Mindful that you're a student-athlete—and not just a student—we offer you the 4th Annual STACK Elite 50 Colleges, a ranking of the best schools for academically-minded athletes. After months of crunching numbers [wins, losses, championships, school rankings, academic progress and more], we improved on our prior years' compilations to help you choose a school with the right balance of academics and athletics.
Holding strong at #4 is North Carolina.
Total Points: 65.74
Top-15 Ranked Sports: 12
U.S. News Rank: 30
WHY THEY'RE AT THE TOP
It's a number four finish and four straight years in the Top 5 for UNC. The folks in Chapel Hill consistently dedicate themselves in the classroom and on the field, and this year they finished in the Top 15 in 12 sports. Although they slipped one spot, the Tar Heels' strong performance in basketball, baseball and soccer should continue to keep them ahead of their competition.
Ranked Sports: Men's Basketball , Men's Soccer , Women's Soccer , Baseball , Lacrosse , Women's Basketball , Women's Tennis , Men's Tennis , Softball , Women's Golf , Women's Swimming  and Men's Swimming 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Year founded: 1795
Percentage of freshmen in top 10% of their graduating class: 79
Application fee: $70
Acceptance rate: 34%
Average GPA of incoming freshmen: 4.4
Male/female ratio: 41/59
Student/faculty ratio: 14/1
Percentage of students from out of state: 16
Tuition: $5,396 for residents; $22,295 out of state
Stephen Farmer, Assistant Provost and Director of Undergraduate Admissions
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus
Box No. 2200
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-2200
Nickname: Tar Heels
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
National championships: 35 [10 men, 25 women]
Longest coaching tenure: Anson Dorrance, Women's Soccer, 31 years
Nearest professional team: Carolina Hurricanes [NHL] in Raleigh, N.C., 29 miles
Notable alumni: His Airness Michael Jordan, NBA G Vince Carter, NFL players Julius Peppers and Willie Parker, PGA star Davis Love III, U.S. Olympian Mia Hamm, sportswriter Peter Gammons, ESPN personality Stuart Scott.
Fast fact: Why a ram for a mascot? In 1924, Vic Huggins, UNC's head cheerleader, decided that Carolina needed a mascot like N.C. State's wolf and Georgia's bulldog. At the time, a popular member of UNC's football team was Jack Merrit, known to his fans as the "Battering Ram." Making use of this nickname, Huggins hit upon the idea of a ram as the Carolina mascot.
Go to elite50.stack.com to read more on UNC and the rest of the STACK Elite 50 Colleges.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock