Best Online Colleges in Florida

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 1/4/2022
2020 Best Online Colleges in Florida Badge

Florida is home to 120 bachelor's-granting colleges serving one of the largest populations in the country. Many of these schools offer online degrees for students who want to improve their employment and salary prospects without uprooting their lives to move near a campus. Below, we've ranked the best online colleges in Florida, with the highest scoring schools featuring relatively low tuition and relatively high mid-career wages for graduates. We also provide detailed information about online education in the state.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 Florida Tech - Online $15,428 $95,900
# 2 #2 Florida State University $5,414 $80,900
# 3 #3 Florida Atlantic University $6,038 $79,200
# 4 #4 Nova Southeastern University $31,150 $82,500
# 5 #5 Florida International University $6,864 $79,200
# 6 #6 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide $12,390 $79,500
# 7 #7 University of Central Florida $5,375 $76,100
# 8 #8 AdventHealth University $15,300 $76,700
# 9 #9 Lynn University $9,000 $70,000
# 10 #10 St. Petersburg College $3,681 $68,800
# 11 #11 Webber International University $24,030 $70,300
# 12 #12 Southeastern University $11,700 $66,600
# 13 #13 Brenau University $19,530 $67,600
# 14 #14 Seminole State College of Florida $2,753 $64,200
# 15 #15 Florida SouthWestern State College $2,753 $64,000
# 16 #16 Palm Beach Atlantic University $14,700 $64,400
# 17 #17 Florida Gulf Coast University $6,118 $62,500
# 18 #18 Warner University $10,752 $60,500
# 19 #19 Broward College $2,753 $58,200
# 20 #20 Hodges University $20,700 $58,200
# 21 #21 Pensacola State College $3,626 $54,000
# 22 #22 Johnson University Florida $13,050 $51,700
# 23 #23 The Baptist College of Florida $10,800 $50,100
# 24 #24 College of Central Florida $2,863 $49,000
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

Online Colleges in Florida Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 Florida Tech - Online

  • Annual Tuition: $15,428
  • Median Salary: $95,900
  • Locations: Melbourne
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Online programs from Florida Tech are an option for working professionals, as classes are asynchronous in nature and allow students to balance coursework with career or family responsibilities. Currently, Florida Tech offers online certificates, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in fields like liberal arts, psychology, information assurance, criminal justice, computer information system, and business. Each term is eight-weeks in length, and all classes are delivered through a proprietary learning management system.

#2 Florida State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,414
  • Median Salary: $80,900
  • Locations: Tallahassee
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Through Florida State University’s online program, students can pursue both undergraduate and graduate programs. All the online undergraduate degrees are advanced standing degree programs, which means that students must transfer over at least 60 credits before they can begin classes online. Classes can be a mix of asynchronous (no meeting time for independent work) and synchronous (scheduled meeting time for real-time lectures) formats. To help them in their educational path, online students will receive a degree roadmap developed for them by their academic coordinator. Fields of study include criminal justice, computer science, nursing, and social work.

#3 Florida Atlantic University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,038
  • Median Salary: $79,200
  • Locations: Boca Raton
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

With both undergraduate and graduate online degrees available, Florida Atlantic University offers students interested in fields such as business, nursing, science, arts and letters, engineering and computer science options for continuing their education. All online students receive the same instruction as their on-campus counterparts from FAU research faculty who have been apprised of the best teaching strategies. Additionally, they will have access to tutorial support, financial aid counselors, online academic advisors, and career support to guide their path after graduation.

#4 Nova Southeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $31,150
  • Median Salary: $82,500
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The distance education program at Nova Southeastern University offers students the chance to complete fully online degrees with the same faculty that teach on campus. Instructors utilize a mix of videoconferencing, audiovisual tools, and real-time electronic classroom components. Discussion boards and online submission of assignments in multimedia format are other key attributes of online learning at Nova Southeastern. To facilitate their research, online students have access to the Electronic Library and other databases. As long as students have wireless connectivity, they can learn from anywhere.

#5 Florida International University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,864
  • Median Salary: $79,200
  • Locations: Miami
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida International University offers over 100 fully online undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees in a number of fields, including business, communication, nursing and health care, and more. In particular, the online engineering program is robust with a variety of distinct certificate and degree options. Canvas is the platform used to host the online learning program; students can log on to access course materials, assignments, and messages from their instructors. Each year, FIU offers over 1,000 online courses taught by over 1,400 instructors.

