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

Northwest Conference (Average)

2016 University Academic Rankings

The Northwest Conference (NWC) is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. Member teams are located in the states of Oregon and Washington.


The NWC was formed in 1926, making it one of the oldest athletics conferences in the western United States. For 60 years, the Northwest Conference sponsored sports exclusively for men, but in 1984 it joined with the Women's Conference of Independent Colleges to become the Northwest Conference of Independent Colleges, shortening the name to its current moniker in 1996 when it joined the NCAA.

The charter members included Willamette University, Pacific University, Whitman College, the College of Puget Sound (now the University of Puget Sound), Linfield College and the College of Idaho. In 1931, Albany College joined, left in 1938, and re-joined in 1949 using its present name of Lewis & Clark College. Pacific Lutheran University was added in 1965, and Whitworth University in 1970. In 1978, the College of Idaho dropped out of the conference. Whitworth also left in 1984, but then returned in 1988. In 1996, George Fox University joined when the conference moved to the NCAA and Puget Sound re-joined in that same year since 1948. From 2006 to 2010, Menlo College was also a part of the conference as an associate member in football.

The College of Idaho dropped out in 1978 and is now a member of the NAIA's Cascade Collegiate Conference. Whitworth left the NWC in 1984 but returned in 1988. George Fox University and Seattle University joined the conference in 1997. Seattle dropped out again in 1999 to become members of NCAA Division II. Menlo College joined the conference in 2005 as a football-only member.

Member schools | Current members | Former members | Former associate members | Membership timeline | Sports sponsored

The Northwest Conference sponsors championships in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

All Sports Trophy

Each year the NWC awards one of its member institutions the NWC All Sports Trophy. In each sport the Conference Champion is awarded 18 points, second place is awarded 16 points, and so on. The school with the most points at the conclusion of the academic year wins the trophy. Football, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, men's baseball, women's softball, and men's and women's track and field are the 18 sports in which points are awarded.

Most recently, Whitworth won the NWC All Sports Trophy for 2013-14, their eighth overall and seventh in a row. Pacific Lutheran has won the award 15 times, more than any other school. Linfield has won the trophy three times while Puget Sound has won it twice.

National championships | References | External links

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Northwest Conference Details

Northwest Conference Details
detail value
conferenceNorthwest Conference
overall ROI rank[440
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Northwest Conference (Average)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number 440 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Northwest Conference (Average)?

1. Willamette University

2. Franciscan University of Steubenville

3. Saint Michael's College

4. Rockhurst University

5. Point Loma Nazarene University

6. Rollins College

7. Bethel University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Northwest Conference National Academic Rankings

Northwest 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)

Northwest Conference Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Northwest Conference

Northwest Conference Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Northwest Conference
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Willamette UniversityOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage300402
Franciscan University of SteubenvilleOhioAllegheny Mountain Collegiate ...PrivateAboveAverage410310
Saint Michael's CollegeVermontNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage329452
Rockhurst UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage404250
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityCaliforniaPacific West ConferencePrivateAboveAverage357440
Rollins CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage262338
Bethel UniversityMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage423428
DePauw UniversityIndianaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage304173
Taylor UniversityIndianaMid - States Football Associat...PrivateAboveAverage391261
Berry CollegeGeorgiaSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage390412
Eckerd CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage495417
Concordia College at MoorheadMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage430444
Wittenberg UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage441295
University of Minnesota-MorrisMinnesotaUpper Midwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage321161
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityIllinoisCollege Conference of Illinois...PrivateAboveAverage298225
Wagner CollegeNew YorkNortheast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage385412
Augsburg CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAverage437376
Gordon CollegeMassachusettsCommonwealth Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage394475
Messiah CollegePennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAboveAverage387436
Ursinus CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateAboveAverage327378
California Lutheran UniversityCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateAboveAverage481488
Wofford CollegeSouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage340211
Le Moyne CollegeNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAverage500485
Lipscomb UniversityTennesseeAtlantic Sun ConferencePrivateAboveAverage303255
University of the SciencesPennsylvaniaCentral Atlantic Collegiate ConfPrivateAboveAverage338272
Simmons CollegeMassachusettsGreat Northeast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage376452
Berea CollegeKentuckyIndependent Southeast RegionPrivateAboveAverage497494
Lake Forest CollegeIllinoisMidwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage481495
John Carroll UniversityOhioOhio Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage449276
Siena CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage462479
Washington CollegeMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateAboveAverage424482
Seattle Pacific UniversityWashingtonGreat Northwest Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage383384
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Saint Edward's UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage418480
Mills CollegeCaliforniaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage429486
State University of New York at New PaltzNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAboveAverage341457
SUNY College at OswegoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAboveAverage361450
Salisbury UniversityMarylandEmpire Eight / Capital Athleti...PublicAboveAverage243358
College of CharlestonSouth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage219233
Western Washington UniversityWashingtonGreat Northwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage297338
Trinity UniversityTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateGood212170
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
The College of WoosterOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood277317
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Muhlenberg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateGood223217
Alfred UniversityNew YorkEmpire EightPrivateAverage471475
University of Puget SoundWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateGood227223
Nebraska Wesleyan UniversityNebraskaGreat Plains Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage481440
Arcadia UniversityPennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAverage467478
Union UniversityTennesseeGulf South ConferencePrivateGood225213

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Northwest Conference Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Northwest Conference

Northwest Conference Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Northwest Conference
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (Average)-Southern Collegiate Athletic C...-Conf-AboveAverage-426
Adelphi UniversityNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365444
Southern California Intercoll Ath Conf (Low)-Southern California Intercoll ...-Conf-AboveAverage-427
Seton Hall UniversityNew JerseyBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365390
SUNY OneontaNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAverage365466
Big South Conference (Average)-Big South Conference-Conf-Average-392
SUNY College at OswegoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAboveAverage361450
State University of New York Ath Conf (Average)-State University of New York A...-Conf-Average-467
Ramapo College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage369437
University of North DakotaNorth DakotaBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage363266
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf (Average)-Great Lakes Intercollegiate At...-Conf-Average-382
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage368278
Atlantic Sun Conference (Average)-Atlantic Sun Conference-Conf-Average-440
The Summit League (Average)-The Summit League-Conf-Average-372
Division III Independents (Average)-Division III Independents-Conf-Average-472
Texas State UniversityTexasSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage364290
Mid - American Conference (Low)-Mid American Conference-Conf-Average-266
California State University-FullertonCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage362435