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

No Conference Affiliation (Low)

2016 University Academic Rankings

Higher education in the United States is an optional final stage of formal learning following secondary education. Higher education, also referred to as post-secondary education, third stage, third level, or tertiary education occurs most commonly at one of the 4,726 Title IV degree-granting institutions, either colleges or universities in the country. These may be public universities, private universities, liberal arts colleges, or community colleges. High visibility issues include greater use of the Internet, such as massive open online courses, competency-based education, cutbacks in state spending, rapidly rising tuition and increasing student loans.

Strong research and funding have helped make American colleges and universities among the world's most prestigious, making them particularly attractive to international students, professors and researchers in the pursuit of academic excellence.

Unlike Tertiary education system of UK (and in addition Australia), American education is unique in the world to place strong emphasis on Liberal Arts education in its higher education curriculum.


As of 2012, the latest figures available in 2015, the US has a total of 4,726 Title IV-eligible, degree-granting institutions: 3,026 4-year institutions and 1,700 2-year institutions. The US had 21 million students in higher education, roughly 5.7% of the total population. About 13 million of these students were enrolled full-time which was 81,000 students lower than 2010.:table 224

A US Department of Education longitudinal survey of 15,000 high school students in 2002, and again in 2012 at age 27, found that 84% of the 27-year-olds had some college education, but only 34% achieved a bachelor's degree or higher; 79% owe some money for college and 55% owe more than $10,000; college dropouts were three times more likely to be unemployed than those who finished college; 40% spent some time unemployed and 23% were unemployed for six months or more; and 79% earned less than $40,000 per year.

Types of colleges and universities

Colleges and universities in the U.S. vary in terms of goals: some may emphasize a vocational, business, engineering, or technical curriculum (like polytechnic universities and land-grant universities) while others may emphasize a liberal arts curriculum. Many combine some or all of the above, being a comprehensive university.

In the US, the term "college" refers to either one of three types of education institutions: stand-alone higher level education institutions that are not components of a university, including 1) community colleges, 2) liberal arts colleges, or 3) a college within a university, mostly the undergraduate institution of a university. Unlike colleges versus universities in other portions of the world, a stand-alone college is truly stand-alone and is not part of a university, and is also not affiliated with an affiliating university.

Almost all colleges and universities are coeducational. During a dramatic transition in the 1970s, all but a handful of men's colleges started accepting women. Over 80 percent of the women's colleges of 1960s have closed or merged, leaving fewer than 50 in operation. Over 100 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) operate, both private (such as Morehouse College) and public (such as Florida A&M).

Higher education created accreditation organizations independent of the government to vouch for the quality of their degree. The accreditation agencies rate universities and colleges on criteria such as academic quality, the quality of their libraries, the publishing records of their faculty, and the degrees which their faculty hold, and their financial solvency. Nonaccredited institutions exist, such as Bible colleges, but the students are not eligible for federal loans. ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "No Conference Affiliation (Low)", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

No Conference Affiliation Details

No Conference Affiliation Details
detail value
conferenceNo Conference Affiliation
overall ROI rank[338
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for No Conference Affiliation (Low)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number 338 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to No Conference Affiliation (Low)?

1. Earlham College

2. Millsaps College

3. Northland College

4. St Mary's College of Maryland

5. University of Tulsa

6. SUNY College at Geneseo

7. The University of Texas at Dallas

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

No Conference Affiliation National Academic Rankings

No Conference Affiliation 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)

No Conference Affiliation Peer Universities, Similar Universities to No Conference Affiliation

No Conference Affiliation Peer Universities, Similar Universities to No Conference Affiliation
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Earlham CollegeIndianaHeartland Collegiate Athletic ...PrivateGood235249
Millsaps CollegeMississippiSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage416473
Northland CollegeWisconsinUpper Midwest Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage497498
St Mary's College of MarylandMarylandCapital Athletic ConferencePublicGood275409
University of TulsaOklahomaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateGood13975
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
The University of Texas at DallasTexasAmerican Southwest ConferencePublicGood7055
Stony Brook UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicGood62109
University of ConnecticutConnecticutBig East ConferencePublicGood87139
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPennsylvaniaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood5075
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
Ohio State UniversityOhioBig Ten ConferencePublicGood4043
Reed CollegeOregonNo Conference AffiliationPrivateExcellent106144
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
Wofford CollegeSouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage340211
Ursinus CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateAboveAverage327378
Virginia Military InstituteVirginiaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage444227
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
University of Minnesota-MorrisMinnesotaUpper Midwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage321161
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-PrescottArizonaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage402205
Allegheny CollegePennsylvaniaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage322411
Eckerd CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage495417
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
LeTourneau UniversityTexasAmerican Southwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage328173
Gustavus Adolphus CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage239210
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Grove City CollegePennsylvaniaPresidents' Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235202
University of Detroit MercyMichiganHorizon LeaguePrivateAboveAverage415313
Ohio Northern UniversityOhioOhio Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage332170
Madonna UniversityMichiganWolverine - Hoosier Athletic ConfPrivateAboveAverage418377
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Webster UniversityMissouriSt.Louis Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage458421
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNorth CarolinaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage242319
University of the PacificCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage251344
United States Military AcademyNew YorkDivision I-A Independents / Pa...PublicGood14578
Mercer UniversityGeorgiaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage237242
Bradley UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage326177
Case Western Reserve UniversityOhioPresidents' Athletic Conferenc...PrivateExcellent2814
Lehigh UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent6932
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
University of Michigan-FlintMichiganNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage189264
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
Marquette UniversityWisconsinBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage197121

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

No Conference Affiliation Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to No Conference Affiliation

No Conference Affiliation Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to No Conference Affiliation
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
North Coast Athletic Conference (Average)-North Coast Athletic Conference-Conf-Good-221
Rhode Island School of DesignRhode IslandNo Conference AffiliationPrivateGood276361
The College of WoosterOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood277317
Midwest Conference (Average)-Midwest Conference-Conf-Good-245
University of DallasTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateAboveAverage282175
Minnesota Intercollegiate Ath Conf (Average)-Minnesota Intercollegiate Ath Conf-Conf-AboveAverage-242
Seattle UniversityWashingtonWestern Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage280320
South Dakota School of Mines and TechnologySouth DakotaGreat Northwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage281111
Big East Conference (Low)-Big East Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-224
Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association (Low)-Upstate Collegiate Athletic As...-Conf-AboveAverage-320
SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryNew YorkNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage229244
University of DaytonOhioPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateAboveAverage278138
Illinois State UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage279222
University of Colorado DenverColoradoNo Conference AffiliationPublicAverage283217
Mountain West Conference (Low)-Mountain West Conference-Conf-Average-285
Big Twelve Conference (Low)-Big Twelve Conference-Conf-Average-178
Big Sky Conference (Low)-Big Sky Conference-Conf-Average-245
Big West Conference (Low)-Big West Conference-Conf-Average-385