Gator Nation News

Five Reasons UF is Top 5

We Gators have always known our school is the best. Now, the rest of the world knows that, too.

The University of Florida’s lightening quick climb up U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the nation’s best public universities and colleges – from No. 14 in 2017 to No. 5 in 2022 – reflects UF’s growing credibility as an academic powerhouse. With that recognition comes prestige, global influence, the ability to attract the most talented students and professors, beefier research funding, and higher value to a UF diploma.

U.S. News and World Report’s rankings are highly regarded in academia. Its editors rate roughly 1,500 universities and colleges each year, using criteria measuring things like the successes of students and alumni while in school and after graduation, resources earmarked for teaching and discovery, peer assessments and philanthropic support.

Mori Hosseini, chair of UF’s Board of Trustees, called the university’s lofty rank a “victory for the state of Florida, which for the first time ever is home to a Top 5 public university where groundbreaking research is underway to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and where our children and grandchildren can get an affordable, top-flight education.”

Here are just five reasons UF is a superstar:

  1. You: U.S. News & World Report’s number crunchers use alumni passion to help calculate a school’s spot on the magazine’s list. To determine loyalty, they count alumni who give back to their alma mater. In UF’s case, that participation was an impressive 25,000 Gators last year.
  2. Motivated students: Two factors in the rankings are UF’s high graduation rate and knack for retaining students. Here at UF, almost all (97.3%) freshmen return for their sophomore year, and 89% will graduate within six years.
  3. Smaller classes: Mostly gone are the days of auditorium lectures. Nowadays, UF’s student-to-teacher ratio is down to 17:1, with more than half the undergraduate classes having fewer than 20 students. To manage that feat, the university recruited 500 new faculty the past two years. An additional 100 are being recruited in areas related to artificial intelligence.
  4. Discoveries: UF scientists, doctors and inventors have turned our university into Innovation U. Pick a problem and there’s a good chance a Gator is working on a solution. To that end, UF generates almost $1 billion in research every year.
  5. Diplomas: Our graduates tend to find jobs more quickly and with higher pay than alumni of other universities. In fact, their $55,000 average starting salary is one of the nation’s highest. Even better: a UF degree comes with a modest price tag. UF’s in-state tuition and fees in 2021 are $6,380, compared to a national average above $10,000 for other ranked public universities.