US News says UCF one of top 5 colleges to watch; UF ranked No. 15
UCF just got a big boost in national attention, thanks to the designation by U.S. News & World Report's
2010 "America's Best Colleges" guide as one of five top national universities to watch.
UCF was ranked No. 7 on the list last year, and is the only Florida college listed this year in the category "Top Up-and-Coming Schools." The category looks at universities that have made "promising and innovative changes" in academics, faculty, students, campus life or facilities.
UCF also got a shout-out for being a top 20 national university whose students graduate with little debt -- no doubt a reflection of Florida's rock-bottom tuition and the Bright Futures merit scholarship that covers it for many undergrads.
The rankings come from data from the 2007-2008 academic year and are based on categories such as the average freshman retention rate, graduation rates, acceptance rates and the percentage of freshmen who ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.
U.S. News' "America's Best Colleges" guide is out Monday, the same day Florida colleges start fall classes.
UF, the state's flagship research institution, was ranked No. 15 among all national public universities. UF's freshmen retention rate of 94 percent is among the top 10 highest among public universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities. FSU got the No. 48 slot.
Florida A&M was ranked No. 11 among historically black colleges and universities. Rollins College in Central Florida was ranked No. 5 in the category of southern master's level colleges with the best undergraduate teaching.