In today’s competitive economy, it is attractive to students to attain a degree from a top-performing university at the lowest cost, which is reflected in UCF’s listing in the nation’s Top 100 schools, announced Friday by the financial website WalletHub.

UCF also was ranked as the No. 3 higher-education institution in Florida and No. 21 in the South region using the factors that WalletHub looks at, such as student-faculty ratio, graduation rate and post-attendance median salary. For the national rankings, more than 1,000 schools were reviewed; UCF was No. 97.

“We are pleased to be gaining recognition for advancing student success and faculty excellence as we offer broad access to a high-value education,” says Elizabeth A. Dooley, UCF’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “UCF’s affordability allows students to enjoy an optimal educational experience that prepares them well for a bright future.”

To determine the top-performing schools at the lowest possible costs to undergraduates, WalletHub also analyzed post-attendance metrics — such as the student-loan default rate and the share of former students out-earning high school graduates — to show the value of the education that students can expect to receive beyond their commencement.

“Students want to know they are getting a good deal,” WalletHub says.

The University of Florida and Florida State University were the other top-performing schools in the state, according to the WalletHub rankings.

In August, Washington Monthly magazine ranked UCF the 55th best national university and 25th “Best Bang for the Buck” university in the southeast. Those rankings were based on the metrics of social mobility, research and service. The social mobility scores looked at graduation rates, number of first-generation students, tuition costs and other factors.

In the “Best Bang for the Buck” category, the magazine recognized schools that help lower- and middle-income students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

Kiplinger and Forbes also both rank UCF among the nation’s best education values.