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

Gulf South Conference (Average)

2016 University Academic Rankings

The Gulf South Conference (GSC) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level which operates in the southeastern United States.


Originally known as the Mid-South Conference, the Gulf South Conference was formed by six universities in the summer of 1970: Delta State, Florence State (now North Alabama), Jacksonville State, Livingston (now West Alabama), Tennessee-Martin, and Troy State (now Troy). Scheduling problems for the 1970-71 academic year limited the league to football, won by Jacksonville State.

In 1971, the league changed its name to the Gulf South Conference; added Southeastern Louisiana (SELA) and Nicholls State (increasing the membership to eight); opened an office in Hammond, Louisiana; and began championships in all men's sports. The following year, Mississippi College and Northwestern Louisiana (NWLA, now Northwestern State) were admitted. NWLA withdrew to go Division I two years later, followed by SELA and Nicholls State in 1979.

The conference continued with seven teams until 1981, when the presidents admitted Valdosta State. West Georgia joined in 1983. Eight years of stability ended in 1991 when Tennessee-Martin and Troy State went Division I, briefly dropping the GSC back to seven members, before the beginning of an expansion resulting in ten new members: Lincoln Memorial (1992-93); Alabama-Huntsville, Henderson State, Central Arkansas, and Mississippi University for Women (MUW) (1993-94); West Florida (1994-95); and Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, Montevallo, and Southern Arkansas (1995-96). Jacksonville State went Division I at the end of 1992-93. Mississippi College dropped to Division III at the end of 1995-96 and was replaced by Christian Brothers to keep the Conference at 16 schools. In July 2000, the GSC welcomed Harding University and Ouachita Baptist University, making it the largest NCAA conference at any level with 18 schools. The Conference membership decreased to 17 when MUW dropped its athletics program at the end of the 2002-03 season.

2006-07 was another season of change for the GSC. Central Arkansas moved to Division I, leaving the West Division with eight schools while Lincoln Memorial left for the South Atlantic Conference due to travel and location issues, leaving the East Division with seven schools.

Montevallo announced on June 27, 2008 that they will be leaving for the Peach Belt Conference following the 2008-09 season due to issues between the University's President and the Commissioner.

The GSC moved away from divisional play after the 2010-11 season after its six Arkansas members broke away, dropping the membership to eight. Thanks to an aggressive expansion plan, the GSC sponsored the Division II applications of Union University (TN) and Shorter University (GA), which became official members in 2014-15. The next step in bolstering its membership came in 2012, backing the Division II application of Lee University (TN) which is on track to join the league officially in 2015-16. The league added its first-ever associate member, Florida Tech, in football only in 2013. The Conference hopes to officially add an old friend back into the fold when Mississippi College submitted its application to rejoin Division II and is on track for 2016-17 membership.

Former Commissioner Jim McCullough brought the GSC office to Birmingham when he was hired in 1979. The Conference welcomed its seventh Commissioner in May, 2014 when Matt Wilson was selected to follow Nate Salant who retired after a 22-year stint.

2010s realignment

Beginning with the 2011-12 academic year; Arkansas Tech University, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Harding University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University, and Southern Arkansas University left the GSC to form the Great American Conference.< ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Gulf South Conference Details

Gulf South Conference Details
detail value
conferenceGulf South Conference
overall ROI rank[340
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Gulf South Conference (Average)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number 340 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Gulf South Conference (Average)?

1. University of New Orleans

2. Rutgers University-Newark

3. Regis University

4. Wentworth Institute of Technology

5. University of Michigan-Flint

6. Manhattan College

7. University of Illinois at Springfield

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Gulf South Conference National Academic Rankings

Gulf South Conference National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Gulf South Conference Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Gulf South Conference

