UCF was ranked No. 1 least rigorous school in Newsweek’s recently released 2012 Best Colleges list. The list of the 25 least rigorous colleges included a list of schools where students found the workload easiest when normalized by the aptitude of the student body.
UCF wasn’t the only Florida institution to rank at the top of the list – Florida State University ranked directly behind UCF at No. 2, University of South Florida ranked No. 4, Florida Atlantic University ranked No. 14 and University of Florida ranked No. 21.
The rankings were compiled using data from College Prowler and information on student-to-faculty ratio from the National Center for Education Statistics. Other information that was used to determine the rankings include degree of selectivity and workload score.
SAT scores, ACT scores and percentage of applicants admitted to the university were used to determine UCF as the least rigorous college in the nation.
The median SAT score for current UCF students is 1185 and the median ACT score is 26, according to UCF’s Facts at a Glance page. College Prowler ranked UCF’s manageability workload score at 7.2 out of 10 possible points.
According to Newsweek, 45 percent of applicants are admitted to UCF and the student-to-faculty ratio is 32:1.
Sederia Washington, a junior health services administration major, doesn’t agree with the findings. Washington’s ACT score upon admission in 2010 was 28 and she believes the admission process and requirements when she applied in 2010 was similar, but not less stringent than other schools in the nation.
“I have friends at other schools who were unable to get into UCF. The teachers here work hard and everyone works hard to get the grades they get, they aren’t just passing out grades or letting just anyone come to school here,” Washington said.
According to the UCF website, last year’s freshmen class averaged a 3.87 GPA in high school and the average SAT critical reading score was 617, which is above average according to collegeboard.org.
“I know the requirement, including the expected GPA and ACT scores, have changed since I’ve been here. …It’s become more competitive,” Washington said.
According to Washington, UCF used to be a popular back-up plan for students who weren’t able to get into any other colleges. Washington says many people saw UCF as a safety net, but she has seen the perceptions change through the years and, in her social circles, has seen UCF become one of the top three choices for high school students looking to receive quality continuing education.
“I wouldn’t base my college decision on this study. I would do more research, Washington said. “Some of the stuff they used to rank colleges like class size doesn’t have everything to do with the quality of education you receive. You’re learning no matter what, it’s up to what you want to put into it.”