Should FAMU be ranked ahead of Spelman and Howard?

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About a month ago FAMU celebrated an outstanding accomplishment being ranked No. 91 among all of the nation’s public college and universities, as well as ranked No. 1 among all public Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the fifth consecutive year.

To top it off, FAMU rose to No. 3 among all HBCUs, trailing only Spelman and Howard according to US News & World Report.

This represents a notable improvement from the previous year, when FAMU was ranked 103 nationally and No. 7 among all HBCUs. Additionally, FAMU has climbed two spots in the social mobility ranking, going from 23 to 21.

FAMU demonstrates significant progress, showcasing its commitment to excellence.

The question arises: now that FAMU has cracked the top 100, should it not be the undisputed No. 1 among all HBCUs? Currently, FAMU holds the third position, with Spelman College and Howard University ahead of it. The ranking of Howard above FAMU may be a subject of debate. However, Spelman’s position at the top has raised concerns among alumni and faculty.

According to HBCU colleges, FAMU boasts the No. 1 social work degree program, a ranking that Spelman lacks. FAMU also excels with the No. 1 agricultural program, again surpassing Spelman. In business degree programs, FAMU secures the second spot while Spelman is ranked 22.

Furthermore, FAMU holds the second position in medical programs while Spelman stands at 18. FAMU offers twice as many degree programs as Spelman, and it’s worth noting that in any program offered by both institutions, FAMU consistently out-performs Spelman.

This prompts the question: did FAMU deserve the top spot? What exceptional qualities does Spelman possess that FAMU does not?

Notably, Florida A&M University contributes to over 60% of the Black doctors in America, underlining its significant impact. Therefore, what exceptional qualities does Spelman possess that FAMU does not?

Leon County Commissioner Bill Procter, who also teaches at FAMU and who graduated from Howard University, strongly believes FAMU is the top HBCU in America — period.

“A single gender [Spelman] is not the same as the complexities of a dual gender school,” Procter said. “FAMU is very significant in the health care industry, not only that FAMU and Howard are both hailing about 10,000 plus students while Spelman only has bout 2,000. You can’t put Spelman above FAMU in any kind of way.”

FAMU is undeniably one of the top educational institutions in the nation and is consistently striving for improvement. While the recognition the university receives is positive, it’s important that these accolades and rankings accurately reflect the unique strengths and challenges of HBCUs.