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College football earned $117 million for Illinois schools in 2016


By LGIS Newsfeed | Sep 21, 2018


Northwestern University football brought in $375,549 per athlete in revenue in 2016, making it the highest-grossing football program in Illinois that year, according to a Prairie State Wire analysis of U.S. Department of Education data.

The university’s football program brought in a total of nearly $38.7 million in 2016. 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign brought in the second-highest amount of revenue per athlete – $349,239 – followed by Northern Illinois University with $71,108.

The U.S. Department of Education’s office of postsecondary education collects athletics data annually from all institutions with intercollegiate athletics programs that receive funding through federal financial aid programs. Data for 2016 – the latest year available – includes more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

Illinois' 35 schools with football programs reported $117,163,945  in revenue in 2016.

Illinois college football revenue

SchoolDivisionEnrollmentFootball Total ParticipationFootball RevenueRevenue Per Athlete

1Northwestern UniversityNCAA Division I-FBS8,249103$38,681,564$375,549
2University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignNCAA Division I-FBS32,126102$35,622,414$349,239
3Northern Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I-FBS12,323113$8,035,152$71,108
4Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleNCAA Division I-FCS10,509103$4,048,610$39,307
5Illinois State UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS17,420114$4,016,804$35,235
6Western Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS7,482105$3,258,851$31,037
7Eastern Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I-FCS5,117100$2,704,490$27,045
8Trinity International University-IllinoisNAIA Division I63184$1,440,608$17,150
9Robert Morris University IllinoisNAIA Division II2,253190$3,157,992$16,621
10University of St FrancisNAIA Division II1,32099$1,428,374$14,428
11Quincy UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,035115$1,569,700$13,650
12Saint Xavier UniversityNAIA Division II2,59980$1,085,254$13,566
13Olivet Nazarene UniversityNAIA Division II3,019117$1,442,785$12,331
14McKendree UniversityNCAA Division II with football1,820148$1,667,870$11,269
15University of ChicagoNCAA Division III with football5,95699$667,320$6,741
16Millikin UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,796102$606,674$5,948
17Knox CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,32555$326,779$5,941
18Concordia University-ChicagoNCAA Division III with football1,35582$448,175$5,466
19Wheaton CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,400112$589,030$5,259
20Benedictine UniversityNCAA Division III with football2,687105$547,730$5,216
21North Central CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,534132$676,125$5,122
22Augustana CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,514127$592,355$4,664
23Greenville CollegeNCAA Division III with football91387$397,006$4,563
24Aurora UniversityNCAA Division III with football3,302111$501,877$4,521
25North Park UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,884107$475,315$4,442
26Lake Forest CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,50283$364,573$4,392
27MacMurray CollegeNCAA Division III with football53182$344,656$4,203
28Monmouth CollegeNCAA Division III with football1,12497$396,530$4,088
29Elmhurst CollegeNCAA Division III with football2,682124$481,220$3,881
30Illinois CollegeNCAA Division III with football949105$398,359$3,794
31Rockford UniversityNCAA Division III with football90979$267,005$3,380
32Illinois Wesleyan UniversityNCAA Division III with football1,760113$379,453$3,358
33College of DuPageNJCAA Division III6,33597$318,223$3,281
34Eureka CollegeNCAA Division III with football64472$225,072$3,126
35Highland Community


NJCAA Division I82392

Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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