Have you been rooting for the college students of Team USA?
According to NPR, more than 87 schools are represented by current students or alumni on the U.S. Olympic Team. Represented colleges and universities span the nation—from Bowdoin College to the University of California, Berkeley and from the University of Florida to Alaska Pacific University.
According to an NPR analysis of biographic data provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the colleges and universities sending the most athletes to the games this year are:
1. Westminster College (21 athletes)
2. DeVry University (19)
3. Dartmouth College (10)
4. University of Minnesota (8)
5. (tie) Boston College (6)
5. (tie) University of Vermont (6)
5. (tie) University of Minnesota Duluth (6)
You might not be surprised to see Westminster top the list—the school provided 10% of the athletes for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. The Utah-based college has an educational partnership with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA); students who are members of USSA can qualify for tuition grants and spend up to three days per week in training.
Despite the number of responsibilities they juggle, USSA students carry a 3.6 average GPA, according to Westminster.
"A majority of these students have had to balance academics their whole life," Deb Vickery, who oversaw the USSA program, told the EAB Daily Briefing in 2016. "Most students will do a lot better, whether its high school or college, if they're more involved in different activities and sports, because they have to be a better time manager."
Many USSA students pursue business and marketing majors, which set them up to continue working in the winter sports industry. But a large share of the group now gravitates toward health care roles, Vickery said (Chappell, NPR, 2/9; U.S. Olympic Committee site, accessed 2/12).
Read more: USSA athletes balance studies and snow at Westminster College
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