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UF takes a crack at cracking the top 10

The Legislature gave the University of Florida $15 million last year to try to push the state’s flagship onto the U.S. News list of the top 10 public universities. (Making the top 10 overall would take a lot of doing. No public university is ranked higher than 20th by U.S. News.) In ranking schools, U.S. News uses a weighted composite score on how schools perform on a number of benchmarks, including indicators of academic quality and on several metrics that represent U.S. News’ views on what determines a quality education.

How does UF, which ranks 14th, go about cracking the top 10 for publics? The short answer is hiring more and better professors and attracting even better students. In September, UF President Bernie Machen showed trustees the results of a UF study of how it compares to the top 15 public universities on 29 benchmarks such as graduation rates or number of U.S. patents granted.

UF is among the top 10 in 22 categories ...

> Freshmen acceptance rate
> Median undergrad SAT scores
> Graduation/retention
> Average freshmen retention
> Predicted six-year graduation rate
> Doctorates granted
> Number of undergrad STEM degrees
> Number of grad/professional STEM degrees
> Number of undergrad minority degrees
> Number of grad/professional minority degrees
> Percent of full-time faculty
> Postdoctoral appointees
> Average student debt
> Princeton Reviews’ best value colleges rank
> Smart Money college rank
> Kiplinger best public college value
> U.S. patents granted
> Licenses granted
> Startup companies
> Research expenditures
> Research expenditures excluding medical
> Research expenditures including medical
Source: University of Florida