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

The Summit League (Average)

2016 University Academic Rankings

The Summit League, or The Summit, is an NCAA Division I college athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. On June 1, 2007, the conference changed its name from the Mid-Continent Conference.

Member schools | Current members | Current full members

†- The Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992-93. Before that time, Western Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; WIU was a member of both sides of the conference. When the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, WIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but has kept its football team in the Gateway (now known as the Missouri Valley Football Conference) to this day.

Current associate members | Former members | Former full members

- The then-Mid-Continent Conference did not sponsor women's sports until the 1992-93 school year. Cleveland State, UIC, Northern Illinois, Valparaiso, Green Bay, and Wright State were all members of the women's-only North Star Conference until the Mid-Con began sponsoring women's sports, effectively absorbing the NSC.

- As noted before, the Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992-93. Before that time, Eastern Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; EIU was a member of both sides of the conference. When the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, EIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but kept its football team in the Gateway until it moved its entire athletic program into the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996.

Former associate members | History | Foundation

The association was created on June 18, 1982 at the O'Hare Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities (or AMCU or AMCU-8, pronounced Am-cue), which it was known as until 1989. The conference sponsored football from 1982 until 1984 at the Division I-AA level (now Division I FCS), and current members North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois have FCS football programs.

Changes and the addition of women's sports

In the early 1990s, the conference saw its first changes. Southwest Missouri State departed for membership in the Missouri Valley Conference as the University of Akron and Northern Illinois University joined in 1990. Then Wright State University joined in 1991 as Northern Iowa followed Southwest Missouri State to the MVC.

Major changes came to the conference in 1992. First, Akron left for the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and was replaced by another Ohio school, Youngstown State University. More significantly, the Mid-Continent added women's sports by absorbing the North Star Conference (NSC), a women's-only league whose final seven members had all been in the Mid-Continent. All of the final NSC members except for Akron moved their women's sports into the Mid-Continent. At the same time, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois moved their women's sports into the Mid-Continent when their former women's sports home, the Gateway Conference, merged into the Missouri Valley Conference. A year later, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee joined the Mid-Continent.

Horizon and ECC transitions

In 1994, charter members Cleveland State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, as well as newer members Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, and Wright State left the conference to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League.

In response, the Mid-Continent absorbed Central Connecticut State University, Chicago State University, the University at Buf ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Summit League (Average)", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

The Summit League Details

The Summit League Details
detail value
conferenceThe Summit League
overall ROI rank[372
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for The Summit League (Average)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number 372 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to The Summit League (Average)?

1. University of Memphis

2. The University of Montana

3. University of North Dakota

4. Wichita State University

5. North Dakota State University

6. University of Nebraska at Omaha

7. University of New Hampshire

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

The Summit League National Academic Rankings

The Summit League 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)

The Summit League Peer Universities, Similar Universities to The Summit League

The Summit League Peer Universities, Similar Universities to The Summit League
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of MemphisTennesseeAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAverage359314
The University of MontanaMontanaBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage372232
University of North DakotaNorth DakotaBig Sky ConferencePublicAverage363266
Wichita State UniversityKansasMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage382307
North Dakota State UniversityNorth DakotaMissouri Valley Conference / T...PublicAverage261196
University of Nebraska at OmahaNebraskaThe Summit LeaguePublicAverage491364
University of New HampshireNew HampshireColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage221225
SUNY at AlbanyNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage188218
University of Rhode IslandRhode IslandColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage270328
Pace University-New YorkNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAverage476465
CUNY Queens CollegeNew YorkEast Coast ConferencePublicAverage307400
University of ToledoOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage405285
Sam Houston State UniversityTexasSouthland ConferencePublicAverage472383
University of Nevada-RenoNevadaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage289340
Oakland UniversityMichiganHorizon LeaguePublicAverage417270
Illinois State UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAverage279222
Rutgers University-NewarkNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage371392
Howard UniversityWashington DCMid Eastern Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage343429
Rowan UniversityNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage306392
University of Puerto Rico-Rio PiedrasPuerto RicoIndependent Southeast RegionPublicAboveAverage176232
Saint Louis UniversityMissouriAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage169165
South Dakota State UniversitySouth DakotaMissouri Valley Conference / T...PublicAverage354263
Loyola University ChicagoIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage228206
The University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaTennesseeSouthern ConferencePublicAverage434464
University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage350253
University of Minnesota-DuluthMinnesotaNorthern Sun Intercollegiate C...PublicAverage464346
University of Wisconsin-La CrosseWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage302258
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic ConferencePublicAverage451347
University of MaineMaineAtlantic 10 Conference / Ameri...PublicAverage248245
University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage466414
University of Louisiana at LafayetteLouisianaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage350248
Montclair State UniversityNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicBelowAverage447463
University of DaytonOhioPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateAboveAverage278138
University of LouisvilleKentuckyAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAverage258224
California State University-ChicoCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage392409
Marquette UniversityWisconsinBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage197121
University of California-Santa CruzCaliforniaDivision III IndependentsPublicAverage157208
Mississippi State UniversityMississippiSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage197130
Clemson UniversitySouth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage9851
Western Kentucky UniversityKentuckyConference USAPublicBelowAverage491433
Georgia Southern UniversityGeorgiaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage254236
Eastern Michigan UniversityMichiganMid American ConferencePublicAverage445385
University of California-RiversideCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage167212
Towson UniversityMarylandColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAverage264365
Boise State UniversityIdahoMountain West ConferencePublicAverage389329
University of Akron Main CampusOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage331251
Old Dominion UniversityVirginiaConference USAPublicAverage356368
Middle Tennessee State UniversityTennesseeConference USAPublicAverage384372
Kansas State UniversityKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage249168
University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeWisconsinHorizon LeaguePublicBelowAverage420367

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

The Summit League Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to The Summit League

The Summit League Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to The Summit League
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage479363
SUNY College at CortlandNew YorkNew Jersey Athletic Conference...PublicAverage479490
Big South Conference (Low)-Big South Conference-Conf-Average-463
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Ath Conf (Average)-Great Lakes Intercollegiate At...-Conf-Average-382
Mid - American Conference (Low)-Mid American Conference-Conf-Average-266
Monmouth UniversityNew JerseyBig South Conference / Metro A...PrivateAverage478477
Pace University-New YorkNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAverage476465
Atlantic Sun Conference (Average)-Atlantic Sun Conference-Conf-Average-440
Division III Independents (Average)-Division III Independents-Conf-Average-472
Nebraska Wesleyan UniversityNebraskaGreat Plains Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage481440
California Lutheran UniversityCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateAboveAverage481488
State University of New York Ath Conf (Average)-State University of New York A...-Conf-Average-467
North Greenville UniversitySouth CarolinaDivision II Independents / Con...PrivateAboveAverage477492
Southern California Intercoll Ath Conf (Low)-Southern California Intercoll ...-Conf-AboveAverage-427
Lake Forest CollegeIllinoisMidwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage481495
Champlain CollegeVermontNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage475497
Northwest Conference (Average)-Northwest Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-440
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (Average)-Southern Collegiate Athletic C...-Conf-AboveAverage-426
Northeast 10 Conference (Average)-Northeast 10 Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-427