University of Michigan ranked No. 1 ‘cultiest’ school in US

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 15: Fans are seen with letters spelling out "BC (Blake Corum) 4 Heisman" on their chest during the second half of a college football game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Michigan Wolverines won the game 41-17 over the Penn State Nittany Lions. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) (Aaron J. Thornton, 2022 Aaron J. Thornton)

ANN ARBOR – From painting the rock and stepping over the Block M on the Diag, to guarding the gilded letter from Spartans ahead of the University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University game, traditions run deep on U-M’s 206-year-old campus.

So deep, apparently, that U-M has been named the “cultiest” school in America, according to Broke Scholar.

“Strong communities of students and alumni that support one another and help to create a sense of belonging is coveted among universities across the United States,” reads a Broke Scholar release. “In essence, these communities are full of spirited fans and alumni who build a network that stretches from a college acceptance letter to late career and beyond.

“A completely harmless clan, yet — there is a certain fanatical quality to the devotion. We dare to call it culty.”

University of Michigan students are seen spray painting "The Rock" along Washtenaw Ave. in Ann Arbor on Oct. 20, 2017. (Meredith Bruckner | WDIV)

Despite Southern schools dominating the top 25 on the list, U-M earned the top spot for its academic excellence, school spirit, football attendance, a large Instagram following and high retention rates.

According to Broke Scholar, its team ranked 198 of the country’s top public and private universities and rated them based on the following metrics:

  • Academic excellence
  • Community loyalty
  • Social prestige (think: Greek life)
  • School spirit
Graduates pose with the block M on the Diag on April 26, 2018. (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Here are the top 10 cultiest universities in the U.S., according to the site:

  • University of Michigan
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Florida
  • Texas A & M University
  • University of California
  • Duke University
  • Ohio State University
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Southern California

See the full list here.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.