TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- New rankings released by U.S. News and World Report say Florida is the No. 1 state in the nation for higher education.
The Sunshine State got the top ranking because of several factors, including the state's relatively low tuition rates for colleges and universities.
Florida also had a high ranking because more than half of students seeking a two-year degree graduated either on time or within three years.
Gov. Rick Scott and others heralded the new rankings, which are coming at a time when the Florida Senate is considering pushing through changes to the state's higher education system.
ICYMI: @usnews named FL #1 for Higher Education. We're focused on keeping tuition low so all students have opportunities to succeed!
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) March 1, 2017
Senate leaders want to boost spending on student financial aid and provide more money for college faculty.
State University System Chancellor Marshall Criser III said the rankings were an "inspiration" to push for a better, stronger system.