The 15 Best Colleges for Skiing and Winter Sports

Searching for schools near ski resorts? We've got the list for you. Check out our picks for the best colleges for skiing and winter sports.
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Colleges in or near ski towns across the U.S. offer ample opportunities for winter fun, from Alpine and Nordic skiing to snowboarding.

Here, we rank the best colleges for skiing and other winter sports throughout the country. To make this list, we looked primarily at average annual snowfall and proximity to popular ski resorts. Keep reading to discover the best colleges near ski resorts, from Oregon to Vermont.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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1. Colorado Mountain College Aspen — Aspen, CO

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen averages 179 inches of snow annually and offers exceptional terrain for winter sports. Right near Colorado Mountain College Aspen — a community college offering associate degrees and some bachelor's degrees — you'll find an abundance of ski resorts, including the Buttermilk Ski Resort.

Peak winter ski season lasts from December through February.

2. Sierra Nevada University — Incline Village, NV

Sierra Nevada University is just 2 miles away from Diamond Peak Resort and other popular snowboarding mountains. The area receives an average annual snowfall of 138 inches, and the season runs mid-December through early March. Most resorts here offer discounted college passes, too.

  • Distance to Resorts: 2 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Top-ranked Alpine, freeski, and snowboard teams
  • Academic Programs: Ski business and resort management among programs offered
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $34,319 per year (2021-22)

3. University of Rochester — Rochester, NY

In the 2020-21 winter season, Rochester, New York, received 69.6 inches of snow. A highly ranked private institution, the University of Rochester is one of the best colleges near snowboarding mountains, including the popular Bristol Mountain. Ski season runs from late November through early April — and it can get crowded.

  • Distance to Resorts: 5.6 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Alpine ski team, snowboarding club, snowshoeing
  • Academic Programs: Over 200 degree and certificate programs
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $58,276 per year (2021-22)

4. University of Alaska Anchorage — Anchorage, AK

The University of Alaska Anchorage welcomes an average yearly snowfall of 79 inches. It's also home to a ski team. Daylight hours during ski season stretch from an average of 7.5 hours a day in December to a whopping 16 hours a day in April.

  • Distance to Resorts: 9.3 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Downhill and cross-country skiing teams, ice hockey
  • Academic Programs: Over 100 degree and certificate programs
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $5,616 per year (2022-23)

5. SUNY Plattsburgh — Plattsburgh, NY

SUNY Plattsburgh is less than an hour from Whiteface Mountain, which has an annual snowfall average of 190 inches. Students can get college ski passes with discounted tickets for the season from November through April. The biggest crowds arrive in December, so be prepared if you're heading there at this time of year.

  • Distance to Resorts: 10 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Ice hockey, skiing, and snowboarding club
  • Academic Programs: Over 70 programs, including ecology and environmental studies
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $3,535 per semester (2021-22)

6. Brigham Young University — Provo, UT

Brigham Young University is a private college located in the small ski town of Provo. Students can drive to one of 15 ski resorts within two hours, including Alta Ski Resort, Deer Valley, and Brighton. While Provo averages an annual snowfall of 58 inches, Alta Ski Resort receives a staggering 547 inches per year.

  • Distance to Resorts: 13 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Ski and snowboard clubs
  • Academic Programs: Marketing, foreign languages, psychology
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starts at $3,060 per semester (2021-22)

7. Middlebury College — Middlebury, VT

The city of Middlebury averages 68.97 inches of snow each year. The Snow Bowl, Middlebury College's historic ski area, features three chairlifts, 17 trails, and a lodge. Ski season typically lasts from November to April.

  • Distance to Resorts: 13.2 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Alpine and Nordic college skiing, ice hockey, ice skating
  • Academic Programs: Economics, computer science, environmental studies
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $55,790 per year (2019-20)

8. Dartmouth College — Hanover, NH

Hanover averages around 68 inches of snow annually. Dartmouth College, a prestigious Ivy League school, maintains its own ski resort called Dartmouth Skiway, which provides college ski passes to more than 100 acres. Since reopening for business on Dec. 28, 2021, the college ski resort reported a 15% increase in season pass sales.

  • Distance to Resorts: 13.4 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Skiing, ice hockey
  • Academic Programs: Art, humanities, science, engineering
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $58,953 per year (2021-22)

9. Southern Methodist University — Taos, NM

Taos averages 37 inches of snow each year, with plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. Sipapu Ski Resort, which is just 14 miles from Southern Methodist University's Taos campus, features over 40 trails and five lifts from mid-December through early April. Students enrolled in mountain sports can even get free lift tickets.

  • Distance to Resorts: 14 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding
  • Academic Programs: Political science, human rights, advertising
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Varies

10. Colby College — Waterville, ME

Located about a mile from Colby College, Quarry Road Recreational Area provides 7 miles of trails for the Colby Nordic ski team. With an average annual snowfall of around 71 inches, Waterville is an ideal setting to engage in winter sports.

  • Distance to Resorts: 18 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Nordic ski team
  • Academic Programs: 56 majors, independent majors, 35 minors
  • Comprehensive Fee: $76,965 for 2021-22 (includes tuition, room, board, and activities)

11. Montana State University — Bozeman, MT

Based in the Rocky Mountains, Bozeman — home to Montana State University — averages 72.5 inches of snow each year. Ski season typically runs from Thanksgiving through mid-April. Around 50 miles from MSU lies Big Sky Resort, which offers 5,850 skiable areas.

  • Distance to Resorts: 18.3 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Ski teams, cross-country skiing on campus
  • Academic Programs: Over 250 majors, including agriculture and nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $7,412 per year (2020-21)

12. Idaho State University — Pocatello, ID

Idaho State University sits near a dozen ski destinations, including the Pebble Creek Ski Area on Mount Bonneville. The resort averages 225 inches of snow each year. ISU provides an annual two-day ski swap with college ski pass discounts for Pebble Creek and Bogus Basin.

  • Distance to Resorts: 20 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing
  • Academic Programs: Nursing, liberal arts, business
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $7,872 per year (2021-22)

13. University of Nevada, Reno — Reno, NV

Lake Tahoe, California, boasts eight ski resorts, including Squaw Valley, which is located about 40 minutes away from the University of Nevada, Reno. While Reno typically gets an average of 22 inches of snow each year, Lake Tahoe has seen record-breaking snowfall in recent years.

  • Distance to Resorts: 26 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Ski team, ski club
  • Academic Programs: Over 500 academic programs
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $256 per credit (2022-23)

14. University of Utah — Salt Lake City, UT

With an average annual snowfall of almost 54 inches, Salt Lake City offers something for every snow-loving student. University of Utah students can get discounted college ski passes for lift tickets at many nearby ski resorts. Expect large crowds in January and February.

  • Distance to Resorts: 30 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Nationally recognized ski team
  • Academic Programs: Atmospheric sciences, civil and environmental engineering
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $9,002 per year (2022-23)

15. Reed College — Portland, OR

A top liberal arts college, Reed College offers a variety of athletics, fitness, and outdoor programs. The institution also owns and operates a ski cabin on Mount Hood — perfect for college winter break trips. Mount Hood typically receives up to 100 inches of snow annually.

  • Distance to Resorts: 52.7 miles
  • College Winter Sports: Cross-country and downhill skiing, sledding
  • Academic Programs: 40 majors, including 15 interdisciplinary
  • Undergraduate Tuition: Starting at $62,420 per year (2021-22)

Feature Image: Daniel Milchev / The Image Bank / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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