Cost, curriculum, and campus amenities all matter when you’re choosing a college. So do job placement rates, faculty, average class size, and many other factors. But future freshmen and their parents might overlook one of the most valuable things a college has to offer: its alumni network. A vibrant network of graduates can be a resource long after you leave campus in terms of networking opportunities, connections to mentors and other professionals, and even news about jobs.
So what makes for a great alumni network? You want a group that’s engaged and willing to lend a hand to fellow alums. Location matters, too, as does your chosen career. Some networks might be especially strong in certain parts of the country or in certain fields. And then there’s sheer numbers. While size isn’t everything when it comes to evaluating a school’s alumni community, it’s definitely a factor.
To find out which schools had the most alumni, we looked at U.S. News & World Report’s list of four-year colleges with the largest enrollment. Then, we researched alumni networks at the 50 biggest U.S. schools on the list. These 15 schools came out on top in terms of sheer number of living alumni.
15. University of Florida
Total living alumni: 415,000+
University of Florida alumni live in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. Notable former Gators include MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Sen. Marco Rubio, author Michael Connelly, and numerous pro athletes.
Next: University of Illinois