UF tops rankings for merit scholars


Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 12:49 a.m.
University of Florida's freshman class of 2003 was among the smartest in the nation, according to recently released rankings from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
Among public universities, UF ranked first for National Achievement scholars and second for National Merit scholars.
Students scoring in the top one-half percent on the SAT are distinguished as National Merit finalists; top-scoring minorities are considered National Achievement scholars.
"(UF) continues to attract some of the finest undergraduates in the nation," UF Provost David Colburn said in a prepared statement.
UF ranked fourth among all 380 participating schools. Only Harvard University, the University of Texas and Yale University recruited more National Merit finalists than UF. Rounding out the top 10 are: Stanford University, University of Chicago, Arizona State University, Rice University, University of Oklahoma and Princeton University.
The 224 National Merit finalists brought to UF last fall represents a 20 percent increase over the year before. In 2002, 186 National Merit finalists started at UF.
Similarly, UF recruited 60 National Achievement scholars, placing it second only to Howard University among all universities nationally. UF ranked third overall in 2002.
"UF is extremely proud of the National Merit and National Achievement scholars who have chosen to come to this university," said Sheila Dickison, director of UF's honors program. "Their large number recognizes UF's extraordinary educational quality and value."
Janine Young Sikes can be reached at (352) 337-0327 or sikesj@gvillesun.com.

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