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Press Release for Tuesday, September 13, 2016

U.S. News & World Report Names UNF ‘Best Regional’ University

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

For the sixth consecutive year, the U.S. News & World Report has named the University of North Florida a “Best Regional” university in its 2017 edition of “Best Colleges,” which includes data from more than 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide and ranked 1,374 of them. UNF was also included in the 2017 “Best Colleges for Veterans” ranking.

As a regional best, UNF ranked No. 52, in front of local private college, Jacksonville University, 62; the University of South Florida, 72; and Florida Gulf Coast University, 82. UNF also ranked No. 32 for “Best Colleges for Veterans" and was the only state university to make this list. Additionally, the University was ranked for students amassing the least amount of cumulative debt. All three rankings are among regional universities in the South.

“I take great pride in being able to lead a university that is of the caliber of the University of North Florida,” said UNF President John Delaney. “The University is showing up in nearly every national college ranking, putting UNF at the top of some very impressive lists.”

This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving several other national designations, including “Best College for the Money” and “Top Quality Overall Best Colleges” in the state by College Factual, “Best in the Southeast” by Princeton Review, “Best Bang for the Buck Southeast Colleges 2016” by Washington Monthly and the national 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight into Diversity magazine, to name a few.

The institutions selected as a U.S. News & World Report “Best Regional” university provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs and offer various doctoral programs. The universities in this category aren’t ranked nationally but rather against their peer group in one of four geographic regions—North, South, Midwest and West.

“The U.S. News rankings focus on academic excellence, with schools ranked on up to 15 measures of academic quality," said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News. “Overall, the rankings emphasize student outcomes—including graduation and retention rates—which carry the most weight at 30 percent.”

The 2017 “Best Colleges” rankings feature the established rankings of the Best National Universities and Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, while also including the Best Regional Universities, Best Colleges for Veterans, Best Value Schools, among many others.

The rankings are based on key measures of quality such as academic reputation; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources (including class size, the percentage of faculty with the top academic degree, student-faculty ratio); student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

New this year, U.S. News made a slight change in the way it factors class size in the methodology. Rather than using two components for class size, U.S. News created one index measure that more accurately reflects the varying class sizes across campuses. For more information about the rankings, visit

U.S. News & World Report is a multimedia publisher of news, consumer advice, rankings and analysis. Focusing on education, health, personal finance, travel, cars and news and opinion, has earned a reputation as the leading provider of consumer advice and analysis that helps its readers make informed life decisions.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.