FSU breaks into the top 25 Best Universities, now ranked 18th in the nation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The University of South Florida, the University of Florida, and Florida State University all learned they are in the top 25 nationally for public universities Monday.

Florida State University leaders are overjoyed after climbing eight spots over last year's ranking. (Florida State University)

Florida State is overjoyed after climbing eight spots over last year's ranking.

The university began the year ranked 26th nationally by U.S. News and World Report. It expected to crack the top 25, but the administrators and even the Governor were blown away by its number 18 ranking.

“To go from 26 to 18 is a remarkable ascent,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

FSU is tied with Penn State at 18.

FSU Board Chair Ed Burr was quick to point out the new ranking didn’t cost students.

“Without raising tuition a dime,” said Burr.

Instead, FSU used state money to hire faculty and lower class sizes.

“We now offer over 50 percent of Florida State University classes with fewer than twenty students,” said FSU Provost Sallie McRorrie.

One student, Morgan Pleasants said she chose FSU for the setting.

“This campus feels like home,” said Pleasants.

While Jacksonville’s Jalicia Lewis came for other opportunities.

“I have an experience to tell people, employers, graduate schools, that I came from a place that was invested in my growth,” said Lewis.

Seven out of ten, or 72 percent of the students who enroll at FSU, graduate in four years. It is the best graduation rate in the state.

“We had 60,000 applications last year,” said FSU President John Thrasher. "These students, these students come here already motivated. All we have to to is make sure they have the pathway correct on where they want to go.”

The number 18 ranking brings high expectations of cracking the top 15 quickly and then into the top ten.

FSU has risen 25 spots among public universities since placing #43 in 2016. FSU moved up to #38 on the 2017 list and then to #33 on the 2018 list.