With a goal to be the best place to learn and work, UCF is in the right location. For the second year in a row, Orlando is ranked the No. 1 Best College City in America among midsize cities, according to WalletHub’s 2023 list. This year, the City Beautiful moved up one spot to No. 3 among all cities — making this the second consecutive year Orlando has placed in the top five nationally and No. 1 in Florida.
The annual ranking is frequently used by high school seniors to help decide where to go for college. Using 32 key indicators of academic, economic and social opportunities, the study compares more than 400 cities across the U.S. to determine the best college towns and cities.
“Experts have argued that a school’s geographical location is just as important as a strong curriculum and supportive school environment to a student’s academic success and personal development,” WalletHub stated in the rankings release. “It’s in students’ interest to live in a city with a reasonable cost of living, as well as one that provides good academic and work opportunities. The ideal city should also provide a fun social environment to help students deal with the stress of college.”
Orlando is also ranked No. 2 for Social Environment, No. 26 for Cost of Higher Education, No. 46 for Quality of Higher Education, No. 93 for Academic and Economic Opportunities and No. 138 for Wallet Friendliness. Among the factors considered for the rankings are tuition costs, student loan debt, housing costs, city accessibility, student population demographics, presence of NCAA Division 1 sport teams, earning potential of graduates and entrepreneurial activity.
With 57% of first-time-in-college students at UCF graduating without any educational debt, Knight Nation is not only a great place to pursue a college degree, but one that sets students up for success after graduation. Orlando is home to headquarters for major tech and aerospace companies, such as EA, Lockheed Martin and Siemens, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is located nearby. With more than 17,000 Knights graduating each year, UCF supplies the high-quality education and industry connections graduates need to land prosperous careers — as well as the talent needed for these dynamic tech industries.
In October, WalletHub also ranked UCF No. 133 out of the top 500 Best Colleges and Universities.
In September, Washington Monthly ranked UCF as the 47th Best National University and No. 7 in the southeast for Best Bang for the Buck College. U.S. News & World Report also recently ranked UCF as the No. 64 Public School in the nation — the highest the university has placed in this category — and 41st for social mobility among public schools. Last year, Education Reform Now ranked UCF Earlier this year, Education Reform Now ranked UCF No. 2 in the nation for social mobility impact.