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

Valparaiso University

2016 University Academic Rankings

Valparaiso University, commonly known as Valpo, is a regionally accredited private university located in Valparaiso, Indiana, United States. The university is a coed, four-year, private institution that enrolls about 4,500 students from over 50 countries on a campus of 350 acres (140 ha).

Valpo consists of five undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, and a law school. It is the largest independent Lutheran university in the United States and is home to the second-largest collegiate chapel in the world, the Chapel of the Resurrection.

Originally named Valparaiso Male and Female College, Valparaiso University was founded in 1859 as one of the first coeducation colleges in the United States. Due to reverses brought about by the Civil War, the college was forced to close its doors in 1871. Two years later it was revived by educator Henry Baker Brown and named Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute. At the turn of the 20th century, Brown changed the college's name to Valparaiso College, and shortly after it was rechartered as Valparaiso University. Initially founded by Methodists, in 1925 the school was purchased by the Lutheran University Association, which continues to operate it today.

History | Valparaiso Male and Female College

In 1859, citizens of Valparaiso were so supportive of the placement of the college that they raised $11,000 to encourage the Methodist Church to locate there. The school opened on September 21, 1859, to 75 students, and was one of the first coeducational colleges in the nation. Students paid tuition expenses of $8 per term (three terms per year), plus nearby room and board costs of approximately $2 per week. Instruction at the college actually began with young children, and most of the students were in elementary and grade levels. Courses at the collegiate level included math, literature, history, sciences, and philosophy. Courses stressing the Christian faith included “moral philosophy" and “moral science." Due to the fallout of the Civil War, the school closed in 1871. At this time, most men (both students and administrative members) had enrolled in the army. In addition, Indiana passed an 1867 bill that provided state support for public education, and the Methodists' broad statewide efforts toward higher education meant that none of the schools were self-sustaining. The combination proved too much to overcome for the Male and Female College.

Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute

The school, reopened by Henry Baker Brown in 1873, was named the Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute. In 1900, the school was renamed Valparaiso College and gained its current university status after being rechartered in 1906.

Valparaiso College, then Valparaiso University

Henry Baker Brown bought the American College of Medicine and Surgery from Northwestern University; he later changed the name to Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery. Students could save money by spending their first two medical college years in Valparaiso. In 1905 the university formed an affiliation with Chicago College of Dental Surgery to provide dental education for its students. For the next two decades, Valpo gained a national reputation as an economical institution of higher learning, earning its positive nickname The Poor Man's Harvard. At the height of enrollment in 1907, it was the second-largest school in the nation, behind only Harvard University. In 1914, monthly literary magazine The Torch was founded; it became the university's weekly student newspaper in 1915. The university began intercollegiate athletic competition in 1916. Valpo's first game was a basketball game against the Chicago YMCA Training School, in which VU fielded players from intramural teams. In 1917, World War I and the death of President Brown took its toll, and the sch ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Valparaiso University Details

Valparaiso University Details
detail value
conferencePioneer Football League / Hori...
overall ROI rank[281
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Valparaiso University?

1. number 407 for Academics.

2. number 281 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Valparaiso University?

1. Hampton University

2. Canisius College

3. Gardner-Webb University

4. Augsburg College

5. Arcadia University

6. Seattle Pacific University

7. Baldwin Wallace University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Valparaiso University National Academic Rankings

Valparaiso University National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Div1 Private444236444531312638
Horizon League531675544
Mid West Region857153769542425071
State of Indiana9136131666129
Top Ten Horizon League531675544
Top Ten State of Indiana10867105579

