Engaged Learning

USF Repeats Top 100 U.S. News Ranking

High marks for student excellence, social mobility

by Mary McInerney, USF News

In the latest U.S. News & World Report college and university rankings, USF continues to shine as a top-tier university.

USF maintained its place among the top 100 national universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report for the 2020–21 academic year. Highlights from the new rankings report include:

  • USF ranks No. 5 in the nation for campus ethnic diversity.
  • USF jumped 26 spots to rank 125th nationally for student excellence, measured by the percentage of first-year students in the top 10 percent of their high school class, as well as their test scores.
  • USF ranks 96th in the new U.S. News social mobility list, which measures success in enrolling and graduating students who received federal Pell Grants, typically given to students with annual family incomes of less than $50,000.
  • The university ranks in the top 30 for campuses with the most international students.
  • USF ranks 63rd in the nation for being one of the best colleges for veterans.

“We are extremely pleased to maintain our ranking in the top 100 national universities, in large part because the U.S. News & World Report ranking methodology recognizes our mission as a Jesuit institution,” said USF Provost Don Heller.

“Our ranking this year is also particularly gratifying considering that U.S. News & World Report added 80 institutions to its national university rankings," said Heller. “The fact that we maintained our top-100 position from last year is a testament to how well our students and the university are doing in comparison to a much larger pool of strong competitors.”

Heller pointed out that U.S. News & World Report ranks USF 39th in the country for outperforming its predicted graduation rate. In other words, students at USF graduate at a rate higher than would be predicted by their demographic profiles.

In addition, Heller said, USF students who receive federal Pell Grants — students from families whose total family income is $50,000 or less — graduate from USF at a rate higher than the university’s overall graduation rate, demonstrating USF’s commitment to those who historically have been underserved by higher education institutions.