#1 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide (ERAU) is a private, nonprofit university offering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, including those available completely online. Some examples of bachelor’s degrees ERAU students can earn are aeronautics, aviation business administration, communication, engineering, and many others. Students must complete 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree, which typically means a full-time student will need four to five years to complete their education. ERAU is a desirable school and only 70% of applicants get accepted, and its graduation rate is 35%.
Online students at ERAU use Canvas and EagleVision for their coursework. Canvas, a learning management platform, allows for engagement through various formats, including video, audio, and text. EagleVision provides access to a virtual classroom. This allows for both synchronous learning and a flexible schedule. Further, eligible ERAU students can apply for financial aid, as well as scholarships and grants. Online learners also have access to such services as degree planning, virtual labs, academic advising, and more. The ratio of full-time students to full-time instructional faculty at ERAU is 22 to 1. ERAU is known for its roots in U.S. aviation, its proximity to NASA, and valuable degrees in aviation and aeronautics.
#2 Hodges University
Hodges University (HU) offers a variety of online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels in popular, in-demand fields to help students meet career goals and achieve job growth. Students can complete online degrees in majors such as computer science, marketing, health science, accounting, legal studies, and clinical mental health counseling. Those interested in becoming emergency medical technicians can also complete an online paramedic certificate program. HU's Student Experience program is available to distance learners via phone/text. It includes resources such as career services, academic advising, and guidance for international students.
#3 AdventHealth University
The AdventHealth University (AHU) is a private institution affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It specializes in healthcare education and hosts a variety of programs, including undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These include online programs, such as bachelor’s and master’s in nursing, bachelor’s in healthcare administration, imaging sciences, and more. Credit hour requirements vary by program, and certain degrees aim to prepare current working specialists for advanced and leadership positions. Getting into AdventHealth University isn’t difficult, and nine out of ten applicants get accepted. The school has a graduation rate of 54%.
AHU online students use Canvas, a popular learning management platform, for their coursework. Classes are delivered online in an asynchronous format, which allows students to complete their work on their own schedule. Financial aid is available to qualified students, and the school offers scholarships. Student services for online learners at AHU include tutoring, online counseling, and others. The student-to-faculty ratio at AHU is 6 to one, which means students can always count on an individualized approach. Overall, AHU stands out for its passion for Seventh-day Adventist Church’s values, healthcare education, and degree programs aimed to deliver valuable career results.
#4 Barry University
Barry University is a private, nonprofit, Catholic university offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. The school also provides some online degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. These include several types of business administration degrees, master’s and doctorate in social work, and more. Barry only offers four bachelor’s degree programs virtually, which are essentially organizational leadership degrees with various specializations to differentiate them. A bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours, which takes a full-time student four years to finish. Barry has an acceptance rate of 64%, meaning it can be difficult to get accepted. Its graduation rate is 47%.
Online students at Barry use a learning management system Canvas for their coursework, which can be asynchronous and synchronous. Qualified students can receive financial aid, and the university also offers scholarships. Online students can also use the library, the university’s bookstore, and technical support services. Barry has 15 students per instructor, meaning students can receive support easily. All in all, Barry stands out for offering value-based education rooted in Catholic intellectual traditions.
#5 St. Petersburg College
Online programs at St. Petersburg College (SPC) offer convenience and flexibility to students desiring to earn degrees online or learn new job skills. SPC offers online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. These include majors such as veterinary technology, sustainability management, public policy, dental hygiene, and early childhood education. Students interested in programs to fast-track entry into the job market can earn online skill-specific certificates in funeral arts, web development, medical coding, and crime scene technology. Teachers can also earn credits to renew or reinstate their teaching certificates online. Remote student resources include access to SPC's library, virtual learning commons, and tutoring.
