Best Florida Colleges & Universities

Become Team
Become Team
Updated November 9, 2021

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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

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.

Rankings Methodology

Minimum Qualifications
  • Located in Florida
  • Public or private not-for-profit
  • Institutionally accredited
  • At least 10 total programs
Ranking Metrics
  • Median annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering the college
  • In-state tuition and fees for undergraduates
  • Student/teacher ratio
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • % of students receiving institutional financial aid (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Average amount of institutional aid awarded per student (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Availability of placement services upon completion
  • Availability of academic/career counseling services
  • Availability of employment services
  • 3-year student cohort loan default rate
Data Sources

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): National Center for Education Statistics

Latest 'Final Release' data available as of Fall 2016 College Scorecard: U.S. Department of Education

Best 2 Year Colleges

1

Hillsborough Community College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 24% Alumni Earnings: $32,500 Gift Financial Aid: 9% Score: 99.84 Student/Teacher Ratio: 23:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 100 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
2

Tallahassee Community College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33% Alumni Earnings: $30,900 Gift Financial Aid: 13% Score: 99.27 Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 4 Total Programs: 63 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
3

North Florida Community College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43% Alumni Earnings: $27,300 Gift Financial Aid: 41% Score: 99.11 Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 24 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
4

Florida Keys Community College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 34% Alumni Earnings: $27,100 Gift Financial Aid: 22% Score: 98.77 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 1 Total Programs: 20 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
5

Traviss Career Center

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80% Alumni Earnings: $27,300 Gift Financial Aid: 6% Score: 98.2 Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 30 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
6

Erwin Technical Center

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62% Alumni Earnings: $26,000 Gift Financial Aid: 19% Score: 98.11 Student/Teacher Ratio: 9:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 29 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
7

Charlotte Technical Center

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 66% Alumni Earnings: $20,000 Gift Financial Aid: 16% Score: 97.98 Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 15 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
8

City College-Altamonte Springs

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35% Alumni Earnings: $22,900 Gift Financial Aid: 16% Score: 97.45 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 8 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
9

Ridge Career Center

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 88% Alumni Earnings: $19,500 Gift Financial Aid: 11% Score: 86 Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 26 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile

Best 4 Year Colleges

1

Florida Institute of Technology

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55% Alumni Earnings: $53,100 Gift Financial Aid: 93% Score: 99.76 Student/Teacher Ratio: 9:1 Acceptance Rate: 62% Online Programs: 12 Total Programs: 94 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
2

University of Miami

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81% Alumni Earnings: $52,400 Gift Financial Aid: 73% Score: 98.87 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 38% Online Programs: 3 Total Programs: 182 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
3

Jacksonville University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41% Alumni Earnings: $47,700 Gift Financial Aid: 98% Score: 98.67 Student/Teacher Ratio: 11:1 Acceptance Rate: 56% Online Programs: 3 Total Programs: 106 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
4

University of Florida

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85% Alumni Earnings: $51,300 Gift Financial Aid: 29% Score: 98.49 Student/Teacher Ratio: 21:1 Acceptance Rate: 46% Online Programs: 44 Total Programs: 218 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
5

Stetson University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64% Alumni Earnings: $42,600 Gift Financial Aid: 100% Score: 97.43 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 61% Online Programs: 2 Total Programs: 64 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
6

Barry University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41% Alumni Earnings: $45,300 Gift Financial Aid: 96% Score: 97.34 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 46% Online Programs: 6 Total Programs: 95 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
7

Rollins College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72% Alumni Earnings: $42,200 Gift Financial Aid: 82% Score: 96.97 Student/Teacher Ratio: 10:1 Acceptance Rate: 57% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 41 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
8

Palm Beach Atlantic University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51% Alumni Earnings: $38,100 Gift Financial Aid: 100% Score: 96.55 Student/Teacher Ratio: 13:1 Acceptance Rate: 95% Online Programs: 5 Total Programs: 60 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
9

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58% Alumni Earnings: $60,900 Gift Financial Aid: 92% Score: 96.52 Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1 Acceptance Rate: 73% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 35 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
10

Nova Southeastern University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42% Alumni Earnings: $46,500 Gift Financial Aid: 94% Score: 96.09 Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 Acceptance Rate: 49% Online Programs: 89 Total Programs: 137 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
11

Eckerd College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60% Alumni Earnings: $40,800 Gift Financial Aid: 96% Score: 95.87 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 73% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 58 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
12

Saint Leo University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43% Alumni Earnings: $42,600 Gift Financial Aid: 99% Score: 95.84 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: 72% Online Programs: 37 Total Programs: 58 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
13

The University of Tampa

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57% Alumni Earnings: $44,400 Gift Financial Aid: 90% Score: 95.69 Student/Teacher Ratio: 17:1 Acceptance Rate: 52% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 60 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
14

