WEST PALM BEACH, fLA. — University of Florida has been ranked the No. 1 public university in the country in the Wall Street Journal's “2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.” report released Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal, which has published U.S. college rankings since 2016, ranked the school in Gainesville as 15th overall when including private schools.
Among other schools in Florida that were ranked:
Florida International University earned the fourth spot in terms of public universities behind No. 2 New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and the 29th out of the 400 public and private universities.
University of Miami: 90th (private)
Florida State University: 102nd overall (No. 35 among public universities)
University of South Florida: 151
University of Central Florida: 172
Florida Atlantic University: 183
Florida Institute of Technology: 309
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University: 361
College rankings were based on three factors: student outcomes (accounting for 70%), the learning environment (20%) and diversity (10%).
According to the publication, “The WSJ’s college rankings are based on a comprehensive evaluation of over 1,000 colleges and universities, taking into account a variety of factors that are deemed important for students and their future success. Unlike many other college rankings, which often focus solely on measures such as academic reputation or endowment size, the WSJ’s rankings take into account a wide range of factors, including the earning potential of graduates, the level of student debt, and the cost of attendance.”
The Journal determined the net price of attending a school.
"Instead of debt after graduation, we now use net price to better reflect the full financial burden on students who receive federal financial aid and their families — including any loans they may need," Harry Carr, the Journal's rankings editor, wrote. "A singular focus on debt would punish colleges for enrolling students with lower family incomes, who are more likely to require loans to cover college costs.
The University of Florida was listed with three months to pay off the net price of $3,679.
The average tuition cost for in-state students is $6,380 yearly.
More than 60,000 undergraduates and recent undergraduate alumni were asked by the Journal's College Pulse to provide feedback on colleges that are of great value to its students in terms of tuition, learning environment, degree completion and the likelihood of a higher salary after graduation.
Last year UF was ranked 54th overall and 11th among public schools.
The accolade follows last year’s announcement that UF maintained its position as a Top 5 public university in the annual U.S. News & World report ranking.
"The University of Florida dared to be audacious, and we've succeeded – for our students and for our state," UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini said. "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."
Ben Sasse, who took over at UF president in February after serving as a senator from Nebraska, said: "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. That goes right to the heart of what a public, land-grant, flagship institution like UF should be doing and what the state of Florida has entrusted us with. Go Gators!”
This is the list of top 20 schools with points:
1. Princeton University (private), 91.6 points
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (private), 90.4 points.
3. Yale University (private), 90.3 points
4. Stanford University (private), 90.1 points
5. Columbia University (private), 89.7 points
6. Harvard University (private), 89.5 points
7. University of Pennsylvania (private), 89.4 points
8. Amherst College (private), 88.4 points.
9. Claremont McKenna College (private), 88.4 points
10. Babson College (private), 87.9 points
11. Swarthmore College (private), 85.9 points
12. Georgetown University (private), 84.6 points
13. Vanderbilt University (private), 84.3 points
14. Lehigh University (private), 84.3 points
15. University of Florida (public), 84.2 points
16. Duke University (private), 84.1 points
17. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (private), 84 points
18. California Institue of Technology (private), 83.8
19. New Jersey Institute of Technology (public), 83.5 points
20. Brigham Young University (private), 83.4 points