#6 Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) offers online degree and certificate programs — some of which are accelerated, enabling faster completion times than traditional college programs. They can enroll in online associate or bachelor's degree programs and choose from majors such as supervision and management, nursing, health navigation, network systems technology, and financial services. The numerous online certificate programs can also help prepare students for jobs, such as accounting technology specialists, clinical research coordinators, insurance customer service representatives, and database development specialists. Student advising, tutoring, and IT support are available online, and many FSCJ events are live-streamed so online students can engage in college life.
#7 Miami Dade College
Distance learners interested in attending Miami Dade College (MDC) can earn online undergraduate degrees and college credit certificates. Online associate degrees are available in accounting technology, criminal justice technology, business administration, and entrepreneurship. These programs can help online students prepare for transfer to four-year degree programs as third-year students. Additionally, MDC offers bachelor's degree programs in public safety management, supervision and management, supply chain management, and an online RN to BSN degree program. Online certificates can help students develop job-readiness skills in accounting, business, computer programming, graphic design, and Homeland Security. Remote learning resources include access to the Canvas and Blackboard learning management systems, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, and proctored testing.
#8 Florida Tech - Online
The Florida Tech - Online (FIT) is a nonprofit technology institute which offers virtual degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Some popular bachelor’s degree programs include aviation management, computer information systems, business administration accounting, and others. Bachelor’s degree programs usually require 120 credit hours or more to complete, which should take around four to five years in a full-time capacity. FIT has an acceptance rate of 100%, meaning all applicants get accepted. However, the school’s graduation rate is only 14%.
FIT online students manage their coursework in Canvas, a learning management platform. They also have access to student success coaches, tech support, and an online library. Eligible students can receive financial aid. The school also accepts scholarships. There are 18 students per instructor at FIT. In conclusion, FIT stands out for its comprehensive curriculum, highly rated programs, and innovation.
#9 Saint Leo University Online
Saint Leo University Online is a Catholic, faith-based institution preparing distance learners for high-demand careers in the 21st-century job market. Online graduate and undergraduate degrees include marketing management, communication - digital media influencer, Homeland Security, English - professional writing, school leadership, and human resources management. These programs can help prepare online students for jobs in the public and private sectors. Online student support services offered by Saint Leo include counseling and prevention services and student advising. Additionally, Saint Leo's WorldWide Student Services provides online career services and opportunities for distance learners to interact with each other remotely.
#10 University of Florida
The University of Florida (UF), nicknamed The Swamp, is a public institution that provides bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. These include fully remote undergraduate degrees, including such popular options as communication, computer sciences, business and leadership, and many others. Bachelor’s degree programs typically require 120 credit hours to complete. This means it should take a full-time student four to five years to earn a degree. UF has an acceptance rate of 31% for undergraduate applicants, which makes it a selective school. It also has a high graduation rate of 88%.
UF uses Canvas, a learning management system, to allow distant learners to manage their coursework virtually. Online courses can be synchronous or asynchronous. Online students also have access to co-op opportunities, career services, and other support services. UF students can be considered for a wide range of federal, state, and institutional aid. This includes grants and scholarships. UF has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to one, meaning that even though it’s a large school, students shouldn’t be worried about getting individual support from faculty members. All in all, UF is recognized for its highly valuable online degrees at an affordable cost.
#11 Florida Gulf Coast University
The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is a public university providing bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, including fully remote programs. Online bachelor’s degree programs FGCU offers include health sciences, criminal justice, and legal studies. Students typically must complete 120 credit hours to receive an undergraduate degree. This means that a full-time student graduates in four to five years on average. It’s not difficult to get into FGCU, and the school’s acceptance rate is 89%. The graduation rate is 62%.
Remote students at FGCU manage their coursework through Canvas, a popular learning management system. The coursework can be synchronous or asynchronous. Online students can also apply for financial aid or scholarships. They also have access to a library and technical support. FGCU has 22 students per faculty staff member. All in all, FGCU is known for its dynamic online degree programs that can prepare students for productive careers.
