Wall Street Journal ranks UF No. 1 public university in the country
The University of Florida.

UF Monuments and Buildings
Florida International University was close behind at No. 4.

The Gators are No. 1 in at least one ranking and Florida International University is doing well, too.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. ranking, the University of Florida is the top public university in the country.

The publication, which has published U.S. college rankings since 2016, partnered with College Pulse and Statista this year to retool the ranking methodology to focus on educational outcomes, such as graduation rates and starting salaries for alumni.

Notably, WSJ no longer considers many of the factors that buoyed scores for Ivy League institutions for years — endowment size, reputation and instructional spending aren’t part of the equation. Prestige schools still fared well, but the new methodology allowed public universities such as UF to shine.

Overall, UF is the No. 15 university in the country, just above Duke University and a rung below Lehigh. When only public schools are considered, UF is the best of the best — the New Jersey Institute of Technology is the next-highest-ranked public university at No. 19 overall.

“The University of Florida dared to be audacious, and we’ve succeeded — for our students and for our state,” said UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini. “I’ve always believed that giving our students an amazing education and sending them out into the world with the tools they need to succeed is our No. 1 job. Now we’ve been recognized as being No. 1 for doing that. The people of the great state of Florida can take great pride in knowing that their tax dollars are well spent at the University of Florida. The best is yet to come.”

UF President Ben Sasse added, “The University of Florida has done incredible things, and we’re not slowing down. We are committed to providing an elite education that is radically practical. Graduating young men and women who are prepared for success in life may be the single most important thing we do as a university, and to be recognized as the best public university in the country is a huge honor.”

According to the ranking, the average UF grad pays spends just three months paying off their college debt, while the degree they earn adds $44,468 in value to their salaries — WSJ says the latter metric is an estimate of how well a school’s students would do regardless of which college they attended.

“So much of our university’s reputation comes down to our post-graduation student outcomes and the kind of leaders we are producing,” Sasse said. “UF alumni are changing the world.”

UF was not the only Sunshine State university near the top of the list. Florida International University ranked No. 4 among public universities, just a hair behind the University of Michigan, and took the No. 29 spot overall. Like UF grads, FIU alums typically pay off their college debt in a matter of months. Meanwhile, their diploma adds nearly $33,000 in value.

Staff Reports


  • So sad for UF

    September 6, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    Too bad it won’t stay # 1 with the racist policies DeSantis has put in place in the public education system in Florida

    • Ty

      September 14, 2023 at 11:16 am

      Don’t worry sweetie it will. I wonder where you went to school that could make you this salty in life. There is no place better than Florida 🙂 GO GATORS GO DESANTIS

  • Rick Whitaker

    September 6, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    if all i wanted was money, then i might look at florida, but having to go to the state of desantistan to attend class, i think not. if the wall street journal says something, i consider the source. wjsj and fox news being owned by the same fascist doesn’t impress me. the gross materialism of the gop is just that, gross.

  • Joe

    September 7, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Yawn. WSJ is a Republican propaganda rag pandering to red state rubes, and their college rankings are meritless.

  • Lynda

    September 7, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    My college and grad school years are long behind me. Way back then, I did not value any college I looked at immediately after graduating high school by calculating the months it took graduates of the colleges and universities in which I was interested to pay off college debts. Actually when I was in college most of those graduates could have done it even faster if they pursued an illegal occupation; perhaps they did without informing the WSJ.

    Of course I did have among my scholarships a National Merit Scholarship which in those days completely paid my tuition and extras. Certainly graduates who looked only to their future salaries and the number of months it would take to pay their college loan debts were not considering careers in medicine, dentistry, scientific research or any of the helping professions such as teaching, social work, working with non-profit organizations etc. In my opinion, the graduates followed by Murdoch’s WSJ were looking for credentials which got them money as fast as possible. Since I assume most of these graduates were not qualified to be athletes who got a superstar bonus, or entertainers who became trendy, the financial fields working with other people’s money attracted most of them.

    After their college debts were paid, (Murdoch would have us believe “in a few months”) what goals were left to achieve:
    just making more and more money. At some point in financial careers, history shows us there are conditions which cannot be ignored and everyone loses money.

    Where do the oh so successful in early financial careers go to maintain their feelings of success when real life conditions get in their way? Do they work on their tans while waiting for conditions to change? Do they go back to college or to a university to brush up their skills and increase their knowledge of financial matters? Well, that route just increases their debt while their salaries are decreased. Or perhaps the WSJ only looks at the first few months after graduation to evaluate the education an individual would get from a specific university or college.

    My long comment is to emphasize the actual education for any person is life long whether provided by colleges or universities, tech schools or on the job training such as in the military. Those people who will end their lives with the successes for which they chose to work hard, keep on learning new ideas, routines and languages/jargon through their whole lives. The WSJ is measuring with the wrong tools for prospective students and their parents/advisors to make decisions which fit their values and give them a real chance to be satisfied with their lives.

    As I told new hires at the conclusion of every seminar I gave: “You can’t take money and what it buys with you at the end of your life. Find a guiding purpose in the activities you spend your time doing.” Trust me, not too many of them looked away from the pictures of expensive cars, trips, trinkets and toys they had pasted to their calendars and probably their mirrors at home as their managers told them to do to “motivate” them.

Comments are closed.


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