Florida boasts more than 40 institutions of higher learning, many of which offer dozens of degree programs in various fields. The 12 state universities alone serve more than 300,000 students, while the 28 member schools of the Florida College System are the primary access point to higher education for high school graduates in the state. With so many opportunities available for aspiring students, it may seem a daunting task to research them all. This page serves as a starting point for college-bound students and their families, providing clear, unbiased information on Florida colleges. Read on to explore the state’s best schools, a comprehensive review of costs, and additional college planning resources.

Ranking Florida Colleges: Top Programs for 2017

Florida Florida

One must consider many factors when choosing among Florida colleges and universities, and those important to some people will not be as important to others. We’ve ranked colleges and universities using unbiased, empirical evidence regarding important qualities, including salary figures for graduates, tuition costs, student-to-teacher ratio, financial aid availability and graduation rates. Prospective students can use this ranking as a starting point to begin narrowing down their options.

Rank School Name Score Tuition Fees Alumni Earnings Student/Teacher Ratio Gift Financial AidGraduation Rate Acceptance Rate # Online Programs # Total Programs Placement Services Credit for Experience
1
Hillsborough Community College
99.84
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,500
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
9%
24% N/A 0 100 Yes Yes
2
Tallahassee Community College
99.27
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$30,900
24:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
13%
33% N/A 4 63 Yes Yes
3
North Florida Community College
99.11
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,300
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
41%
43% N/A 0 24 Yes No
4
Florida Keys Community College
98.77
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,100
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
22%
34% N/A 1 20 No Yes
5
Traviss Career Center
98.20
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,300
8:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
6%
80% N/A 0 30 Yes No
6
Erwin Technical Center
98.11
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$26,000
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
19%
62% N/A 0 29 No No
7
Charlotte Technical Center
97.98
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$20,000
8:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
16%
66% N/A 0 15 Yes No
8
City College-Altamonte Springs
97.45
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$22,900
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
16%
35% N/A 0 8 Yes Yes
9
Ridge Career Center
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$19,500
24:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
11%
88% N/A 0 26 Yes No
Rank School Name Score Tuition Fees Alumni Earnings Student/Teacher Ratio Gift Financial AidGraduation Rate Acceptance Rate # Online Programs # Total Programs Placement Services Credit for Experience
1
Florida Institute of Technology
99.76
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$53,100
9:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
93%
55% 62% 12 94 Yes No
2
University of Miami
98.87
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$52,400
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
73%
81% 38% 3 182 Yes No
3
Jacksonville University
98.67
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$47,700
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
98%
41% 56% 3 106 Yes Yes
4
University of Florida
98.49
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$51,300
21:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
29%
85% 46% 44 218 Yes No
5
Stetson University
97.43
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$42,600
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
100%
64% 61% 2 64 Yes No
6
Barry University
97.34
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$45,300
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
96%
41% 46% 6 95 Yes Yes
7
Rollins College
96.97
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$42,200
10:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
82%
72% 57% 0 41 Yes No
8
Palm Beach Atlantic University
96.55
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$38,100
13:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
100%
51% 95% 5 60 Yes Yes
9
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach
96.52
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$60,900
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
92%
58% 73% 0 35 Yes No
10
Nova Southeastern University
96.09
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$46,500
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
94%
42% 49% 89 137 No Yes
11
Eckerd College
95.87
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$40,800
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
96%
60% 73% 0 58 Yes Yes
12
Saint Leo University
95.84
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$42,600
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
99%
43% 72% 37 58 Yes Yes
13
The University of Tampa
95.69
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$44,400
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
90%
57% 52% 0 60 Yes Yes
14
Florida State University
95.45
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$44,000
26:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
42%
75% 55% 8 209 Yes No
15
Florida International University
94.99
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$45,100
26:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
48%
49% 53% 21 149 Yes No
16
University of Central Florida
94.91
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$43,000
31:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
44%
65% 50% 30 156 Yes Yes
17
University of North Florida
94.89
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,600
20:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
54%
48% 61% 4 78 Yes No
18
University of South Florida-Main Campus
94.83
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,700
25:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
73%
57% 53% 12 175 Yes No
19
Florida Southern College
94.64
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$37,600
14:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
97%
55% 45% 0 57 Yes No
20
St Thomas University
94.41
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$42,600
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
93%
32% 85% 2 51 Yes Yes
21
