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Florida No. 49, Miami 51 in magazine's annual university rankings

Sun-Sentinel - 8/22/2008 12:00:00 AM
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Florida's universities still aren't getting much respect from U.S. News & World Report.

In the magazine's highly anticipated 2009 list of "Top National Universities," only three schools in the state scored in the top half in the country, the same as last year. They include the University of Florida (49), University of Miami (51) and Florida State University (102).

The 25th annual survey rates 262 schools and gives numerical rankings to the top 133 universities. Those ranked 134 through 188 are listed only as "third tier." The remaining schools are listed as "fourth tier."

Harvard University ranked first, Princeton University second and Yale University third. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University tied for fourth place.

Florida schools pretty much held their own compared to last year in the latest rankings.

The University of Florida placed highest among other schools in the state in the "national university" category. These are schools that offer extensive undergraduate and graduate programs. Harvard University was No. 1.

In the same category, UCF kept its place in a middle tier that does not receive numerical rankings. The school moved up from a lower tier last year.

UCF did get one morale-boosting ranking: It came in No. 7 among its peers in the new Up-and-Coming category, which recognizes schools that are creating buzz because of striking progress or innovation in academics, campus life or facilities.

UCF's new football stadium, arena and medical school, its expanding research operations, and its rise to the sixth-largest university in the nation based on its enrollment of more than 48,000 no doubt contribute to the buzz it's generating, school officials said.

The ranking "is a wonderful recommendation" that came as a surprise, Huddleston said.

The latest rankings are in the 2009 edition of U.S. News' "America's Best Colleges" to be released online todayand in print Monday.