#6 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide

  • Annual Tuition: $12,390
  • Median Salary: $79,500
  • Locations: Daytona Beach
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students seeking online degrees in Florida can apply for study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide, which offers numerous online programs in the science, aviation, business, technology, engineering, security, and space fields. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide offers multiple start dates for new students, with 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate terms, and each term ranges from nine to 12 weeks. Classes take place in the EagleVision virtual classroom, which combines real-time collaboration from a student’s location straight to the on-campus classroom.

#7 University of Central Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $5,375
  • Median Salary: $76,100
  • Locations: Orlando (and 7 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

With over 80 online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, the University of Central Florida provides online students with a wealth of opportunity in fields like engineering, English, health services, history, and more. Classes are taught by 200 full-time, tenure-track faculty, ensuring students receive a rigorous education. Students pursuing online degrees also have access to several student support services, including Knights Online, which provides key tips and tutorials for new online students. Students can also utilize student accessibility services, the Student Academic Resource Center, the UCF Library, and the UCF Writing Center.

#8 AdventHealth University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,300
  • Median Salary: $76,700
  • Locations: Orlando
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

While the school has recently changed its name to Advent Health University, Adventist University of Health Sciences still offers a number of online degrees for students interested in nursing and other healthcare fields. All online bachelor’s and master’s programs offer 24/7 support paired with high academic standards. Classes maintain a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:20, keeping things small and intimate. Students use the Canvas learning management system to collaborate with their peers and access coursework. Students with previous college experience may be able to transfer credits, and a variety of financial aid options are available.

#9 Lynn University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,000
  • Median Salary: $70,000
  • Locations: Boca Raton
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

All students who choose Lynn University as their online college will receive an iPad to help them work toward their bachelor’s or master’s degree. Use of an iPad is required, as the school uses certain programs that cannot be accessed on a PC or laptop. All online degrees from Lynn are customized for each student and include features like accelerated terms, professors with real-world experience, and the ability to transfer work experience into academic credit. Areas of study include aeronautics, arts and sciences, business, communication, and education.

#10 St. Petersburg College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,681
  • Median Salary: $68,800
  • Locations: Clearwater
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

St. Petersburg College offers a broad range of fully online certificates and degrees in areas like business administration, computer information technology, education, health services, and more. Roughly 560 classes are offered online, allowing students to find the courses they need to complete their program. Distance learners have access to all college services that are provided to their on-campus peers, including the library, technical help desk, tutoring, registration, financial aid, testing, advising, and admissions. If online students need to take exams, this process can be done through remote proctoring.

#11 Webber International University

  • Annual Tuition: $24,030
  • Median Salary: $70,300
  • Locations: Babson Park
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

With eight fully online degrees available from Webber International University, students have a wealth of options for completing their education on their own terms. These undergraduate and graduate degrees include subjects like criminal justice, finance, international business, and more. All online degrees are available in two formats: a standard 15-week semester or two seven-week A and B sessions. In the summer, six-week sessions are available. Through the Moodle learning management system, students are able to participate in discussions and submit their assignments online.

#12 Southeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Median Salary: $66,600
  • Locations: Lakeland
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

As a religious institution, Southeastern University offers a variety of online programs that integrate faith, learning, and service. Although it is affiliated with the Assemblies of God, students of all Christian denominations are welcome. Students can earn a certificate or work toward their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree all from the comfort of their home in a variety of subjects like behavioral and social sciences, business, criminal justice, design and communication, ministry, nursing, and teaching and education. There are six start dates a year — two in the fall, two in the spring, and two in the summer — and each 16-semester term is broken down into two eight-week terms.

#13 Brenau University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,530
  • Median Salary: $67,600
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

While Brenau University is not exclusively an online college, it offers over 40 online degrees for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue. All programs maintain a low student-to-faculty ratio; classes are capped at a maximum of 20 students to keep learning personalized. Courses are delivered asynchronously through the Canvas learning management system to allow students to balance their studies with other responsibilities. Online courses are taught in accelerated seven-week sessions that can lead to faster degree completion. Fields of study include business, education, communication and media studies, and liberal studies.

#14 Seminole State College of Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $2,753
  • Median Salary: $64,200
  • Locations: Sanford (and 3 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Seminole State College of Florida offers distance learning options through its online campus, Seminole Online. Remote students have the opportunity to further their education in fields including business, information systems technology, engineering, nursing, criminal justice, and more. Students can choose from certificate programs, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees, and they can even participate in the university transfer program to speed up their degree completion. Teaching takes place in a combination of virtual classroom learning and Canvas, an online learning management system. All students have access to 24/7 technical support and will have a wide wealth of interactive tutorials and resources at their disposal.

