FAU slips in state university rankings

Florida Atlantic University has lost its top spot on the list of 11 schools ranked by the State University System’s Board of Governors

FAU slipped to seventh place in rankings released Thursday that determine how much bonus money schools get. The drop means FAU will receive $19 million this year, down from $25 million last year when it tied with the University of Central Florida as the top scoring school.

Universities are graded on how well they perform or improve in areas such as graduation rates, freshmen retention and the ability of students to find good jobs after graduation.

This year, the University of Florida easily claimed the top title, earning a score of 95 out of 100 and an extra $55 million. The University of South Florida placed second (84 points; $45 million). The University of West Florida, which ranked second from the bottom last year, vaulted this year to a third place finish (82 points, $21 million).

Funding is based both on ranking and number of students served. The top three schools get the largest share, while the bottom three get no extra dollars.

Florida State University placed fourth (81 points, $38.5 million) followed by UCF (78 points, $35.7 million), New College of Florida (75 points, $2.5 million), FAU and Florida International University (68 points, $27.4 million).

The three schools receiving no extra money this year are Florida Gulf Coast University (66 points), Florida A&M University (65 points) and the University of North Florida (58 points), which finished last for the second year in a row.

FAU led the list after year after big gains in several areas. For example, graduation rates improved from 45 percent to 48.9 percent in a one year-period. But this year, the rates made only marginal improvement, to 49.2 percent.

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