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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

UF ranked top five public university

The university first reached top ten status in 2017

Photo of Newell Drive with Century Tower and Marston Science Library visible in the view
Photo of Newell Drive with Century Tower and Marston Science Library visible in the view

After five years of ascending through the rankings, UF achieved its long-standing goal.

U.S. News and World Report announced on Sept. 12 UF is ranked No. 5 in the list of public universities.

The university first reached top ten status in 2017, when it tied for the No. 9 spot with the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, San Diego.

Since then, the university has ascended through the rankings, where, before Monday, it was tied for sixth place with the University of California, Santa Barbara. Now, UF is tied for fifth with University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and UC Santa Barbara.

The newest ranking makes UF the first university in the state to ever be in the top five ranking of colleges.

The rankings are determined by nine factors: graduation and retention, graduation rate performance, graduate indebtedness, social mobility, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.

One of the ways UF tries to boost its ranking is by hosting its annual Giving Day fundraiser to bolster its standing in the alumni giving category. This year it raised $25.3 million.

Danielle Hawk, an activist who announced her run for Congress in May, protested the university's COVID-19 protocols last Spring semester by setting up a boycott for UF’s Giving Day. 

UF has not acted like it’s a top-ranked university in the way it’s handled the COVID-19 pandemic, she said in an earlier interview with The Alligator.

However, the boycott did not stop UF from topping its earlier record of $23 million in donations from 2020.

“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,” President Kent Fuchs said in a statement.

When UF reached it’s No. 7 rank in 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the news at Emerson Alumni Hall.

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“University of Florida is going to be knocking on the top five soon,” DeSantis said. “I think when people know that, they're like, ‘Man, we're going to have a lot of talent down in Florida.’”

With the top five spot newly secured, it is unknown what exactly the future may be, but UF spokesman Steve Orlando hopes to hold onto No. 5.

Florida is the nation’s third most populous state, so it needs a top-five university, Orlando said in a prior statement.

Contact Maya Erwin at merwin@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @MayaErwin3.

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Maya Erwin

Maya is a third-year journalism major at the University of Florida covering university general assignment news for The Alligator. In her free time, Maya loves traveling, spending time with friends and listening to music. 


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