The University of South Florida has made significant progress in the annual ranking of top universities by U.S. News & World Report, advancing by eight positions.
USF currently holds the 89th position among all major universities and stands at 45th place among public universities. Notably, the latter ranking has slightly decreased compared to the previous year, dropping from 42nd place. This shift is a result of adjustments made to the ranking’s methodology, favoring public institutions to a greater extent.
These changes, some of which were not publicly disclosed by the media company, involve placing more emphasis on factors such as social mobility and post-graduation outcomes for college students. Simultaneously, five other criteria, including alumni giving rates and undergraduate class size, have been removed from consideration.
USF excelled notably in the area of social mobility, achieving the top position in Florida and ranking 16th nationally for this metric. This ranking is determined by evaluating the number of graduating Pell Grant recipients.
In June, USF achieved the distinction of becoming the second public university in the state to gain membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. This achievement is expected to result in increased government research funding and serve as a compelling marketing tool for potential students.
“The University of South Florida is proud to celebrate our fifth consecutive year as a top 50 public university and our highest overall position in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings,” USF President Rhea Law said in a statement. “Our ranking as a top-tier university and our recent invitation to join the Association of American Universities show that the value of a USF degree is on the rise. We are focused on sustaining this positive momentum as we continue our pursuit of excellence.”
Alongside the inclusion of USF in the national universities list by U.S. News, several other higher education rankings were unveiled on Monday.
The University of Tampa advanced by five positions in the “best regional universities in the South” category and is now tied at No. 16 on that list. Conversely, Florida Southern College in Lakeland experienced a slight drop, falling to No. 11 in the same regional ranking.
Florida Polytechnic University climbed to No. 2 among the “best regional colleges in the South,” marking an increase of one position from 2022. For the second consecutive year, St. Petersburg College did not appear in this particular ranking.
Saint Leo University’s ranking declined to No. 390 among the top national universities. Similarly, New College in Sarasota dropped 24 places in the national liberal arts school category, tying at No. 100.
The University of Florida, following its No. 15 overall national ranking in the Wall Street Journal, secured the No. 28 spot in the U.S. News ranking. Florida State University landed at No. 53.
Since 2017, Florida has held the distinction of being the No. 1 state in the nation for higher education, according to U.S. News. This reputation contrasts with Florida’s K-12 ranking, which stands at No. 14.
Government data reveals that the state government contributes more money per full-time student than the national average, partly resulting in the lowest tuition and fees in the country. This helps students avoid excessive debt, challenging a national trend where schools often overspend despite dwindling legislative support, as detailed in a Wall Street Journal investigation.
In total, Florida enrolls approximately 1 million students across 12 public universities and 28 community and state colleges, serving as a crucial workforce pipeline for businesses across the state.