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 West Conference Academic Rankings

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

2016 Big West Conference : No Conference Affiliation Academic Rankings

2016 Big West Conference : No Conference Affiliation 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
-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League111121221112209|921.20|702241|932183|9118|941.67|981491251|751.00|992209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427True
-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League111134545112127|891.96|512172|912090|8735|884.67|951491251|751.00|992127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427True
PublicUniversity of California-Santa BarbaraCaliforniaBig West Conference232214244211845|772.59|352036|851974|8213|963.33|971157852|581.50|991845/1230/28Good20193.102302023828134940057631True
PublicUniversity of California-DavisCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...323331111431785|742.46|392027|841971|8263|791.00|991043493|523.00|971785/1190/27AboveAverage46172.957002756569435100056637True
PublicCalifornia Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...111166666121869|782.40|402047|851984|83300|06.00|941355541|682.00|981869/1246/28Good42233.100192469405780035843True
PublicUniversity of California-IrvineCaliforniaBig West Conference444422222341685|702.69|331954|811883|7828|912.00|981069667|533.50|971685/1123/25AboveAverage39142.953412448955624990054455True
-Conf-Big West Conference (Average)-Big West Conference555565645551675|702.69|331943|811870|78143|525.00|951035195|525.00|951675/1117/25AboveAverage31282.912142360243654813846892True
PublicUniversity of California-RiversideCaliforniaBig West Conference557735555651625|682.70|331882|781789|7535|885.00|95985169|495.50|951625/1083/24Average24312.801331879027084630055517True
PublicUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...668953233971605|672.70|321828|761682|70104|662.67|97378593|197.50|931605/1070/24Average35392.803111412653814400045624True
PublicCalifornia State University-Long BeachCaliforniaBig West Conference876666666561515|632.85|291883|781807|75300|06.00|941014130|516.00|941515/1010/23Average27362.8003164351664380033884True
PublicCalifornia State University-FullertonCaliforniaBig West Conference785566666881525|642.87|281893|791819|76300|06.00|94951660|488.00|921525/1017/23Average16442.8003272654024290035545True
-Conf-Big West Conference (Low)-Big West Conference898865656571515|632.95|261842|771753|73300|05.67|941035195|527.00|931515/1010/23Average31282.911332360243654813846892True
PublicCalifornia State University-NorthridgeCaliforniaBig West Conference899866666781375|573.04|241818|761735|72300|06.00|94956399|488.00|921375/917/21BelowAverage26472.8003561645154300033270True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in the Big West Conference?

1. University of California-Santa Barbara

2. University of California-Davis

3. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

4. University of California-Irvine

5. University of California-Riverside

6. University of Hawaii at Manoa

7. California State University-Long Beach

2016 Top 10 Big West Conference : No Conference Affiliation Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Big West Conference : No Conference Affiliation 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
-1.17-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League111121112209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427
-1.83-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League111134112127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427
12.33PublicUniversity of California-Santa BarbaraCaliforniaBig West Conference232214211845/1230/28Good20193.102302023828134940057631
22.50PublicUniversity of California-DavisCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...323331431785/1190/27AboveAverage46172.957002756569435100056637
32.67PublicCalifornia Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...111166121869/1246/28Good42233.100192469405780035843
43.33PublicUniversity of California-IrvineCaliforniaBig West Conference444422341685/1123/25AboveAverage39142.953412448955624990054455
-5.17-Conf-Big West Conference (Average)-Big West Conference555565551675/1117/25AboveAverage31282.912142360243654813846892
55.33PublicUniversity of California-RiversideCaliforniaBig West Conference557735651625/1083/24Average24312.801331879027084630055517
66.17PublicUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...668953971605/1070/24Average35392.803111412653814400045624
76.50PublicCalifornia State University-Long BeachCaliforniaBig West Conference876666561515/1010/23Average27362.8003164351664380033884
86.65PublicCalifornia State University-FullertonCaliforniaBig West Conference785566881525/1017/23Average16442.8003272654024290035545
-7.33-Conf-Big West Conference (Low)-Big West Conference898865571515/1010/23Average31282.911332360243654813846892
98.32PublicCalifornia State University-NorthridgeCaliforniaBig West Conference899866781375/917/21BelowAverage26472.8003561645154300033270