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Five Florida Public Universities Climb in National Rankings

September 11, 2018 - 6:00am
University of Florida
University of Florida

Florida universities continued their academic climb in the latest U.S. News & World Report annual college rankings, placing five schools in the country’s top 100 public universities for the first time.

The 2019 rankings, which were released Monday, included:

--- The University of Florida moved from No. 9 to No. 8 on the list, continuing its quest to become one of the top five public research universities.

--- Florida State University jumped seven spots to No. 26, just outside its goal of reaching the top 25 public universities.

--- The University of South Florida, recently designated by the state as a “preeminent” research university, improved to No. 58, up 10 spots from last year.

--- The University of Central Florida was ranked at No. 87, compared to No. 90 last year.

--- Florida International University recorded the largest statistical climb, reaching No. 100 among public research universities, up 22 spots from last year.

In other U.S. News rankings, New College of Florida improved to No. 5 on the list of public liberal-arts colleges and improved 11 spots to No. 90 among all public and private liberal-arts schools.

Florida A&M University was ranked No. 9 among public and private historically black colleges and universities, a decline from last year’s No. 6 ranking. The school was ranked second on the list of the top public HBCUs.

The closely watched U.S. News rankings are based on 15 measurements aimed at evaluating the academic quality of the institutions. The measures include graduation rates, retention rates, class sizes, peer reputation and faculty resources.

For the first time this year, the rankings included a “social mobility” factor that measures the performance of students who receive Pell Grants. The federal grants are awarded to students who have annual family incomes below $50,000, with most below $20,000.

The performances of Pell students, who constituted 38 percent of the systemwide enrollment in Florida in the fall of 2016, was one of the factors that helped the state schools rise in the national rankings.

Its largest impact may have been at Florida International, where more than 50 percent of students are on Pell grants. FIU was the only Florida school where the Pell students had a higher six-year graduation rate, 57 percent, compared to non-grant students, 56 percent.

“Our improvement demonstrates that our focus on student success --- timely graduation and preparation to take or create great jobs --- is making a difference for our students and their families,” FIU President Mark Rosenberg said.

Florida State University reported a 77 percent six-year graduation rate for its Pell students, ranking it No. 22 among public research universities.

“That’s the story of FSU,” Provost Sally McRorie said. “We are creating an environment where everyone can succeed because we provide the kinds of resources that can help people not only find their path but also provide them lots of support and challenges to be better.”

The University of Florida reported an 85 percent six-year graduation rate for its Pell students, the highest in the system.

The rise in the national rankings dovetails with efforts by the Legislature, with backing from Gov. Rick Scott, to increase funding for the university system, while keeping tuition low and expanding need- and merit-based aid for students.

At the same time, much of the new funding is tied to performance standards, developed by the system’s Board of Governors, including measuring graduation and student-retention rates, which are also key metrics for the U.S. News evaluation.

One impact of the funding increases has been the ability of the universities to hire more faculty, which, in turn, helps reduce class sizes and increases research activity.

The University of Florida has hired 100 new faculty through “preeminence” funding since 2013 and has hired another 200 faculty as part of an initiative announced last year, the school reported. In the U.S. News evaluation, UF has improved its student-to-faculty ratio from 20-1 to 19-1.

“The newest rankings are confirmation that we are making good choices and investing in the right places,” UF President Kent Fuchs said.

Florida State University had 240 new faculty members this fall and has improved its student-to-faculty ratio to 22-1, compared to 25-1 two years ago, the school reported.

Although the U.S. News rankings have their critics, the annual report highlights performance trends over time.

In the case of the University of South Florida, the reports have underscored a steady improvement, with the latest rankings showing an increase of 36 spots among public research universities over the last half-dozen years.

“USF is pleased to see significant gains in our national reputational scores,” said Ralph Wilcox, the USF provost and executive vice president.


Remember to vote the Republican ticket in November. We are on the right track in so many areas here in South Florida. This is no time to change direction. We want as many Republicans as we can elect to fill House and Senate seats, especially in our US Congress in addition to our State House and Senate. President Trump needs all the help he can get to keep our nation fast-tracking to unprecedented prosperity and success. Education is just one of the areas WINNING under the Trump Agenda!!! You'd think the leftest sourpusses would want to enjoy life just a little while we are doing so well. At least, for a few minutes, rest those forehead muscles all cramped up from frowning and SMILE! ...sigh. Remember 9/11 and thank God for our incredible country full of resilient patriots. USA Strong.

In a state ranked somewhere in the 40s among the 50 states in terms of the quality and efficacy of its public primary and secondary education, its higher education institutions are definitely becoming a bright spot.

