a cheerleader or just curious about college cheerleading, I’ll list the top colleges with the most competitive, popular, or memorable squads.

Colleges recruit cheerleaders with potential through campus-specific scholarship programs to attract top talent.

Because of this, great cheerleaders have the same chance as other athletes to get scholarships.

Is Cheerleading Worth It?

Cheerleading can be worth it if you love teamwork, performing, and staying active. It’s fun, helps make friends, and boosts confidence.

But, it can also take up a lot of time and might risk injuries. So, if you enjoy it and can handle the challenges, it’s worth a shot! If not, there are plenty of other activities to try.

Cheerleading is like being part of a close-knit team where everyone has each other’s backs. It’s great for those who love dancing, jumping, and cheering their hearts out.

Plus, supporting sports teams and participating in big events feels fantastic. You’ll make a lot of friends and create memories you won’t forget.

Are There Colleges That Offer Cheerleading Programs?

First, some colleges allow students to participate in cheerleading as a major sport.

Therefore, student-athletes interested in participating in a college cheerleading team have several options to choose from because there are over 250 universities that provide support programs in all three divisions of the NCAA junior colleges and NAIA.

But each school has important differences that set it apart from the others. Applicants should study closely with the supporting colleges to determine the best school.

What steps do I Need to Take to Become a Member of the National Cheerleader Association?

Student-athletes who want to compete in college must choose between schools that are part of the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) or the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA).

The National Cheerleading Association is known for cheering the performers and emphasizing dance, stunts, and acrobatics.

Cheerleaders who have participated in all-star events typically fare well in the NCA schools where they compete.

UCA routines are more like traditional cheerleading routines, with stunts and applause being the most important parts.

Read more:

How Do I Become a College Cheerleader?

1. Create a list of colleges that offer cheerleading in your area:

Colleges that allow cheerleading require a strong desire to study to be a successful cheerleader. To begin, you’ll need to create a list of colleges that offer these kinds of opportunities.

The rigor in training, curriculum, location, and game atmosphere are all things to remember while you’re looking for a college.

These schools should cater to your academic, personal, and athletic interests.

2. Try contacting the college’s Cheer Coaches for information:

You can email the school stating your qualifications, grades, and interest in the program to do this. You can attach a recruitment video as well.

You’ll get feedback from the coach on whether or not you should keep going. He can also give you advice on improving your game.

3. Involve yourself in college cheerleading clinics:

If you want to join a college cheer team, you should attend college cheerleading clinics. Cheerleading college tryouts are like a summer camp for new cheerleaders.

Every year, college cheerleading clinics begin in the early autumn. Pre-tryout meetings are generally held in the spring, but this isn’t always true.

4. On Your Own, Try Out Different Formats:

Most cheerleading schools post their tryout procedures online. Make use of those formats. Focus on your school’s specific talents.

Read more: 10 Easiest Law Schools to Get into Canada (Benefits, FAQs)

10 Best Colleges for Cheerleading in the United States:

1. Concordia University:

The cheerleading program at Concordia University is widely regarded as one of the most competitive in the country. It is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US.

This is because the school provides financial aid in the form of scholarships, which vary according to a student’s background, skill level, and experience in the sport.

These athletic scholarships are extended yearly provided the student-athlete continues to be competitive in their sport.

In addition to the athletic scholarships they may have received, student-athletes can apply for academic scholarships.

The former is decided on and granted during the application process, and they are often given to students depending on their overall merit.

There are also several grants available on-demand that cheerleaders can apply for.

Every student-athlete competing for the university must be a member of one of the university’s competitive teams, including those for female and NAIA students.

Before the start of the competition, there will be a round of evaluations to determine placement. It is up to the head coach’s discretion to determine whether or not travel between teams is required.

Visit School

2. University of Kentucky:

The cheerleading squad at the University of Kentucky is widely regarded as one of the most effective student organizations in the world. It is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US.

There has never been any cheerleading squad able to top Kentucky at the World Fan Championships.

At a competition by the Universal Cheerleaders Association in Orlando, Florida, University of Kentucky supporters took home their 22nd national championship.

Cheerleaders regularly attend events hosted by the University Athletics Association and the Alumni Association. In addition, they represent the school at several charitable and social events.

Visit school

Read more: What does Finishing School mean? (Age, Schools, FAQs)

3. University of Alabama:

Each year, the cheerleading squad at the University of Alabama consistently ranks among the finest in the nation. It is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US.

There are two different squads in their cheerleading program: all-girl and co-ed. The All-girl team cheers on female athletes competing in basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and even in-house football games.

The coed team attends all men’s basketball and football games at home and on the road. Every year in January, both teams compete in the UCA National Tournament.

Cheerleaders are expected to plan their activities by the times specified by the coaches. Cheerleaders are required to attend weekly training sessions and their regular training.

Visit school

4. University of Minnesota:

At the University of Minnesota, the Spirit Squad coaching staff is in charge of helping student-athletes improve both their academic and athletic skills.

They will provide genuine mentoring and advice to their teams due to their various talents and attributes. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that Minnesota’s people are knowledgeable, honest, and selfless.