Florida State University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 75% Alumni Earnings: $44,000 Gift Financial Aid: 42% Score: 95.45 Student/Teacher Ratio: 26:1 Acceptance Rate: 55% Online Programs: 8 Total Programs: 209 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
15

Florida International University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49% Alumni Earnings: $45,100 Gift Financial Aid: 48% Score: 94.99 Student/Teacher Ratio: 26:1 Acceptance Rate: 53% Online Programs: 21 Total Programs: 149 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
16

University of Central Florida

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65% Alumni Earnings: $43,000 Gift Financial Aid: 44% Score: 94.91 Student/Teacher Ratio: 31:1 Acceptance Rate: 50% Online Programs: 30 Total Programs: 156 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
17

University of North Florida

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48% Alumni Earnings: $41,600 Gift Financial Aid: 54% Score: 94.89 Student/Teacher Ratio: 20:1 Acceptance Rate: 61% Online Programs: 4 Total Programs: 78 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
18

University of South Florida-Main Campus

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57% Alumni Earnings: $41,700 Gift Financial Aid: 73% Score: 94.83 Student/Teacher Ratio: 25:1 Acceptance Rate: 53% Online Programs: 12 Total Programs: 175 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
19

Florida Southern College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55% Alumni Earnings: $37,600 Gift Financial Aid: 97% Score: 94.64 Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1 Acceptance Rate: 45% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 57 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
20

St Thomas University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32% Alumni Earnings: $42,600 Gift Financial Aid: 93% Score: 94.41 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 85% Online Programs: 2 Total Programs: 51 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
21

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40% Alumni Earnings: $37,300 Gift Financial Aid: 57% Score: 94.28 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: 49% Online Programs: 3 Total Programs: 89 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
22

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48% Alumni Earnings: $60,900 Gift Financial Aid: 14% Score: 94.16 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 69% Online Programs: 21 Total Programs: 21 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
23

Ave Maria University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64% Alumni Earnings: N/A Gift Financial Aid: 100% Score: 93.09 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: 52% Online Programs: 1 Total Programs: 24 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
24

Florida Atlantic University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41% Alumni Earnings: $41,400 Gift Financial Aid: 43% Score: 92.93 Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1 Acceptance Rate: 66% Online Programs: 7 Total Programs: 126 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
25

Warner University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40% Alumni Earnings: $42,200 Gift Financial Aid: 89% Score: 92.5 Student/Teacher Ratio: 17:1 Acceptance Rate: 26% Online Programs: 5 Total Programs: 26 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
26

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60% Alumni Earnings: $29,600 Gift Financial Aid: 77% Score: 92.19 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 49% Online Programs: 16 Total Programs: 23 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
27

The University of West Florida

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45% Alumni Earnings: $36,300 Gift Financial Aid: 45% Score: 92.16 Student/Teacher Ratio: 23:1 Acceptance Rate: 42% Online Programs: 16 Total Programs: 75 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
28

Florida Gulf Coast University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45% Alumni Earnings: $41,200 Gift Financial Aid: 24% Score: 91.96 Student/Teacher Ratio: 22:1 Acceptance Rate: 59% Online Programs: 5 Total Programs: 65 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
29

Flagler College-St Augustine

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65% Alumni Earnings: $37,200 Gift Financial Aid: 82% Score: 91.96 Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1 Acceptance Rate: 48% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 26 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
30

Ringling College of Art and Design

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65% Alumni Earnings: $32,800 Gift Financial Aid: 65% Score: 91.54 Student/Teacher Ratio: 11:1 Acceptance Rate: 85% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 13 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
31

Hobe Sound Bible College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44% Alumni Earnings: N/A Gift Financial Aid: 58% Score: 89.99 Student/Teacher Ratio: 11:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 7 Total Programs: 11 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
32

Southeastern University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40% Alumni Earnings: $32,600 Gift Financial Aid: 79% Score: 89.47 Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1 Acceptance Rate: 44% Online Programs: 11 Total Programs: 51 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
33

Trinity Baptist College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42% Alumni Earnings: $26,700 Gift Financial Aid: 79% Score: 89.41 Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1 Acceptance Rate: 64% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 13 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
34

Bethune-Cookman University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35% Alumni Earnings: $28,700 Gift Financial Aid: 80% Score: 89.35 Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 Acceptance Rate: 64% Online Programs: 2 Total Programs: 38 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
35

Webber International University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33% Alumni Earnings: $35,800 Gift Financial Aid: 98% Score: 89.15 Student/Teacher Ratio: 23:1 Acceptance Rate: 51% Online Programs: 3 Total Programs: 18 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
36

Johnson & Wales University-North Miami

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42% Alumni Earnings: $35,100 Gift Financial Aid: 99% Score: 89.05 Student/Teacher Ratio: 25:1 Acceptance Rate: 70% Online Programs: 1 Total Programs: 12 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
37

