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

Gustavus Adolphus College

2016 University Academic Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College (Gustavus), is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in St. Peter, Minnesota, United States. A coeducational, four-year, residential institution, it was founded in 1862 by Swedish Americans. To this day the school is firmly rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage. The premier event on campus is the annual Nobel Conference, which features Nobel Laureates and other world-renowned scholars explaining their expertise to a general audience. Gustavus has 170 faculty of which 94% are tenure-track faculty. The student to faculty ratio is 11:1 creating an class size of approximately 15.

Mission and values

The college presents its mission as tied to the fact that it is a church-related college: A "private residential liberal arts college firmly rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage." While the institution offers many majors, the school also presents itself as a place where "a mature understanding of the Christian faith" is nurtured; so that “students are encouraged to work toward a just and peaceful world." Many students are involved in volunteer work, and service learning is integrated into many of the courses on campus.

History | Founding

The college was founded in 1862 as a Lutheran parochial school at Red Wing by Eric Norelius, pastor. Originally named Minnesota Elementarskola (elementary school in Swedish), it moved the following year to East Union, an unincorporated town in Dahlgren Township. In 1865, on the 1,000th anniversary of the death of St. Ansgar, known as the "Apostle of the North", the institution was renamed and incorporated as St. Ansgar's Academy.


In April 1873, the college was renamed Gustavus Adolphus Literary & Theological Institute in honor of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. On October 16, 1876, it opened as Gustavus Adolphus College at the current location, enticed to relocate to St. Peter by the town's offer of $10,000 and a large campus. Gustavus is the oldest of several Lutheran colleges in Minnesota. It was founded as a college of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1962 it became a college of the Lutheran Church in America, when the Augustana Synod merged into that body. The Lutheran Church in America merged in 1988 to create the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

World War II

During World War II, Gustavus Adolphus College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

Founding of the Nobel Conference

The annual Nobel Conference was established in the mid-1960s when college officials asked the Nobel Foundation for permission to name the new science building the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science as a memorial to the Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel. Permission was granted, and the facility's dedication ceremony in 1963 included officials from the Nobel Foundation and 26 Nobel Laureates. Following the 1963 Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, college representatives met with Nobel Foundation officials, asking them to endorse an annual science conference at the College and to allow use of the Nobel name to establish credibility and high standards. At the urging of several prominent Nobel laureates, the foundation granted the request, and the first conference was held at the college in January 1965.

Rankings | Presidents of Gustavus Adolphus College | Disasters

On March 29, 1998, the College's campus was hit by a mile-wide F3 tornado that broke 80 percent of the windows, leveled nearly 2,000 trees, toppled the chapel's spire, and caused more than $50 million in damages. This event is considered to be one of the most expensive college disasters in history. There was only one death (not a Gustavus stude ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gustavus Adolphus College", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Gustavus Adolphus College Details

Gustavus Adolphus College Details
detail value
conferenceMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath Conf
overall ROI rank[210
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Gustavus Adolphus College?

1. number 239 for Academics.

2. number 210 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Gustavus Adolphus College?

1. Grove City College

2. Ohio Northern University

3. Eckerd College

4. Allegheny College

5. Madonna University

6. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

7. University of Minnesota-Morris

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Gustavus Adolphus College National Academic Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Mid West Region432723747542427254
State of Minnesota65514943149
Top Ten Top250239154129234247153159148210
Top Ten State of Minnesota6558833108

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Gustavus Adolphus College Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Gustavus Adolphus College

Gustavus Adolphus College Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Gustavus Adolphus College
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Grove City CollegePennsylvaniaPresidents' Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235202
Ohio Northern UniversityOhioOhio Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage332170
Eckerd CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage495417
Allegheny CollegePennsylvaniaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage322411
Madonna UniversityMichiganWolverine - Hoosier Athletic ConfPrivateAboveAverage418377
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-PrescottArizonaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage402205
University of Minnesota-MorrisMinnesotaUpper Midwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage321161
Hope CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage244227
Webster UniversityMissouriSt.Louis Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage458421
Virginia Military InstituteVirginiaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage444227
Ursinus CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateAboveAverage327378
Wofford CollegeSouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage340211
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Trinity UniversityTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateGood212170
Pacific Lutheran UniversityWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAverage439431
Alfred UniversityNew YorkEmpire EightPrivateAverage471475
Valparaiso UniversityIndianaPioneer Football League / Hori...PrivateAverage407281
Nebraska Wesleyan UniversityNebraskaGreat Plains Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage481440
Manhattan CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage460378
University of TulsaOklahomaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateGood13975
St Mary's College of MarylandMarylandCapital Athletic ConferencePublicGood275409
University of the SciencesPennsylvaniaCentral Atlantic Collegiate ConfPrivateAboveAverage338272
Simmons CollegeMassachusettsGreat Northeast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage376452
Berea CollegeKentuckyIndependent Southeast RegionPrivateAboveAverage497494
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNorth CarolinaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage242319
University of the PacificCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage251344
Creighton UniversityNebraskaBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage273190
Mercer UniversityGeorgiaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage237242
Bradley UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage326177
Westmont CollegeCaliforniaGolden State Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage311400
Birmingham Southern CollegeAlabamaSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage376268
Christopher Newport UniversityVirginiaUSA South Athletic Conference ...PublicAboveAverage268320
Cornell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage339327
Truman State UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage208189
Transylvania UniversityKentuckyHeartland Collegiate Athletic ...PrivateAboveAverage378417
University of Michigan-FlintMichiganNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage189264
Warren Wilson CollegeNorth CarolinaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage470492
Marquette UniversityWisconsinBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage197121
University of DaytonOhioPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateAboveAverage278138
University of WyomingWyomingMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage250152
University of Northern IowaIowaMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage252248
Loyola University ChicagoIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage228206
College of CharlestonSouth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage219233
University of Missouri-Kansas CityMissouriWestern Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage197155
University of Alabama at BirminghamAlabamaConference USAPublicAboveAverage153148
Rowan UniversityNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage306392
Saint Louis UniversityMissouriAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage169165
University of Massachusetts-LowellMassachusettsAmerica EastPublicAboveAverage247275
Montana State UniversityMontanaBig Sky ConferencePublicAboveAverage217168
University of North FloridaFloridaAtlantic Sun ConferencePublicAboveAverage219214

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Gustavus Adolphus College Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Gustavus Adolphus College

Gustavus Adolphus College Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Gustavus Adolphus College
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Loyola University MarylandMarylandPatriot LeaguePrivateAboveAverage249245
New Saint Andrews CollegeIdahoNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage241238
Grove City CollegePennsylvaniaPresidents' Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235202
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Belmont UniversityTennesseeOhio Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage246291
Gonzaga UniversityWashingtonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235214
North Coast Athletic Conference (Average)-North Coast Athletic Conference-Conf-Good-221
University of the PacificCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage251344
New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (Low)-New England Women's & Men's At...-Conf-Good-161
Earlham CollegeIndianaHeartland Collegiate Athletic ...PrivateGood235249
Midwest Conference (Average)-Midwest Conference-Conf-Good-245
Babson CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood243150
University of Massachusetts-LowellMassachusettsAmerica EastPublicAboveAverage247275
University of Northern IowaIowaMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage252248
Thomas Aquinas CollegeCaliforniaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateGood223243
University of WyomingWyomingMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage250152
University of Missouri-St LouisMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage242211
The University of Texas at ArlingtonTexasSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage240157
Washington State UniversityWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage189193