#12 Florida National University - Main Campus
The Florida National University - Main Campus (FNU) is a private, for-profit institution which offers programs at associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. These include fully online programs, such as bachelor’s degrees in legal studies, accounting, business administration, information technology, and others. To earn a bachelor’s degree at FNU, students must successfully complete 120 credit hours, which should take a full-time student between four and five years. Due to FNU’s open admission policy, it accepts 100% of applicants and 55% of students graduate.
At FNU, online students use Blackboard to access and manage their coursework, which can be synchronous or asynchronous. Qualified students can receive financial aid and apply for scholarships. Students who attend virtually can also access student services at FNU, such as academic advising, career services, and more. FNU has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to one, which means students should have an easy time connecting with instructors individually. All in all, FNU is known for providing accessible higher education through innovative programs at an affordable cost.
#13 University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee
The University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) is a public institution that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, including fully remote programs. Some examples of online bachelor’s degrees include criminal justice, public health, nursing, and more. Typically, students need to complete 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree, which will take a full-time student four to five years on average. Thanks to the school’s open admission policy, everyone who applies gets accepted. USFSM’s graduation rate is 33%.
The campus uses Canvas, a learning management system where remote students manage their coursework — which can be synchronous or asynchronous. Eligible students can also receive financial aid and scholarships. The student-to-faculty ratio at USFSM is 21 to one. Overall, USFSM stands out for its innovative approach to education, which leads to high levels of satisfaction among graduates.
#14 University of North Florida
The University of North Florida (UNF) is a medium-sized public institution providing degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Some of these programs are also available for remote learners. These include bachelor’s programs in health administration, nutrition and dietetics, and sport management. Some of the online undergraduate programs are accelerated programs designed for professionals who already have licensure. That said, UNF isn’t a hard school to get into, and eight out of ten applicants get accepted. Further, 65% graduate.
Canvas is UNF’s learning management system where students can take classes and submit work. The learning process at UNF can be synchronous or asynchronous. Eligible students can take advantage of financial aid, and scholarships are available. The school’s student-to-faculty ratio is 19 to one. All in all, UNF is known for its wide selection of programs, including degrees for professionals continuing training.
#15 University of Miami
The University of Miami (UM) is a private, nonprofit institution that provides a range of undergraduate and graduate programs. UM also has fully remote degree programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. Its only online doctoral program is in applied learning sciences, but there are several master’s programs, such as in public administration, finance, and live entertainment management. Master’s programs require between 30 and 36 credit hours, meaning it can take between one and a half and two years to earn a degree. UM can be a challenging school to get into as its acceptance rate is only 28%. However, it has an excellent graduation rate of 81%.
UM uses ULearn as its learning management platform where online students take courses, which are asynchronous. Students can apply for financial aid and look into scholarships. They also have access to technology support, career services, and a robust alumni network. The university has 13 students per instructor, meaning students can get plenty of individual support. Overall, UM is a highly desirable school offering prestigious online degree programs taught by top-ranked faculty.
#16 Keiser University
The Keiser University (KU) is a private, nonprofit institution serving Hispanic students. It offers programs at multiple levels, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees — many of which can be completed online. Some popular online undergraduate degree options at KU include emergency management, homeland security, and healthcare administration. Undergraduate students typically need to complete 120 semester credit hours to graduate, which typically takes a full-time student between four and five years. The school has a 96% acceptance rate, meaning it’s easy to get into KU. It also has a 56% graduation rate.
KU uses Blackboard as their learning management system, where students can manage their coursework on their own schedule. Financial aid may be available, as well as grants and scholarships. And while KU is a large institution, it has a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. Plus, online students can get access to academic counselors and technical support, as well as other services. They can also participate in the Esports athletic program. Altogether, KU is known as a Hispanic-serving institution that offers flexible scheduling, high quality degree programs, and an engaging learning process for online students.
