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

Boise State University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, it became an independent junior college in 1934, and has been awarding baccalaureate and master's degrees since 1965. With nearly 23,000 students, Boise State has the largest enrollment of higher education institutions in the state of Idaho.

Boise State offers 201 degrees in 190 fields of study and has more than 100 graduate programs, including the MBA and MAcc programs in the College of Business and Economics; Masters and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; and the MPA program in the College of Social Sciences & Public Affairs.

The university's athletic teams, the Broncos, participate in NCAA Division I athletics (FBS for football) as a member of the Mountain West Conference for most sports. The Wrestling team is an associate member of the Pac-12 Conference, since the MWC does not sponsor the sport.


Boise State University was founded in 1932 as Boise Junior College by the Episcopal Church, which created the school from the earlier St. Margaret's School, an Episcopal school founded in 1892 in nearby Christ Chapel. BSU's founding president was Middleton Barnwell, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho. After two years the school became independent, and, in 1940, moved from St. Margaret's Hall to its present site along the south bank of the Boise River between Capitol Boulevard and Broadway Avenue.

In 1965, the school gained four-year status, adopting the name "Boise College", and began awarding baccalaureate degrees. Four years later, the school joined the Idaho state system of higher education and was renamed Boise State College. In 1974, the school gained university status to become Idaho's third state university. Boise State has grown to become the largest university in the state. Boise State now awards associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. As of 2010, the university has over 75,000 living alumni.


The campus is nestled along the south bank of the Boise River, directly across from Julia Davis Park and Downtown Boise. The primary campus covers 175 acres (70.8 ha), and includes more than 170 buildings. The campus is situated at an elevation of 2,700 feet (823 m) above sea level.

Campus expansion plan

In 2005, University President Bob Kustra announced an ambitious road map for transforming Boise State University into a “Metropolitan Research University of Distinction." An integral part of this plan is the integration of the “Campus Master Plan" to build and expand university infrastructure to support academic programs and create an attractive and accessible learning environment. The 10-year Campus Master Plan provides for a new set of buildings to be conceptualized, programmed, funded, designed, constructed and ultimately occupied by the campus community. In all, the university will add nearly 20 academic facilities, eight student life facilities, three administrative buildings, dozens of resident halls and apartment buildings, and make significant improvements to campus transportation infrastructure.

Since 2005, the university has already completed or begun nearly a dozen major projects, including construction of the Interactive Learning Center, the Micron Business and Economics Building, the Norco Nursing and University Health Services Building, and the Environmental Research Building.

Albertsons Library

The school's library, named for grocery pioneer and longtime Boise resident Joe Albertson, is a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m²) facility in the center of the campus. The library is said to be large enough to fit the entire student body of Boise State. It houses more than 550,000 books, has 80 public terminals for student use, and features a Star ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Boise State University", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Boise State University Details

Boise State University Details
detail value
conferenceMountain West Conference
overall ROI rank[329
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Boise State University?

1. number 389 for Academics.

2. number 329 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Boise State University?

1. University of Akron Main Campus

2. University of California-Riverside

3. Middle Tennessee State University

4. Eastern Michigan University

5. Illinois State University

6. Georgia Southern University

7. University of Memphis

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Boise State University National Academic Rankings

Boise State University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Mountain West Conference989879967
Mountain West Region1421197512122017
State of Idaho465323355
Top Ten Mountain West Conference989878867
Top Ten State of Idaho465323355

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

Boise State University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Boise State University

Boise State University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Boise State University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of Akron Main CampusOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage331251
University of California-RiversideCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage167212
Middle Tennessee State UniversityTennesseeConference USAPublicAverage384372
Eastern Michigan UniversityMichiganMid American ConferencePublicAverage445385
Illinois State UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage279222
Georgia Southern UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage254236
University of MemphisTennesseeAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAverage359314
Oakland UniversityMichiganHorizon LeaguePublicAverage417270
University of Nevada-RenoNevadaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage289340
Kennesaw State UniversityGeorgiaAtlantic Sun ConferencePublicAverage290291
CUNY Brooklyn CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAverage296394
University of Rhode IslandRhode IslandColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage270328
The University of Texas at El PasoTexasConference USAPublicBelowAverage499294
Old Dominion UniversityVirginiaConference USAPublicAverage356368
Kansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage249168
Oklahoma State UniversityOklahomaBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage182124
Western Kentucky UniversityKentuckyConference USAPublicBelowAverage491433
University of New MexicoNew MexicoMountain West ConferencePublicAverage265153
University of North Carolina at CharlotteNorth CarolinaDivision I-AA Independents / C...PublicAverage292207
East Carolina UniversityNorth CarolinaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAverage312325
Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisIndianaThe Summit LeaguePublicAverage427342
West Virginia UniversityWest VirginiaBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage320192
Mississippi State UniversityMississippiSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage197130
University of California-Santa CruzCaliforniaDivision III IndependentsPublicAverage157208
University of ToledoOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage405285
California State University-ChicoCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage392409
University of LouisvilleKentuckyAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAverage258224
Washington State UniversityWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage189193
Oregon State UniversityOregonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage152202
University of Louisiana at LafayetteLouisianaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage350248
Northern Illinois UniversityIllinoisMid American ConferencePublicAverage435289
Georgia State UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage253230
Florida Atlantic UniversityFloridaConference USAPublicAverage305303
San Francisco State UniversityCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicBelowAverage428458
University of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...PublicAverage204245
San Jose State UniversityCaliforniaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage386389
California State University-SacramentoCaliforniaBig Sky ConferencePublicBelowAverage453472
San Diego State UniversityCaliforniaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage183218
Texas Tech UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage176104
University of New HampshireNew HampshireColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage221225
University of Nebraska at OmahaNebraskaThe Summit LeaguePublicAverage491364
North Dakota State UniversityNorth DakotaMissouri Valley Conference / T...PublicAverage261196
University of Southern MississippiMississippiConference USAPublicAverage493423
Wichita State UniversityKansasMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage382307
University of North DakotaNorth DakotaBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage363266
Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleIllinoisOhio Valley ConferencePublicAverage438368
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic ConferencePublicAverage451347
University of MaineMaineAtlantic 10 Conference / Ameri...PublicAverage248245
University of IdahoIdahoSun Belt Conference / Big Sky ...PublicAverage379216
Rutgers University-NewarkNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage371392

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Boise State University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Boise State University

Boise State University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Boise State University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Conference USA (Low)-Conference USA-Conf-Average-272
San Jose State UniversityCaliforniaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage386389
Louisiana Tech UniversityLouisianaConference USAPublicAverage392213
California State University-ChicoCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage392409
New Jersey Athletic Conference (Average)-New Jersey Athletic Conference-Conf-Average-436
Great Lakes Valley Conference (Low)-Great Lakes Valley Conference-Conf-Average-319
Empire Eight (Average)-Empire Eight-Conf-AboveAverage-460
Messiah CollegePennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAboveAverage387436
Berry CollegeGeorgiaSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage390412
Taylor UniversityIndianaMid - States Football Associat...PrivateAboveAverage391261
William Jewell CollegeMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage387344
Wagner CollegeNew YorkNortheast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage385412