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2017 Best Florida CollegesLEESBURG, FL— For the second consecutive year, Beacon College was ranked among Florida’s top 10 colleges or universities by BestColleges.com. This year Beacon College — the first college or university accredited to award bachelor’s degrees primarily to students who learn differently — advanced two spots to No. 8.

The University of Florida retained the No. 1 spot. Otherwise, the 2017 “Best Florida Four-Year Colleges” shakes up the 2016 top five. Both the University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee (No. 2) and the University of Central Florida (No. 3) vaulted into the top five. Florida State University inched up one spot to No. 4 while The Baptist College of Florida rounds out the first five.

“Our new ranking verifies that the student-centered learning model the College utilizes works well, and that the hard work of faculty and staff does not go unnoticed,” said Dr. Shelly Chandler, provost of Beacon College, a private, nonprofit liberal arts school with an enrollment of 309 students.

BestColleges.com uses an objective benchmark — analyzing metrics such as affordability, enrollment and graduation rates, and student outcomes from the National Center for Education Statistics — to calculate its rankings for Florida’s two-year, four-year and online schools.

“When Beacon College was established in 1989 by a group of visionary parents, the school set out with a very unique mission: to serve baccalaureate students who learn differently,” BestColleges.com noted. “To fulfill that mission, every facet of campus life at this Florida college — from application to graduation — was developed to best serve these students’ needs.”

The complete BestColleges.com Best Four-year Colleges in Florida Top Ten includes:

  1. University of Florida – Gainesville, FL
  2. University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee
  3. University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL
  4. Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL
  5. The Baptist College of Florida, Graceville, FL
  6. New College of Florida – Sarasota, FL
  7. Florida International University, Miami, FL
  8. Beacon College – Leesburg, FL
  9. University of Miami – Coral Gables, FL
  10. University of South Florida – Tampa, FL