#17 Florida State University
The Florida State University (FSU) is a large public institution providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs at various levels. It also offers multiple online degree programs, such as bachelor’s programs in computer science, financial planning, criminology, and a few others. A typical bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours, which can take full-time students four to five years to complete. FSU can be rather competitive, as demonstrated by its 37% acceptance rate. It also has a high graduation rate of 81%.
FSU online students use a learning management system called Canvas to manage academic coursework, which is mostly asynchronous. Students can apply for financial aid, and the school provides an online scholarship platform to help students find scholarship opportunities. Online learners also have access to the career center, counseling, library, testing center, and more. FSU has 22 students per faculty staff member. Overall, the university is recognized as a student-centered institution, as well as one of the country’s elite research universities.
#18 Florida Atlantic University
The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a large public institution offering a wide selection of degree programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. FAU also offers online programs on these levels. Some prominent bachelor’s degree programs include computer science, business administration, nursing, and others. These typically require 120 credit hours to complete, so a full-time student can earn a degree in four to five years. FAU has an acceptance rate of 78%, so it’s not very difficult to get accepted. The graduation rate stands at 61%.
Online students at FAU manage their academic coursework through Canvas, most of which is asynchronous — although some classes may require synchronous virtual attendance. Students can request financial aid, and the school has an online scholarship matching tool. Additionally, remote students have access to a writing center, online tutoring, a math center, counseling, career support, and more. Plus, there are only 21 students per faculty staff member. All in all, FAU is known for its nationally recognized programs in business, computer science, and nursing, and top-notch online education.
#19 Jacksonville University
The Jacksonville University (JU) is a private, nonprofit institution that provides degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. These include several fully remote programs, most of which are master’s degrees — such as in nursing, organizational leadership, and applied business analytics. Master’s degrees at JU require between 30 and 33 credit hours, so they can take as little as eight months to complete. JU isn’t hard to get into and has a 78% acceptance rate. It also has a 52% graduation rate.
At JU, online students use Blackboard, a learning management system, for their coursework and learn at their own pace. Students can take advantage of financial aid, as well as apply for scholarships. They also can use student services, such as academic advising, career management, and more. JU has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to one, so students should be able to easily connect with an instructor. JU stands out for its selection of programs that address the diverse needs and interests of today’s students.
#20 University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a public, Hispanic-Serving Institution which offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, as well as graduate certificates. The school also provides fully remote programs, such as online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Some of the popular remote bachelor's degrees include psychology, criminal justice, and anthropology. Typically, a bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours, so full-time students can earn one in four to five years. Getting into UCF can be somewhat difficult as the school has a 36% acceptance rate, meaning only around a third of applicants get accepted. On the other hand, it also has a high graduation rate of 73%.
Online students at UCF use Canvas, a learning management system, to submit their work and attend classes. The coursework can be synchronous or asynchronous. Financial aid is available to eligible applicants, and students can apply for scholarships. Student services for online learners include coaching, a writing center, a library, and more. The student-to-faculty rate at UCF is 30 to one. In conclusion, UCF is recognized for its research in healthcare, space technologies, national security, and simulation and immersive experiences.
#21 Nova Southeastern University
The Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school also offers remote programs as well as online degrees that require minimal campus visits or clinical practicums. Some examples of online bachelor’s degrees offered at NSU include health science, psychology, and speech-language and communication disorders. Most undergraduate programs require 120 credit hours and can be completed in four to five years on a full-time schedule. Getting into NSU isn’t difficult, as 93% of applicants are accepted into their chosen program. The school has a 53% graduation rate.
Canvas is NFU’s official learning management system, where students can manage their coursework. Additionally, online students can get access to resources like tutoring, academic advising, and a writing center. Financial aid is available, and the school offers scholarships. Also, NFU has a student-to-faculty rate of 17 to one, meaning students should have no issues receiving support from instructors. Overall, NFU stands out as a pioneer in online education and the largest not-for-profit university in Florida.