Lynn University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40% Alumni Earnings: $35,500 Gift Financial Aid: 80% Score: 88.61 Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1 Acceptance Rate: 75% Online Programs: 8 Total Programs: 31 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
38

The Baptist College of Florida

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58% Alumni Earnings: $29,900 Gift Financial Aid: 44% Score: 88.55 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: 56% Online Programs: 15 Total Programs: 15 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
39

Hodges University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18% Alumni Earnings: $38,100 Gift Financial Aid: 37% Score: 88.36 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: 74% Online Programs: 15 Total Programs: 18 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
40

Edward Waters College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 23% Alumni Earnings: $25,600 Gift Financial Aid: 69% Score: 88.19 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Acceptance Rate: 53% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 17 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile
41

Florida Memorial University

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41% Alumni Earnings: $27,700 Gift Financial Aid: 18% Score: 88.15 Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1 Acceptance Rate: 21% Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 36 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
42

St Petersburg College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: N/A Alumni Earnings: $32,000 Gift Financial Aid: 23% Score: 88.15 Student/Teacher Ratio: 22:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 10 Total Programs: 24 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
43

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: N/A Alumni Earnings: $32,100 Gift Financial Aid: 15% Score: 87.78 Student/Teacher Ratio: 22:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 3 Total Programs: 11 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
44

Miami Dade College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: N/A Alumni Earnings: $30,500 Gift Financial Aid: 24% Score: 87.22 Student/Teacher Ratio: 23:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 0 Total Programs: 11 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
45

Broward College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: N/A Alumni Earnings: $33,400 Gift Financial Aid: 23% Score: 86.79 Student/Teacher Ratio: 27:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 1 Total Programs: 10 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
46

South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: N/A Alumni Earnings: N/A Gift Financial Aid: N/A Score: 86.71 Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 3 Total Programs: 12 Placement Services: No Credit for Experience: Yes View School Profile
47

Indian River State College

Tuition: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: N/A Alumni Earnings: $28,700 Gift Financial Aid: 11% Score: 86 Student/Teacher Ratio: 26:1 Acceptance Rate: N/A Online Programs: 8 Total Programs: 15 Placement Services: Yes Credit for Experience: No View School Profile

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.

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.

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.

  1. Indian River State College: $1,918
  2. Saint John Vianney College Seminary: $2,035
  3. Palm Beach State College: $2,557
  4. Yeshivah Gedolah Rabbinical College: $3,333
  5. Lake-Sumter State College: $3,886
  6. Chipola College: $3,926

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.

  1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: $60,900
  2. Florida Institute of Technology: $53,100
  3. University of Miami: $52,400
  4. University of Florida: $51,300
  5. Adventist University of Health Sciences: $51,100
  6. Jacksonville University: $47,700

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.

  1. Valencia College: $10,500
  2. College of Central Florida: $10,626
  3. Seminole State College of Florida: $11,143
  4. Trinity Baptist College: $12,000
  5. Florida College: $12,000
  6. Santa Fe College: $12,432

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 Average99%94%104%100%105%97%100%
Jacksonville98%89%100%114%102%86%101%
Miami-Dade County113%130%109%97%112%104%105%
Orlando96%93%103%96%101%93%96%
Tallahassee97%92%108%88%105%96%97%
Tampa92%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.

University 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.
Santa 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.
City 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 assisting, veterinary technology and mental health technology. The campus also offers bachelor's degrees in health care administration, management and project management.

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.

Florida 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.
University 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.
Jacksonville 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 interning. It's known for its nursing program, as well as its aviation partnership with Aeroism Flight Academy.

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:

  • CAREERwise Education: Resources provided include career exploration tools, which help students best utilize their interests and skills. For those not yet in college, college-planning tools can help students figure out which school is right for them and how to pay for it.
  • Minnesota College Savings Plan: This is a version of the popular 529 college savings plan. What makes this savings plan special is the tax and estate planning benefits it receives.
  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education: For reliable and readily available consumer information about colleges and universities in Minnesota, this website is one of the first places prospective students should visit.
  • Minnesota State College Student Association: The MSCSA is comprised of students who are attending public, two-year colleges, with the goal of promoting high quality two-year college education to students.
  • Minnesota Transfer: This resource helps with college transfers. A plethora of information is available, such as an explanation of the transfer process, financial aid considerations and the transfer application process.
  • Minnesota's Private Colleges: The Minnesota Private College Council represents various private and nonprofit liberal arts colleges and universities. In connection with the Minnesota Private College Fund, the council helps low and middle income families pay for tuition.
  • Ready Set Go: This is Minnesota's information hub for high school students looking for ways to achieve college credits while still in high school.
Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer

LearnHowToBecome.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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