...and the history of the State's education systems have always been hovering on "sub-standard", including its "higher" college choices, (unless you're an overweight, protoplasmic running lump of the defensive line in a "football" funded college)...

"Butthead Governor Rick Scott" fired poor me in exchange for selling his Continental Structural Plastics (over $800,000,000), Michigan company to the Japanese conglomerate controlled by Mitsubishi. This didn't show up until he filed his federal disclosure forms, since the State disclosure forms didn't require it. He is the wealthiest governor because he is and has been unethical. He discriminated against me based on some Japanese conspiracy (orchestrated by Sony and Mitsubishi, etc...) to stage political stunts by sabotaging my career. Rick Scott only became governor so he could get their attention to sell this company to the Japanese for more then he paid1 His blind trust is a joke, its only form, not substance. He then uses his henchmen to sabotage other job applications whether private or government, so poor me gets stuck attending online schools to live on small amount of student loans. He played games with fake State of Florida interviews and had me driving over 15 hours on trips to Tallahassee (rental car, hotel stays, gas isn't free), so he could create false rumors about jobs that didn't materialize and to waste what little monies poor me had. He won't be happy until I am homeless living in the street. His latest game is to cancel job applications when I apply so I can't claim discrimination with an EEOC complaint (this became a joke as well).

Did you ever consider that YOU might be incompetent..?

Considering your language is typically insulting. Considering C. Breeze is probably on some payroll and trolls these online blogs. Whoever C. Breeze is can't handle what is really going on, so he/she insults anyone in their way. I have been a member of the Florida Bar 26 years in good standing. Pass the Florida Bar, doubt you small petty mind could have accomplished this. I have a Masters of Law Degree (LL.M) in Tax. YOU probably don't even know what that is. I worked in the Court system drafting legal opinions and orders that Judges signed for nearly 10 years. I don't think YOUR NASTY INSULTING SELF CAN CLAIM THAT, Thanks to JEB BUSHY BOY needing campaign contributions from the Japanese, I lost that position. Poor Jeb lost also his bid for the primary for President, somehow they don't learn from their mistakes. But seeing C. Breeze is a nasty BUTTHEAD as well, doesn't surprise me.

To C. Breeze whoever YOU are, did you ever consider YOU ARE A JERK! WHY DON'T YOU COMPLETELY IDENTIFY YOURSELF. I AM NOT. YOU ARE!

Scott is a joke on all accounts ... and he should have become a federal prisoner for his $2+ billion ripoff of Medicare and Medicaid instead of governor of Florida. Crooked is as crooked does!

Hard to go anywhere BUT 'UP',... until you figure in "weather", "football"(and 'other' sports and recreation), social atmosphere, ease of travel, etc,.... {and ALL THOSE things depend LARGELY on "good weather"}. "Academics" is, and always has been, 'subjective' in ALL of Florida's secondary schools... relying almost entirely upon "word of mouth" (remember the 'old time' University of Miami" reputation???.. "a play school"), and the Florida colleges 'publicity' departments 'promotions'. "On the 'Other Hand' however", the country's "elite Ivy League" colleges, and their competitive 'equivalents' have ALL been "watered down by government enforced 'Affirmative-Action" over almost FIVE decades in order to compete for tuition $dollars$, 'government bonds' and survival itself (hence the six+ year graduate and ongoing illiteracy degree results of 'released' students upon our country..). "College" was NEVER meant for ALL students; except by ALL colleges merely for the sake of $Tuition and Alumni Dollars$... a "fraud" created by the colleges themselves by creating FAR less than stellar "courses" to keep less-than-stellar students (and "sports program" adherents) and their PARENTS "on the $$money pump$$" ! ! ! "EDUCATION" in Florida has been a sad oxymoron perpetuated over decades.... for ALL the wrong reasons. AND, what we're faced with here in Florida, is the continued ongoing "Perfect Storm" 'pumphouse' version of "higher education": "Funnel 'em in, drain their $$$$, and pump 'em out; many will become Plumbers, Carpenters and Shopkeepers ANYWAY,.. it was always, ALSO a foregone conclusion". "RAH, RAH, SIS BOOM BAH: PAY AT THE GATE,.. BUT DON'T STAY LATE ! ! !"

Wonderful news! We can thank the increased funding championed by Governor Scott to elevate the national rankings of our prestigious colleges and Universities. Bravo!

How about "elevating" primary and secondary education in Florida ... currently ranked somewhere in the 40s among the 50 states? Like Trump, Scott "champions" NOTHING but Scott!


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