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Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) is a public, four-year institution. As part of the Florida College System, its main campus is located in Fort Myers, Florida, with satellite campuses in Charlotte County and Collier County. There are also associated outreach programs in Hendry County and Clades County.

Founded in 1962, the institution was originally named after Thomas Edison. It was not until 2014 that the school became known as it is today. Today, it strives to inspire learning and prepare students for creative and responsible participation in a global society. The college serves as a leader for intellectual, economic, and cultural awareness in the community.

Overview of Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW)

As of fall 2020, Florida SouthWestern State College had an overall undergraduate student population of 15,141. It employed approximately 197 full-time faculty members and 424 part-time faculty members, all of whom provided instructional support. This makes the student-to-faculty ratio 26:1. This is higher than the average reported by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2018, which was about 14:1. This means it may be more difficult for students to interact with their professors one-on-one and individualized support may also be limited.

General Information

School Type Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 30:1
Graduation Rate 32%
Year Founded 1962

Student Enrollment

Total Students16,556


Undergraduate Student

Male 6,126
Female 10,430

Graduate Student

Male NA
Female NA

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FSW Acceptance Rate and Admissions


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Female   NA


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Acceptance RateNA

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Enrollment NA

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Application Fee $30
High School GPA NA
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts NA
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline July 31
Common Application Accepted No

FSW Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Tuition and fees vary at Florida SouthWestern State College depending on residency, housing status, and degree type. The estimated tuition cost for full-time state residents pursuing undergraduate degrees during the 2021-2022 academic year is $3,400 per year, assuming students take 15 credit hours per term. Full-time, out-of-state residents will owe approximately $12,978 in tuition and fees for the same time period.

Additionally, students are responsible for several other mandatory fees per credit. These include a student financial aid fee, student activity fee, capital improvement fee, technology fee, and parking fee. Of course, those enrolled in online programs do not pay for parking. Prospective students must also plan to pay for their books, supplies, transportation, room and board, and personal expenses. Total spent in these areas largely depends on where students live.

Florida SouthWestern State College boasts that 70% of students graduate debt-free. The institution offers many financial aid options, as well as a tuition installment plan (TIP). Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Approximately 75% of those enrolled at the college receive some form of financial aid; 66% receive grants and scholarships, while 20% still require loans of some kind.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $6,487
Average Total Aid $6,524
Students Receiving Financial Aid 73%
Room & Board $10,500

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $3,401
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $12,979
  • Books and Supplies - $1,950
  • Room & Board - $10,500
  • Other - $2,320


Florida SouthWestern State College offers numerous academic opportunities, including hands-on research and study abroad options. Offerings are meant to help students develop creative and innovative thinking that will prepare them to enter the workforce or transfer to another college or university.

Students can choose from a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs that are organized into five designated schools:

  • School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • School of Pure and Applied Sciences
  • School of Business and Technology
  • School of Education
  • School of Health Professions

There is also a general education program, as well as an associate-level opticianry program offered by Hillsborough Community College, a partner institution.

In 2021, the top 10 programs selected by students were:

  • Associate of Arts in General Studies
  • Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Associate of Science in Science and Engineering Technology
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Service Technology
  • Associate of Science in Computer Programing and Analysis

The retention rate for first-time students pursing degrees and certificates was 61% in fall 2019. This number is slightly less for first-time associate seeking freshmen, who had a 57% retention rate. In both cases, statistics indicate that the majority of students were satisfied enough with their academic experiences at Florida SouthWestern State College to return for a second year.

Overall graduation and transfer-out rates are lower. The graduation rate for students who began their studies in fall 2014 was 37%, with 10% of students transferring out. Notably, this statistic only includes full-time, first-time students, who made up about 54% of entering students that year.

Florida SouthWestern State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Additionally, many of the institutions programs are accredited by field-specific agencies. Some examples include the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Student Population Total

Student Population 16,556

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 128 Total Graduates / 38%
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other 128 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 114 Total Graduates / 34%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 108 Graduates
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 6 Graduates
All Education Majors 71 Total Graduates / 21%
Elementary Education and Teaching 70 Graduates
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 1 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 25 Total Graduates / 7%
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services, Other 25 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 0

Outcome & Salary

The majority of Florida SouthWestern State College graduates find employment. In 2019, the job placement rate for those who graduated with associate of arts degrees was 69%. Rates are much higher for graduates with associate in science, bachelor’s, and postsecondary workforce certificates (PSVCs), with between 82% and 85% finding employment. Additionally, the median annual full-time salary for associate degree graduates in 2020 was $48,839. The median annual full-time salary for those with bachelor’s degrees was $58,694.

Notably, the degree programs with the highest salaries after graduation include:

  • Associate of Science in Fire Science Technology
  • Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Services
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Cardiopulmonary Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Associate of Science in Cardiovascular Technology
  • Associate of Science in Radiology
  • Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $42,100
College Grads Average Salary $34,700
College Grads Mid Career Salary $76,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $560,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,108,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $25,948
10 Year Projected ROI $534,052
20 Year Projected ROI $1,082,052
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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