Gulf South Conference Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Gulf South Conference
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of New OrleansLouisianaSouthland ConferencePublicAverage405309
Rutgers University-NewarkNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage371392
Regis UniversityColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage360303
Wentworth Institute of TechnologyMassachusettsCommonwealth Coast ConferencePrivateAverage348352
University of Michigan-FlintMichiganNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage189264
Manhattan CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage460378
University of Illinois at SpringfieldIllinoisGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicAverage403397
University of IdahoIdahoSun Belt Conference / Big Sky ...PublicAverage379216
University of MaineMaineAtlantic 10 Conference / Ameri...PublicAverage248245
Louisiana Tech UniversityLouisianaConference USAPublicAverage392213
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic ConferencePublicAverage451347
University of Minnesota-DuluthMinnesotaNorthern Sun Intercollegiate C...PublicAverage464346
Cleveland State UniversityOhioHorizon LeaguePublicAverage440299
California State University-ChicoCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage392409
Portland State UniversityOregonBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage308408
California State Polytechnic University-PomonaCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage288356
Florida Atlantic UniversityFloridaConference USAPublicAverage305303
The University of Texas at ArlingtonTexasSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage240157
Bradley UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage326177
Mercer UniversityGeorgiaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage237242
University of the PacificCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage251344
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNorth CarolinaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage242319
The Richard Stockton College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage350429
University of Detroit MercyMichiganHorizon LeaguePrivateAboveAverage415313
Tennessee Technological UniversityTennesseeOhio Valley ConferencePublicAverage374212
Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleIllinoisOhio Valley ConferencePublicAverage438368
Wichita State UniversityKansasMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage382307
University of Southern MississippiMississippiConference USAPublicAverage493423
North Dakota State UniversityNorth DakotaMissouri Valley Conference / T...PublicAverage261196
Montana State UniversityMontanaBig Sky ConferencePublicAboveAverage217168
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage368278
CUNY Brooklyn CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAverage296394
University of North FloridaFloridaAtlantic Sun ConferencePublicAboveAverage219214
University of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...PublicAverage204245
Northern Illinois UniversityIllinoisMid American ConferencePublicAverage435289
University of ToledoOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage405285
University of Nevada-RenoNevadaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage289340
Drexel UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage120134
Boise State UniversityIdahoMountain West ConferencePublicAverage389329
Kansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage249168
Oklahoma State UniversityOklahomaBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage182124
University of New MexicoNew MexicoMountain West ConferencePublicAverage265153
University of North Carolina at CharlotteNorth CarolinaDivision I-AA Independents / C...PublicAverage292207
Oregon State UniversityOregonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage152202
The University of Texas at San AntonioTexasConference USAPublicAverage330180
San Jose State UniversityCaliforniaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage386389
Texas Tech UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage176104
California State University-Long BeachCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage318387
University of ArizonaArizonaPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage12486
Florida International UniversityFloridaConference USAPublicAverage163170

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Gulf South Conference Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Gulf South Conference

Gulf South Conference Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Gulf South Conference
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
SUNY College of Technology at AlfredNew YorkDivision III IndependentsPublicAverage457467
New Jersey Athletic Conference (Average)-New Jersey Athletic Conference-Conf-Average-436
Big South Conference (Average)-Big South Conference-Conf-Average-392
North Central CollegeIllinoisCollege Conference of Illinois...PrivateAverage455382
Webster UniversityMissouriSt.Louis Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage458421
Capital Athletic Conference (Average)-Capital Athletic Conference-Conf-Average-481
Missouri Valley Conference (Low)-Missouri Valley Conference-Conf-Average-270
Great Lakes Valley Conference (Low)-Great Lakes Valley Conference-Conf-Average-319
Manhattan CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage460378
Southern Conference (Average)-Southern Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-361
City University of New York Ath Conf (Average)-City University of New York At...-Conf-Average-463
School of the Art Institute of ChicagoIllinoisNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage455470
Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage461440
Northeast 10 Conference (Average)-Northeast 10 Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-427
Southern Athletic Association (Average)-Southern Athletic Association-Conf-AboveAverage-408
Central Michigan UniversityMichiganMid American ConferencePublicBelowAverage454402
California State University-SacramentoCaliforniaBig Sky ConferencePublicBelowAverage453472
California State University-NorthridgeCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicBelowAverage459474