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New rankings: University of Florida is nation's eighth-best public university, USF jumps 10 places

Students from Hillsborough High School take a welcome tour near Century Tower on the campus of the University of Florida, which on Monday was ranked the eighth-best public university in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report. Florida tied in the rankings with Georgia Tech. [Times (2015)]
Published Sep. 10, 2018

Only seven public universities in America are better than the University of Florida when it comes to delivering a public education, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report college rankings released Monday.

Florida tied with Georgia Tech for eighth place, the university's highest ranking ever and a one-place improvement from where it stood in 2018 and 2017.

"The newest rankings are confirmation that we are making good choices and investing in the right places," Florida president Kent Fuchs said in a statement. "Clearly, we are moving in the right direction."

In Tampa, meanwhile, the University of South Florida also reached its highest ranking ever, jumping from No. 68 in last year's rankings to No. 58. The 10-place improvement comes three months after USF officially became Florida's third "preeminent" university, joining Florida State and Florida. It also comes on the same day USF president Judy Genshaft announced her retirement after 18 years at the helm.

"Because of this positive momentum, my family and I believe that this is the right time for me to step down from my post as president," Genshaft, 70, said in a widely distributed letter Monday. "It has been the honor of my professional career to be part of this journey since the year 2000."

RELATED: Preeminent at last — USF presents its official case for joining Florida's top university ranks

U.S. News & World Report says it determines its national university rankings based on a formula that calculates graduation and retention rates, peer and high school counselor assessment, faculty resources, student excellence, financial resources, graduation rate performances and alumni giving.

Along with Florida and USF, FSU continued its string of improvement in the rankings, coming in at No. 26 in the nation, a 17-place improvement from 2016.

The University of Central Florida and Florida International University both improved their rankings as well, with UCF placing at No. 87 and FIU at No. 100. No other Florida universities were named as one of the country's top 132 public schools.

U.S. News & World Report named the University of California at Los Angeles as the nation's top public university, followed by the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Virginia.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the southeast's top public university, ranking in fifth.

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