Best Colleges in Florida for Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s

Florida College Guide – What You Need to Know

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The State of Florida has a diverse economy and a large population. It has a wide variety of highly regarded colleges and universities. Some are famous schools like Florida State, University of Miami, and the University of Florida. It also has traditional small private schools like Stetson University and up and coming schools like Nova and Florida Institute of Technology.

Florida has evolved from an agriculture and tourism-based economy to an economy characterized by aerospace, life sciences, and high-tech innovators. The educational landscape has also changed, and students can have modern careers in healthcare, information technology, and life science research in the Florida economy with degrees from its leading research universities, colleges, and special schools.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Florida?

The popularity of business degrees reflects a national trend covering the past decade of high interest and high salaries for business majors. Many people use education as part of a plan to gain a solid economic footing and start with a high paying job after graduation. The health professions remain as a steady area of high student demand and, like the business fields, they offer high starting salaries with high ceilings for the future.

Many students are motivated by self-discovery and interests beyond salary and specific career paths. The humanities studies attract many students that later wind up in outstanding careers in business or technical fields. Business employers increasingly look for attributes rather than specific majors. Many employers feel that traits are more important than a specific body of knowledge. They may, for example, emphasize community involvement, evidence of leadership potential, or excellence in creative studies.

All of the top bachelor’s degrees in Florida include:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree?


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys of the national economy offer solid findings that workers with higher levels of education earn more than those with lower levels of attainment. The remarkable difference between a worker with an associate degree and one with a high school diploma is about $15,000 per year. Students that graduate with bachelor’s degrees can earn more than one million in lifetime earnings above the level of a person with no college.

Having a degree opens the door to further education. The bachelor’s degree is the threshold requirement for graduate study. The highest income average occupations include professional occupations such as law, medicine, and engineering that require master’s degree levels and further training.

Education Level & National Average Median Compensation

NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $43,472 $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in Florida


Florida has numerous associate degree college programs available to help you gain an entry-level position or set you on your path toward a bachelor's degree. Program options available include but are not limited to engineering technology, emergency medical services, accounting technology, criminal justice, medical billing and coding, and more. Our list of the best colleges in Florida for an associate's below all offer associate degree programs that can help you save money on your early college courses or get you into the work force quickly, depending on what your career plans are.

Santa Fe College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
14,915
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$11,195
Grads Salary
$34,600
Florida Gateway College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,018
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$2,930
Grads Salary
$29,500
Valencia College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
47,940
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$4,901
Grads Salary
$32,600
Chipola College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,939
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$3,554
Grads Salary
$30,300
Florida SouthWestern State College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,674
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$7,400
Grads Salary
$34,700
Florida State College at Jacksonville
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
24,605
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$3,306
Grads Salary
$31,900
Seminole State College of Florida
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
16,298
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$7,861
Grads Salary
$31,800
St. Petersburg College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
26,430
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$2,702
Grads Salary
$32,900
Taylor College
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
228
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$22,893
Grads Salary
$38,000
Palm Beach State College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
31,289
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$9,782
Grads Salary
$33,300
Full Ranking Report

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Florida


You can open many career doors by completing a 4-year bachelor's degree program in one of hundreds of programs like biochemistry, international relations and diplomacy, international economics, entrepreneurship, financial enterprise systems, or forensic science through one of Florida’s top colleges. The college bachelors list below will introduce you to the top colleges and universities in Florida that are offering excellent bachelor’s degree programs and just waiting for you to apply.

University of Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
53,372
Graduation Rate
89%
Net Price
$10,075
Grads Salary
$74,100
Florida State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
42,450
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$12,815
Grads Salary
$64,400
University of South Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
50,626
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$10,004
Grads Salary
$66,500
University of Miami
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
17,809
Graduation Rate
83%
Net Price
$31,726
Grads Salary
$75,000
University of Central Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
71,881
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$11,108
Grads Salary
$65,200
Florida International University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
58,836
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$8,988
Grads Salary
$64,900
University of North Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,926
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$9,789
Grads Salary
$63,100
Daytona College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
215
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$17,651
Grads Salary
$71,000
Florida Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,775
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$33,313
Grads Salary
$79,000
Stetson University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,429
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$23,864
Grads Salary
$70,200
Full Ranking Report

Best Master's Degrees in Florida


Many upper-level career positions can only be attained with an advanced degree. Earning an MBA degree in Florida, master's degree or doctorate in counseling, microbiology, clinical neuroscience, business analytics, forensic psychology, or whatever industry you are currently employed by can help you improve your position, income, and more. Florida colleges offering master's programs like these are listed below. Check them out to find the best universities and colleges in Florida.

