University of Florida, FSU maintain high state/national rankings, UWF makes state’s top ten

The University of Florida is ranked first in the state and 32nd nationally in WalletHub’s 2020 list of the top 1,000 higher education institutions in the United States.


Florida State University maintained its status as the number two state school in the annual rankings and improved its state rankings in six of 33 key categories, data released by WalletHub showed. FSU was rated as 2020’s 43rd best college or university in the country.


The University of Central Florida jumped two spots in the state poll to overtake the University of South Florida as the number three school in the state and the Pensacola-based University of West Florida made this year’s top 10, coming in at number seven.


The University of West Florida shares a Fort Walton Beach campus with Northwest Florida State College.


WalletHub publishes its best school rankings each year ahead of the Nov. 1 “early decision” college application deadline “to help college-bound seniors choose the best schools within their states,” according to Diana Polk, a WalletHub spokeswoman.


Florida improved from seventh to fourth on the state list for net cost to attend and FSU jumped from sixth to third in the same category. Florida maintained the number one graduation rate in the state and FSU jumped from third to second in that category, WalletHub said.


Both Florida and Florida State bettered their rankings in the categories of admission rate, on-campus crime, gender and racial diversity and post-attendance median salary. The University of Florida also improved in the student-faculty ratio category, WalletHub said.


The University of Central Florida in Orlando was ranked as the third-safest school in the state and was fourth best at graduating students.


Last year’s number three Florida university, South Florida, fell one spot to number four for 2020.


St. Thomas University, which did not make WalletHub’s 2019 list of Florida’s best schools, was ranked number five for 2020. The University of Miami dropped two spots to number six and was rated one spot above UWF. Florida Southern College ranked eight and another newcomer, Florida A&M University was nine.


Florida International University rounded out WalletHub’s Florida top 10.