Florida board of governors’ metric test for top public university in state ends in tie between Florida Atlantic and Central Florida

The school received 84 out of 100 possible points.


University President John Kelly and Owlsley watch the FAU men’s basketball team play against Old Dominion on Jan. 28. Mohammed F Emran | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Florida’s board of governors named Florida Atlantic the top public university in the state — based on performance data — on Wednesday, March 16.

The school tied with the University of Central Florida and received a total of 84 points out of a possible 100. The study included 11 schools that receive performance-based funding from the State University System of Florida.

“This is a wonderful achievement and everyone associated with FAU should be very proud of all we’ve accomplished in the last two years,” President John Kelly said in a news release.

The points awarded were based off 10 categories, including the percent of bachelor’s graduates employed or continuing their education one year after graduating and the average cost per bachelor’s degree. Each category has a maximum of 10 points, based on either excellence and/or improvement.

“I was pretty surprised,” said Larry Chen, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. “It’s a specific criteria they’re looking at so its not exactly objective. But its still a good measurement because there is a lot of improvement in a lot of areas.”

FAU received a perfect 10 in five categories:

  • bachelor’s degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis
  • graduate degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis
  • the access rate of the university: Percent of undergraduates with a Pell Grant
  • academic progress rate: Students who return for their second year of school with a GPA above 2.0
  • bachelor’s degrees awarded to minorities

The school also received the most points in the percentage of bachelor’s graduates employed and/or continuing their education one year from graduation, as well as the median average of salaries of bachelor’s graduates who are employed in Florida one year from graduation.

“That’s encouraging,” pre-nursing junior Ginny Bryant said. I never thought of this school being number one, because I just see little things like events that are being held on that you never hear about. I don’t know I just don’t see this school as being fantastic but maybe i just had different experience.

“I guess the one thing that really shocked was actually an article [the UP] released about how funding is really being pushed to the admissions and that really set me off to thinking, ‘I think there’s something wrong with this school.’”

“The only thing that I would say is that engineering and other science programs in this school are definitely underfunded,” sophomore neuroscience and behavior major Jon Bryant said. “For all the engineering clubs we have to get our own sponsorships, we have to pay our way and do fundraisers, where we should just be able to get money for FAUs name, but other than that it’s a pretty great school.”

FAU was named second to last in the state just three years ago when the list was first released.

“Our ascent in the rankings is a result of our goal to become America’s fastest-improving university,” Kelly said.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. To contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.