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

Williams College

2016 University Academic Rankings

Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. It was established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams. Originally a men's college, Williams became co-educational in 1970. Fraternities were also phased out during this period, beginning in 1962.

There are three academic curricular divisions (humanities, sciences, and social sciences), 24 departments, 33 majors, and two small master's degree programs in art history and development economics. Students may also concentrate in 12 additional academic areas that are not offered as majors (e.g., environmental studies). The academic year follows a 4-1-4 schedule of two four-course semesters plus a one-course "winter study" term in January. There are 334 voting faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. As of 2012, the school has an enrollment of 2,052 undergraduate students and 54 graduate students. Certain portions of the Williams education is modeled after the tutorial systems at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Williams is on a 450-acre (1.8 km2) campus in Williamstown, Massachusetts in the Berkshires in rural northwestern Massachusetts. The campus contains more than 100 academic, athletic, and residential buildings. The college competes in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference, and competes in the conference as the Ephs. The Williams college mascot is a purple cow.

Williams College currently occupies 1st place in U.S. News & World Report's liberal arts ranking. Forbes magazine ranked Williams the second best undergraduate institution in the United States in its 2016 publication of America's Top Colleges. The college is one of the eight Little Ivies, and is known as a Hidden Ivy.


Colonel Ephraim Williams was an officer in the Massachusetts militia and a member of a prominent landowning family. His will included a bequest to support and maintain a free school to be established in the town of West Hoosac, Massachusetts, provided that the town change its name to Williamstown. Williams was killed at the Battle of Lake George on September 8, 1755.

After Shays' Rebellion, the Williamstown Free School opened with 15 students on October 26, 1791. The first president was Ebenezer Fitch. Not long after its founding, the trustees of the school petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to convert the free school to a tuition-based college. The legislature agreed and on June 22, 1793, Williams College was chartered. It was the second college to be founded in Massachusetts.

At its founding, the college maintained a policy of racial segregation, refusing admission to black applicants. This policy was challenged by Lucy Terry Prince, who is credited as the first black American poet, when her son Festus was refused admission to the college on account of his race. Prince, who had already established a reputation as a raconteur and rhetorician, delivered a three-hour speech before the college's board of trustees, quoting abundantly from scripture, but was unable to secure her son's admission. More recent scholarship, however, has highlighted how there are no records within the college itself to confirm that this event occurred, and that Festus Prince may have been refused entry for an insufficient mastery of Latin, Greek, and French, all of which were necessary for successful completion of the entrance exam at the time, and which would most likely not have been available in the local schools of Guilford, Vermont, where Festus was raised. In 1806, a student prayer meeting gave rise to the American Foreign Mission Movement. In August of that year, five students met in the maple grove of Sloan's Meadow to pray. A thunderstorm drove them to the shelter of a haystack, and the fervor of the ensuing meeting i ... [more on wikipedia]

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

Williams College Details

Williams College Details
detail value
conferenceNew England Small College Ath Conf
overall ROI rank[161
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for Williams College?

1. number 58 for Academics.

2. number 161 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to Williams College?

1. Carleton College

2. Bowdoin College

3. Wesleyan University

4. Colorado College

5. Occidental College

6. Rhodes College

7. Lewis & Clark College

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

Williams College National Academic Rankings

Williams College National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
All Nonivy431418824279799979
Stem Low3915186736808010081
New England Region261012502260609962
State of Massachusetts95411812125730
Top Ten Top25058202211450153159246161
Top Ten State of Massachusetts954108991010

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

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

Williams College Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Williams College

Williams College Peer Universities, Similar Universities to Williams College
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Carleton CollegeMinnesotaMidwest ConferencePrivateElite8443
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160
Occidental CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateExcellent158162
Rhodes CollegeTennesseeSouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent191147
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Washington and Lee UniversityVirginiaOld Dominion Athletic ConferencePrivateElite11746
Grinnell CollegeIowaMidwest ConferencePrivateExcellent114123
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Haverford CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite97182
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Colby CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateExcellent132155
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Reed CollegeOregonNo Conference AffiliationPrivateExcellent106144
Bryn Mawr CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent137205
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
Brown UniversityRhode IslandIvy LeaguePrivateElite2534
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIvy LeaguePrivateElite127
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

Williams College Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Williams College

Williams College Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to Williams College
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Bowdoin CollegeMaineNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite64162
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
New England Small College Ath Conf (Average)-New England Small College Ath Conf-Conf-Elite-144
Georgetown UniversityWashington DCPatriot League / Big East Conf...PrivateElite4288
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
Boston CollegeMassachusettsAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4775
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Atlantic Coast Conference (Low)-Atlantic Coast Conference-Conf-Excellent-42
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Tulane University of LouisianaLouisianaAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent61106
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteMassachusettsUpstate Collegiate Athletic As...PrivateExcellent7340
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
Brigham Young University-ProvoUtahOther / West Coast ConferencePrivateGood7227
Southeastern Conference (Average)-Southeastern Conference-Conf-Good-53
University of FloridaFloridaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood4338
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPennsylvaniaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood5075
Stony Brook UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic Association ...PublicGood62109
University of ConnecticutConnecticutBig East ConferencePublicGood87139
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicGood7540
North Carolina State University at RaleighNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage5831
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicGood5566
Florida State UniversityFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicAboveAverage76104
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew JerseyBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage56115
Purdue UniversityIndianaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5720
University of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage7959
University of California-DavisCaliforniaBig Sky Conference / Big West ...PublicAboveAverage58142
Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvaniaBig Ten ConferencePublicAboveAverage5384
Texas A & M University-College StationTexasSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage7122