Over the past several years, Florida State University has ascended through the ranks of public colleges, positioning itself within the top 20 schools in America. Now, students and faculty at Florida State have an opportunity to seize the moment and make our university one of the most desirable academic institutions in the nation.
According to U.S. News & World Report, our school polled at number 19 among all public universities. Niche.com placed Florida State at number 13, with only schools such as the University of California, Berkeley and West Point placing above us. Whichever poll you find more reflective of reality, there is little doubt our university stands in an unprecedented academic position. It is now incumbent upon us, the students and employees of Florida State, to ensure that we continue this trajectory.
While Florida State’s position among other schools may seem out of our control, there are actions the student body can take to improve our standing. U.S. News, an organization which has collected this data for over 35 years, uses a set of factors to determine the top public universities. Florida State has enjoyed a very high graduation rate and a prestigious undergraduate academic reputation, as measured by peer assessment surveys. This has catapulted our university to the top of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. Individual students can have a lasting impact in both of these areas by continuing to focus on excelling in academics.
U.S. News also factors in a school’s first-year student retention rate as a part of their ranking system. While some reasons for first-year students leaving our school may be financial, plenty of freshmen are overwhelmed by the nature of college, whether that is being away from home or because of the “party school” reputation Florida State has.
If you are a first-year student, or know one, it is crucial to understand that this school is what you make of it. Being a student here does not confine you to participating in partying. For the first time in your life, you wield the power to become anyone you want. Even though it may take longer than two semesters for some to realize this, we must make sure to embrace the eclectic interests of incoming students from their very first days at Florida State.
If we wish to continue to improve our standing among academic institutions, we should also usher in a more individualistic campus culture. Shedding our “party school of Florida” moniker will likely make Florida State an even more inviting university to attend. A student body with diverse interests would significantly improve our undergraduate academic reputation, and in turn, our ranking in various surveys.
Whether you are a freshman or a senior, you are an ambassador of your school wherever you go. We have the hefty responsibility of representing Florida State with dignity and ensuring that our university lives up to its potential. If you want to take the first step of getting involved in student organizations for the upcoming semester, visit Nole Central to see the vast amounts of clubs our university has to offer to students like you.
Let’s beat the Gators on more than just the turf!