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

Big Twelve Conference Academic Rankings

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

2016 Big Twelve Conference : Big 12 Academic Rankings

2016 Big Twelve Conference : Big 12 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
PublicThe University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve Conference111111111831896|792.36|412122|882083|8713|961.00|991370970|694.50|961896/1264/28Good35173.1061439523117905590051352True
-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League111121121432209|921.20|702241|932183|9118|941.33|991491251|753.00|972209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427True
-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League111124645432127|891.96|512172|912090|8735|884.00|961491251|753.00|972127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427True
PublicIowa State UniversityIowaBig Twelve Conference583222123321685|702.72|321972|821908|8099|671.67|981499625|752.50|981685/1123/25AboveAverage29312.952602889355424950031920True
PublicUniversity of Oklahoma-Norman CampusOklahomaBig Twelve Conference444454444111720|722.67|331958|821884|78128|583.67|961702472|852.00|981720/1147/26AboveAverage27302.952162101162505470036729True
-Conf-Big Twelve Conference (Average)-Big Twelve Conference454355664751723|722.67|331968|821898|79127|585.33|951395244|705.50|951723/1149/26AboveAverage24302.952122260758434965041558True
PrivateBaylor UniversityTexasBig Twelve Conference2223109999971844|772.59|351998|831887|79199|349.00|911315533|666.50|941844/1230/28Good19273.10111385924044680053960True
PublicUniversity of KansasKansasBig Twelve Conference696633132751667|692.78|301913|801828|76116|622.00|981395010|706.00|941667/1111/25AboveAverage22362.952861934378374530039405True
PublicOklahoma State UniversityOklahomaBig Twelve Conference757746667551635|682.67|331903|791819|76126|585.33|951437646|725.50|951635/1090/25Average27352.801592095250104610034327True
PublicTexas Tech UniversityTexasBig Twelve Conference865578888231625|682.69|331935|811865|78140|548.00|921546458|774.50|961625/1083/24Average26362.801402863265265150031047True
PrivateTexas Christian UniversityTexasBig Twelve Conference3381091010101010101770|742.63|341881|781696|71196|3510.00|901296102|659.00|911770/1180/27AboveAverage8252.956864713864740053730True
PublicKansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve Conference879865456471600|672.72|321875|781786|74137|544.67|951442029|726.50|941600/1067/24Average31412.801692032744394790035896True
-Conf-Big Twelve Conference (Low)-Big Twelve Conference8117710101110117101625|682.86|291906|791825|76199|3410.67|891395244|708.50|921625/1083/24Average24302.9562260758434965041558True
PublicWest Virginia UniversityWest VirginiaBig Twelve Conference101010987775691545|642.82|301855|771766|74177|416.33|941432739|728.00|921545/1030/23Average24412.801622256366125570032895True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in the Big 12?

1. The University of Texas at Austin

2. Iowa State University

3. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

4. Baylor University

5. University of Kansas

6. Oklahoma State University

7. Texas Tech University

2016 Top 10 Big Twelve Conference : Big 12 Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Big Twelve Conference : Big 12 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
11.00PublicThe University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve Conference111111831896/1264/28Good35173.1061439523117905590051352
-1.17-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League111121432209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427
-1.67-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League111124432127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427
23.67PublicIowa State UniversityIowaBig Twelve Conference583222321685/1123/25AboveAverage29312.952602889355424950031920
34.17PublicUniversity of Oklahoma-Norman CampusOklahomaBig Twelve Conference444454111720/1147/26AboveAverage27302.952162101162505470036729
-4.33-Conf-Big Twelve Conference (Average)-Big Twelve Conference454355751723/1149/26AboveAverage24302.952122260758434965041558
44.67PrivateBaylor UniversityTexasBig Twelve Conference2223109971844/1230/28Good19273.10111385924044680053960
55.50PublicUniversity of KansasKansasBig Twelve Conference696633751667/1111/25AboveAverage22362.952861934378374530039405
66.00PublicOklahoma State UniversityOklahomaBig Twelve Conference757746551635/1090/25Average27352.801592095250104610034327
76.50PublicTexas Tech UniversityTexasBig Twelve Conference865578231625/1083/24Average26362.801402863265265150031047
87.17PrivateTexas Christian UniversityTexasBig Twelve Conference3381091010101770/1180/27AboveAverage8252.956864713864740053730
97.69PublicKansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve Conference879865471600/1067/24Average31412.801692032744394790035896
-8.83-Conf-Big Twelve Conference (Low)-Big Twelve Conference8117710107101625/1083/24Average24302.9562260758434965041558
109.66PublicWest Virginia UniversityWest VirginiaBig Twelve Conference101010987691545/1030/23Average24412.801622256366125570032895