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

Lehigh University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Lehigh University is an American private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer and has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971-72 academic year. As of 2014, the university had 4,904 undergraduate students and 2,165 graduate students. Lehigh is considered one of the twenty-four Hidden Ivies in the Northeastern United States.

Lehigh has four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college today, home to roughly 40% percent of the university's students. The university offers a variety of degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering, Master of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy.

Lehigh has produced Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Fellows, American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences members, National Medal of Science winners, and two billionaire alumni.


Asa Packer named his university "Lehigh" after his other passion, the railroad, despite suggestions from some to call it "Packer University". It was founded to provide a well-rounded education for young men, combining a liberal and scientific education with the technical skills necessary to increase the prosperity of the region. According to William Bacon Stevens, the first president of the board of trustees, Asa Packer's founding gift of $500,000 was the largest single endowment gift ever received by an institution of higher learning up to that time. Mr. Packer also provided for the first structure ever to be built by the young University on campus: "Packer Hall", now known also as the University Center. An unusual Mansard Gothic edifice featuring a prominent bell tower, at which, upon a suggestion that it be composed of the less expensive brick, Packer declared that it would be made "of stone". In the construction, a branch of the railroad was diverted to bring stone to the site.

From 1871 to 1891, Packer's endowment allowed the institution to offer its education free of charge by competitive exam. In 1879, Lehigh became the wealthiest institution of higher learning in the country, surpassing Harvard and Yale. This, plus its blend of engineering and liberal arts, attracted some of the nation's brightest students, many of whom went on to distinguished careers in industry and engineering.

The formation of a College for engineering, or technical university, was quite a difficult project, as the entire subject of engineering education was obscure. A small number of colleges had commenced this, such as Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and Harvard, Yale, and RPI in New York; MIT and Cornell were just being founded. The University of Pennsylvania opened a small school in 1852, for mining and materials, but which had closed at the onset of the Civil War. As W. Ross Yates notes: "No one knew with certainty how many years a course in engineering should take, or even what branches of engineering should be included within a university. The relationship between theory and practice was hazy." A statement made years later by industrialist and Lehigh Trustee Eckley B. Coxe summarizes the problem succinctly: "Not knowing exactly what you want to do or the material you have to do it with, what is the best way of doing it?"

Unlike some other engineering schools of the day, Lehigh was envisioned rather as a university instead of an "institute of technology," offering an education that was rooted in bot ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Lehigh University Details

Lehigh University Details
detail value
conferencePatriot League
overall ROI rank[32
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Lehigh University?

1. number 69 for Academics.

2. number 32 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Lehigh University?

1. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

2. Case Western Reserve University

3. Princeton University

4. United States Naval Academy

5. University of Rochester

6. United States Air Force Academy

7. Rice University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Lehigh University National Academic Rankings

Lehigh University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy626246759223732437
Div1 Nonivy382515548213781417
Div1 Private19241524271222911
Stem Low474446607525713129
Patriot League231561331
New England Region344729406214491116
State of Pennsylvania3756103733
Top Ten Top25069865794146311323832
Top Ten Patriot League231561331
Top Ten State of Pennsylvania6656103733

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Lehigh University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Lehigh University

Lehigh University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Lehigh University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteMassachusettsUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent7340
Case Western Reserve UniversityOhioPresidents' Athletic Conferenc...PrivateExcellent2814
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
United States Naval AcademyMarylandDivision I Independents / Patr...PublicExcellent12648
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
United States Air Force AcademyColoradoMountain West ConferencePublicExcellent9130
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
University of TulsaOklahomaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateGood13975
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
United States Military AcademyNew YorkDivision I-A Independents / Pa...PublicGood14578
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPennsylvaniaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite219
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
University of California-San DiegoCaliforniaDivision II IndependentsPublicExcellent2670
University of Maryland-College ParkMarylandBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3460
University of California-BerkeleyCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent1826
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent2417
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinnesotaBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3022
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Missouri University of Science and TechnologyMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicGood10532
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
University of New OrleansLouisianaSouthland ConferencePublicAverage405309
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
The University of Texas at DallasTexasAmerican Southwest ConferencePublicGood7055
Stony Brook UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicGood62109
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...PublicGood9688
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
The University of Texas at AustinTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicGood3851

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Lehigh University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Lehigh University

Lehigh University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Lehigh University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
George Washington UniversityWashington DCAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateExcellent51135
The University of Texas at DallasTexasAmerican Southwest ConferencePublicGood7055
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteMassachusettsUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent7340
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
Tulane University of LouisianaLouisianaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent61106
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Vassar CollegeNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateElite82177
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
University of ConnecticutConnecticutBig East ConferencePublicGood87139
University of IowaIowaBig Ten ConferencePublicGood6879
Stony Brook UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicGood62109
University of GeorgiaGeorgiaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood8265
Georgetown UniversityWashington DCPatriot League / Big East Conf...PrivateElite4288
Haverford CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite97182
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Ivy League (Low)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-21
Amherst CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite86158
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
New England Small College Ath Conf (Average)-New England Small College Ath Conf-Conf-Elite-144
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
Florida State UniversityFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage76104
Wellesley CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateElite78158
Harvey Mudd CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite4919
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
University of Massachusetts-AmherstMassachusettsMid - American Conference / At...PublicAboveAverage88144
North Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage5831
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Franklin W Olin College of EngineeringMassachusettsNo Conference AffiliationPrivateElite4853
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaSouth CarolinaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage93130
University of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage7959
Texas A & M University-College StationTexasSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage7122