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

Wellesley College

2016 University Academic Rankings

Wellesley College is a private, women's, liberal-arts college located in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States, west of neighboring Boston. Founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, Wellesley is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges. Wellesley is home to 56 departmental and interdepartmental majors spanning the liberal arts, as well as over 150 student clubs and organizations. The college is also known for allowing its students to cross-register at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis, Babson College and Olin College. Notable alumnae include Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Soong Mei-ling, Cokie Roberts, and Diane Sawyer. Wellesley athletes compete in the NCAA Division III New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference.

In 2016, Wellesley was ranked the fourth best liberal arts college in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Also, Forbes magazine in 2015 ranked Wellesley 26th among all U.S. colleges and universities. Wellesley is currently the highest endowed women's college in the world, with an endowment of nearly $1.85 billion and has an undergraduate acceptance rate of 28%.


Wellesley was founded by Pauline and Henry Fowle Durant, believers in educational opportunity for women, who intended that the college should prepare women for "...great conflicts, for vast reforms in social life". Its charter was signed on March 17, 1870, by Massachusetts Governor William Claflin. The original name of the college was the Wellesley Female Seminary; its renaming to Wellesley College was approved by the Massachusetts legislature on March 7, 1873. Wellesley first opened its doors to students on September 8, 1875.

The first president of Wellesley was Ada Howard. There have been twelve more presidents in its history: Alice Elvira Freeman Palmer, Helen Almira Shafer, Julia Josephine Thomas Irvine, Caroline Hazard, Ellen Fitz Pendleton, Mildred H. McAfee (later Mildred McAfee Horton), Margaret Clapp, Ruth M. Adams, Barbara Warne Newell, Nannerl Overholser Keohane (later the president of Duke University from 1993-2004), Diana Chapman Walsh, and H. Kim Bottomly.

The original architecture of the college consisted of one very large building, College Hall, which was approximately 150 metres (490 ft) in length and five stories in height. The architect was Hammatt Billings. From its completion in 1875 until its destruction by fire in 1914, it was both an academic building and residential building. On March 17, 1914, College Hall was destroyed by fire, the precise cause of which was never officially established. The fire was first noticed by students who lived on the fourth floor near the zoology laboratory. It has been suggested that an electrical or chemical accident in this laboratory-specifically, an electrical incubator used in the breeding of beetles-triggered the fire.

After the loss of the central College Hall in 1914, the college adopted a master plan in 1921 and expanded into several new buildings. The campus hosted a Naval Reserve Officer training program during the Second World War and began to significantly revise its curriculum after the war and through the late 1960s.


The 500-acre (200 ha) campus includes Lake Waban, evergreen and deciduous woodlands, and open meadows. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., Boston's preeminent landscape architect at the beginning of the 20th century, described Wellesley's landscape as "not merely beautiful, but with a marked individual character not represented so far as I know on the ground of any other college in the country". He also wrote: "I must admit that the exceedingly intricate and complex topography and the peculiarly scattered arrangement of most of the buildings somewhat baffled me".

The original master plan for Wellesley's campus landscape was deve ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Wellesley College Details

Wellesley College Details
detail value
conferenceNew England Women's & Men's At...
overall ROI rank[158
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Wellesley College?

1. number 78 for Academics.

2. number 158 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Wellesley College?

1. Middlebury College

2. Hamilton College

3. Washington and Lee University

4. Wesleyan University

5. Amherst College

6. Pomona College

7. Dickinson College

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Wellesley College National Academic Rankings

Wellesley College National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy612238876479799589
New England Region381624633460608560
State of Massachusetts1177121012122316
Top Ten Top25078294614373153159222158

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Wellesley College Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Wellesley College

Wellesley College Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Wellesley College
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Middlebury CollegeVermontNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite90135
Hamilton CollegeNew YorkNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite115153
Washington and Lee UniversityVirginiaOld Dominion Athletic ConferencePrivateElite11746
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Amherst CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite86158
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Dickinson CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent187201
Vassar CollegeNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateElite82177
Wheaton CollegeIllinoisCollege Conference of Illinois...PrivateExcellent149114
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Barnard CollegeNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateExcellent104176
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent133146
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Davidson CollegeNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateExcellent155129
Kenyon CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent14791
University of RichmondVirginiaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent128150
Claremont McKenna CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite95118
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Brown UniversityRhode IslandIvy LeaguePrivateElite2534
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
Santa Clara UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent12398
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
George Washington UniversityWashington DCAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateExcellent51135
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Wellesley College Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Wellesley College

Wellesley College Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Wellesley College
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Amherst CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite86158
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Vassar CollegeNew YorkUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateElite82177
Oberlin CollegeOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8155
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
George Washington UniversityWashington DCAtlantic 10 ConferencePrivateExcellent51135
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
Patriot League (Average)-Patriot League-Conf-Excellent-43
United States Air Force AcademyColoradoMountain West ConferencePublicExcellent9130
Atlantic Coast Conference (Low)-Atlantic Coast Conference-Conf-Excellent-42
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
Colonial Athletic Association (Average)-Colonial Athletic Association-Conf-Excellent-112
Polytechnic Institute of New York UniversityNew YorkNo Reported AffiliationPrivateGood7672
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Lehigh UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent6932
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
University of GeorgiaGeorgiaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood8265
Big Ten Conference (Low)-Big Ten Conference-Conf-Good-51
Clemson UniversitySouth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage9851
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
Florida State UniversityFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage76104
North Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage5831
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaSouth CarolinaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage93130
University of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage7959
University of South FloridaFloridaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage94113