It’s only fall, but high school seniors in Florida need to lock down their college choices. And if you’re a parent, you know that sending your child to an in state school is going to cost a lot less. But you’re also looking for the best public universities for your kid. Both in and outside of Florida. US News did the legwork and ranked the top public colleges going into the 2024 school year. Their rankings took into consideration a lot of data including graduation rates, first year retention rates, and graduate performance. On the money side they also looked into borrower debt and the likeliness that one of their grads will out earn someone with only a high school diploma. You can find the full methodology here. One Florida school cracked the top 10.

Coming in at number 6 on the list of Best Public Universities is the University of Florida.

The University of Florida has an enrollment of 34,552 on a 2,000 acre campus. It comes in at number 6 on the Top Public Universities list and number 28 in national Universities based on similar criteria.

If UF is on your list, note the deadline for enrollment is March 1st and that only 23% of applicants are accepted. In state tuition fees are $6,381 and room and board is another $11,500. If you make it in, your odds are good. UF has a 72% graduation rate and the top major is engineering.

Overall, as a Florida resident, UF looks like a great choice, as highlighted by this study. The next public university on this list is Florida State University, which comes in at number 23. Florida Gulf Coast University comes in at number 162.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the top 10, and how much it would cost to send your kid to one of these out of state schools.



  • 1 University of California, Berkeley

    This school overlooks the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, California. It’s top major is Social Sciences, and out of state tuition & fees is$48,465. Unfortunately, one reviewer feels that the crime of San Francisco is encroaching on the school “Overall, the city of Berkeley is crime-ridden, and safety is a significant concern for students.”

    Home - University of California, Berkeley

    UC Berkeley pushes the boundaries of knowledge, challenges convention and expands opportunity to create the leaders of tomorrow.


  • 1 (tie) University of California, Los Angeles

    Located just just five miles away from the Pacific Ocean. It’s top major is also Social Sciences, and out of state tuition & fees is $46,326. “Great school, great people, great vibes!”


    UCLA advances knowledge, addresses pressing societal needs and creates a university enriched by diverse perspectives where all individuals can flourish.

  • 3 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor is a really cool place. And if you crave some excitement, Detroit is just 45 minutes away. It’s top major is Computer and Information Sciences but out of state tuition & fees is a brutal $57,273. “Strong academics in basically any field, so you have flexibility if you decide to change your major.”

    University of Michigan

    University of Michigan is one of the top universities of the world, a diverse public institution of higher learning, fostering excellence in research. U-M provides outstanding undergraduate, graduate and professional education, serving the local, regional, national and international communities.

  • 4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Great history in this school that was founded in 1789. It’s top major is  Social Sciences, and out of state tuition & fees is $39,338. 

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation's first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education.

  • 5 University of Virginia

    You want history? This school was started by Thomas Jefferson. It’s top major is Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies and out of state tuition & fees is $58,950. made a list of jobs you can land with a liberal arts degree. The first one listed is a  Customer service representative which carries a salary of $13.17 an hour.

    The University of Virginia

    © 2024 By The Rector And Visitors Of The University Of Virginia

  • 6 University of California, Davis

    Was originally a part of UC – Berkeley. It’s top major is Biological and Biomedical Sciences and out of state tuition & fees is $46,043. 

    UC Davis

    UC Davis innovates to address the world's most challenging problems and educates tomorrow's leaders.

  • 6 (tie) University of California, San Diego

    Located in La Jolla, California it’s top major is Biology. Out of state tuition and fees is $48,630.

    University of California San Diego

    The University California San Diego is one of the world's leading public research universities, located in beautiful La Jolla, California

  • 9 University of Texas at Austin

    One of the largest schools in the nation. Everything’s bigger in Texas. It’s top graduating majors are Biological and Biomedical Sciences and Engineering. Traveling from Florida, out of state tuition and fees is $41,070.

    The University of Texas at Austin

    Like the state it calls home, The University of Texas at Austin is a bold, ambitious leader, home to more than 51,000 students and 3,000 teaching faculty.

  • 10 Georgia Institute of Technology

    Georgia Tech is located in the heart of Atlanta. A whopping 51% of graduates do so with an Engineering degree. Definitely a closer option for Florida residents, out of state tuition and fees is less than many at $32,876.


    Explore Georgia Tech, a top public research university developing leaders in technology and improving lives, with diverse programs and global reach.

  • 10 (tie) University of California, Irvine

    Orange County, California. The top major for graduates is Social Sciences. Out of state tuition and fees is $47,759.


    Home page for the University of California, Irvine.

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