TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis, state lawmakers and university officials on Monday bragged about Florida State University and the University of Florida moving up in the rankings of an annual report that grades the country’s top public colleges and universities.

The news of the universities’ improved status in the U.S. News & World Report’s “2020 Best Colleges” prompted the governor to visit both campuses Monday morning to tout their success.

Appearing at FSU in Tallahassee Monday morning, DeSantis lauded the school’s “remarkable ascent” since 2016, when it ranked 43rd in the nation among state universities. This year, the institution was named the country’s 18th-best public university.

“From being in the 40s to now being in the top 20, really ascending toward the top 15 — that is a big, big deal,” DeSantis, a Yale University grad and Harvard Law School alum, said. “That does not happen by chance, it is a result of hard work.”

During a visit to the University of Florida in Gainesville, DeSantis praised the school’s “steady improvement.” UF was named the seventh-best public university in the nation, climbing up from No. 19, back in 2012.

The metrics considered by U.S. News for overall top-university ranking include the time it takes students to complete degree programs, the cost of tuition, student debt amount at graduation, faculty resources, and graduation rates of students who receive federal grants, which are typically given to low-income households.

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