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.
Coming in at #8 is Texas A&M University.
Total Points: 56.25
Top-15 Ranked Sports: 11
U.S. News Rank: 63
Back-to-back national championships in men's and women's track [3 & 2] distinguish the Aggies, who posted Top 15 finishes in 11 of 21 Elite 50 sports. Dare we predict a three-peat?
Ranked Sports: Men's Golf , Women's Track & Field , Men's Track & Field , Women's Swimming , Women's Basketball , Women's Soccer , Women's Golf , Softball , Baseball , Men's Swimming  and Men's Tennis 
Location: College Station, Texas
Year founded: 1876
Percentage of freshmen in top 10% of their graduating class: 54
Application fee: $60
Acceptance rate: 70%
Average GPA of incoming freshmen: 3.6
Male/female ratio: 52/48
Student/faculty ratio: 19/1
Percentage of students from out of state: 3
Tuition: $8,336 for residents; $22,886 out of state
Scott McDonald, Director of Admissions
Texas A&M University
217 John J. Koldus Building
College Station, TX 77843-1265
Conference: Big 12
National championships: 2 [2 women]
Longest coaching tenure: Laurie Corbelli, Volleyball, 17 years
Nearest professional team: Houston Astros [MLB], Houston Rockets [NBA], Houston Texans [NFL], Houston Dynamo [MLS], Houston Comets [WNBA], 98 miles
Notable alumni: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, NFL coach Gary Kubiak, NFL veteran Bethel Johnson, MLB P Josh Beckett
12th Man: In the spirit of doing whatever it takes for the team, the Texas A&M student body is known as the 12th Man. The tradition dates back to 1922. Playing against Centre College, the Aggie football team had so many injuries in the first half that Coach D. X. Bible feared he wouldn't have enough players to finish the game. So the coach called into the student section for reserve player E. King Gill, who came down and suited up. Gill didn't see any action that day, but his willingness and commitment started a tradition that is still celebrated more than 80 years later.
Go to elite50.stack.com to read more on Texas A&M and the rest of the STACK Elite 50 Colleges.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock