University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Rankings

Search :
examples: Yale "Wake Forest" "Big Ten" TX NC

2016 Atlantic Coast Conference : ACC Academic Rankings

2016 Atlantic Coast Conference : ACC Academic Rankings
rank value image public university state conference scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research r pop r stem r other salary ROI overall ROI scores value difficulty value smartest value brainpower value faculty value research value salary ROI value overall ROI value scores level stem drop gpa avg research undergrads grads salary price scores valid
PublicGeorgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast Conference2111123111112167|90-0.96|1002234|932196|916|981.67|981919988|961.00|992167/1445/33Elite78192.906531468284276250044052True
PrivateDuke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference122231121222191|911.35|662214|922129|8943|861.00|991781167|892.00|982191/1461/33Elite3453.441005662692306060063999True
-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League121225464742209|921.20|702241|932183|9118|944.33|961491251|755.00|952209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427True
-Conf-Atlantic Coast Conference (Average)-Atlantic Coast Conference435575674742071|861.76|562149|902056|8665|785.00|951487098|745.00|952071/1381/31Excellent29113.244361131065385411358231True
PublicUniversity of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast Conference544458885742038|851.88|532149|902100|8752|836.67|931446974|725.00|952038/1359/31Excellent2663.203171648372495470056196True
PrivateUniversity of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast Conference3333613101213332141|891.82|542186|912109|8863|7911.67|881726380|863.50|972141/1428/32Elite2343.40134844837315740062461True
PublicUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference866524462941964|822.22|442107|882053|8633|893.33|971288142|646.50|941964/1309/29Excellent18103.1680318350107854620050732True
-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League454531111910742127|891.96|512172|912090|8735|8810.00|901491251|756.50|942127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427True
PrivateBoston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast Conference47567151515151182062|862.31|422132|892035|8572|7615.00|851278394|648.50|922062/1375/31Excellent1293.3551985644615310063022True
PublicUniversity of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPennsylvaniaAtlantic Coast Conference91088932331081889|792.42|392058|861997|8384|722.33|981281778|648.50|921889/1260/28Good28203.108631875798605030043360True
PrivateUniversity of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast Conference6571015667614112008|842.08|482100|871988|83143|535.33|951221694|6111.00|892008/1339/30Excellent30223.253231117554994930062854True
PublicVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast Conference101310985654671834|762.66|342045|851989|8382|734.33|961492212|757.50|931834/1222/28Good38173.204342424769775450041868True
PublicNorth Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference119111149949541795|752.39|402022|841962|8244|857.00|931513701|767.00|931795/1197/27AboveAverage58262.953812447395165060038209True
PublicFlorida State UniversityFloridaAtlantic Coast Conference11129710101110713131795|752.54|372050|851999|8384|728.67|911270435|6412.00|881795/1197/27AboveAverage18252.952313294882784240036765True
PrivateWake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference78121313741388112001|832.34|412008|841859|77107|645.67|941426115|7110.00|902001/1334/30Excellent12123.25202486729214910062538True
-Conf-Atlantic Coast Conference (Low)-Atlantic Coast Conference8781216151614167111966|822.24|442068|861945|81145|5215.33|851487098|7410.00|901966/1310/29Excellent29113.24511131065385411358231True
PublicClemson UniversitySouth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference111113121212111112481795|752.51|371986|831908|79105|6511.00|891517832|768.50|921795/1197/27AboveAverage26182.951611726045975190047166True
PrivateSyracuse UniversityNew YorkAtlantic Coast Conference14151414111414141415151730|722.94|271927|801823|7687|7114.00|86965268|4814.50|861730/1153/26AboveAverage16193.15921522462685000059320True
PublicUniversity of LouisvilleKentuckyAtlantic Coast Conference1514151514111191012141610|672.72|321849|771736|72132|569.67|901270498|6413.50|871610/1073/24Average25452.801941596156004320038232True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in the ACC?

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

2. Duke University

3. University of Virginia

4. University of Notre Dame

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

6. Boston College

7. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

2016 Top 10 Atlantic Coast Conference : ACC Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Atlantic Coast Conference : ACC Academic Rankings
rank value public name state conference scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI scores level stem drop gpa avg research undergrads grads salary price
11.33PublicGeorgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast Conference211112112167/1445/33Elite78192.906531468284276250044052
21.83PrivateDuke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference122231222191/1461/33Elite3453.441005662692306060063999
-2.17-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League121225642209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427
34.50PrivateUniversity of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast Conference333369332141/1428/32Elite2343.40134844837315740062461
-4.83-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League454538642127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427
-4.83-Conf-Atlantic Coast Conference (Average)-Atlantic Coast Conference435575642071/1381/31Excellent29113.244361131065385411358231
45.00PublicUniversity of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast Conference544458642038/1359/31Excellent2663.203171648372495470056196
45.00PublicUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference766524741964/1309/29Excellent18103.1680318350107854620050732
66.50PrivateBoston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast Conference4756710982062/1375/31Excellent1293.3551985644615310063022
77.17PrivateUniversity of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast Conference657910610102008/1339/30Excellent30223.253231117554994930062854
87.33PublicUniversity of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPennsylvaniaAtlantic Coast Conference898793891889/1260/28Good28203.108631875798605030043360
98.17PublicVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast Conference9109885571834/1222/28Good38173.204342424769775450041868
98.17PublicNorth Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast Conference108101047461795/1197/27AboveAverage58262.953812447395165060038209