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

Division I Independents (Average)

2016 University Academic Rankings

NCAA Division I independent basketball schools are four-year institutions that do not belong to a basketball conference or a primary conference for all sports teams.

There was only one independent school for the 2014-15 athletic season, New Jersey Institute of Technology. NJIT became an independent school on July 1, 2013 after the Great West Conference, NJIT's former conference home, dissolved due to all other conference members leaving for more established conferences. NJIT joined the Atlantic Sun Conference on July 1, 2015. There will not be an independent program for the 2015-16 basketball season.

See also | References | External links

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Division I Independents (Average)", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Division I Independents Details

Division I Independents Details
detail value
conferenceDivision I Independents
overall ROI rank[59
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Division I Independents (Average)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number 59 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Division I Independents (Average)?

1. Stevens Institute of Technology

2. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

3. United States Air Force Academy

4. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

5. United States Naval Academy

6. Case Western Reserve University

7. Lehigh University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Division I Independents National Academic Rankings

Division I Independents National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Top Ten Top250-10360206207153150359

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Division I Independents Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Division I Independents

Division I Independents Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Division I Independents
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Stevens Institute of TechnologyNew JerseyEmpire EightPrivateExcellent9943
Rose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyIndianaHeartland Collegiate Athletic ...PrivateExcellent15960
United States Air Force AcademyColoradoMountain West ConferencePublicExcellent9130
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteMassachusettsUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent7340
United States Naval AcademyMarylandDivision I Independents / Patr...PublicExcellent12648
Case Western Reserve UniversityOhioPresidents' Athletic Conferenc...PrivateExcellent2814
Lehigh UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent6932
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent2734
University of California-San DiegoCaliforniaDivision II IndependentsPublicExcellent2670
University of Maryland-College ParkMarylandBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3460
University of California-BerkeleyCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent1826
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
United States Military AcademyNew YorkDivision I-A Independents / Pa...PublicGood14578
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvaniaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite219
United States Coast Guard AcademyConnecticutNew England Football Conferenc...PublicGood18597
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Harvey Mudd CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite4919
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicElite61
Franklin W Olin College of EngineeringMassachusettsNo Conference AffiliationPrivateElite4853
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...PublicGood9688
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinnesotaBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3022

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Division I Independents Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Division I Independents

Division I Independents Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Division I Independents
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Patriot League (Low)-Patriot League-Conf-Good-84
Rose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyIndianaHeartland Collegiate Athletic ...PrivateExcellent15960
Big East Conference (Average)-Big East Conference-Conf-Good-144
Davidson CollegeNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateExcellent155129
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Kenyon CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent14791
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
Bryn Mawr CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent137205
No Conference Affiliation (Average)-No Conference Affiliation-Conf-Excellent-180
West Coast Conference (Average)-West Coast Conference-Conf-Good-155
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
University of Puerto Rico-Rio PiedrasPuerto RicoIndependent Southeast RegionPublicAboveAverage176232
Saint Louis UniversityMissouriAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage169165
Southeastern Conference (Low)-Southeastern Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-115
University of Alabama at BirminghamAlabamaConference USAPublicAboveAverage153148
University of Missouri-Kansas CityMissouriWestern Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage197155
George Mason UniversityVirginiaAtlantic 10 ConferencePublicAboveAverage156143
Big West Conference (Average)-Big West Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-202
Pacific - 12 Conference (Low)-Pacific 12 Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-115
Mid - American Conference (Average)-Mid American Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-185
American Athletic Conference (Low)-American Athletic Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-162
University of KentuckyKentuckySoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage159130
University of Illinois at ChicagoIllinoisHorizon LeaguePublicAboveAverage159111
Missouri Valley Conference (Average)-Missouri Valley Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-202
Big Sky Conference (Average)-Big Sky Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-170
University of California-Santa CruzCaliforniaDivision III IndependentsPublicAverage157208
Oregon State UniversityOregonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage152202