Research funding per student is about the same. I'm not sure how you can game those numbers. Clemson is a lot smaller than Tech, and it's easier to keep high admissions standards in a small school.
Funding per student may be comparable, but funding per faculty member is no where near the same. The NSF's Top American Research Universities report of 2010 (latest one) lists VT as tied for 31st overall, whereas Clemson is in the very lowest bracket of public schools (not ranked at all in the top 50 overall); they're tied with academic powerhouses like Louisville, Wayne State.
Combining their research performance, with the fact that their faculty has a very poor representation in the national academies, a low citation index and half the national merit awards as VT's faculty, and the fact that they don't have a single kick ass department in any field, and I stand by my earlier post that VT is far superior to Clemson. They gamed the hell out of the system if USNWR ranks them ahead of us.
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