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Florida’s Universities Lead the Nation in U.S. News & World Report Public University Rankings

TALLAHASSEE, FL (September 18, 2023) — The U.S. News and World Report released their 2023-2024 Best Colleges rankings, and Florida Universities are shining brightly at the top. Florida now has six institutions in the Top 100. Together, our Florida university system’s successes are many as we provide an elite education for all our students and best prepare them for success in life on their chosen career path.

Florida’s preeminent universities are leading the way, with the University of Florida ranked No. 6, Florida State University ranked No. 23, and the University of South Florida ranked No. 45. Due to the Florida Legislature recognizing and reinvesting $100 million during the 2023 Session, these universities can further their scientific research through discovery and scholarship.

“Last year, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature fully funded our Performance-Based Funding program, allowing our universities to invest and recruit world-class faculty, build state-of-the-art facilities, and educate students for success in the classroom and their careers,” said Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, a proud alum of the State University System of Florida. “The U.S. News and World Report rankings are another endorsement that Florida is leading the nation in higher education.”

Our Performance-Based Funding Model utilizes ten metrics that evaluate Florida universities on various issues ranging from four-year graduation rates to research expenditures so we may provide funding accordingly.

In addition to our preeminent universities, the University of Central Florida and Florida International University tied for No. 64. Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University ranked No. 91; they are now in the top 100 after rising 12 spots. FAMU is still #1 for public HBCU institutions. Florida Atlantic University rose an impressive 20 spots and is now ranked No. 112.

“Florida now has six universities in the Top 100. On behalf of the Board of Governors, I congratulate our universities who received recognition; these accolades are made possible by our dedicated university trustees, scholarly faculty, and incredible students,” said Chair Brian Lamb, a proud alum of the State University System of Florida. “Florida is #1 for Higher Education because we believe in student success. These rankings inspire our university system to continue reaching upward to ensure a place of excellence and opportunity for our students. We owe a debt of gratitude to Florida’s Governor DeSantis and the Legislature for their continued investment in higher education.”

The U.S. News and World Report uses key quality measures to determine their Best Colleges rankings, including graduation and retention rates, outcomes for Pell Grant recipients (social mobility), academic reputation, student debt, and student and faculty resources, among others.


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 430,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Florida has held the top spot in U.S. News & World Report for higher education since the inception of the rankings in 2017. 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 information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

University Ranking Highlights:

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University: FAMU is the Top Public HBCU for the fifth consecutive year rising four places to No. 3 among both public and private HBCUs.

Florida Atlantic University: FAU rose to No. 26 in the U.S. News & World Report “Social Mobility” ranking, up from No. 41.

Florida International University: FIU is top ranked in Florida for undergraduate teaching and No. 9 among public universities.

Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University ranks nationally as a Top 20-public engineering program without a Ph.D.

Florida State University: Florida State University scored its highest-ever ranking at No. 53, up two spots from last year. FSU is among the Top 25 public universities for the fifth consecutive year, placing No. 23. 

New College of Florida: New College ranks No. 6 out of 18 public National Liberal Arts Colleges. New College welcomed its largest incoming class, more than 300 students, in its history while taking additional essential steps toward reclaiming its stature as the top public liberal arts university in America.

University of Central Florida: UCF ranks No. 14 for Most Innovative School by U.S. News and World Report moving up six places from last year and is the highest-ranked institution in Florida for innovation.

University of Florida: Less than two weeks after The Wall Street Journal named UF the No. 1 public institution in the country, UF continued its upward trajectory in U.S. News’ rankings, climbing one spot (from No. 29 to No. 28) on the list of both public and private institutions for 2023-2024. UF also soared 32 spots to No. 20 on the list of Most Innovative Schools and 28 spots to No. 37 on a ranking of Social Mobility.

University of North Florida: The University of North Florida rose in the rankings as a national university and a top public school and saw significant gain as a top performer in social mobility. The University was also recognized for its engineering, business, computer science, nursing, psychology and economics programs. 

University of South Florida: The University of South Florida is ranked No. 89 overall, which is USF’s highest ranking ever among all universities, public or private.

The University of West Florida: The University of West Florida is ranked 10th among all top public universities in the south.