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

Princeton University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. It is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world.

Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton was the fourth chartered institution of higher education in the Thirteen Colonies and thus one of the nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, where it was renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. It offers professional degrees through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture and the Bendheim Center for Finance. The university has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Princeton has the largest endowment per student in the United States.

The university has graduated many notable alumni. It has been associated with 41 Nobel laureates, 21 National Medal of Science winners, 14 Fields Medalists, the most Abel Prize winners and Fields Medalists (at the time of award) of any university (five and eight, respectively), 10 Turing Award laureates, five National Humanities Medal recipients, 209 Rhodes Scholars, and 126 Marshall Scholars. Two U.S. Presidents, 12 U.S. Supreme Court Justices (three of whom currently serve on the court), and numerous living billionaires and foreign heads of state are all counted among Princeton's alumni. Princeton has also graduated many prominent members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Cabinet, including eight Secretaries of State, three Secretaries of Defense, and two of the past four Chairs of the Federal Reserve.


New Light Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey in 1746 in order to train ministers. The college was the educational and religious capital of Scots-Irish America. In 1754, trustees of the College of New Jersey suggested that, in recognition of Governor's interest, Princeton should be named as Belcher College. Gov. Jonathan Belcher replied: "What a hell of a name that would be!" In 1756, the college moved to Princeton, New Jersey. Its home in Princeton was Nassau Hall, named for the royal House of Orange-Nassau of William III of England.

Following the untimely deaths of Princeton's first five presidents, John Witherspoon became president in 1768 and remained in that office until his death in 1794. During his presidency, Witherspoon shifted the college's focus from training ministers to preparing a new generation for leadership in the new American nation. To this end, he tightened academic standards and solicited investment in the college. Witherspoon's presidency constituted a long period of stability for the college, interrupted by the American Revolution and particularly the Battle of Princeton, during which British soldiers briefly occupied Nassau Hall; American forces, led by George Washington, fired cannon on the building to rout them from it.

In 1812, the eighth president the College of New Jersey, Ashbel Green (1812-23), helped establish the Princeton Theological Seminary next door. The plan to extend the theological curriculum met with "enthusiastic approval on the part of the authorities at the College of New Jersey". Today, Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary maintain separate institutions with ties that include services such as cross-registration and mutual library access.

Before the construction of Stanhope Hall in 1803, Nassau Hall was the college's sole building. The cornerstone ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Princeton University Details

Princeton University Details
detail value
stateNew Jersey
conferenceIvy League
overall ROI rank[11
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Princeton University?

1. number 4 for Academics.

2. number 11 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Princeton University?

1. Brown University

2. Dartmouth College

3. Yale University

4. Johns Hopkins University

5. Duke University

6. Vanderbilt University

7. Stanford University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Princeton University National Academic Rankings

Princeton University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Div1 Private2213221271
Stem Low23423323289
Ivy League321322722
New England Region2223221182
State of New Jersey111111221
Top Ten Top250444443343511
Top Ten All3444431064
Top Ten Div1222322962
Top Ten Div1 Private221322961
Top Ten Private343443964
Top Ten Stem Low3342331076
Top Ten Ivy League321322722
Top Ten New England Region322322933
Top Ten State of New Jersey111111221

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Princeton University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Princeton University

Princeton University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Princeton University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Brown UniversityRhode IslandIvy LeaguePrivateElite2534
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Lehigh UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent6932
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusettsNew England Football Conferenc...PrivateElite52
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
Reed CollegeOregonNo Conference AffiliationPrivateExcellent106144
Haverford CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite97182
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent2417
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinnesotaBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3022

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Princeton University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Princeton University

Princeton University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Princeton University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusettsNew England Football Conferenc...PrivateElite52
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
California Institute of TechnologyCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite15
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicElite61
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-20
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133