You may quibble with the #1 ranking, but most Americans would likely applaud the criteria used to compare the states: 1) % of residents with college degrees, 2) the time it takes to earn degrees at two- and four-year public institutions, 3) the cost of in-state tuition and fees, and 4) the average debt assumed by the graduating class of 2017. Who’s #1? It’s Florida. How so? One reason is a strong statewide board that demands accountability from public universities. It does so by linking outcomes to state funding.