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

State of Arizona University Academic Rankings

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examples: Yale "Wake Forest" "Big Ten" TX NC

2016 Arizona University Academic Rankings

2016 Arizona University Academic Rankings
rank value image public university state conference scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research r pop r stem r other salary ROI overall ROI scores value difficulty value smartest value brainpower value faculty value research value salary ROI value overall ROI value scores level stem drop gpa avg research undergrads grads salary price scores valid
PublicArizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 Conference121122222631705|712.68|332018|841964|8273|762.00|981388451|693.50|971705/1137/26AboveAverage31382.9535739961103594840038977True
PublicUniversity of ArizonaArizonaPacific 12 Conference392211111321642|682.99|251962|821897|7958|811.00|991411994|712.50|981642/1094/25Average26363.106083298792495010043621True
PrivateEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University-PrescottArizonaNo Conference Affiliation118744444111705|712.66|331010|421176|49300|04.00|961578061|792.00|981705/1137/26AboveAverage36422.9501984515580047148True
PublicArizona State University-Downtown PhoenixArizonaPacific 12 Conference554444444751615|672.77|311764|741536|64300|04.00|961380595|695.50|951615/1077/24Average002.800915020664840040941True
PublicNorthern Arizona UniversityArizonaBig Sky Conference873333333881555|652.83|291866|781780|74158|473.00|971175045|596.50|941555/1037/23Average13452.80292332843774360037340True
PublicArizona State University-PolytechnicArizonaPacific 12 Conference446544444551635|682.74|321569|651300|54300|04.00|961390375|705.50|951635/1090/25Average0492.80037503444840038496True
PublicArizona State University-WestArizonaPacific 12 Conference667844444451610|672.78|301490|621161|48300|04.00|961395495|705.50|951610/1073/24Average0452.80032953974840037216True
PublicArizona State University-SkysongArizonaPacific 12 Conference10105644444241335|563.12|221586|661285|54300|04.00|961426887|715.00|951335/890/20BelowAverage002.8001134225964840029368True
PrivatePrescott CollegeArizonaNo Conference Affiliation73910444441091605|672.70|32810|34810|34300|04.00|96684316|349.50|911605/1070/24Average89682.8004643843190039223True
PrivateArizona Christian UniversityArizonaGolden State Athletic Conference9810944444991548|642.88|28695|29844|35300|04.00|96697144|359.50|911548/1032/23Average0662.80073703190036016True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in Arizona?

1. Arizona State University-Tempe

2. University of Arizona

3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

4. Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix

5. Northern Arizona University

6. Arizona State University-Polytechnic

7. Arizona State University-West

2016 Top 10 Arizona University Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Arizona University Academic Rankings
rank value public name state conference scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI scores level stem drop gpa avg research undergrads grads salary price
11.50PublicArizona State University-TempeArizonaPacific 12 Conference121122631705/1137/26AboveAverage31382.9535739961103594840038977
23.00PublicUniversity of ArizonaArizonaPacific 12 Conference392211321642/1094/25Average26363.106083298792495010043621
34.17PrivateEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University-PrescottArizonaNo Conference Affiliation118744111705/1137/26AboveAverage36422.9501984515580047148
44.33PublicArizona State University-Downtown PhoenixArizonaPacific 12 Conference554444751615/1077/24Average002.800915020664840040941
54.86PublicNorthern Arizona UniversityArizonaBig Sky Conference873333881555/1037/23Average13452.80292332843774360037340
64.90PublicArizona State University-PolytechnicArizonaPacific 12 Conference446544551635/1090/25Average0492.80037503444840038496
76.31PublicArizona State University-WestArizonaPacific 12 Conference667844451610/1073/24Average0452.80032953974840037216
86.50PublicArizona State University-SkysongArizonaPacific 12 Conference10105644241335/890/20BelowAverage002.8001134225964840029368
96.60PrivatePrescott CollegeArizonaNo Conference Affiliation73910441091605/1070/24Average89682.8004643843190039223
108.00PrivateArizona Christian UniversityArizonaGolden State Athletic Conference9810944991548/1032/23Average0662.80073703190036016