Florida A&M University (FAMU) is again the highest-ranked public historically Black college and university (HBCU), according to “U.S News & World Report 2021 Best Colleges” ranking of “Top Public Universities.”
FAMU ranked 117 among “Top Public Universities,” up six places from No. 123 a year ago. The next highest ranked public HBCU lands at 136. “Our rankings reflect the University’s commitment to student success and our motto “Excellence with Caring,”’ said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., who has set a goal of elevating FAMU to one of the nation’s top 100 public universities. “Rankings are important barometers, but it is impossible to measure the hard work of everyone on our team and the impacts of our students throughout their careers,” he added.
The improvement in rankings came as the University opened a 700-bed FAMU Towers residence hall constructed with financing from the HBCU capital financing program. As part of unprecedented construction on campus, a new student services building, the Center for Access and Student Success, a new dining hall, electrical plant and an outdoor performance amphitheater are among the latest additions to the campus.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment is around 9,000 students, down slightly from a year ago. Most classes in the fall were taught remotely or online. The University plans to expand the number of students, faculty and staff on campus in spring 2021. Among the Top 10 HBCUs, FAMU is tied for 7th, behind private schools, Spelman, Howard, Xavier (Louisiana), Tuskegee, Morehouse, and Hampton University. In the HBCU category, FAMU is tied as the top public HBCU.
FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Kelvin Lawson said the rankings illustrate “what we can do with a focused plan and improved investment, both of which are critical to our success.” “It is a statement about a joint effort between our Board and the President to establish and stick with key priorities,” Lawson added. “We want to continue to push the envelope and focus on ongoing improvement in our operating model.”
Additionally, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering earned a spot on the “U.S. News & World Report” badge-eligible list with a 69th ranking among the 206 “Best Undergraduate Engineering” school offering doctorate degrees.
“We are delighted that the quality and impact of our engineering education is increasingly recognized in these rankings,” said J. Murray Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. “I’m also proud that our student body, combined from two major universities, is uniquely diverse and is changing the face of engineering for future generations.”
Among the other highlights of the annual survey, FAMU ranked No. 20 in social mobility, a reflection of the six-year graduation rate of Pell grant eligible students. This, Robinson said, is the truest indicator of FAMU’s ability to alter the economic trajectory of individuals and families for generations.
“We’ve long known that HBCUs play a key role in the growth of the Black middle class,” Robinson said. “This ranking confirms FAMU’s commitment to continuing this tradition while welcoming any and all to join the FAMULY.”
Photo courtesy of FAMU