The Washington Post lauded UCF’s success with providing a high-quality education to a growing number of deserving students, showcasing how UCF is at “the vanguard of an insurgency that aims to demolish the popular belief that exclusivity is a virtue in higher education.”
In an article published online Sunday, the Post said that UCF’s philosophy can be a model for “a nation in desperate need of a better-educated workforce.”
UCF has grown to about 63,000 students this fall, roughly three times the number of students when UCF President John C. Hitt arrived in 1992. UCF has achieved this growth while also increasing quality and keeping costs affordable for students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.
“We don’t have enough of these examples,” Andrew P. Kelly, a higher education analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Post. “It’s a rare sight to see institutions self-consciously trying to build capacity to serve more students. The incentives tend to point in the opposite direction, toward exclusivity. These guys are breaking the mold.”
Washington Post higher education reporter Nick Anderson spent a few days at UCF at the start of the fall semester exploring how a big university could provide access, maintain quality and do it on a tight budget. Anderson used statistics and interviews with students, faculty members and administrators to demonstrate UCF’s vision.
This is the third national story in less than six months to recognize how UCF is helping change higher education. The PBS News Hour featured UCF’s Direct Connect program with community colleges in early September, noting how UCF’s commitment to access and partnerships transforms lives and communities.
Politico magazine’s “Where Dreams Come True” story in June profiled the DirectConnect to UCF program and concluded that “Central Florida’s institutions of higher learning are creating a seamless pipeline of social mobility.”
Also, U.S. News and World Report recently ranked UCF as the 13th-most innovative university in the country, alongside institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Duke and MIT.