For the fifth time in seven years, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has scored first in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of online bachelor's programs.
The rankings, released Tuesday, show the University of Florida moving up to tie ERAU at the top spot, with both schools scoring 100.
Embry-Riddle's worldwide campus also finished tied for 37th in its first appearance in the rankings for best online master's in engineering. The worldwide campus has an enrollment of 22,400, more than double the school's two in-person campuses in Daytona Beach and Prescott, Arizona.
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Mori Hosseini, who chairs the Board of Trustees of both institutions, said the accomplishment should be "a point of pride for all Floridians," and a validation of the value of both programs.
"On a personal level, online education helps students launch and advance their careers," Hosseini said. "For our state, online education is the skill-building resource that creates a workforce with the talent and ingenuity critical to our prosperity and security.”
ERAU first submitted for the US News online rankings in 2012, when the school came in unranked.
"Learning from that, we worked our way up to in 2015 we were No. 5," Watret said. "From 2016 on, we've been No. 1 or 2."
The high rankings have helped Embry-Riddle attract students, Watret said.
"The fact that we're No. 1 shows them we are able to do it and do it well," he said.
Among bachelor's online programs in Florida, The University of Florida moved its bachelor's program up in the rankings from No. 3 in 2021.
The Gainesville school also finished No. 2 in online master's in education, No. 5 in online MBA programs and tied for 12th in master's in engineering.
Other Florida finishers in the top 100 bachelor's programs include: University of Central Florida, tied for 7th; Daytona State College, tied for 35th (and up from 37th in 2021); University of North Florida, tied for 47th; Florida Atlantic University, tied for 55th; Florida International University and University of West Florida, both tied for 59th; and St. Petersburg College, tied for 80th.
Florida State University in Tallahassee earned two No. 6 rankings, for online master's in information technology and master's in criminal justice. The school was 22nd in the education master's category.
The rankings for online bachelor's programs are based on four factors:
35% on engagement
25% on services and technology
faculty credentials and training
U.S. News & World Report ranked 1,700 programs this year, up from just over 1,600 last year.
"The uncertainty caused by the pandemic may result in more people considering the merits of an online education," Liana Loewus, managing editor of Education at U.S. News, said in a news release. "As students consider what's right for them and their schedules, they can use the data provided by U.S. News to research their options and make informed decisions about their academic future."
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This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: ERAU, University of Florida finish 1st in online bachelor's rankings