University of Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
53,372
Graduation Rate
89%
Net Price
$10,075
Grads Salary
$74,100
Atlantis University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
399
Graduation Rate
94%
Net Price
$17,413
Grads Salary
$66,000
Florida State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
42,450
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$12,815
Grads Salary
$64,400
University of South Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
50,626
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$10,004
Grads Salary
$66,500
University of Central Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
71,881
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$11,108
Grads Salary
$65,200
Florida International University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
58,836
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$8,988
Grads Salary
$64,900
University of North Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,926
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$9,789
Grads Salary
$63,100
University of Miami
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
17,809
Graduation Rate
83%
Net Price
$31,726
Grads Salary
$75,000
New College of Florida
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
726
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$11,869
Grads Salary
$61,900
Florida Atlantic University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
30,805
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$11,451
Grads Salary
$65,700
Full Ranking Report

Cost of Florida College Education & Salaries


Florida in-state tuition costs are lower than many other states. Some of the large universities charge less than $5,000 per year. Out-of-state rates are much higher than in-state rates but still below the typical US average. The average tuition and fees among the top Florida colleges is about $6,000 for in-state students at state schools and about $22,000 for out-of-state students. These are significantly lower than the national averages for public schools at $9,800 for in-state at about $26,000 for out-of-state students.

The tuition costs do not tell the entire costs story in Florida. Many schools require additional fees and costs that add $4-5,000 to some annual totals. The Department of Education rated Florida at number 26 among all states for expense and listed the typical costs of in-state tuition at $13,500 for the 2018 school year and slightly below the US average.

College Cost Analysis - Florida vs. National


Average Florida Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $4,443

National Average – $9,580

Out-of-State – $18,456

National Average – $27,437

National percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid – 63%

Percentage of Florida Students receiving Financial Aid – 59%

Florida is a leader in funding students and funding its public colleges. The number of students with federal grants is significantly below the national average. The average dollars in aid to students in Florida is also significantly below the average. Florida’s state contributions to education and to scholarship support are high. Students can generally qualify for grants and scholarships that reduce the student share and family costs.

Financial Aid Florida Nationally
Received Federal Grants 41% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $11,383 $10,927

* 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.

Best Scholarships for Florida


The State of Florida provides a high level of state support for students and its public colleges and universities. Florida has a large population, and that means it has a large student population and a significant number of large colleges and universities with enrollments at or above 40,000 students.

The ABLE, FRAG, and FRAC programs are examples of state grant programs that cover all or substantial amounts of student tuition at public and private schools in Florida. Many scholarships are localized to communities within the state. Some are keyed to the populous counties like Broward and Palm Beach, and other funds can be localized to specific high schools and communities. Students should consider all of their connections to Florida and its communities when searching for financial aid.

SQS

Sunshine Opportunity Scholarships

Amount: $20,000 ($5,000 for four years)
Deadline: February 1
http://company.tampabay.com:2052/times-fund/scholarships
The Godbold Foundation offers a scholarship worth up to $20,000 for high achieving high school students. The award is limited to residents of Hillsborough, Pasco, or Pinellas counties. The program seeks to identify and award applicants that have overcome barriers to attend an undergraduate school in Florida. The program will award ten scholarships per year that must be used to attend a Florida based college or university. The student’s personal experience is the key criterion for selection. Students should review the informational materials carefully to apply the themes of personal adversity to their life situations.

ABLE_logo

ABLE

ABLE-Access to Better Learning and Education

Amount: Set by Fla. Legislature Each Year- typically $1,500 per year
Deadline: December 31
https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/SAPHome/SAPHome?url=home
The ABLE program is a grant program that provides tuition assistance to Florida students enrolled in private Florida colleges and universities. The program seeks to enable resource-challenged students to have access to higher education at Florida’s private universities and colleges. Students that meet the Florida residency tests can apply for the Access grants. The applicant must be a first-time applicant that has not already received a baccalaureate degree. Students must enroll and take at least 12 semester hours per semester. Students can renew the grants by reapplying.