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
94.28
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$37,300
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
57%
40% 49% 3 89 Yes Yes
22
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
94.16
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$60,900
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
14%
48% 69% 21 21 Yes Yes
23
Ave Maria University
93.09
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
100%
64% 52% 1 24 Yes No
24
Florida Atlantic University
92.93
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,400
24:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
43%
41% 66% 7 126 Yes No
25
Warner University
92.50
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$42,200
17:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
89%
40% 26% 5 26 Yes Yes
26
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
92.19
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$29,600
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
77%
60% 49% 16 23 Yes Yes
27
The University of West Florida
92.16
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$36,300
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
45%
45% 42% 16 75 Yes No
28
Florida Gulf Coast University
91.96
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$41,200
22:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
24%
45% 59% 5 65 Yes No
29
Flagler College-St Augustine
91.96
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$37,200
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
82%
65% 48% 0 26 No No
30
Ringling College of Art and Design
91.54
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,800
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
65%
65% 85% 0 13 Yes No
31
Hobe Sound Bible College
89.99
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
11:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
58%
44% N/A 7 11 No No
32
Southeastern University
89.47
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,600
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
79%
40% 44% 11 51 Yes Yes
33
Trinity Baptist College
89.41
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$26,700
12:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
79%
42% 64% 0 13 Yes No
34
Bethune-Cookman University
89.35
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$28,700
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
80%
35% 64% 2 38 Yes No
35
Webber International University
89.15
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,800
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
98%
33% 51% 3 18 Yes No
36
Johnson & Wales University-North Miami
89.05
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,100
25:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
99%
42% 70% 1 12 Yes Yes
37
Lynn University
88.61
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$35,500
18:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
80%
40% 75% 8 31 Yes Yes
38
The Baptist College of Florida
88.55
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$29,900
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
44%
58% 56% 15 15 No No
39
Hodges University
88.36
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$38,100
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
37%
18% 74% 15 18 Yes No
40
Edward Waters College
88.19
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$25,600
15:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
69%
23% 53% 0 17 Yes No
41
Florida Memorial University
88.15
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$27,700
16:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
18%
41% 21% 0 36 Yes Yes
42
St Petersburg College
88.15
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,000
22:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
23%
N/A N/A 10 24 Yes Yes
43
Florida State College at Jacksonville
87.78
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$32,100
22:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
15%
N/A N/A 3 11 Yes Yes
44
Miami Dade College
87.22
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$30,500
23:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
24%
N/A N/A 0 11 Yes Yes
45
Broward College
86.79
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$33,400
27:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
23%
N/A N/A 1 10 Yes Yes
46
South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary
86.71
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
N/A
8:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
N/A
N/A N/A 3 12 No Yes
47
Indian River State College
86.00
Published in-state tuition and fees for undergraduate students.
$$$$$
Annual median earnings 10 years after entering the college. Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.
$28,700
26:1
First-time, full-time undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid directly from the postsecondary institution.
11%
N/A N/A 8 15 Yes No

Find Florida Colleges That Meet Your Needs

Early into their research, applicants may discover which characteristics of colleges in Florida matter most to them. For some, the primary concern may be the tuition rate; for others, the student population size or location. Potential students can use the search tool below to compare Florida colleges according to the criteria that they value, which may help them eliminate some options and move others up the list.

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Florida College Support & Preparation Programs

The college preparation process should be started before a student’s final years of high school. Some students have full access to all the information they need about college entrance through their family, school counselors and college recruiters. Others, though, have a more difficult time preparing for college; maybe their parents didn’t go to college, English isn’t their first language or have an unstable home life not conducive to good grades. There are programs in Florida that help such students plan for college. Some examples:

Black Male College Explorers Program

In 1990, Florida A&M University instituted the Black Male Explorers Program, which is now at different colleges throughout the state. The program is an “at-risk prevention and intervention program” designed specifically to prevent black males from dropping out of high school. The program also helps students with their entry into college and improves their chances of earning a college degree. Students are selected through middle and high schools all over the state. According to the program handbook, BMEP also “encourages students to develop personal responsibility, respect for individual differences, and an inquiring mind.”