#22 University of South Florida Online
The University of South Florida Online (USF) is a large public university offering online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include online bachelor’s degrees in public health, criminal justice, nursing, and others. A student typically needs to complete 120 credit hours for a bachelor’s degree, which will take a full-time student four to five years. The school’s acceptance rate is 49%, meaning less than half of applicants get into the school. Further, 73% graduate.
The university uses Canvas, a learning management system where online students manage their coursework. The learning process can be synchronous or asynchronous. Qualified students can also receive financial aid, and scholarships are available. The ratio of full-time students to full-time instructional faculty at USF is 22 to one. Overall, USF is recognized for its high-impact global research and providing students with opportunities regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.
#23 Florida International University
The Florida International University (FIU) is a public institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, including fully online programs. Some of the examples of online bachelor’s degrees available at FIU include computer engineering, criminal justice, marketing, and many others. Normally, a bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours for completion, meaning a full-time student can earn a degree in four to five years. The school accepts 64% of applicants and 67% of students graduate.
FIU uses Canvas, a learning management platform, where students can remotely manage their coursework, which can be synchronous or asynchronous. Students can apply for financial aid, as well as scholarships. Online learners also have access to success coaches, a financial wellness program, job training, and more. Further, students receive plenty of instructional support, and the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 24 to one. All in all, FIU is known as a research university serving a diverse community of students, both online and on campus.
#24 The University of West Florida
The University of West Florida (UWF) is a public institution offering a selection of undergraduate and graduate programs. The school provides fully online programs as well, including bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, finance, health sciences, accounting, and others. In general, a bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours, which a full-time student can complete in four to five years. UWF can be challenging to get into, accepting 53% of applicants. The school’s graduation rate is 54%.
Canvas is the learning management system UWF uses to allow students to manage their coursework remotely — synchronously and asynchronously. Some of the services online students can access include a library, a writing lab, tutoring, counseling, and career development. Distance learners can also apply for financial aid, and the university offers scholarships. Further, UWF has a student-to-faculty rate of 21 to one. In conclusion, UWF is an affordable school where students receive access to the resources of a large university, even if they’re attending remotely.
#25 Southeastern University
The Southeastern University (SEU) is a private, nonprofit, Christian university which offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can pursue a degree remotely — some examples of online bachelor’s programs include organizational leadership, communication and mass media, human services, and others. Typically, students must complete 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor's degree. This means that a full-time student should be able to finish a program in four to five years. Forty-five percent of applicants get into SEU, making it a somewhat competitive school, and 48% graduate.
Online students use SEU’s proprietary platform MyFire to access class syllabi and assignments. They can also use such student services as free tutoring, library services, and career placement assistance. Remote learners can apply for financial aid, and the school offers various scholarships. The student-to-faculty ratio is 26 to one. In summary, SEU is an affordable school dedicated to Christian ideals and providing high quality education, including in a virtual format.
#26 Indian River State College
The Indian River State College (IRSC) is a public, nonprofit institution offering online programs at associate and bachelor’s levels, including 15 online bachelor's degree programs. These include degrees in business administration, criminal justice, healthcare management, and several others. Students typically must complete 120 credit hours to earn an undergraduate degree, meaning a full-time student typically earns their degree in four to five years. IRSC is highly accessible, as it accepts 100% of applicants, and it has a 40% graduation rate.
As for the coursework, online students complete assignments and attend classes using Blackboard, a popular learning management system. Additionally, they have access to library services, tutoring, and full academic advising. IRSC has a 25-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Online students can be eligible for financial aid as well as various scholarships. All in all, IRSC stands out for its affordability and open admission policy.
#27 Saint Thomas University
The Saint Thomas University (STU) is a private, Roman Catholic, Hispanic-Serving Institution providing graduate and undergraduate degree programs. The school offers online degrees at the master’s level, such as in business administration, leadership and innovation, and nursing. These require between 30 and 60 hours to complete, meaning it can take at least 12 to 40 months to earn a degree. STU accepts all applicants, and 45% of students graduate.
