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 Colorado University Academic Rankings

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

2016 Colorado University Academic Rankings

2016 Colorado 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
PublicUniversity of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 Conference541121231321745|732.55|361999|831938|8155|821.00|991406109|702.00|981745/1163/26AboveAverage27292.903772655758755000052387True
PublicColorado School of MinesColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference324514445111926|801.93|521920|801748|7347|844.00|961818501|911.50|991926/1284/29Good89293.1051445615066550048097True
PublicUnited States Air Force AcademyColoradoMountain West Conference213376477231982|831.90|521956|811808|75200|335.33|951804258|902.50|981982/1321/30Excellent53173.257039520719000True
PublicColorado State University-Fort CollinsColoradoMountain West Conference672253322541700|712.68|331959|821888|79143|522.33|981298951|654.50|961700/1133/26AboveAverage33342.953372359877564580039911True
PrivateUniversity of DenverColoradoThe Summit League457835654761785|742.59|351824|761585|66111|634.67|951270178|646.00|941785/1190/27AboveAverage11212.9516564361664780057498True
PrivateColorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...13126888771072010|842.18|461620|681714|71300|07.33|931246865|628.00|922010/1340/30Excellent22123.2502050174410060500True
PublicUniversity of Colorado DenverColoradoNo Conference Affiliation786742113451628|682.69|331838|771619|67138|541.33|991315265|665.50|951628/1085/24Average59542.804131350992824730040452True
PublicMetropolitan State University of DenverColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference99548887715111590|662.76|311875|781787|74300|07.33|931069178|5311.50|891590/1060/24Average52722.80021196478425000True
PrivateRegis UniversityColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference86111288877991610|672.64|341631|681334|56300|07.33|931264421|639.00|911610/1073/24Average58372.800500941995050047100True
PublicUniversity of Colorado Colorado SpringsColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference10108988877671585|662.79|301750|731515|63300|07.33|931294773|658.00|921585/1057/24Average28562.800962921324590032294True
PublicUniversity of Northern ColoradoColoradoBig Sky Conference13129106776612111530|642.89|281702|711451|60186|386.33|941157032|5811.50|891530/1020/23Average12532.803946925814070033527True
PublicFort Lewis CollegeColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference111113138887713131568|652.82|291498|621205|50300|07.33|931101688|5512.50|881568/1045/24Average26602.8003766254110034082True
PublicColorado Mesa UniversityColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference161510118887717161470|612.97|261643|681372|57300|07.33|93703796|3515.00|851470/980/22BelowAverage12732.80090031133190031638True
PublicWestern State Colorado UniversityColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference14131515888778101475|612.95|26861|36868|36300|07.33|931268735|6311.00|891475/983/22BelowAverage24602.80023412434600031297True
PublicColorado State University-Global CampusColoradoNo Conference Affiliation121717178887714151565|654.00|0-2400|0-2400|0300|07.33|931083720|5414.50|861565/1043/23Unknown002.80069072352442000False
PublicAdams State UniversityColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference151416168887716171472|612.96|26543|23768|32300|07.33|93704892|3516.00|841472/981/22BelowAverage16722.80021569983190031364True
PublicColorado State University-PuebloColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference171614148887711141410|593.02|251448|601072|45300|07.33|931175861|5913.50|871410/940/21BelowAverage39652.800519220644420032573True

Common Questions...

What are the best colleges in Colorado?

1. University of Colorado Boulder

2. Colorado School of Mines

3. United States Air Force Academy

4. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

5. University of Denver

6. Colorado College

7. University of Colorado Denver

2016 Top 10 Colorado University Academic Rankings

2016 Top 10 Colorado 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
12.33PublicUniversity of Colorado BoulderColoradoPacific 12 Conference541121321745/1163/26AboveAverage27292.903772655758755000052387
23.17PublicColorado School of MinesColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference324514111926/1284/29Good89293.1051445615066550048097
33.50PublicUnited States Air Force AcademyColoradoMountain West Conference213366231982/1321/30Excellent53173.257039520719000
44.17PublicColorado State University-Fort CollinsColoradoMountain West Conference672253541700/1133/26AboveAverage33342.953372359877564580039911
55.33PrivateUniversity of DenverColoradoThe Summit League457835761785/1190/27AboveAverage11212.9516564361664780057498
65.67PrivateColorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...1310677972010/1340/30Excellent22123.2502050174410060500
76.40PublicUniversity of Colorado DenverColoradoNo Conference Affiliation786742451628/1085/24Average59542.804131350992824730040452
86.80PublicMetropolitan State University of DenverColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference99547710101590/1060/24Average52722.80021196478425000
97.83PrivateRegis UniversityColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference8691077891610/1073/24Average58372.800500941995050047100
108.80PublicUniversity of Colorado Colorado SpringsColoradoRocky Mountain Athletic Conference10108977681585/1057/24Average28562.800962921324590032294