Campus Life

UWF recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools – Regional South Rankings

The University of West Florida was ranked in the top 20 public institutions in the region by U.S. News & World Report, which released its 2022 Best Colleges rankings on Sept. 13.

“These rankings reflect the world class faculty, supportive staff and robust programming we have here,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “At UWF, we remain steadfast in our efforts. We are pleased to continue earning recognition in many areas by U.S. News and World Report.”  

U.S. News & World Report awarded UWF five Best Colleges award badges as symbols of excellence. UWF received badges for ranking among the top regional universities in the South in the following categories: Regional University South; Regional Public University South; Social Mobility; Best Colleges for Veterans; and Undergraduate Nursing. 

Undergraduate nursing is a new category added this year, in light of growing interest in the field. To be included in the rankings, a nursing school or department needed a program accredited at the bachelor’s level by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. It also needed to be a regionally accredited institution that awarded at least 35 BSN degrees, according to 2018-2019 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. 

The UWF School of Nursing topped state and national averages for 2020 by wide margins, with 95.97% of its graduates passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurses on their first attempt. UWF surpassed the national average for first-time pass rate by over five percentage points and exceeded the state mark by nearly 10 points. 

“We are delighted to be recognized as a top undergraduate nursing program,” said Dr. Crystal Bennett, director of UWF’s School of Nursing. “We have an outstanding team of faculty and staff who support our nursing students. Our dedicated faculty provide exceptional instruction preparing graduates for a successful nursing career. “

UWF ranked in the top 15 Best Colleges for Veterans, recognizing institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees. UWF is well known in the region for its support for veterans, active-duty service members and their dependents through the Military & Veterans Resource Center. 

The MVRC serves as a leading campus advocate for military, dependents and veteran students, coordinating with multiple university offices and services to ensure their needs are met. The Center provides assistance with VA education benefits, active duty tuition assistance, out-of-state fee waiver, academic advising coordination, and tutoring. 

U.S. News & World Report bases its rankings by comparing institutions across the nation on 17 diverse academic measures. Changes to the rankings methodology this year include the introduction of two outcome measures pertaining to graduate indebtedness and reduced weight in the rankings to SAT/ACT scores, high school class standing and alumni giving rates. Only institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees are eligible. This is the 37th year for the rankings.

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