Congratulations Gator Communicators! The top 10 announcement is a tremendous milestone and one that should be celebrated and promoted broadly, but this is just the beginning of our journey. The best is yet to come.

As communicators, you know more than anyone the importance of consistency in messaging. Below are some simple guidelines to help you talk about our top 10 accomplishment in a way that is consistent with the University and your fellow communicators, as well as some helpful talking points.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to Steve Orlando.

Using “top 10” in written communications


Do not capitalize the “T” in top 10 unless it starts a sentence.

Example: Top-10 stature for the University of Florida has been an institutional goal for many years.


Hyphenate when top 10 is used as a compound modifier. Otherwise, no hyphen.

Example: The University of Florida is a top-10 public university.

Numeral or spelled out?

Always a numeral.

General usage

When referring to the U.S. News ranking, use the full and correct name: the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking. Within that ranking is the list of Top Public Schools (note capitalization), in which UF tied for the No. 6 spot with the University of California – Santa Barbara.

Note that the U.S. News rankings released in September 2020 are referred to as the 2021 rankings.

Examples of acceptable usage:

“UF is ranked No. 6 on the 2021 U.S. News & World Report list of Top Public Schools.”

“UF is one of the top 10 best public universities in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.”

“U.S. News & World Report lists the University of Florida as one of the top 10 best public universities in its 2021 list of Best Colleges.”

Context and audience should guide you on how and when to use the phrase “top 10.” In most cases, “top 10” will refer specifically to the U.S. News & World Report ranking. However, UF also places in the top 10 in several other rankings; for that reason, “top 10” can be used more generically.


“UF is widely regarded as one of the top 10 best public research universities in the country.”

“The University of Florida is a top-10 institution.”

US News top 10 talking points

When communicating with your respective audiences about UF’s top 10 ranking, the following information and talking points may be useful:

  • The University of Florida is a top-10 public research university, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.
  • Among public universities, UF is tied for No. 6 with the University of California – Santa Barbara.
  • UF has risen 1 place since last year and 19 places since 2012.
  • UF is the highest-ranked university in Florida.
  • What it means:
    • For our students, attending a top-10 public university means their degrees will be worth more when they graduate.
    • For our alumni, the degrees they already hold are now more valuable.
    • For the university, it means we will be able to recruit and attract even more of the best and brightest students and faculty.
    • For the state of Florida, it means our sons and daughters no longer have to leave their home state to attend a world-class university.
    • For Florida’s economy, having a top-10 public research university is an effective tool for recruiting top companies and employers.
  • While we have good reason to celebrate, there is also still much to be done. We must work harder than ever to stay in the top 10 and rise even further.

Top 5 Messaging

  • Now that UF has achieved top-10 status, top-5 status is clearly the next logical step. We should celebrate our success, but we can’t rest on our laurels. Now is the time to double down on our efforts.
  • We have put in place a plan that addresses the areas that need improvement. With the resources and will to implement that plan and with the momentum that is building, we can reach our goal sooner rather than later.
  • The plan we’ve developed to reach the top 5 aligns with the metrics used by U.S. News & World Report. It includes student selectivity, retention and graduation rates, alumni giving and academic reputation, but it also includes things U.S. News doesn’t measure, such as research funding, tech transfer and National Academy members.
  • According to some rankings, UF is already in the top 5, which puts us in the company of institutions such as UC Berkeley; UCLA; the University of Michigan; the University of Virginia; and UNC Chapel Hill.
  • Florida’s 20 million residents deserve a top-5 university that is fitting of the nation’s third-most-populous state.