College Reach-Out Program

The Florida Department of Education established CROP in 1983, and its goal is to increase the number of students who successfully enter and complete college. The primary objective is to “strengthen the educational motivation and preparation of low-income and educationally disadvantaged students in grades 7-12.” Children of various cultural backgrounds are specifically targeted, especially those who would be unlikely to go to college without special support and recruitment. CROP offers weekend tutorial classes, leadership development, personal counseling, and on-campus university living. Special summer services include a five-week program held on campus, with a full class schedule.

Florida Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a U.S. Department of Education program, but many colleges and universities in Florida have branches and offices. Upward Bound provides support to students from low-income families and those in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal is to increase the rate of students who complete secondary education and, ideally, four-year colleges. Tutoring and counseling services are available through the program as well as services that are designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students. Upward Bound programs must teach math, lab science, composition, literature and a foreign language.

Assessing Florida College Costs

There are many factors that influence the cost of an education from a Florida college. Tuition cost is affected by both residency-whether a student lives in – or out-of-state-and financial aid, including federal and private grants, loans and scholarships. The graphic below will help potential students identify the cost of Florida colleges and universities compared to national rates, specific to tuition fees and the percentages of students receiving financial aid.

Average Florida Tuition &
Fees at 4-Year Public Colleges

Source: CollegeBoard

% of Florida Students
Receiving Financial Aid

Source: IPEDS

Average Financial Aid Award
for Florida Students

Source: IPEDS

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Colleges in Florida With the Most Affordable Prices

On the other side of the earning-potential coin is college affordability. We ranked six Florida colleges based on their net price, which is the cost of attending at full tuition/credit cost minus the average amount of financial aid received. By looking at this graphic, students can get a gauge on these schools, as well as compare them to the national average.

Average
Annual Net
Price

Cost for students awarded federal financial aid, after school and government aid is deducted. At public colleges, only applies to in-state students.

Florida College Net Price vs. National Average
FLORIDA $15,812 Average
Annual Net Price
$18,073

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Florida Colleges Producing Best-Paid Graduates

While it’s never a guarantee, graduates of some schools tend to earn more than those of others. Salaries vary by degree programs and other factors, of course, but six Florida colleges stand above the rest as having highest-paid alumni. Students can view the information below to see schools’ alumni’s annual median earnings ten years out of school, and how they compare to the national average.

Annual
Median Earnings
10 Years
After Entering
College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

Florida Alumni Salaries vs. National Average
FLORIDA $35,779 Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
$42,759

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Florida Colleges With Lowest Student Debt

Another concern for potential students, and perhaps the most important one, is that regarding student debt. No graduate wants to finish their degree program and have to pay back thousands of dollars in loans. Some universities do a better job than others at offering students financial aid, along with educating their student body on the availability of that assistance. Below are the top six schools in Florida that produce the alumni with the lowest student debt, and how they compare to others across the country.

Median
Federal Student
Loan Debt After
Graduation

Only for undergraduates who completed college; does not include Parent-PLUS loans.

Florida College Grad Debt Vs. National Average
FLORIDA $19,379 Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
$23,145

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

How Much do Florida College Students Pay in Living Costs?

Florida meets the national average for cost-of-living, with everyday expenses like food, housing, transportation and utilities being similar to many places across the country. Prices of these items will always fluctuate between urban and rural areas. Students should consider their total cost of college to include these pieces, and should understand that rent, groceries, and gas will all up their bill. The information below illustrates the comparisons of these items among different cities across the state.

