FAMU slips one spot in national rankings

Florida A&M was knocked from its coveted perch as the No. 1 public HBCU when U.S. News & World Report released its annul Best Colleges 2019 guidebook earlier this month.

FAMU, still ranked among the top 10 HBCUs in a list dominated by elite, private institutions, now sits behind No. 7 North Carolina A&T among public universities in the top 10.

When U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2016 guidebook was released, FAMU was ranked the No. 1 public HBCU and retained that position for two years.

To get there, FAMU moved up three spots from being No. 10 among private and public HBCUs to No. 7 among private and public HBCUs; which made it the No.1 public HBCU. This was the highest ranking FAMU has reached in its history.

“FAMU is proud to remain among the top 10 HBCUs in the nation,” FAMU President Larry Robinson said in a statement. “FAMU continues to hold its rankings as the No. 1 producer of African-American bachelor’s degrees in America (Diverse Issues), the No.1 institution of origin for Black scientists and engineers (National Science Foundation), and the No.1 HBCU for academics and exceptional student experience, according to Niche, a top rankings database.

“In the past year, the university has improved its retention and four-year and six-year graduation rates and implemented new initiatives, such as ‘Finish in Four,’ to ensure on-time graduation. Additionally, the median wages of FAMU graduates increased, as well as the percent of graduates employed or enrolled in graduate school.”

Robyn Seniors, vice president of FAMU’s Student Government Association, said, “One of the key metrics we must focus on is our four-year graduation rate. FAMU SGA, under the Jackson-Seniors administration is working closely with the university administration to implement the ‘Finish in Four’ initiative, which will significantly increase our performance on this metric.”

SGA Vice President Robyn Seniors says the university is taking steps to improve its status and hit key metrics.

Dhyana Ziegler, interim dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, said, “FAMU has enjoyed itd No. 1 ranking and whenever you are ranked No. 1, every school below you is trying to gain on its status and this year just happens to belong to North Carolina A&T.  As Dr. Robinson indicated, FAMU is still among the top 10 in the rankings and we are very proud to be there. If the university improves its graduation and retention rates, faculty salaries, and decrease class sizes, I believe we can improve our ranking to No. 1 again,” she added.  “However, there are many issues that contribute to our success and state funding cannot be left out of the scenario.”

Below is U.S. News & World Report’s current list of the top 10 HBCUs

  1. Spelman College (Private)
  2. Hampton University (Private)
  3. Morehouse College (Private)
  4. Xavier University of Louisiana (Private)
  5. Fisk University (Private)
  6. Claflin University (Private/ Tied with North Carolina A&T)
  7. North Carolina A&T State University (Public/Tied with Claflin University)
  8. Florida A&M University (Public)
  9. North Carolina Central University (Public)
  10. Dillard University

Below are the statistical indicators that were used in ranking:

  • Outcomes (30 percent)
  • Graduation and Retention rates
  • Social Mobility
  • Expert Opinion (25 percent)
  • Faculty Resources (20 percent)
  • Class Size
  • Faculty Salary
  • Financial Resources (10 percent)
  • Student Excellence (10 percent)
  • Alumni Giving (5 percent)