• Patrick Martin

FSU: #1 Largest Leap in Rankings Nationally, 2016-2020



Florida State's recent number 18 ranking in public universities by the U.S. News and World Report proved to be historical, being the largest single-year increase in University history.


Among all US universities, both public and private, FSU also climbed to 57th, up from 70th the previous year - and up from 96 in 2016. This capped FSU's four-year run in ascending a total of 39 spots from 2016 to 2020. This quietly became the largest increase in ranking of any university from 2016 to 2020.


Second to FSU's leap was Howard University, up 31 spots from 2016, and University of California, Riverside, up 30 spots.


University of Florida rose 13 spots since 2016, and University of Miami dropped 6 spots in the same time.


Since FSU's designation as a preeminent university in 2013, FSU has risen 40 spots in the national rankings, again the highest number of spots climbed by any university in that time period as well, from 2013-2020. Immediately following the year of that designation, in 2014, FSU jumped six spots from 97 , but then dropped back to the 95-96 ranking range before taking off in 2016.


While this is a monumental record in momentum, FSU now faces a tough path forward. This meteoric rise is hard to maintain, simply because of the scarcity in high-ranking spots. Here is FSU's 2016-2020 change in ranking compared to ivy league institutions:


Brown: 0

Columbia: +1

Cornell: -2

Dartmouth: 0

Harvard: 0

Penn: +3

Princeton: 0

Yale: 0

Florida State: +39


The reason for this is simple: Institutions already in the top 15 simply cannot rise many spots. FSU now joins the fray of fierce competition in the top 60 national colleges, and top 20 in public universities. The momentum will help propel further into these competitive areas: FSU is on the warpath now.


The data for this article was gathered by accessing archived versions of the U.S. News National Ranking website stored on archive.org's wayback machine. Specifically, the snapshot on August 5, 2016 was used. Supporting data was corroborated with publicuniversityhonors.com's dataset found here and Andrew Reiter's dataset found here, as each of them were not entirely complete. The full compiled database is available upon request.

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