#15 Florida SouthWestern State College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,753
  • Median Salary: $64,000
  • Locations: Fort Myers (and 3 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

At Florida SouthWestern State College, students can select from online associate and bachelor’s degrees in many fields, including education, business, and health professions. Online certificate programs are also available in subjects like accounting and small business management. These online programs are taught using the Canvas learning management system, which facilitates discussions between students and their peers. Exams require online proctoring which is available through Proctorio; this service is free to use for all distance learners.

#16 Palm Beach Atlantic University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,700
  • Median Salary: $64,400
  • Locations: West Palm Beach (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a Christian institution that welcomes students of all faiths. They offer degree programs tailored to both faith-based and secular professions, many of which are offered online. The Office of Online Learning coordinates classes and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects like leadership, nursing, ministry, and psychology. All programs take a faith-based approach to learning and offer the same rigorous quality and instructors as on-campus courses. Classes are taught through eCollege, a learning management system, and Class Live Pro, which simulates a virtual classroom.

#17 Florida Gulf Coast University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,118
  • Median Salary: $62,500
  • Locations: Fort Myers
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida Gulf Coast University offers a number of online degrees for students, including master’s degrees in public administration, business administration, health science, and education. Some bachelor’s degrees can also be earned partially online once students have completed lower level classwork. Canvas, used to host all online courses, allows students to participate in discussions and submit assignments. Florida Gulf Coast University provides distance learners with access to the same services that on-campus students receive; this includes the use of on-campus facilities.

#18 Warner University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,752
  • Median Salary: $60,500
  • Locations: Lake Wales
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

For adult students seeking online colleges at which to further their education, Warner University offers a number of business, criminal justice, education, and Christian ministry programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, and master's levels. These online programs are designed specifically for working students who do not have time to attend classes with set schedules. All coursework is asynchronous with no required login times. Students are able to transfer credits from professional training or other universities to help them earn their degrees faster. Most degrees are completed within 12 months to three years, depending on the student's pace and experience.

#19 Broward College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,753
  • Median Salary: $58,200
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Distance learners seeking an online education at Broward College will find a wide variety of programs from which to choose. All students who engage in remote learning will receive the same support services as their on-campus peers. These resources include library services, full academic advising, a virtual community, tutoring, and tech support. All necessary exam proctoring can be completed entirely online so that students do not have to come to campus to take tests. Broward also offers flexible course lengths and start dates to allow students to balance other responsibilities. Fields of study include business, healthcare, information technology, and nursing.

#20 Hodges University

  • Annual Tuition: $20,700
  • Median Salary: $58,200
  • Locations: Naples
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Hodges University offers nearly all of its certificate, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees online, giving students options of study in accounting, criminal justice, health sciences, paralegal studies, and more. Like many online colleges, Hodges University also offers flexible start dates for students, with courses that range from four to 16 weeks in length, depending on the program. Students can take classes all year long to help them complete their degree faster, and they will also have access to the Terry P. McMahan e-Library for documents, articles, books, and journals.

#21 Pensacola State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,626
  • Median Salary: $54,000
  • Locations: Pensacola
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students can earn online certificates and degrees from Pensacola State College in the fields of business, accounting, criminal justice, human resources, law enforcement, and nursing. Pensacola’s online program offers associate and bachelor's degrees and professional certificates for students who want to further their education and career prospects. Courses are taught through the Canvas learning management system. Most courses are asynchronous, meaning students do not have to meet with their instructor at specified times and can complete their coursework on their own schedule. However, some programs do offer live online classes to simulate a real-time learning environment.

#22 Johnson University Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $13,050
  • Median Salary: $51,700
  • Locations: Kissimmee
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Johnson University Florida offers a number of online certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs for students in a wide variety of subjects, including leadership, business, biblical studies, and more. Students can enroll in the spring, summer, or fall semesters, and the student’s dedicated academic advisor can guide them on when to register for their classes. Most courses are taught in seven-week sessions to keep things intensive, and all classes are accessed through Sakai. All students pursuing online degrees have access to the library, financial aid office, career counseling, academic support center, and the registrar’s office.

#23 The Baptist College of Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $10,800
  • Median Salary: $50,100
  • Locations: Graceville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

A number of graduate and undergraduate online degrees can be earned at the Baptist College of Florida. Options include master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees in biblical studies, education, psychology, and more. The school’s learning management system, MyBCF, helps to connect students with qualified faculty members, as well as their online coursework, including assignments, forum discussions, lectures, and readings. Most classes are asynchronous in nature, meaning students can log on and complete work when it is convenient for them.

