1. The Education Gradebook

Report ranks Florida as No. 1 state for higher education

The University of Florida campus in Gainesville. [iStockphoto photo]
The University of Florida campus in Gainesville. [iStockphoto photo]
Published Mar. 4, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — New rankings released by U.S. News and World Report say Florida is the number one 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. 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.

The rest of the top 10 are Utah, California, Wyoming, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska and Virginia. Click to read the full report.