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Florida remains #1 in U.S. News and World Report rankings for Higher Education

Tallahassee, Fla. – U.S. News & World Report has once again named Florida the top state in the country for higher education. Florida’s higher education system has held the top ranking for the last five years.  This achievement can be credited to the collective commitment of our elected leaders, the Board of Governors, and the state universities to student success and affordability.

“I am thrilled with this news as our public universities have strategically prioritized student success, increasing quality, and driving down costs,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System. “Our students are achieving a higher quality of education, they’re graduating faster, and they’re doing so at tuition levels that are second lowest in the country.  This ranking is an acknowledgment that Florida is doing the right things, and I look forward to continuing the positive momentum.” 

Metrics considered by U.S. News & World Report include the time it takes students to complete both two- and four-year college programs, the cost of in-state tuition and fees, and the debt burden that college graduates carry. Florida improved on three of the five metrics in the recent rankings, including four-year graduation rate, average debt, and tuition and fees. 

The State University System recently announced a 10 percent five-year increase in graduation rates as well as a 31 percent year-over-year drop in the cost-to-the-student for a bachelor’s degree. Due to support from elected leaders and initiatives that drive down costs, the average State University System student pays $5,990 for a bachelor’s degree once financial aid is included.

“This recognition affirms the incredible collaboration among our universities, our System, and Governor DeSantis and our State Legislature, to keep Florida’s students first in all that we do,” said Marshall M. Criser, III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida.

Accountability is key to the System’s continuing rise in productivity and reputation, and the state’s investments in performance-funding have provided the tools necessary for this ranking.  Last fall, the Board of Governors added a dashboard on the homepage that provides a transparent way for all interested parties to monitor our System’s performance on these prioritized metrics.


Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The System has 12 universities and more than 420,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the System’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the System’s chief executive. For more, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.