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 99% 94% 104% 100% 105% 97% 100%
Jacksonville 98% 89% 100% 114% 102% 86% 101%
Miami-Dade County 113% 130% 109% 97% 112% 104% 105%
Orlando 96% 93% 103% 96% 101% 93% 96%
Tallahassee 97% 92% 108% 88% 105% 96% 97%
Tampa 92% 78% 98% 103% 100% 91% 94%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

Florida Colleges & Accreditation

Accreditation is the evaluation of an educational program that verifies it meets specific state, regional and national standards. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional accrediting body for southeastern states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and others. The SACSCC operates according to six core values: Integrity, continuous quality improvement, peer review/self-regulation, accountability, student learning and transparency. Without a body like this to ensure accountability among educational programs, there would be no way for students to assess the quality of the program to which they apply.
While the SACSCC accredits many Florida colleges, other bodies accredit industry-specific degree programs. A couple of examples:

Florida’s Top College Cities

Gainesville

Gainesville has a population of nearly 130,000. Its population is largely made up of students and faculty from both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College; UF alone accounts for about 53,000 people. The town has a blend of a college-town feel and natural landscape; there are seven Florida state parks for its residents to enjoy for outdoor activities.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

GainesvilleUniversity of Florida Public $12,762 $54,800
As Florida's first land-grant institution, UF can trace its origins to 1853. As of the fall, 2015, it had 52,500 students and 29,000 faculty members. Ninety-six percent of freshman continue on to their second year, and more than half of students start their degree program with no student loan debt. The college boasts strong Division 1 athletic programs, attracting recruits from around the country.
GainesvilleSanta Fe College Public $8,126 $35,900
SFC had more than 22,000 students during the 2014-2015 academic year. This is a larger student population than many public universities have, though most of those students attend part-time. The average age is 25 years old. SF offers many two-year degree programs, and nearly half of those are awarded to students as associate in arts degrees. Santa Fe also has an athletics program where the Saints compete in volleyball, baseball, softball, and men and women's basketball.
GainesvilleCity College - Gainesville Private not-for-profit $24,011 $22,900
City College's Gainesville campus offers associate degrees in multiple fields, including criminal justice, emergency medical services, legal assistin
Jacksonville

Jacksonville is the 12th-most populous city in the United States and the largest city in Florida. The economy in the city is diverse with industries such as naval and military, aerospace and healthcare. The colleges in Jacksonville support this economy's need for a qualified workforce.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

JacksonvilleFlorida State College at Jacksonville Public $6,197 $33,800
Florida State College at Jacksonville offers more than 150 degree programs, including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, technical certificates, and university transfer degrees. The college meets the needs of more than 50,000 people per year. The average student age is 26, and the students represent 120 countries. FSCJ also offers the Early College High School program in which students can earn their associate degree with their high school diploma.
JacksonvilleUniversity of North Florida Public $22,672 $72,900
The University of North Florida offers 70 degree programs, including 28 graduate degrees. It's known for its degrees in coastal biology nursing, and music, and also includes degrees in fields like business, engineering, health and education.
JacksonvilleJacksonville University Private not-for-profit $22,351 $48,800
Jacksonville University offers 70 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. It has six colleges and includes an Honors Programs for advanced students. The school offers nearly 20 NCAA Division I sports teams. The ECHO program ensures that JU grads gain real-life experience through study abroad, research, volunteering or

Source: College Scorecard

Florida College Resources

There are many additional online resources for students looking to attend Florida colleges. Every learning institution has a site with specific information about its programs, financial aid opportunities, and admissions requirements. Here are some additional sources that may be helpful:

Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges

A member-based organization, FAPSC holds conferences for educators, training and continuing education for professionals, and legislative lobbying groups and efforts.

Florida College System

The FCS has data on graduation rates and financial aid availability, and news on Florida colleges’ recent successes and educational efforts.

Florida Department of Education

Students can explore both the State University System and the Florida College System. Financial aid resources are available here, as well as information on the Board of Governors.

State University System of Florida

Check out news on universities across the state and learn the governance of the system.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The SACSCC helps students identify Florida colleges’ accreditation statuses.

U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs

Another resource for accreditation, this website lists accreditation dates and status for individual degrees and departments across Florida.