TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Four of the top 20 universities on Forbes “Best College Buys” list are in Florida. The University of Florida ranked 11th; Florida State University ranked 13th.
The schools were given high marks for low tuition, high graduation rates and experienced staff.
Senior Josh Robinson considered all those factors when he chose FSU. “It’s not incredibly expensive, I never got that feeling.”
Junior Alex Griffel was considering a school in California, before he saw the price tag. “It wasn’t worth the value of it to go out there and spend all that money, when I could just come here to a public school and in-state tuition… it’s great. I love it here”
The average cost of four years of tuition and fees at the ranked Florida universities is about 18-thousand dollars. But that’s changing.
The rankings come among tuition increases and budget cuts that are visible in the classroom. That has some students wondering how long can Florida hold onto those top spots.
“Once you’re in your major classes are still getting larger and it used to be about 30 students and now you can see anything from 40 or 50 plus,” said senior Rosa Mateu.
Mateu has noticed changes during her three years at FSU. Since she enrolled tuition has risen 15 percent a year, her Bright Futures scholarship has paid less, and budget cuts have forced layoffs. “I hope that Florida State stays on the map, but I’m not sure at the rate we are going.”
Florida’s 11 public universities are among the cheapest in the country. In 2009 the state legislature gave the schools permission to raise tuition up to 15 percent a year until the state average meets the national average.
Other Florida universities making the top 100 list are, New College of Florida at 16, University of North Florida at 19, University of West Florida at 27, University of Central Florida at 42, and University of South Florida at 51.
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