Canvas is the learning management system at STU where remote students can access their coursework, which is asynchronous. They can also use the school’s library, career resources, and technology support. Financial aid is available, and STU accepts outside scholarships. The university has a ratio of 20 students per professor, which means it’s not an issue to receive personalized attention. In conclusion, STU stands out for delivering high quality education through interactive coursework, allowing remote students to work at their own pace.
#28 Daytona State College
The Daytona State College (DSC) is a public institution providing associate and bachelor’s degree programs. These include several online degrees, such as bachelor's degrees in business with a hospitality concentration, accounting, and supervision and management. However, to enroll in them, students must earn an associate degree first, which typically requires 60 credit hours. After that, students can complete another 60 hours in a bachelor’s program to earn a degree. DSC has an open admission policy, so everyone who applies can get accepted. The school’s graduation rate is 39%.
Brightspace by D2L is the LMS (learning management system) used at DSC. Online students utilize the platform for their coursework, which can be synchronous or asynchronous. Distant learners also get remote access to tech support, library resources, tutoring, and career services. Students can also apply for financial aid, and DSC advertises several scholarship options. Remote students can count on personalized attention from their professors, as DSC’s student-to-faculty ratio is 17 to one. In summary, DSC prides itself on being a school that provides students with affordable education, a selection of online programs, and flexible scheduling.
#29 Everglades University
Everglades University (EU) is a private, nonprofit university offering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These include online programs, such as alternative and renewable energy management, construction management, and crisis and disaster management, among many others. A typical bachelor’s degree requires that a student complete 120 credit hours to earn their degree. When attending full time, this would take between four and five years. About six out of ten applicants get accepted into EU, meaning it can be rather competitive. Further, 54% graduate.
Remote students at EU use Blackboard for attending classes and submitting assignments. The coursework can be in a synchronous or non-synchronous format. Online learners can also use student services, including academic advising, a virtual career center, and more. Additionally, they can apply for financial aid and a variety of scholarships, including both EU and eligible outside scholarships. Students receive plenty of personalized attention, as there are 16 students per instructor at EU. All in all, EU stands out for its unique online programs and affordable tuition for remote and on-campus students.
#30 Full Sail University
The Full Sail University, also known as Full Sail, is a private for-profit institution offering certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to help students secure careers in the entertainment industry. Many of its programs are available online, including degrees in audio production, creative writing, cinematography, and web development. While a traditional bachelor’s degree requires 120 credit hours and four to five years at school, Full Sail provides accelerated programs which students complete in two to three years with the same number of credit hours. Full Sail has an open admission policy, so everyone who applies gets accepted. It also has a graduation rate of 39%.
At Full Sail, remote students use the school’s proprietary learning management system to attend classes and work on assignments. The coursework at the university can be synchronous and asynchronous. Per each instructor at Full Sail, there are 36 students. Online students receive a Project Launchbox set, which includes a laptop with professional software installed. They also get access to career support, academic advising, tutoring, digital library content, and live-streamed events. Remote students can request financial aid, and the school offers a variety of scholarships. Full Sail is dedicated to offering education that helps students launch careers in entertainment, whether they learn online or on campus.
Higher Education in Florida
Warm weather, sandy beaches, and brilliant blue skies attract millions of visitors to Florida every year — including thousands of college students on spring break. However, plenty of undergraduates and graduate students are also year-round residents. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that Florida is home to nearly 400 institutions of higher education.
About 100 of these are public schools run by the state, while the other 300 are private colleges and universities. Most of the public institutions are members of one of Florida's two college systems:
- The State University System of Florida consists of 12 universities offering both undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees. Among the member schools are the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida International University in Miami, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
- The Florida College System includes 28 colleges offering primarily associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and vocational training programs. Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida State College in Jacksonville, and South Florida State College in Avon Park are just a few of the campuses in the system. Several community college members, such as Miami Dade College and Indian River State College, have been recognized for academic excellence.
