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

Western Athletic Conference (Average)

2016 University Academic Rankings

The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is an American collegiate athletic conference formed on July 27, 1962 and affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. The WAC covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, along with the "non-western" states of Missouri, Illinois (traditionally associated with the Midwest), and Texas (traditionally associated with the South).

Due to most of the conference's football-playing members leaving the WAC for other affiliations, the conference discontinued football as a sponsored sport after the 2012-13 season and left the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A). The WAC thus became the first Division I conference to drop football since the Big West in 2000. The WAC then added men's soccer and became one of the NCAA's eleven Division I non-football conferences.

Member schools | Current members

In July 2015, UTPA merged with the University of Texas at Brownsville to create the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The University of Texas System stated in July 2014 that "the UTPA athletics program will be converted into the athletics program at UTRGV". On November 5, 2014, UTRGV's new nickname of Vaqueros was announced.

According to U.S. News & World Report, RNP means a ranking was calculated, but is not published. Unranked means not enough information was provided to make a calculation.

Affiliate members

Four schools became affiliate members in men's soccer in July 2013; the WAC announced on January 9, 2013 that it would reinstate the sport, which it had sponsored from 1996 to 1999. Because the conference dropped football, it was necessary to add a new men's team sport to maintain its Division I status. It chose men's soccer because three of the confirmed members for 2013-14 (CSU Bakersfield, Grand Canyon, and Seattle) already sponsored the sport, and filled out its soccer ranks by attracting four schools from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Three of these schools have past WAC connections-former full members Air Force, UNLV and San Jose State. After the WAC announced it would add men's soccer, the conference gained an eighth soccer school for the 2013 season when UMKC, which already sponsored the sport, joined. In addition, Utah Valley added the sport for 2014, UT-Pan American (now known as UT Rio Grande Valley) added it for 2015, and Chicago State is slated to add it for 2016.

Four schools (three of which are former WAC full members: Air Force, UNLV and Wyoming; and North Dakota) became affiliate members in men's swimming and diving in July 2013; the WAC announced on May 16, 2013 that it would reinstate the sport, which it had sponsored from 1962 to 2000.

Former full members | Former affiliate members

^ a b Neither the Big Sky Conference nor the MW sponsors women's gymnastics. Boise State and Southern Utah house that sport in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference.

Membership timeline

Prior to the 1996-97 season, both Air Force and Hawaii had most to all of their women's sports competing in other conferences before joining the WAC full-time with their men's sports counterparts. At that time, Air Force was in the Colorado Athletic Conference, and Hawaii was in the Big West Conference.

History | Formation

The WAC formed out of a series of talks between Brigham Young University athletic director Eddie Kimball and other university administrators from 1958 to 1961 to form a new athletic conference that would better fit the needs and situations of certain universities which were at the time members of the Border, Skyline, and Pacific Coast Conferences. Potential member universities who were represented at th ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Western Athletic Conference Details

Western Athletic Conference Details
detail value
conferenceWestern Athletic Conference
overall ROI rank[-1
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Western Athletic Conference (Average)?

1. number - for Academics.

2. number -1 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Western Athletic Conference (Average)?

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Western Athletic Conference National Academic Rankings

Western Athletic Conference National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Western Athletic Conference-33233245
Top Ten Western Athletic Conference-33233245

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Western Athletic Conference Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Western Athletic Conference

Western Athletic Conference Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Western Athletic Conference
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Western Athletic Conference Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Western Athletic Conference

Western Athletic Conference Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Western Athletic Conference
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Division III Independents (Average)-Division III Independents-Conf-Average-472
Presidents' Athletic Conference (Average)-Presidents' Athletic Conference-Conf-Average--1
Sunshine State Conference (Average)-Sunshine State Conference-Conf-Average-426
State University of New York Ath Conf (Average)-State University of New York A...-Conf-Average-467
Old Dominion Athletic Conference (Average)-Old Dominion Athletic Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-485
College Conference of Illinois and Wisc (Average)-College Conference of Illinois...-Conf-AboveAverage-386
Landmark Conference (Low)-Landmark Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-481
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (Average)-Southern Collegiate Athletic C...-Conf-AboveAverage-426