Three-peat: U.S. News and World Report again ranks Florida first in higher ed

“It is no surprise."

For the third straight year, U.S. News and World Report has pegged Florida as the top state in the nation when it comes to higher education.

According to the publication’s website, those rankings include analysis of “the shares of citizens in each state holding college degrees, as well as the time it takes students to complete both two- and four-year college programs, the cost of in-state tuition and fees, and the burden of debt that college graduates carry.”

Florida universities told three spots in the top 100 college rankings, according to U.S. News and World Report. The University of Florida is 35th on that list, followed by the University of Miami at 53rd and Florida State University at 70th.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was among the Florida officials who issued statements celebrating those rankings Tuesday.

“It is no surprise that U.S. News and World Report has again named Florida the top state in the nation for higher education,” DeSantis said.

“Our state colleges and universities have prioritized affordability and pathways for career and life and, as a result, they are transforming our state. I look forward to celebrating continued success as we build on this positive momentum.”

Ned Lautenbach, chair of the Board of Governors, also commented on the news. The Board of Governors oversees the State University System.

“Our 12 public universities are all extremely focused on student success, increasing quality, and driving down cost,” Lautenbach said.

“They also work closely with the Florida College System to make sure students experience a seamless transition when moving from a college to university level.”

According to the latest numbers from the State University System, graduation rates are up 9.5 percent over a five-year span, and the cost of a bachelor’s degree dropped 31-percent from year-to-year.

In the recently-approved budget, the Legislature also required the Board of Governors to adjust its funding of universities based on their changing levels of performance.

“With great credit going to Florida’s 28 Colleges that offer nearly 1 million Floridians outstanding higher education pathways, Florida is again recognized as #1 in the nation for third year in a row,” said Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

“Florida has long been known as the Sunshine State, and it’s now time that the nation recognize Florida also as the clearly established Education State.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to


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