UF is a Public Ivy institution, according to reports released last month on a college guide website.
Educated Quest looked at UF’s retention rates, graduation rates and tuition in comparison to those of private Ivy League schools, said Stuart Nachbar, the website’s publisher and president.
UF joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia on the 12-school list.
Educated Quest also evaluated other factors, including curriculum, career services and the professional network public colleges provide against those at private Ivies like Yale University and Harvard University.
“There’s no question that the level of connections a student would make if they attended the University of Florida would be excellent,” Nachbar said.
“A diligent student will get a fine education at any one of them,” according to Nachbar’s post on the website. “But a school should not be considered a Public Ivy unless it makes the educational experience more economical for all of its students, not just the ones who qualify for its more prestigious academic programs or scholarships.”
UF spokesman Steve Orlando said he thinks calling UF a Public Ivy is accurate, considering the esteemed reputation Ivies typically enjoy.
“You get such a high quality of education at a fraction of the price of true Ivy League schools,” Orlando said.
The website required that colleges have a minimum 90 percent freshmen retention — UF’s is 96 percent, Orlando said — and a minimum 75 percent six-year graduation rate — UF’s is 83 percent.
In-state tuition and fees must not exceed one-third the rate of the least expensive Ivy, and out-of-state tuition rates must not exceed two-thirds of the most expensive Ivy.
UF students had mixed reactions to the new, unofficial classification.
Biological engineering senior Nancy Nguyen, 20, said she doesn’t think UF measures up to her perception of Ivies.
“I don’t see it catering towards students as much as I hope a Ivy League [would],” Nguyen said.
However, 20-year-old Michele Fusco, a Spanish and political science senior, said the title makes her proud to be a UF student.
“I think that the Gator Nation has a big sense of community, and I think they’re going to offer a lot of the opportunities that Ivy Leagues do as well,” Fusco said. “It’s very prestigious to go here.”