ESTERO, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University is making headlines again, not just in the athletic department but in the workplace.
The Florida Board of Governors ranked FGCU second out of 11 state universities on how it prepares graduates to get jobs - higher than Florida State, higher than University of Florida. The rankings are based on graduates' jobs, wages and education costs.
In his second year at FGCU, Health Science major Bill Polin already has his sights set on what's ahead. "My number one goal here is to get a job," Polin said.
"Us being number two is pretty incredible. It's exciting for me in a few years."
According to the results, 70 percent of FGCU grads are employed or continuing their education one year after graduation, with a median salary just under $33,000. That's more than the average cost per undergraduate at FGCU which is about $29,800.
"I get emails from students who've graduated this year and last year and I know they're getting really good jobs," Associate Professor of Marketing Khaled Aboulnasr said.
He calls it an honor that reflects the effort put into the growing university. But, it's not surprising.
"We equip our students with the skills necessary for them becoming successful graduates," Aboulnasr said, "things like critical thinking skills, math skills, communication skills, all are skills businesses do require today."
The ranking itself is valuable. FGCU now gets a $2.1 million dollar performance bonus, something that will benefit students like Bill Polin now.
"I like the small class sizes," Polin said. "I get more one-on-one time with my professors. I'm really glad to be going here."
The data used to rank the schools only takes into account students employed in the state of Florida after graduating. Schools with graduates getting jobs out-of-state or with undergrad programs that cost more scored lower overall.