FSU leaps ahead in national rankings

Florida State University moved up five places in the U.S. News & World Report rankings to No. 38 among all public national universities.

FSU had the greatest gain of all of the Top 50 public universities. The rankings appear in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook. Last year, FSU ranked No. 43 among public universities.

“We are extremely pleased that U.S. News & World Report has recognized the significant gains FSU has made in its pursuit of higher levels of academic excellence,” said President John Thrasher. “This upward movement is a testament to the hard work of our exceptional faculty, staff and students who continue to make FSU one of the best universities in the nation.”

Florida State’s excellent graduation and student retention rates are key to FSU’s ranking among the nation’s best public universities. With a 79 percent graduation rate, Florida State well exceeded a prediction by U.S. News that FSU’s graduation rate would be 70 percent. Only three public institutions in the Top 100 exceeded their predicted rate by a greater degree than FSU.

“Our faculty are to be commended for providing our students with an excellent education and helping them graduate with the knowledge and the skills they need to be successful in 21st century careers,” Thrasher said.

FSU also saw improvements in reputational ratings by university peers and high school guidance counselors, as well as faculty resources. These factors contributed to FSU’s ascension in the rankings, according to Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Sally McRorie.

“This year’s ranking reflects the academic rigor and culture of student success that has long distinguished Florida State University as one of the best research institutions in the country,” McRorie said.

Florida State continues to make long-term investments in faculty hiring, market equity improvements and retention, which will be reflected in the university’s rankings in the coming years as well, she said.

U.S. News & World Report determines its rankings based on seven factors: graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent); assessment of excellence, i.e. peer and high school counselor assessment (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).

Florida State University shares the No. 38 spot with three other public universities: North Carolina State University, University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Vermont.

Among all national universities, including private universities, FSU ranked 92nd, up from 96th last year. The national universities category comprises 310 institutions (189 public, 114 private and seven for-profit) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.