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

New England Small College Ath Conf (Low)

2016 University Academic Rankings

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eleven private liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States, informally known as the Little Ivies. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eleven schools as a group. The eleven institutions are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Tufts University, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.

Many of the schools draw parallels to the academic caliber of schools in the Ivy League. The conference originated with an agreement among Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Williams in 1955. In 1971, Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, and Union College joined on and the NESCAC was officially formed. Union withdrew in 1977, and was replaced by Connecticut College in 1982. The members are grouped within the NCAA Division III athletic conference. Members also belong to various consortia such as the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium and the Little Three. All of the members have been grouped as Little Ivies or Hidden Ivies, and have competed against one another since the 19th century.

Many of the NESCAC schools are generally viewed as some of the most socially prestigious colleges in the nation, and are ranked among the best universities in the country. The term NESCAC has connotations of academic excellence and selectivity in admissions.

All eleven universities place in the top 15% of the 2016 U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes university rankings. U.S. News has named a member of the conference in the top ten of the best liberal arts college in the country since its conception, naming Williams College number one in 2016.

Members of the conference have the largest financial endowment of any liberal arts college in the world, with William's endowment of 2.3 billion and undergraduate enrollment ranges from about 1,792 to 5,200, with Bates as the smallest, and Tufts as the biggest, respectively. Each of the schools compete for national titles in the athletic conference in respective sports.


Colleges in the New England Small College Athletic Conference have some of the largest liberal arts financial endowments in the world, which allows the colleges to provide many resources for their academic programs and research endeavors. As of 2016, Williams College has an endowment of $2.3 billion. Additionally, each college receives millions of dollars in research grants and other subsidies from federal and state government.

Connecticut CollegeNew London, ConnecticutCamels1,911$283.9 million Tanquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarium (Like a tree planted by rivers of water" (that bringeth forth its fruit in its season. - Psalm 1:3)

Williams CollegeWilliamstown, MassachusettsEphs2,124$2.344 billion E liberalitate E. Williams, armigeri (Through the generosity of E. Williams)

Membership timeline | Williams CollegeHistory | Pre-NESCAC

Williams began its inaugural football season in 1881 and its rivalry with Amherst College is one of the longest at any level of college football. Bates and Bowdoin have competed against each other athletically since the 1870s and subsequently share one of the ten oldest NCAA Division III football rivalries, in the United States, there is a long history of athletic competition between the two colleges and Colby. Colby began its now most notable hockey rivalry, with Bowdoin in 1922.

In 1899, Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams schools first began to compete together as the "Triangular League". Since then they have continued to play each other in most sports on a regular basis.
... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "New England Small College Ath Conf (Low)", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

New England Small College Ath Conf Details

New England Small College Ath Conf Details
detail value
conferenceNew England Small College Ath Conf
overall ROI rank[165
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for New England Small College Ath Conf (Low)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number 165 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to New England Small College Ath Conf (Low)?

1. University of Richmond

2. Gettysburg College

3. Dickinson College

4. Union University

5. Clark University

6. Union College

7. Colgate University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

New England Small College Ath Conf National Academic Rankings

New England Small College Ath Conf National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Top Ten Top250-6311917315515327209165

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

New England Small College Ath Conf Peer Universities, Similar Universities to New England Small College Ath Conf

New England Small College Ath Conf Peer Universities, Similar Universities to New England Small College Ath Conf
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of RichmondVirginiaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent128150
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Dickinson CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent187201
Union UniversityTennesseeGulf South ConferencePrivateGood225213
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent133146
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
Davidson CollegeNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateExcellent155129
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Middlebury CollegeVermontNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite90135
University of Puget SoundWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateGood227223
Wellesley CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateElite78158
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
Trinity UniversityTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateGood212170
Furman UniversitySouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateGood232192
Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkSkyline ConferencePrivateGood141208
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
The College of WoosterOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood277317
Hamilton CollegeNew YorkNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite115153
Washington and Lee UniversityVirginiaOld Dominion Athletic ConferencePrivateElite11746
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Amherst CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite86158
Kenyon CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent14791
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
Reed CollegeOregonNo Conference AffiliationPrivateExcellent106144
Bryn Mawr CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent137205
Santa Clara UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent12398
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
The College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicGood164193
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Kalamazoo CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateGood285415

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

New England Small College Ath Conf Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to New England Small College Ath Conf

New England Small College Ath Conf Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to New England Small College Ath Conf
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Middlebury CollegeVermontNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite90135
Southern California Intercoll Ath Conf (Average)-Southern California Intercoll ...-Conf-Excellent-130
New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (Average)-New England Women's & Men's At...-Conf-Excellent-60
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
Barnard CollegeNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateExcellent104176
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
Centennial Conference (Average)-Centennial Conference-Conf-Excellent-170
Stevens Institute of TechnologyNew JerseyEmpire EightPrivateExcellent9943
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association (Average)-Upstate Collegiate Athletic As...-Conf-Excellent-130
Haverford CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite97182
Amherst CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite86158
American UniversityWashington DCPatriot LeaguePrivateGood113180
Atlantic 10 Conference (Average)-Atlantic 10 Conference-Conf-Good-158
Missouri University of Science and TechnologyMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicGood10532
Big Ten Conference (Low)-Big Ten Conference-Conf-Good-51
American Athletic Conference (Average)-American Athletic Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-98
Clemson UniversitySouth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage9851
Indiana University-BloomingtonIndianaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage10292
America East (Average)-America East-Conf-AboveAverage-202
Arizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage10182
University of Central FloridaFloridaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage103141
Southeastern Conference (Low)-Southeastern Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-115
Big West Conference (Average)-Big West Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-202
Conference USA (Average)-Conference USA-Conf-AboveAverage-148
University of HoustonTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage8960