#24 College of Central Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $2,863
  • Median Salary: $49,000
  • Locations: Ocala (and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students interested in pursuing an online education can choose the College of Central Florida, which offers several online certificates and degrees in fields such as business, early childhood education, criminal justice, and nursing. Transfer students can also work toward an associate of arts degree if they have existing credit from another university. These online programs are delivered through the Canvas learning management system, which gives distance learners access to discussion boards, course materials, and assignments. If students experience any issues using Canvas, 24/7 tech help is available.


Overview of Online Colleges in Florida

Florida is one of only four states with over 1 million college students enrolled in its higher education institutions. Although there’s no clear picture of how many students are enrolled in online degree programs, many of Florida's public and private universities have online bachelor's programs. Florida’s private schools include non-profit institutions with a heavy STEM focus, such as Florida Tech-Online and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide. Interestingly, six of our ranked Florida schools are among the most popular online colleges for aviation degrees.

The median annual tuition of over 20 colleges listed above is $9,876, but this only includes the in-state tuition rates for public institutions. In many states, public universities charge distance learners the in-state tuition rate regardless of where they live, but this is not the case at most public Florida schools. In fact, nonresident online students pay significantly higher tuition in Florida than residents.

For college options in other locations, view OnlineU's best online college rankings by state or best online colleges by degree level.

Out-of-state enrollees may still qualify for special tuition rates at Florida public schools if they study certain majors. For example, Florida State University offers some undergraduate programs at lower market rates and provides others through the Academic Common Market, allowing students in participating states to take these courses at in-state prices.

Careers in Florida

Like many states, Florida took an economic hit in 2020 but is recovering in many sectors. As of October 2021, Florida's unemployment rate was equivalent to the U.S. rate of 4.6%. Below, we detail some of the state's most popular, highest paying, and fastest growing industries and jobs. The data comes from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Burning Glass, a software analytics company.

Industries in Florida

Most Popular
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Retail trade
  • Accommodation and food services
Highest Paying
  • Business management
  • Information
  • Professional and technical services
Fastest Growing
  • Hospitality
  • Accommodation and food services
  • Education and health services

Sources:

  • Buring Glass Technologies
  • Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Professionals need a college degree to work in most of Florida's highest paying industries. Students hoping to enter these industries might study business, information technology, computer science, or finance. These majors are all commonly available online.

Occupations in Florida Requiring a Degree

Most Popular
  • Office and administrative employee
  • Businessperson and manager
  • Teacher
Highest Paying
  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Business executive
Fastest Growing
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant

Sources:

  • Buring Glass Technologies
  • Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Most of Florida's top-paying jobs require an advanced degree, such as a master's, doctoral, or professional degree. However, bachelor's graduates can become business executives. As their careers progress, they may find that an advanced degree leads to more job opportunities and greater earning potential. Note that both of the fastest-growing jobs in Florida — nurse practitioner and physician assistant — require at least a master's degree.

For more information about online college, including scholarship opportunities, data studies, and advice from experts, check out our resource hub.

Financial Aid

Financial aid can help lower the cost of a degree and spare you some debt once you graduate. The best forms of aid don't require repayment, such as scholarships and grants. Financial aid can come from governments, colleges, and private sources, most of which ask students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You can pursue several Florida-specific opportunities as long as you're a resident of the state and enrolled in a Florida school. Even if you're a non-resident studying in Florida, you can still apply for federal and private financial aid, but you won't qualify for Florida state programs.

Florida Scholarships and Grants

Below, we've listed a few financial aid programs for Florida residents in college. Each option is available to distance learners as well as campus students. Contact a college's financial aid office to make sure you can use these funds at your school.

Undergraduate students at private Florida colleges can receive this need-based award. The amount varies yearly based on the state legislature. Students can renew the grant for up to nine semesters if they maintain full-time status and a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

This award is for students at a Florida public university or two-year community college whose parents haven't earned bachelor's degrees. Each college determines the amount granted to recipients and the number of terms they renew it.

This scholarship has four tiers, including the Florida Academic Scholars level that pays for all tuition and fees at a Florida institution. Students qualify for different tiers based on their high school GPA or GED scores, college entrance exam scores, and the number of documented service hours.

Florida residents can use this need-based award at public or private schools in the state. This grant may cover 100% of a student's tuition, but this isn't guaranteed because each school offers awards that differ by individual. Enrollment in at least six credits per term is required for public school students to maintain their funding, while those in private school need at least 12 credits.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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