Owls Soar To The Top Of New Ranking
By Alyssa Lamp
Florida Atlantic University, which was once the underdog, is now ranked to the top of the pack of Florida public universities by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG), which oversees the State University System.
Out of a total of 100 points FAU ties with the University of Central Florida with 84 points. The ratings are based on whether schools did well or improved in areas such as graduation rates, job placement and how well schools are serving minority and low-income students.
Just behind FAU and UCF this year is University of Florida with 82 points and University of Southern Florida with 79 points. Placing fifth was Florida International University (76), followed by Florida State University (68), Florida Gulf Coast University (67), and Florida A&M University (65). The last three schools were New College of Florida (59), University of West Florida (57), and University of North Florida (56).
Kathryn Edmunds, current student body president says, “It is an incredible time to be a part of the FAU community. The pride our students feel is palpable. Being number one shows hard work and dedication paid off. Thank you to Dr. Kelly, the administrators, professional staff, and of course, the students who made this all possible. The best is yet to come.”
FAU has consistently improved in the rankings since the performance model was introduced just three years ago, ranking sixth for 2015-16 and ranking second from the bottom the first year the list was released, which at that time put the University at risk of losing all performance funding.
Two years ago FAU ranked second to last and received no performance money, but last year they moved up to number six and received $11 million extra. The money was used to hire more advisers and faculty and give current employees raises and invest in technology to better track the progress of students.
This year, FAU ranked first in the state in percent of bachelor’s graduates employed full-time or continuing their education one year from graduation.
Over the last two years, FAU’s six-year graduation rate increased by 8 percent, from 40 percent to 48 percent.
Over the next decade, FAU aims to position itself as a forward-thinking institution that caters to high-ability students.