A cheerleading organization known as the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Spirit Squads can be found on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.

The University of Minnesota is known as the “Birthplace of Cheerleading” because it was the institution where the first cheerleading program was established. Moreover, it is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US.

The sizes of the co-ed and small co-ed cheer teams change yearly, but they always include both men and women on their rosters. The cheerleading squad for all girls consists entirely of female athletes. 

Visit school

5. University of Hawaii:

The University of Hawaii puts a lot of effort into satisfying its devoted following. The educational institution provides between 12 and 14 full-time scholarships reserved solely for the cheerleading team.

These scholarships pay for all the costs of teaching qualified cheerleaders from inside and outside the region.

Additionally, the university allows cheerleaders from foreign nations to apply for a second scholarship.

It is a big relief to know that international cheerleaders who match the qualifications will have to pay 50% of the total training fees.

If they meet the conditions, fans can apply for several WUE scholarships and receive reduced tuition rates.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is a scholarship program that reduces or eliminates tuition costs for students attending one of the more than 160 public colleges and universities that participate in the program.

Visit school

Read more: What does “Rushing” mean in College? (Sorority, Fraternity, FAQs)

6. University of Mississippi:

The University of Mississippi is looking for cheerleaders dedicated to representing Ole Miss in a positive light on game day, on social media, and in the community.

The Cheerleading College of Mississippi is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US.

These include high performance on game day, controlling the audience, having a positive attitude and work ethic, being professional, and having good speaking abilities.

All applicants must either have been accepted to the University of Mississippi, be enrolled there now, or have submitted an application to the university. 

Visit School

7. University of Central Florida:

At the University of Central Florida, responsible for organizing teams, the cheerleading squad typically consists of 32 individuals: 16 males and 16 females.

It is commonly acknowledged that the University of Central Florida’s cheerleading department is among the best in the country.

Each year, the cheerleading team acts as the University of Central Florida Ambassador and represents the school at home and away basketball, football, and volleyball games. 

After the regular season, the UCF cheerleading squad attends all away football games, postseason tournaments, and conferences.

As one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US, sixteen new prospects and sixteen returning members of the squad are honored each year with scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.

Because Nike is the sponsor of the UCF cheerleading squad, the students do not have to pay for any of their training gear, including their workout clothing, uniforms, shoes, warm-up exercises, bags, etc.

Visit School

8. University of Delaware:

In February of 2020, the cheerleading squad from the University of Delaware won the Universal Support Association’s Open Division I championship, making it the program’s second consecutive national title.

The cheerleading team has made significant progress toward its goals. Scholarship opportunities are available to those who wish to join the team and participate in its activities.

If you live in Delaware, you might receive up to $7,500 in scholarships.

The Inter-University Athletics Department is responsible for administering and distributing these scholarships granted to student-athletes based on their athletic and academic accomplishments.

In athletic scholarships and grants, the department abides by the norms and regulations established by the NCAA. The sums given to cheerleaders are likewise subject to variation. 

Visit School

Read more: 10 Best Ballet Schools in the World (Duration, Benefits, Worth)

9. University of Southern California:

USC Cheer is pioneering the sport of competitive cheerleading across the globe. Its primary mission is to compete as a representative of the University of Southern California in events held nationwide.

As the team that represents USC, they prioritize maintaining a strict work ethic, a high level of commitment, and institutional traditions in a fun and inspiring environment.

The USC Cheer is one of the best cheerleading colleges in the US.

Visit School

10. University of South Carolina: 

The University of South Carolina cheerleaders are very loyal to the school and its Gamecocks sports team.

The cheerleaders put forth a lot of effort throughout the year to demonstrate the spirit and traditions of South Carolina.

There are two highly skilled teams, one coed and the other all-girl, and they can be seen competing in male and female soccer games, basketball games, volleyball games, and many other campus and community events throughout the year.

Also, each spring, both teams show off their skills in their categories at the NCA National Championships.

Visit School

Read more: Top 7+ Best Dance Schools in the World

Frequently Asked Questions on Cheerleading Colleges in the US:  

What is the best college cheer program in the US?

The University of Alabama.
The University of Louisville.
The University of Central Florida.
The University of Mississippi.
Louisiana State University.
The University of Southern California.
The University of South Carolina.

Who invented cheerleading?

Johnny Campbell

Who won the 2021 Cheerleading Worlds?

The United States and Finland dominate the final day of competition at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships. On the final day of the 2021 virtual event, the United States team won the jazz and hip-hop team events, while Finland won its third consecutive All-Girl Premier championship.

What does Cheerdance mean?

Cheerdance refers to the dance portion of cheerleading, which excludes tumbling and stunts. It includes pom dance, jazz, hip-hop, and line dance. Each performance lasts approximately two and a half minutes and is evaluated based on dance abilities, choreography, and teamwork.


The process of cheerleading recruitment is not an easy one.

Still, if you adhere to your coach’s instructions and show your determination to participate in college cheerleading, you won’t have to break a sweat getting through it.

If you play your cards right, you may be eligible for a cheerleading scholarship.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

Editor’s Recommendations:

Share with a friend.

ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

Articles: 922