UF, FSU ranked in top 20 public universities; USF in top 50

University of Florida, left; University of South Florida, center; Florida State University, right

The University of Florida and Florida State University remained ranked among the top 20 public universities in the country Monday, as U.S. News & World Report released annual ratings that have become a closely watched scorecard for colleges.

UF tied with the University of California-Santa Barbara for sixth in top public universities, after being ranked seventh last year. UF also was tied for 30th among national universities, the top ranking of Florida public or private schools.

“By nearly every measure, UF is continuing to make gains, and I’m thankful to the elected leaders, faculty, staff and supporters of the university who have made that possible,” university President Kent Fuchs said in a prepared statement. “We have momentum, focus and hard work on our side, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this university.”

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Florida State tied for 19th among public universities with the University of Maryland, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Washington, after being ranked 18th last year. FSU was tied for 58th among national universities.

Sally McRorie, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said FSU improved in criteria such as class sizes and the graduation rate of students who receive Pell Grants, which provide financial help to low-income families.

“We continue to make investments to ensure our students have a world-class learning experience, and reducing class sizes helps our students have engaging, active classroom experiences,” McRorie said. 

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The University of South Florida tied for 46th among public universities, while the University of Central Florida tied for 77th and Florida International University was in a tie for No. 95. Florida A&M University, meanwhile, touted that it was the highest-ranked historically black public school in the country, coming in at an overall ranking of No. 117.

“It is a statement about a joint effort between our Board (of Trustees) and the President (Larry Robinson) to establish and stick with key priorities,” Florida A&M board Chairman Kelvin Lawson said in a prepared statement. “We want to continue to push the envelope and focus on ongoing improvement in our operating model.”

The top five public universities in the country, in order of ranking, were the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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Among national universities, the University of Miami was tied for 49th, the second-highest ranking in the state behind UF. The University of South Florida was ranked in a tie for No. 103.

The top five national universities, in order of ranking, were Princeton University, Harvard University, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University, which were tied.