Five Florida schools rank in Washington Monthly's top 100 national universities

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Rating schools based on their contribution to the public good, the Washington Monthly finds five Florida schools among the nation’s top 100 universities.

The Washington Monthly rankings are based on three factors. The first is social mobility, which gives colleges credit for enrolling many low-income students and helping them earn degrees. The second recognizes research production, particularly at schools whose undergraduates go on to earn PhDs. Third, a commitment to service. The more expensive college becomes, the more students are encouraged to see higher education as a mere return on investment. The students in the “best” colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back.

With this criteria, the Washington Monthly placed the University of Florida at #21, Florida International University at #53, Florida State University at #70, FAMU at #80, and the University of West Florida at #99.

These rankings, with their emphasis on altruism, stand in contrast to the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

“That well-known list actually rewards colleges for spending more money, raising prices, and shutting out all but the most privileged students,” argue the editors of the Washington Monthly‘s list.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.