Private colleges of all sizes can also be found across the state. For example, the University of Miami and the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne are both large, private research universities. Smaller private campuses include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Nova Southeastern University in Davie, and Baptist College of Florida in Graceville.
Online Colleges in Florida
Many Florida schools offer online courses and online degree programs. Although our list of the best online colleges in Florida is ranked by bachelor's degrees, online learners can also earn associate degrees, master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and a wide selection of certificates and diplomas.
Degree programs can often be completed entirely online. Within these programs, some online courses will be asynchronous, meaning that you can access course materials and complete your assignments at any time. Conversely, some courses will be synchronous. These require you to stream live classes at specified times so you can engage in lectures and online learning activities with your classmates. In some cases, portions of a program will be entirely online but some portions will take place on campus, which is known as a hybrid program.
Most full-time students need four to five years to complete an online bachelor's program and two to three years to complete an online master's program. Part-time students may need additional time.
If you want to finish your degree more quickly, you might consider attending an accelerated online Florida school. Accelerated programs are often built on shorter terms of seven or eight weeks. Their unique structure enables you to take courses year-round and fulfill your degree requirements faster.
Admissions criteria are fairly similar across all Florida colleges, regardless of whether they offer on-campus or online programs. When submitting your applications, you'll probably be asked to provide high school or previous college transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and resumes. If you're hoping to get into one of the more competitive schools, your high school GPA may need to be 2.5 or higher. You'll also need to show that you participated in extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, jobs, or volunteer organizations.
To ensure you're getting a high-quality online education in Florida, you may want to check your school's accreditation status before applying. Enrollment in an accredited college is important for many reasons. It may influence your eligibility for financial aid, your ability to transfer credits among schools, your acceptance into graduate school, or your ability to obtain a credential or license to practice a specific profession.
All of the online Florida colleges featured on our rankings list are accredited, usually by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC).
Popular Online Degree Programs in Florida
Criminal justice, entrepreneurship, information technology, and liberal arts are just a few of the many degree options available at Florida online colleges. However, as in most states, these schools confer more bachelor's degrees in business than in any other subject. Many of the following undergraduate degrees can be earned through online universities in Florida:
To earn a Florida online degree, you may be required to complete one or more internships, lab courses, or other kinds of fieldwork experiences. When you're attending school through distance education, you will need to undertake these learning activities at professional facilities near your home. For example, if you're pursuing an online counseling degree, you can accumulate your practicum hours at a nearby medical facility or social services agency. Your school may have a staff advisor or coordinator who can help you make the necessary arrangements.
An increasing number of students are pursuing graduate degrees online as well, mainly due to their flexibility and convenience. Earning an advanced degree through distance learning doesn't require you to quit your job, relocate, or disrupt your family. Some of the more popular online master's programs include business administration, social work, elementary education, and computer science. Common online doctorates include the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the Doctor of Education (EdD).
Cost of Online Colleges in Florida
One of the advantages of attending college in Florida is that schools in the Sunshine State are generally more affordable than the national average. Before you apply, however, be sure to research the cost of your chosen program. Tuition and other fees can differ by school, type of degree, delivery mode, and residency status. The NCES data in the table below provides some average costs for attending Florida's colleges:
If you're planning to go to college in Florida, you may be able to reduce your expenses. For example, online tuition fees may be lower than on-campus, in-state tuition fees at some colleges. Attending school online also saves money by eliminating the cost of college room and board and reducing transportation costs.
Another idea for minimizing the cost of your college education is to enroll in one of Floridas online community colleges in the Florida College System. Depending on your career goals, a two-year associate degree or vocational certificate from a community college or technical school may be all you need. Alternatively, you could complete 45-60 credit hours of general education courses at an affordable community college and then transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor's degree.
