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

Sun Belt Conference Academic Rankings

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

2016 Sun Belt Conference Academic Rankings

2016 Sun Belt Conference 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 League111111111112209|921.20|702241|932183|9118|941.00|991491251|751.00|992209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427True
-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League111111111112127|891.96|512172|912090|8735|881.00|991491251|751.00|992127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427True
PublicGeorgia State UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt Conference433212142831595|662.75|311901|791824|76122|591.67|981258484|634.50|961595/1063/24Average21462.80882532872284450040068True
PublicThe University of Texas at ArlingtonTexasSun Belt Conference541145625111585|662.77|311916|801844|77139|544.00|961469979|731.50|991585/1057/24Average52552.80742988398575590031864True
PublicGeorgia Southern UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt Conference215588887961640|682.71|321886|791791|75198|347.67|921244764|626.00|941640/1093/25Average19512.8041800425134390033093True
PublicAppalachian State UniversityNorth CarolinaSun Belt Conference1524999981291695|712.77|311911|801812|75300|08.67|911135340|578.00|921695/1130/25AboveAverage9322.9501625517714010032554True
PublicUniversity of IdahoIdahoSun Belt Conference / Big Sky ...527873133221585|662.73|321743|731507|63184|392.00|981461049|733.50|971585/1057/24Average35462.8094928324194580033160True
PublicUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteLouisianaSun Belt Conference576664154441585|662.80|301828|761707|71179|413.00|971324934|665.00|951585/1057/24Average21522.80681557416214480032302True
-Conf-Sun Belt Conference (Average)-Sun Belt Conference346697686671601|672.76|311870|781775|74215|286.67|931307952|656.50|941601/1068/24Average24482.82411921439104543833026True
PublicTexas State UniversityTexasSun Belt Conference884399998771525|642.88|281891|791816|76300|08.67|911280822|647.00|931525/1017/23Average12412.8003217745624420030846True
PublicUniversity of Louisiana at MonroeLouisianaSun Belt Conference3681199998351600|672.78|311706|711372|57300|08.67|911329191|665.50|951600/1067/24Average22622.800721513024430030326True
PublicNew Mexico State UniversityNew MexicoSun Belt Conference / Western ...1010111021111571415|592.99|251671|701393|58125|591.00|991319702|667.00|931415/943/21BelowAverage39492.801461278430454510032180True
PublicUniversity of South AlabamaAlabamaSun Belt Conference8910956566691465|612.96|261688|701424|59178|415.67|941300819|658.00|921465/977/22BelowAverage33572.80391147943264370026984True
-Conf-Sun Belt Conference (Low)-Sun Belt Conference8876989886111525|642.86|281819|761715|71300|08.33|921307952|658.50|921525/1017/23Average24482.8241921439104543833026True
PublicTroy UniversityAlabamaSun Belt Conference1212979999811111400|583.03|241692|711537|64300|08.67|911231286|6211.00|891400/933/21BelowAverage29642.8001511439273890025280True
PublicArkansas State UniversityArkansasSun Belt Conference111112129999810111411|593.03|241615|671332|55300|08.67|911240725|6211.00|891411/941/21BelowAverage25612.800985732873950026854True
PublicUniversity of Arkansas at Little RockArkansasSun Belt Conference131313133767813131285|543.09|231504|631182|49129|576.67|931111377|5612.50|881285/857/19BelowAverage100742.8011938422614080032228True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in the Sun Belt Conference?

1. Georgia State University

2. The University of Texas at Arlington

3. Georgia Southern University

4. Appalachian State University

5. University of Idaho

6. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

7. Texas State University

2016 Top 10 Sun Belt Conference Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Sun Belt Conference 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
-1.00-Conf-Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League111111112209/1473/33Elite2843.43580824691005957563427
-1.00-Conf-Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League111111112127/1418/32Elite2843.43217824691005957563427
12.71PublicGeorgia State UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt Conference433212831595/1063/24Average21462.80882532872284450040068
22.80PublicThe University of Texas at ArlingtonTexasSun Belt Conference541135111585/1057/24Average52552.80742988398575590031864
34.00PublicGeorgia Southern UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt Conference215577961640/1093/25Average19512.8041800425134390033093
44.67PublicAppalachian State UniversityNorth CarolinaSun Belt Conference1524881071695/1130/25AboveAverage9322.9501625517714010032554
55.42PublicUniversity of IdahoIdahoSun Belt Conference / Big Sky ...527763221585/1057/24Average35462.8094928324194580033160
65.80PublicUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteLouisianaSun Belt Conference576654441585/1057/24Average21522.80681557416214480032302
-5.98-Conf-Sun Belt Conference (Average)-Sun Belt Conference346686671601/1068/24Average24482.82411921439104543833026
76.98PublicTexas State UniversityTexasSun Belt Conference884388771525/1017/23Average12412.8003217745624420030846
87.00PublicUniversity of Louisiana at MonroeLouisianaSun Belt Conference3681088351600/1067/24Average22622.800721513024430030326
97.60PublicUniversity of South AlabamaAlabamaSun Belt Conference899846691465/977/22BelowAverage33572.80391147943264370026984
107.62PublicNew Mexico State UniversityNew MexicoSun Belt Conference / Western ...101010921591415/943/21BelowAverage39492.801461278430454510032180
-7.97-Conf-Sun Belt Conference (Low)-Sun Belt Conference8876876111525/1017/23Average24482.8241921439104543833026