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

Pacific 12 Conference Academic Rankings

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

2016 Pacific 12 Conference : Pac12 Academic Rankings

2016 Pacific 12 Conference : Pac12 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
PrivateStanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference121113143112214|921.64|592237|932160|906|982.33|981548825|771.00|992214/1476/33Elite2933.55884701999446590062801True
PublicUniversity of California-BerkeleyCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference313214416422057|861.51|622192|912160|906|983.00|971424346|713.00|972057/1371/31Excellent6093.2771127126104395950057234True
-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League211145556222209|921.20|702241|932183|9118|944.67|951491251|752.00|982209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427True
PrivateUniversity of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference2323569741362091|871.76|562193|912156|9053|835.33|951194397|607.50|932091/1394/31Elite2293.2560718739237145300064694True
PublicUniversity of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference4444422321491974|822.22|452147|892108|8828|911.67|981193539|609.00|911974/1316/30Excellent30103.2597429633122125180055856True
PublicUniversity of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 Conference5755312211171840|772.68|332069|862021|8418|941.00|991343116|678.00|921840/1226/28Good35183.21109330672141125350047817True
-Conf-Pacific - 12 Conference (Average)-Pacific 12 Conference545556755331944|812.12|472118|882074|8642|865.33|951436432|724.50|961944/1296/29Excellent33183.1767625451117835377552465True
-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League2445511111211232127|891.96|512172|912090|8735|8811.33|891491251|754.00|962127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427True
PublicUniversity of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 Conference657769898641745|732.55|361999|831938|8155|828.33|921406109|706.00|941745/1163/26AboveAverage27292.903772655758755000052387True
PublicArizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 Conference786691011810971705|712.68|332018|841964|8273|769.33|911388451|698.00|921705/1137/26AboveAverage31382.9535739961103594840038977True
PublicUniversity of UtahUtahPacific 12 Conference8999127767231671|702.74|321942|811868|78101|676.33|941450321|735.00|951671/1114/25AboveAverage33302.954082390776084810039959True
PublicUniversity of ArizonaArizonaPacific 12 Conference10158885555551642|682.99|251962|821897|7958|814.33|961411994|716.50|941642/1094/25Average26363.106083298792495010043621True
PublicOregon State UniversityOregonPacific 12 Conference1161010111110111115151640|682.64|341923|801846|7798|6710.67|891040299|5212.50|881640/1093/25Average36362.802292390349834860041765True
PublicUniversity of OregonOregonPacific 12 Conference813111171211121216161650|692.84|291910|801826|7656|8111.67|88891509|4513.50|871650/1100/25AboveAverage13322.951012055935374330045375True
-Conf-Pacific - 12 Conference (Low)-Pacific 12 Conference815991210118117111671|702.98|251949|811879|78101|6710.00|901396461|709.50|911671/1114/25AboveAverage33183.1735725451117835377552465True
PublicWashington State UniversityWashingtonPacific 12 Conference15141212108610912141525|642.84|291851|771762|7376|757.33|931208669|6012.00|881525/1017/23Average25322.803432386748194870041288True
PublicArizona State University-Downtown PhoenixArizonaPacific 12 Conference13111313121313131310121615|672.77|311764|741536|64300|013.00|871380595|6911.50|891615/1077/24Average002.800915020664840040941True
PublicArizona State University-PolytechnicArizonaPacific 12 Conference1210151412131313138111635|682.74|321569|651300|54300|013.00|871390375|7011.00|891635/1090/25Average0492.80037503444840038496True
PublicArizona State University-SkysongArizonaPacific 12 Conference161614151213131313391335|563.12|221586|661285|54300|013.00|871426887|719.00|911335/890/20BelowAverage002.8001134225964840029368True
PublicArizona State University-WestArizonaPacific 12 Conference1412161612131313137121610|672.78|301490|621161|48300|013.00|871395495|7011.50|891610/1073/24Average0452.80032953974840037216True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in the Pac 12?

1. Stanford University

2. University of California-Berkeley

3. University of Southern California

4. University of California-Los Angeles

5. University of Washington-Seattle Campus

6. University of Colorado Boulder

7. Arizona State University-Tempe

2016 Top 10 Pacific 12 Conference : Pac12 Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Pacific 12 Conference : Pac12 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
11.50PrivateStanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference121113112214/1476/33Elite2933.55884701999446590062801
22.33PublicUniversity of California-BerkeleyCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference313214322057/1371/31Excellent6093.2771127126104395950057234
-2.33-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League211145222209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427
23.50PrivateUniversity of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference232356832091/1394/31Elite2293.2560718739237145300064694
43.67PublicUniversity of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 Conference444442981974/1316/30Excellent30103.2597429633122125180055856
54.33PublicUniversity of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 Conference575531761840/1226/28Good35183.21109330672141125350047817
-5.00-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League2445510232127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427
-5.00-Conf-Pacific - 12 Conference (Average)-Pacific 12 Conference545556331944/1296/29Excellent33183.1767625451117835377552465
66.50PublicUniversity of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 Conference657768541745/1163/26AboveAverage27292.903772655758755000052387
77.33PublicArizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 Conference786689681705/1137/26AboveAverage31382.9535739961103594840038977
87.67PublicUniversity of ArizonaArizonaPacific 12 Conference8108875461642/1094/25Average26363.106083298792495010043621
98.67PublicUniversity of UtahUtahPacific 12 Conference8999107241671/1114/25AboveAverage33302.954082390776084810039959
109.17PublicOregon State UniversityOregonPacific 12 Conference106101091010101640/1093/25Average36362.802292390349834860041765
-9.17-Conf-Pacific - 12 Conference (Low)-Pacific 12 Conference810991096101671/1114/25AboveAverage33183.1735725451117835377552465