Financial Aid for Students in Florida
Naturally, one of the most effective ways to reduce the total cost of your college degree is to apply for financial aid. Scholarships and grants are ideal because they generally don't have to be repaid, unlike student loans that have to be repaid with interest. However, you should still consider taking out student loans — especially federal student loans — if it's going to help you get your degree.
To determine your eligibility for federal and school-sponsored financial assistance, you'll want to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. With this one application, you'll also be considered for all of Florida's state financial aid programs. These include:
Through the GI Bill®, active-duty military members, veterans, and their family members may be entitled to financial benefits for college. Service members may also qualify for a tuition discount at military-friendly Yellow Ribbon schools in Florida, such as Saint Leo University in Saint Leo and the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Job Outlook for Florida College Graduates
Since the initial economic downturn in the early stages of the pandemic, Florida's economy has come back strong. The state's employment levels are higher now than they were in 2019, and the number of newly created jobs has increased for 30 consecutive months. Among the Sunshine State's top industries — all of which are experiencing growth — are travel and tourism, aviation and aerospace, clean technology, defense and homeland security, and financial and professional services.
Our analysis of current employment data shows that the organizations currently hiring the most online college graduates in Florida include the Department of Defense (Air Force, Army, and Navy), aerospace leaders Lockheed Martin and Boeing, finance powerhouses Bank of America and Ernst & Young, and retailers Amazon and Publix. Other top employers include Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Universal Orlando, and Winn-Dixie grocery stores.
Experts predict an increase in demand for the following common occupations in Florida over the next five to seven years. These jobs — with salary data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — require only a bachelor's degree:
Accountant and Auditor
Some accountants and auditors work as independent consultants for business organizations, while others are directly employed by larger businesses. Among their many responsibilities are preparing financial documents, checking them for accuracy, monitoring the business for potential risks, and advising other executives and department heads on financial matters.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts often find work in larger organizations that use technology extensively. They monitor the company's IT needs, purchase and install system upgrades as needed, and devise ways to maximize the company's use of computer systems and programs.
Financial managers usually work in large business organizations. They spend most of their time analyzing financial data so they can advise other company leaders on key decisions. Some financial managers specialize in a single aspect of an organization's finances, such as cash, credit, or insurance.
General and Operations Manager
Found in many types of organizations and industries, general and operations managers typically monitor the day-to-day operations of larger departments or an entire business. This includes overseeing the budget, planning for and procuring resources, and developing schedules.
Although these examples confirm that there are many occupations with respectable salaries in Florida, salaries in most regions of the state overall are lower than the national mean of $61,900. The BLS provides several specific examples:
Possibly making life more challenging for some, Florida's cost of living index is 103.1, which is above the national index of 100. Although the price of homes is on par with the average in the U.S., residents of the state pay slightly above-average costs for everything from groceries to healthcare.
FAQs About Online Colleges in Florida
How Many Colleges Are in Florida?
According to the NCES, there are nearly 400 public and private colleges in Florida, about 100 of which are state-run public schools. The State University System of Florida has 12 member colleges, such as Florida A&M University and the University of North Florida. Some of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System include Tallahassee Community College and Miami Dade College.
Can You Do Online School in Florida?
Yes, you can do online school in Florida. Tuition fees at colleges across the state run slightly lower than the national norm, and many schools offer online programs. This makes it both affordable and convenient to earn an online degree in Florida.
Is College Free for Residents in Florida?
No, college is not free for residents in Florida. However, using funds collected through the state lottery, Florida is able to provide a significant amount of financial aid to Florida residents through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. These scholarships generally cover 75-100% of tuition costs for eligible students. Florida students are eligible for a wide range of other grant and scholarship programs as well.
How Much Is College in Florida?
College tuition fees and other related expenses vary from college to college in Florida. However, as shown in the cost table above, Florida's tuition fees are often lower than the averages for all colleges across the country.
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