About us


Ordo Ludus is Latin for school ranking (more or less).  We believe that in a world where colleges have become so driven by academic rankings, a large element of the college experience has been lost – the fact that college provides time for the life-transforming period between youth and adulthood.  Many things go into that experience.  And while colleges routinely urge potential students to explore “fit” there are no services which attempt to help those students evaluate schools in a more holistic manner.  Fit should certainly emphasize the academic strength but should go beyond academics to address quality of life, spirit of the school and values.  Ordo Ludus takes into account and gives weight to those non-academic aspects of the college experience to help students narrow their choices more effectively.


The data is culled from publicly available data from a variety of sources, including individual college & university web sites, U.S. News & World Report [http://www.usnews.com], Barron’s, Princeton Review [http://www.princetonreview.com], Top American Research Universities [http://thecenter.ufl.edu] & NCAA websites [www.ncaa.org & www.ncaasports.com].  Independent surveys were not used.


General:  The groupings use straight averages, and also are weighted in favor of Academics and an Excel Median calculation.  Sub-groupings use the data points identified below, as well as per student comparables (e.g., number of NCAA championships overall, as well as per student).  The results provide a more complex set of ranking points on which to base the significant life choice of where to attend college. Not only is the potential student able to look at academics, quality of life, sports and cost as means for determining fit, Ordo Ludus blends these rankings into an overall rating that reflect the greater diversity of a school’s strengths and values.

Academics:  The schools are compared on the following sub-categories:

  • SAT scores

  • Overall number of National Merit Scholars

  • Number of National Merit Scholars per student

  • Percentage of students who were in their top 10% of their high scool class

  • Percentage of applicants accepted (lowest to highest)

  • Number of  faculty awards

  • Number of National Academy Members among the faculty

  • Number of National Academy Members among the faculty per student

Quality of Life:  The schools are compared on the following sub-categories:







  • Retention Rate is the percentage of freshman coming back for sophomore year

  • Graduation Rate in four years

  • The percentage of applicants attending out of the pool who were accepted

  • Endowment of the school, in millions

  • Companies recruiting on campus

Sports:  The schools are compared on the following sub-categories:



  • Intramural Sports Programs

  • Intercollegiate Sports Programs

  • Number of NCAA Championshipos (all sports)

  • Football Bowl Appearances

  • Football Bowl Wins

  • Football National Championships

  • Basketball Final Four Appearances

  • Basketball National Championships

Tuition and Costs:  The schools are compared on the following sub-categories:



  • One year of tuition at the school in question

  • Tuition for out-of-state students (state schools only)

  • Tuition plus room and board

  • The average financial aid package available to students

  • The average debt load a graduate has after leaving school


Ordo Ludus was started by Addison Braendel, BA Temple University, JD University of Chicago with some time at The New School. As an individual not professionally involved in the world of higher education or publishing he recognized that his experience at each of his alma maters had provided him with a diverse set of skills among diverse populations and that traditional college rankings do not accurately address the needs of the whole student.