Published On: Mon, Sep 9th, 2019

FAU Ranked by ‘U.S. News & World Report’ as Top Public School for First Time in University’s History

FAU Also Ranked No. 1 in Florida for Public Campus Diversity
and Top 50 for Social Mobility

Boca Raton, FL – U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida Atlantic University in its list of “Top Public Schools” in the nation for the first time in the university’s history, landing at No.140 in the annual ranking of the nation’s best universities.

“Being recognized by U.S. News & World Report in this way is a wonderful endorsement of the good work we have pursued,” said FAU President John Kelly. “This is just the beginning of our ascension into the top ranks of public universities in the United States as we continue to build on our successes and focus on strategic areas of improvement.”

For the third year in a row, U.S. News & World Report included FAU on the list of the most ethnically diverse universities in the U.S.  The magazine notes that FAU’s “diversity index” score of .68 (out of 1.0) tied with 11 other institutions, including Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University. This score makes FAU the highest ranked public university in Florida for diversity. The Chronicle of Higher Education also ranked the FAU first among Florida public universities in the diversity index for their 2019-2020 Almanac of Higher Education.

U.S. News & World Report also placed FAU at No. 45 in the nation in the magazine’s new “Social Mobility” ranking. This distinct ranking is computed using graduation rates of students receiving Pell grants and includes both public and private national universities. At FAU, Pell-eligible students, first-generation students, African-American students and Hispanic students all outpace the university’s overall retention and graduation rates, which is an accomplishment that also eliminates the historical achievement gaps between minority and white students.

FAU also has received federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education in 2017. This traditionally underserved group of students make up FAU’s largest minority undergraduate population, listed as 27 percent, followed by African-American students at 20 percent.

“We are honored to serve as a vehicle to success for students looking to improve their lives and that of their families while also providing a high-quality education to the most racially and culturally diverse student body in Florida’s State University System,” said President Kelly. “More than half of our students are members of minority groups or have come to us from abroad, creating a richly varied college community that offers great benefits to everyone.”

As a sign of faith in the university’s continued improvement, the Florida legislature recently funded the FAU 100 effort, a program of strategically targeted investments meant to further propel the university into the U.S. News & World Report Top 100 ranked public universities.

“We are greatly appreciative of the Florida legislature’s faith and investment in us,” said President Kelly. “They have provided us with funds in strategic areas necessary to help us continue to soar in the national rankings. We are and will continue to be America’s fastest improving university.”

About Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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