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U.S. News and World Report rankings: USF is the fastest-rising school in the nation

Jaymi Butler

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USF
This is the second consecutive year USF has been named one of the top 50 public universities in the country.

The University of South Florida is continuing its bullish upward trajectory in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Colleges rankings.

Over the last 10 years, USF has climbed from No. 181 to No. 103 among all universities and from No. 100 to No. 46 among public schools, making it the fastest-rising university in the country. This is also the second year in a row that USF has snagged a top 50 spot in the national rankings.

As USF continues to be recognized for the exceptionally talented students and faculty it attracts, both the university and our surrounding region, as well of the state of Florida, benefit,” said USF President Steve Currall. “We will continue our strategic focus on initiatives that will help propel USF to even greater heights in the future.”

USF has had a long-standing goal of being named to the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization that includes the top 65 universities in North America. Based on the rankings, USF comes in higher than three AAU schools – Iowa State University, the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri – and is tied with two other AAU members, the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Oregon. 

USF is the only school in Florida to be listed in the top 10 “Best Value Colleges” among public universities, coming in at No. 8. It was also ranked twelfth in the nation among public institutions and first in Florida for being one of the top “National Universities for Social Mobility,” which is calculated based on the number of Pell Grant recipients that a university successfully enrolls, retains and graduates. About 40 percent of USF students are eligible for Pell Grants, which is the highest number among Florida’s preeminent universities. 

“The University of South Florida takes great pride in the fact that we continue to make higher education more accessible to all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status,” said Ralph Wilcox, USF provost and executive vice president. “At USF, we believe that world-class education and research reputation goes hand-in-hand with gains in student and faculty success.”

In terms of how other Florida schools stacked up, the University of Florida ranked No. 6 in the list of the nation’s top public schools, Florida State University No. 19 and the University of Central Florida No. 77.

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