BSP_logo

BSP

Benacquisto Scholarship Program

Amount: Full tuition at a state school (minus National Merit and Florida Bright Futures)
Deadline: Varies
https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/PDF/factsheets/FIS.pdf
The Benacquisto scholarship program covers any unpaid balance for tuition and required fees for up to 120 credit hours. The scholarship offsets the state-funded scholarships such as the Bright Futures program. It is available to National Merit® Finalists that receive one of the National Merit $2500 Scholarship, the Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship, or the College-sponsored Merit Scholarship. The student’s college or university processes the eligibility and computes the need-based amount of the award on a case by case basis.

GSSF_logo

GSSF

George Snow Scholarship Fund

Amount: Tuition and required fees, the Average award is $10,000.
Deadline: Varies
http://www.scholarship.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=ScholarshipEligibility&category=Main
The George Snow Scholarship fund supports south Florida students that need additional support to enter and complete college studies. The program offers funds and wrap-around support services aimed at enabling students and removing barriers to education. The Snow scholarships are only available to residents of Palm Beach and Broward County that attend specific schools. The fund seeks to reward students with financial need who are active in their community and are self-motivated with strong educational goals. Some awards require specific majors.

AJDM_logo

AJDMS

Armando J. de Moya Scholarship

Amount: $5,000
Deadline: March 1
https://demoyafoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ArmandodeMoyaScholarship.pdf
This memorial fund awards one $5,000 scholarship to a student entering their third year with a major in Civil Engineering. Applicants must be enrolled and attending the University of Florida and have demonstrated financial need. The program offers tutoring, part-time employment, and other student support to assist a career in civil engineering.

MMB

Mary McCloud Bethune

Amount: Varies by the Institution and number of Students (up to $3,000 per year)
Deadline: Various
https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/PDF/factsheets/MMB.pdf
The minority assistance objectives seek to correct decades of under-representation; students will attend one of Florida’s Historically Black Colleges or Universities. Recipients must attend a participating school; they are Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University, or Florida Memorial University. They must pursue a degree with a minimum of 12 hours per semester. Applicants must show demonstrable financial need and be US citizens or permanent residents.

FFSSP

Florida Farmworker Student Scholarship Program

Awards: Up to fifty full-tuition awards per year
Deadline: April 1
https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/PDF/factsheets/FFSS.pdf
The State of Florida awards scholarships to farmworkers and the children of farmworkers. These are need-based awards. Farmworkers include seasonal and permanent workers involved in agriculture or aquaculture. Students must have a 3.5 GPA or better in their high school coursework and complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service work. The awards cover tuition and required fees at a participating Florida University. The goal of the program is to extend access to higher education to a group with demonstrable barriers and resource challenges. The program recognizes that Florida farmworkers play a crucial role in the Florida economy and have helped raise the level of prosperity in the state overall.

HFF_logo

HHF

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Amount: Varies
Deadline: October 15
https://hispanicheritage.org/programs/leadership/youth-awards/
Young Hispanic students can qualify for scholarships to pursue Business & Entrepreneurship, Community Service, Education, Healthcare & Science, Media & Entertainment, and Technology & Engineering. They must be enrolled to attend an accredited college in the year of the award. The next award is for the 2019-2020 school year.

In the past, students have competed in several categories for corporate-sponsored awards such as Business and Entrepreneurship, sponsored by BBVA Compass. The field of Education award was sponsored by Southwest Airlines and funds for a Community Service category came from the Colgate-Palmolive Corporation. Other categories in the last school year included Healthcare & Science with funding from CVS Health, and a Media & Entertainment category sponsored by NBC Universal Telemundo. Google offered a Technology and Engineering award.

TITLE

Bank of America Minority Scholarship

Amount: $3,000
Deadline: February 1, 2019
https://www.yourcommunityfoundation.org/scholarships
The scholarship is open for graduating minority group high school seniors. Eligible high school seniors must intend to enroll in an accredited Florida college or University and major in business and finance. Applicants must be residents of Palm Beach County. The focus of the scholarship is the student population with Hispanic heritage. The program goal is to increase access to higher education among young people of Hispanic descent.

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