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

Union University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Union University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university located in Jackson, Tennessee, with additional campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville. The university is affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and relates to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Union is one of the top tier institutions in the Southern Region, listed for each of the past 19 years by U.S. News & World Report, and is notable for having trained a United States Supreme Court justice, and in the sports world as the place where Bear Bryant began his football coaching career.

Union University is the heir to some of the oldest universities in the Southeast. The school is a union of several different schools: West Tennessee College, formerly known as Jackson Male Academy, Union University of Murfreesboro, Southwestern Baptist University, and Hall-Moody Junior College of Martin, Tennessee.

Accreditation and affiliation

Union University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). On July 14, 2013, Union University announced that its Business Program had earned accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Union University has been a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). In August 2015, Union notified CCCU that the university would be withdrawing its membership as a result of two member schools changing their policies to hire individuals in a same-sex relationship.


For 2015, U.S. News ranked Union 14th among "Regional Universities" in the South, the 19th consecutive year U.S. News ranked Union as a top-tier school. It has been recognized by Peterson's Competitive College Guide, the Time/Princeton Review, and Templeton's Colleges that Encourage Character Development. Union is a recipient of the President's Higher Education Community Service Award and has been listed as one of America's Top 100 College Buys. In addition, U.S. News has cited Union as an "A+ option for serious B students," among "Up and Coming Schools" and among schools "where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching."

History | Early history

Jackson Male Academy was founded in 1823 just after West Tennessee was opened for settlement. Only five years earlier in 1818 was the land purchased from the Chickasaw Indians.

In 1907, Dr. T.T. Eaton, a trustee of Southwestern Baptist University, left his 6,000 volume library to the college. Eaton was a former professor of Union University at Murfreesboro, where his father, Dr. Joseph H. Eaton, was a former president.

Southwestern soon changed its name to Union University in honor of the Eatons and others from Union at Murfreesboro who had impacted Southwestern as faculty, administrators, trustees, and contributors.

In 1925 the Tennessee Baptist Convention secured a charter that vested the rights, authority, and property of Union University in the Tennessee Convention. This charter included the election of the University's trustees. Two years later, the Convention consolidated Hall-Moody Junior College at Martin (1900-1927) with Union University; the former Hall-Moody campus subsequently became the location of the University of Tennessee Junior College, now the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The Craig and Barefoot Administrations

From the early 1950s to the early 1970s, Union operated an Extension Center in the Memphis area. From 1987-95, Union offered the degree-completion program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN track) in Memphis. At that time there were over 300 graduates of this program.

David S. Dockery's Administration

David S. Dockery was elected as the fifteenth president of Union University in December 1995. Docker ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Union University Details

Union University Details
detail value
conferenceGulf South Conference
overall ROI rank[213
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Union University?

1. number 225 for Academics.

2. number 213 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Union University?

1. Clark University

2. California Lutheran University

3. Furman University

4. Yeshiva University

5. Lipscomb University

6. University of Puget Sound

7. Muhlenberg College

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Union University National Academic Rankings

Union University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
South East Region351821665648476949
State of Tennessee3439787114
Top Ten Top250225134153216227153159173213
Top Ten State of Tennessee443775563

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Union University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Union University

Union University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Union University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
California Lutheran UniversityCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateAboveAverage481488
Furman UniversitySouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateGood232192
Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkSkyline ConferencePrivateGood141208
Lipscomb UniversityTennesseeAtlantic Sun ConferencePrivateAboveAverage303255
University of Puget SoundWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateGood227223
Muhlenberg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateGood223217
Bethel UniversityMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage423428
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
Seattle Pacific UniversityWashingtonGreat Northwest Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage383384
Trinity UniversityTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateGood212170
University of RichmondVirginiaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent128150
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
The College of WoosterOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood277317
University of ScrantonPennsylvaniaLandmark ConferencePrivateAboveAverage399368
Rollins CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage262338
Messiah CollegePennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAboveAverage387436
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Concordia College at MoorheadMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage430444
Dickinson CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent187201
Siena CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage462479
Rockhurst UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage404250
Cedarville UniversityOhioPrivateAboveAverage287278
DePauw UniversityIndianaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage304173
Drake UniversityIowaPioneer Football League / Miss...PrivateAboveAverage263136
Willamette UniversityOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage300402
Hope CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage244227
Dallas Baptist UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage408342
Franciscan University of SteubenvilleOhioAllegheny Mountain Collegiate ...PrivateAboveAverage410310
Webster UniversityMissouriSt.Louis Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage458421
Saint Michael's CollegeVermontNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage329452
Taylor UniversityIndianaMid - States Football Associat...PrivateAboveAverage391261
Berry CollegeGeorgiaSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage390412
Eckerd CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage495417
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent133146
Catholic University of AmericaWashington DCOld Dominion Athletic Conferen...PrivateAboveAverage381458
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Allegheny CollegePennsylvaniaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage322411
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Wittenberg UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage441295
University of Minnesota-MorrisMinnesotaUpper Midwest Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage321161
Calvin CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage255209
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityIllinoisCollege Conference of Illinois...PrivateAboveAverage298225
Wagner CollegeNew YorkNortheast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage385412
Creighton UniversityNebraskaBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage273190

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Union University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Union University

Union University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Union University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
University of Puget SoundWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateGood227223
Bentley UniversityMassachusettsNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateGood232199
Muhlenberg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateGood223217
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Thomas Aquinas CollegeCaliforniaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateGood223243
Gonzaga UniversityWashingtonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235214
United States Coast Guard AcademyConnecticutNew England Football Conferenc...PublicGood18597
New Saint Andrews CollegeIdahoNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAboveAverage241238
University of San FranciscoCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage226241
Loyola University ChicagoIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage228206
James Madison UniversityVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage196170
Clarkson UniversityNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateAboveAverage211187
University of North Carolina WilmingtonNorth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage221228
SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryNew YorkNo Conference AffiliationPublicAboveAverage229244
University of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...PublicAverage204245
University of New HampshireNew HampshireColonial Athletic Association ...PublicAverage221225