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

Gardner-Webb University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Gardner-Webb University (also known as Gardner-Webb, GWU, or GW) is a private, four-year university located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, United States, 50 miles (80 km) west of Charlotte. Founded as Boiling Springs High School in 1905 as a Baptist institution, it is currently the youngest North Carolina Baptist university.

Gardner-Webb undergraduates receive a liberal arts education in an environment that fosters "meaningful intellectual thought, critical analysis, and spiritual challenge within a diverse community of learning." The University encourages its graduates to make significant contributions for God and humanity in an ever-changing global community.

Over 4,500 students attend Gardner-Webb, including both undergraduates and graduates. A total of five professional schools, two academic schools, and 11 academic departments offer nearly 60 fields of study, and GWU's online programs have won multiple awards and recognitions. GWU's Runnin' Bulldogs compete in NCAA Division I as a member of the Big South Conference.

History | Beginnings

On December 2, 1905, the Boiling Springs High School was chartered as a result of an initiative sponsored by the Kings Mountain Baptist Association (Cleveland County) and the Sandy Run Baptist Association (Rutherford County). The institution served as a place "where the young...could have the best possible educational advantages under distinctive Christian influence." In May 1905 Boiling Springs Baptist Church voted to offer its old church house, five acres of land, and $2,700 to the institution, and on July 10, 1905 Boiling Springs was officially chosen for the site of the school. The location of the High School was essential, as it was located near the border of the school's sponsors, Kings Mountain and Sandy Run, and had easy access to brick building materials. The institution's name, Boiling Springs High School, was decided on October 27, 1905, and its charter was accepted less than two months later by the school's trustees. The town of Boiling Springs is named after the natural springs that can be found on campus. They provided clean water for the school when it began operation in 1907.

J.D. Huggins was made the High School's first principal on July 25, 1907. The complete faculty, which consisted of only five teachers, including Huggins, was hired by the fall of 1907. Classes started in October of the same year, although the main building, the Huggins-Curtis Building, was not complete. Students lived in various homes in the community and used classrooms from the nearby elementary school until the building's completion in 1908. The building included classrooms, auditoriums, a chapel, library, principal's office, cafeteria, living quarters, literary societies, a music room, and parlors. Although it burned down in 1957, it signified the promise and progress of the school so far.

Boiling Springs High School focused on Christian education, as evident in the school's motto, Pro Deo et Humanitate (for God and Humanity). These words were inscribed upon "the ageless granite arch" on campus, which still exists today. Original tuition was $76.05 for a term of nine months, and although the school attracted a wide variety of students with varied interests, its focus centered around ministerial education.

Expansion and growth

The high school became Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928 due to the changing educational needs of the area. The Great Depression created many obstacles for the College, but its survival was secured by the sacrifices of loyal supporters. The college began with seven departments: English, mathematics, natural science, foreign language, social science, Bible, and education. The first graduating class consisted of roughly 200 students, with one of the earliest graduates being W. J ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Gardner Details

Gardner Details
detail value
stateNorth Carolina
conferenceBig South Conference
overall ROI rank[-1
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Gardner-Webb University?

1. number -1 for Academics.

2. number -1 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Gardner-Webb University?

1. Valparaiso University

2. Hampton University

3. Campbell University

4. Monmouth University

5. Howard University

6. Wofford College

7. Mercer University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Gardner National Academic Rankings

Gardner National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Div1 Private494944464831314547
State of North Carolina2223232122992822

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Gardner Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Gardner

Gardner Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Gardner
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Valparaiso UniversityIndianaPioneer Football League / Hori...PrivateAverage407281
Hampton UniversityVirginiaMid Eastern Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage-1-1
Campbell UniversityNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Big ...PrivateAverage-1-1
Monmouth UniversityNew JerseyBig South Conference / Metro A...PrivateAverage478477
Howard UniversityWashington DCMid Eastern Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage343429
Wofford CollegeSouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage340211
Mercer UniversityGeorgiaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage237242
Presbyterian CollegeSouth CarolinaBig South ConferencePrivateAboveAverage-1-1
University of DaytonOhioPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateAboveAverage278138
Syracuse UniversityNew YorkAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage172216

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Gardner Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Gardner

Gardner Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Gardner
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Hampton UniversityVirginiaMid Eastern Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage-1-1
Campbell UniversityNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Big ...PrivateAverage-1-1
Marist CollegeNew YorkPioneer Football League / Metr...PrivateAverage-1-1
Presbyterian CollegeSouth CarolinaBig South ConferencePrivateAboveAverage-1-1