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

Grand Valley State University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Grand Valley State University (commonly referred to as GVSU, GV, or Grand Valley) is a public liberal arts university located in Allendale, Michigan, United States. The university was established in 1960, and its main campus is situated on 1,322 acres (5.35 km2) approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Grand Rapids. Classes are also offered at the university's growing Robert C. Pew Campus in Downtown Grand Rapids, Meijer Campus in Holland, and through centers at Muskegon and Traverse City established in cooperation with local community colleges.

GVSU is a comprehensive coeducational university serving more than 25,094 students as of fall 2014, from all 83 Michigan counties and dozens of other states and foreign countries. It is one of America's 100 largest universities as well as the fifth largest in Michigan in terms of enrollment, and employs more than 3,000 people with about 1,657 academic faculty and 1,623 support staff. The university currently has alumni residing in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and 25 countries around the world. For the 2010-2011 academic year, GVSU was recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars for master's institutions by The Chronicle of Higher Education. GVSU has also been noted for its sustainability efforts, ranking as high as 16th in the world for environment-friendly university management by GreenMetric World University Ranking in 2011.

GVSU's NCAA Division II sports teams are called the Lakers. They compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in all 19 intercollegiate varsity sports and have won the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup for NCAA Division II every year from 2004 to 2011 after finishing second in 2002 and 2003. The Lakers have won 16 NCAA Division II National Championships since 2002 in seven different sports.

History | Formation, planning and construction

In 1958 the Michigan Legislature commissioned a study that demonstrated a need for a four-year college in the Grand Rapids area, Michigan's second largest metropolitan region. Local businessman Bill Seidman created a committee to study the report and spearhead the planning and promotion to create such an institution. In the following year the Michigan Legislature established the college. A naming contest was held, and out of 2500 submissions, "Grand Valley State College" was chosen. Private donations, including $350,000 to purchase land and $1,000,000 for construction, were secured from 5,000 individuals, organizations, and business throughout West Michigan. In 1961, the Grand Valley State College Board of Control chose a 876-acre (3.55 km2) site in Ottawa County near the Grand River for the new campus, and construction of academic buildings began the following year.

Early years

Grand Valley State College accepted its first class of 225 students in 1963 and held its first graduation of 138 students on June 18, 1967. The middle-late 1960s saw the addition of the first dormitories and construction of new academic buildings, including the Zumberge Library, named for the university's first president, James Zumberge.

In 1969, the Grand Valley Lanthorn printed an issue containing several vulgarities and obscenities. After complaints from some at Grand Valley State College and the surrounding communities, the Ottawa County, Michigan, sheriff arrested the editor, and the prosecutor closed down the newspaper office. The university, then a co-ed college, sued the sheriff and prosecutor for closing the Lanthorn offices. Eventually, Michigan's Attorney General settled the case out of court, ruling in favor of Grand Valley State College.

During the 1970s Grand Valley used a multiple college concept: "College of Arts and Sciences," "Thomas Jefferson College," " ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Grand Valley State University Details

Grand Valley State University Details
detail value
conferenceGreat Lakes Intercollegiate At...
overall ROI rank[239
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Grand Valley State University?

1. number 247 for Academics.

2. number 239 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Grand Valley State University?

1. Northern Arizona University

2. Towson University

3. Missouri State University-Springfield

4. University of Mississippi

5. Sam Houston State University

6. Ball State University

7. CUNY Queens College

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Grand Valley State University National Academic Rankings

Grand Valley State University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Mid West Region407670232442428967
State of Michigan5141433992413
Top Ten Top250247238232164154153159189239
Top Ten State of Michigan61010334489

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Grand Valley State University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Grand Valley State University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Northern Arizona UniversityArizonaBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage336333
Towson UniversityMarylandColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAverage264365
Missouri State University-SpringfieldMissouriMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage301266
University of MississippiMississippiSoutheastern ConferencePublicAverage232197
Sam Houston State UniversityTexasSouthland ConferencePublicAverage472383
Ball State UniversityIndianaMid American ConferencePublicAverage337326
CUNY Queens CollegeNew YorkEast Coast ConferencePublicAverage307400
St John's University-New YorkNew YorkBig East ConferencePrivateAverage309444
University of North Carolina at GreensboroNorth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePublicAverage449439
Texas State UniversityTexasSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage364290
University of OregonOregonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage174221
Kent State University at KentOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage347358
Ohio UniversityOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage215174
Utah State UniversityUtahMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage165120
University of DelawareDelawareColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage107138
Western Kentucky UniversityKentuckyConference USAPublicBelowAverage491433
Montclair State UniversityNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicBelowAverage447463
CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAboveAverage135182
Bowling Green State UniversityOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage442351
SUNY at AlbanyNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage188218
Pace University-New YorkNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAverage476465
James Madison UniversityVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage196170
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaSouth CarolinaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage93130
University of Missouri-ColumbiaMissouriSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage12198
CUNY Hunter CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAboveAverage193228
Temple UniversityPennsylvaniaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage168199
Appalachian State UniversityNorth CarolinaSun Belt ConferencePublicAboveAverage230228
DePaul UniversityIllinoisBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage193150
University of North TexasTexasConference USAPublicAboveAverage192165
Syracuse UniversityNew YorkAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage172216
The University of AlabamaAlabamaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage175112
California State University-FullertonCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage362435
University of Puerto Rico-Rio PiedrasPuerto RicoIndependent Southeast RegionPublicAboveAverage176232
The University of MontanaMontanaBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage372232
University of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage479363
The University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaTennesseeSouthern ConferencePublicAverage434464
University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage350253
Hofstra UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage231298
University of San FranciscoCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage226241
SUNY College at CortlandNew YorkNew Jersey Athletic Conference...PublicAverage479490
Loyola Marymount UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage218233
University of St ThomasMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage238156
Duquesne UniversityPennsylvaniaNortheast Conference / Atlanti...PrivateAboveAverage346374
SUNY OneontaNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAverage365466
Seton Hall UniversityNew JerseyBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365390
Ramapo College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage369437
Adelphi UniversityNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365444
Gonzaga UniversityWashingtonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235214
Monmouth UniversityNew JerseyBig South Conference / Metro A...PrivateAverage478477
SUNY at Purchase CollegeNew YorkSkyline ConferencePublicAverage490470

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Grand Valley State University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Grand Valley State University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of MaineMaineAtlantic 10 Conference / Ameri...PublicAverage248245
University of Rhode IslandRhode IslandColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage270328
Kansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage249168
Big Twelve Conference (Low)-Big Twelve Conference-Conf-Average-178
Great Lakes Valley Conference (Average)-Great Lakes Valley Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-227
Creighton UniversityNebraskaBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage273190
Christopher Newport UniversityVirginiaUSA South Athletic Conference ...PublicAboveAverage268320
Hope CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage244227
St Mary's College of MarylandMarylandCapital Athletic ConferencePublicGood275409
Beloit CollegeWisconsinMidwest ConferencePrivateGood250233
Centre CollegeKentuckySouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateGood244198
Sewanee-The University of the SouthTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateGood244250
Rhode Island School of DesignRhode IslandNo Conference AffiliationPrivateGood276361
Babson CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood243150