FSU ranked among top public universities

Florida State University is among the best universities in the country, according to U.S. News World Report, which ranked Florida State 43rd among all public “national” universities in its 2016 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.”

In addition, two undergraduate programs in Florida State’s College of Business are ranked in the Top 10: insurance and real estate. The insurance program is ranked No. 5 among public institutions and No. 7 among public and private schools. Real estate is ranked No. 6 among public institutions and No. 10 among public and private schools.

“Florida State University is a preeminent university, and we have made significant gains as we pursue even higher levels of excellence,” said President John Thrasher. “Our challenge now, quite frankly, is to make sure that our peer institutions across the country as well as high school guidance counselors know how good we are. Their subjective assessments are key to improving in these rankings, and our data suggests we should be ranked higher than we are.”

Florida State continues to make long-term investments in faculty hiring and compensation, and the university expects those investments to be reflected in the university’s overall ranking in the coming years, Thrasher said. FSU has made a number of key hires in strategic areas, and performance, merit and market equity pay raises will be implemented this fall for all eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty.

In addition, Florida State’s graduation rate performance was better than expected again this year. With a 79 percent graduation rate, Florida State well exceeded a prediction by U.S. News that FSU’s graduation rate for its 2008 cohort would be 70 percent. U.S. News based its prediction on a formula that includes factors such as high school class standing, standardized test scores, financial expenditures, percentage of students receiving Pell Grants and whether the institution is public or private. Only three institutions in the Top 100 exceeded their predicted rate by more than FSU did.

Florida State shares the No. 43 spot with the University of Alabama. Among all national universities, including private universities, FSU ranked 96th. The national universities category consists of 280 institutions (173 public, 100 private and seven for-profit) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

U.S. News World Report determines its rankings based on seven factors: assessment of excellence, i.e. peer and high school counselor assessments (22.5 percent); graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent); faculty resources, (20 percent); student selectivity (12.5 percent); financial resources (10 percent); graduation rate performance, i.e. the difference between actual and predicted graduation rate (7.5 percent); and alumni giving (5 percent).

U.S. News World Report also recognized FSU in its 2016 rankings in a category called “A+ Schools for B Students.” The average freshman enrolled in FSU last fall had a high school grade point average of 3.9, well above a “B” average.

“FSU’s listing in this category is a reflection of the university’s commitment to the academic success of its students and a reminder that our quality far exceeds our reputation, an issue we are working to correct,” said Interim Provost Sally McRorie.

In addition to the highly ranked College of Business insurance and real estate programs, U.S. News World Report ranked the College of Business No. 39 among public universities for its undergraduate programs overall and No. 61 among both public and private institutions. Last year, the college ranked No. 62 among public and private business programs.

“Our move up in the rankings reflects the hard work and commitment of our faculty to become a preeminent college of business,” said Michael D. Hartline, interim dean of the College of Business. “We are committed to thinking, acting and performing like a Top 25 business school, and it is gratifying to be recognized for our efforts.”