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. You will also find helpful talking points and a how-to guide on using the U.S. News & World Report badge.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to Nicole Yucht.

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. 9 spot with UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

Note that the U.S. News rankings released in September 2017 are referred to as the 2018 rankings.

Examples of acceptable usage:

“UF is ranked No. 9 on the 2018 U.S. News & World Report list of Top Public Schools.”

“UF is one of the top 10 best public universities in the 2018 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 2018 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 now a top-10 public research university, according to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.
  • Among public universities, UF is tied for No. 9 with the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, San Diego.
  • Among all universities both public and private, UF is now tied with the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, San Diego, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. All four schools were ranked No. 42 overall.
  • UF has risen eight places since last year and 16 places since 2012.
  • UF is now the highest-ranked university in Florida.
  • Schools that were ahead of UF last year included the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Davis.
  • Factors that helped UF rise this year include:
    • Undergraduate academic reputation – 22.5 % of the total score. UF’s score is 3.7, up from 3.6 last year.
    • Student selectivity – 12.5% of total score. Up seven points.
    • Graduation rate performance – 7.5% of total score. Up four points.
  • 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.

U.S. News badge use

UF has purchased digital rights to use the U.S. News & World Report badge. This grants UF to use the badge for 12 months beginning Sept. 12, 2017, or until the next scheduled release of Best Colleges 2019.

Guidelines as provided by U.S. News & World Report are as follow:

  • Web Use License (WUL). The WUL consists of the right to use the U.S. News badge(s) on one web site, one Facebook page, one LinkedIn profile, and one Twitter home page, where all such usages are dedicated to promoting the School’s undergraduate programs.
  • Full Digital Marketing License (FDML). The FDML consists of the right to use the U.S. News badge(s) at online properties, social media outlets, online advertising, e-mail campaigns, and signature blocks, where such uses are dedicated to promoting the School’s undergraduate programs. It also includes the right to use U.S. News-  phrases describing the School’s ranking(s) in online advertisements.

Please email Nicole Yucht at for the digital files of the U.S. News badge.


  • PNG formats are for web/digital use only.
  • It is a requirement for the badge to link back to your U.S. News overview webpage.
  • The badge should not appear smaller than 70 pixels wide on screen.
  • It is prohibited to alter, manipulate or remove of any trademark/copyright from the logo.
  • Transparent backgrounds are acceptable. No specific rule, for the badge placement/location, is in effect at this time.
  • U.S. News badges shall only be used in the form and colors indicated, without modifications or alterations.  Badges will not be used in a way that would reflect poorly on U.S. News
  • No U.S. News badge is transferable. It shall only be used by the badge-eligible school and may not be used by any parent, subsidiary, related or affiliated institutions.
  • Any references to a School’s ranking, statements about its relative standing in a particular geographic area, or references to ratings in advertisements or promotions must be approved in advance by U.S. News or Wright’sMedia and must be displayed along with one or more relevant, licensed badges.
  • A U.S. News Badge shall only be used for the purpose of identifying the School as having been ranked or recognized by U.S. News and not to imply an endorsement of any products or services.
  • It is required that a screen shot for which the use of the content is being digitally licensed be approved prior to completion. Please email Nicole Yucht at to facilitate that through U.S. News media group.

Please reach out to UF Communications if you have any questions or need additional information.