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Valparaiso University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Valparaiso University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Hampton UniversityVirginiaMid Eastern Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage-1-1
Canisius CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage467484
Gardner-Webb UniversityNorth CarolinaBig South ConferencePrivateAverage-1-1
Augsburg CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAverage437376
Arcadia UniversityPennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAverage467478
Seattle Pacific UniversityWashingtonGreat Northwest Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage383384
Baldwin Wallace UniversityOhioOhio Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage494447
John Carroll UniversityOhioOhio Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage449276
Manhattan CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage460378
Pacific Lutheran UniversityWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAverage439431
Lipscomb UniversityTennesseeAtlantic Sun ConferencePrivateAboveAverage303255
University of Puerto Rico-CayeyPuerto RicoNo Conference AffiliationPublicAverage484500
Le Moyne CollegeNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAverage500485
Maryville University of Saint LouisMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAverage424426
California Lutheran UniversityCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateAboveAverage481488
North Central CollegeIllinoisCollege Conference of Illinois...PrivateAverage455382
University of ScrantonPennsylvaniaLandmark ConferencePrivateAboveAverage399368
SUNY College at BrockportNew YorkEmpire Eight / State Universit...PublicAverage473487
University of Louisiana at MonroeLouisianaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage485352
University of Wisconsin-La CrosseWisconsinWisconsin Intercollegiate Ath ConfPublicAverage302258
University of Minnesota-DuluthMinnesotaNorthern Sun Intercollegiate C...PublicAverage464346
The University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaTennesseeSouthern ConferencePublicAverage434464
South Dakota State UniversitySouth DakotaMissouri Valley Conference / T...PublicAverage354263
University of Louisiana at LafayetteLouisianaSun Belt ConferencePublicAverage350248
California State University-ChicoCaliforniaCalifornia Collegiate Athletic...PublicAverage392409
University of California-Santa CruzCaliforniaDivision III IndependentsPublicAverage157208
Cedarville UniversityOhioPrivateAboveAverage287278
Siena CollegeNew YorkMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage462479
Hope CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage244227
Webster UniversityMissouriSt.Louis Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage458421
University of PortlandOregonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235245
Messiah CollegePennsylvaniaMiddle Atlantic States Athleti...PrivateAboveAverage387436
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNorth CarolinaBig South ConferencePublicAboveAverage242319
Calvin CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage255209
Rollins CollegeFloridaSunshine State ConferencePrivateAboveAverage262338
Creighton UniversityNebraskaBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage273190
University of Mary WashingtonVirginiaCapital Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage424386
Gustavus Adolphus CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage239210
Seattle UniversityWashingtonWestern Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage280320
Concordia College at MoorheadMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage430444
Mercer UniversityGeorgiaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage237242
Bradley UniversityIllinoisMissouri Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage326177
Rockhurst UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage404250
DePauw UniversityIndianaNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage304173
Gonzaga UniversityWashingtonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235214
Willamette UniversityOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateAboveAverage300402
Alfred UniversityNew YorkEmpire EightPrivateAverage471475
Ramapo College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicAverage369437
Nebraska Wesleyan UniversityNebraskaGreat Plains Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage481440
University of the SciencesPennsylvaniaCentral Atlantic Collegiate ConfPrivateAboveAverage338272

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Valparaiso University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Valparaiso University
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Presbyterian CollegeSouth CarolinaBig South ConferencePrivateAboveAverage-1-1
University of New OrleansLouisianaSouthland ConferencePublicAverage405309
Dallas Baptist UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage408342
Samford UniversityAlabamaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage431272
Monmouth UniversityNew JerseyBig South Conference / Metro A...PrivateAverage478477
University of Illinois at SpringfieldIllinoisGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicAverage403397
Savannah College of Art and DesignGeorgiaNo Conference AffiliationPrivateAverage409404
Loyola University New OrleansLouisianaSouthern States Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage411391
Rockhurst UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePrivateAboveAverage404250
Marist CollegeNew YorkPioneer Football League / Metr...PrivateAverage-1-1
Franciscan University of SteubenvilleOhioAllegheny Mountain Collegiate ...PrivateAboveAverage410310
Wofford CollegeSouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage340211
University of ToledoOhioMid American ConferencePublicAverage405285
Campbell UniversityNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Big ...PrivateAverage-1-1
Butler UniversityIndianaPioneer Football League / Big ...PrivateAboveAverage349204
Hampton UniversityVirginiaMid Eastern Athletic ConferencePrivateAverage-1-1