Even amidst a pandemic, University of Florida still rises in public university rankings

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The University of Florida has made it their mission to become a top five public institution, and they are getting closer to that goal. UF was recently named the sixth best public institution in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

Cossette Brown, a senior pre-med student at UF, says the high ranking is because they are putting more effort into the honors programs and recruiting high achievers to the school.

“A lot of emphasis is being put on how do we make the student experience here better in order to increase our rankings in the future," said Brown.

Head football coach Dan Mullen also weighed in on the topic.

“It’s huge. You look at being the sixth ranked public university in America is pretty special," said Mullen. "Again we continue to be the only school in America that is a top 10 academic school in the public universities and top 10 in football you know which is a pretty special deal.”

In the midst of a year where everything feels like it’s been bad news, the is certainly some good news for the university.

"This ranking climb happened as the pandemic was happening so what that means is that our students, our faculty, our staff kept their heads down and kept moving in the right direction even while facing all these other challenges and I think that’s just remarkable,” said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando.

But in the middle of the pandemic, UF is still facing a lot of challenges. Since returning to campus, Alachua County has seen a spike in cases, particularly from Florida students. Orlando says this is exactly what they expected though.

“Since the students began returning for the fall semester, we have begun to see a surge in the numbers and this is actually what we expected to see", said Orlando. "When we talked to ur experts at UF Health, they told us that we should expect to see this happen.”

Orlando says they are still confident in their plan they have in place regarding testing and quarantine locations, but are also looking into implementing more comprehensive testing for students.

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