Top marks! Florida's higher education is ranked the best in the country for the third year row by U.S. News & World Report

  • The Sunshine State beat Washington, Wyoming and California to the top position
  • Three of US News and World Report's top-100-ranked universities are in Florida 
  • 'Our human capital is the most important thing we have,' said Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida is the number one US state for college education, according to US News and World Report's annual ranking.

The report put the Sunshine State ahead of Washington, in the Pacific northwest, Wyoming and California.

Washington came out top as the best state overall, Massachusetts won on pre-K-12 education, and New Hampshire was first for opportunity. 

Florida State University was ranked 70th in US News and World Report's annual list, while the state was first overall for higher education

Florida State University was ranked 70th in US News and World Report's annual list, while the state was first overall for higher education

The ranking is based on several factors, including what percentage of citizens in each state hold college degrees, and how long it takes on average to complete two-year and four-year courses.

Also measured are the costs tuition and fees in the state, and how much debt graduates leave college with.

Florida's number one ranking was reflected by three of its universities making the top 100 in US News and World Report's rating of colleges.

The University of Florida was ranked 35th, the University of Miami 53rd and Florida State University 70th.

Florida state governor Ron DeSantis, seen here speaking at a bill signing ceremony on Education Achievements at William J. Kirlew Junior Academy in Miami Gardens, said on Monday: 'our human capital is the most important thing we have'

Florida state governor Ron DeSantis, seen here speaking at a bill signing ceremony on Education Achievements at William J. Kirlew Junior Academy in Miami Gardens, said on Monday: 'our human capital is the most important thing we have'

'It is no surprise that U.S. News & World Report has again named Florida the top state in the nation for higher education,' Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said. 

'Our state colleges and universities have prioritized affordability and pathways for career and life and, as a result, they are transforming our state. 

'I look forward to celebrating continued success as we build on this positive momentum.' 

Mr De Santis said he promoted his state's higher education system to business leaders he met in New York on Monday, accompanied by Enterprise Florida chief Jamal Sowell. 

The governor boasted of Florida's pro-business, low-tax and red tape-free environment. 

'But our human capital is the most important thing we have,' Mr DeSantis said. 'We take pride in being No. 1.'

The University of Florida came 35th in US News and World Report's annual ranking of US colleges

The University of Florida came 35th in US News and World Report's annual ranking of US colleges

Florida university system Board of Governors vice-chairman Sydney Kitson said the ranking was an affirmation for the state's policy of performance-based funding.

'The investment that the governor is making has just really paid dividends for these students,' he said. 

Under the performance-based scheme, universities are rewarded for high graduation and retention rates. 

Mr Kitson said the state's 12 universities were all improving on those metrics, including a 9.5 per cent increase in graduation rates over the past five years and a 31 per cent fall in cost for students of gaining a bachelor's degree.

The average student now pays $9,450 (£7,350) for a bachelor's degree after financial aid is factored in. 

'It's very exciting,' he told the Tallahassee Democrat. 'It shows a real commitment from the Legislature and the governor that education is important to the state of Florida.' 

'Our 12 public universities are all extremely focused on student success, increasing quality, and driving down cost,' Board of Governors chairman Ned Lautenbach said in a statement on Tuesday. 

'They also work closely with the Florida College System to make sure students experience a seamless transition when moving from a college to university level.' 

The University of Miami was number 53 in US News and World Report's annual ranking of colleges nationwide

The University of Miami was number 53 in US News and World Report's annual ranking of colleges nationwide

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Florida's higher education is ranked the best in the country for the third year row

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