2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Florida

By OnlineU Staff | Updated June 3, 2020
2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Florida Badge

In Florida, students can earn an associate degree or certificate online at any of these 19 community colleges. Many of these schools also offer online bachelor's degrees, allowing students who've earned an associate degree to seamlessly continue their education. Ranked #1, Hillsborough Community College has a tuition rate of just $2,654 per year. Students there can earn one of 11 online associate degrees, such as an AA in Business Administration, an AA in Psychology, and an AS in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Locations
# 1 #1 $2,654 Tampa
# 2 #2 $3,099 Lake City
# 3 #3 $2,393 Sanford (and 3 others)
# 4 #4 $2,753 Gainesville
# 5 #5 $3,120 Cocoa
# 6 #6 $2,365 Palatka (and 2 others)
# 7 #7 $2,473 Orlando (and 2 others)
# 8 #8 $2,375 Avon Park (and 1 other)
# 9 #9 $3,024 Tallahassee
# 10 #10 $3,074 Bradenton (and 2 others)
# 11 #11 $2,483 Ocala (and 2 others)
# 12 #12 $3,352 Clearwater
# 13 #13 $3,114 Fort Pierce (and 4 others)
# 14 #14 $2,436 Fort Myers (and 3 others)
# 15 #15 $3,366 Winter Haven
# 16 #16 $2,400 Fort Lauderdale
# 17 #17 $3,155 New Port Richey
# 18 #18 $2,483 Key West
# 19 #19 $3,137 Pensacola

2020 Online Community 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 Hillsborough Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,654
  • Locations: Tampa
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Hillsborough Community College offers 19 programs that can be completed either entirely online or through a blend of online and in-person coursework. Fully online programs include associate's degrees in criminology and criminal justice, fire science technology, opticianry, or business management and administration. Students studying online can benefit from many of the same resources as traditional students, such as 24/7 academic tutoring, counseling, career development assistance, and library access, which includes an expansive online database. Support is also available through the HCC Live Online Support Center. A number of the online degree programs are designed to be transfer tracks, which prepares students to transfer their degree to a four-year institution.

#2 Florida Gateway College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,099
  • Locations: Lake City
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Based in Lake City, Florida, Gateway College offers online Associate of Science degrees in Business Administration, Early Childhood Education, Environmental Science Technology, and Veterinary Technology. Online students may also pursue an Associate of Arts degree, along with nine certificate programs. While some online courses require proctored exams, many classes allow tests to be completed at home. Additionally, all remote students receive personalized advising services, as well as access to library and career center services. This Florida-based institution is authorized to provide online courses through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

#3 Seminole State College of Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $2,393
  • Locations: Sanford(and 3 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Located in Sanford, Seminole State College of Florida is home to a long list of online educational opportunities. The college offers multiple technical certificates and Associate of Science degrees to remote students, along with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology with an optional cyber security track. All online students complete self-paced courses through the Canvas system, which is accompanied by around-the-clock technical support. The school also offers resources catered to distance learners, including advising, tutoring, library services, and financial aid support.

#4 Santa Fe College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,753
  • Locations: Gainesville
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Santa Fe College offers fully online degree programs, as well as hybrid programs that blend online lessons with on-campus coursework. Students.can find a quiz on the school's website that can help them determine whether an online education is the best fit for them. Courses range from business management to health services, and include options in information technology and library science. Certain online classes require proctored exams, which may require trips to campus. Online students have access to a number of resources, including virtual appointments with academic advisors and tutors, a digital bookstore and library, and a career exploration center with tools that are available in an online format.

#5 Eastern Florida State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,120
  • Locations: Cocoa
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Formerly known as Brevard Community College, Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County gives students the opportunity to pursue multiple degrees and certificates remotely. The program selection includes an Associate of Science in Social and Human Services, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Management (eight concentrations), and a College Credit Certificate in Accounting Technology Operations. The distance-learning programs are powered through Canvas and authorized by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The institution encourages an interactive learning environment for online courses, which includes live virtual discussions and collaboration.

#6 St. Johns River State College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,365
  • Locations: Palatka(and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Founded in 1958, St. Johns River State College in Northeast Florida offers online Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees. A few of the most popular degrees include an AS in Computer Programming and Analysis and a BS in Organizational Management. The state college also offers an online Certificate in Criminal Justice Technology Specialist and an RN to BSN online program track. Participation in online courses occurs in Blackboard, with some courses requiring proctored testing. All remote students have access to the school's scholarship offerings, along with online tutoring services through the Smarthinking program.

#7 Valencia College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,473
  • Locations: Orlando(and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, have three online program options: an Associate of Science in Health Information Technology, an Advanced Technical Certificate in Leadership in Healthcare, and a Certificate in Health Information Technology. All students have access to the Career Coach system, which provides online tools and services for both working professionals and full-time students. For testing, students visit one of the school's campuses or arrange an approved location for proctored exams. The estimated tuition cost at Valencia College is around $103 per credit hour for Florida residents and about $390 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

#8 South Florida State College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,375
  • Locations: Avon Park(and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

South Florida State College offers online classes and programs through the Florida Virtual Campus, or FLVC. This platform is a consortium of institutions that provide distance learning opportunities to students state-wide. Through FloridaShines, a hub of educational services, students can pursue online degrees through taking courses at any of the schools in the Florida Virtual Campus consortium after receiving permission from both the home institution and the secondary institution. Online courses can be either synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the class, and students are expected to log on regularly to keep up with coursework. South Florida State College students can also download the school's app, which allows them to keep track of their schedules and grades.

#9 Tallahassee Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,024
  • Locations: Tallahassee
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Part of the Florida College System, Tallahassee Community College is home to four online associate programs. They include an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology, an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Development and Education, and an Associate of Science in Paralegal and Legal Studies. Additionally, the school offers an Associate of Arts for students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution. The asynchronous courses are arranged with regularly scheduled deadlines and virtual participation.

#10 State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota

  • Annual Tuition: $3,074
  • Locations: Bradenton(and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students can pursue several different degrees and certificates entirely online through State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota. From a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education to an RN-BSN completion program, distance learners will find options that fit their professional goals, as well as their lifestyles. Available two-year associate degrees include accounting technology, business administration, computer information technology, and insurance risk management. Certificates are also available in professional fields such as marketing, network security, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice technology. Online students can take advantage of the Academic Resource Center (ARC), which hosts an online writing center, tutoring services, and a library database search engine. Prior to enrolling, students can sample an online course through the SCF-Manatee-Sarasota website.

#11 College of Central Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $2,483
  • Locations: Ocala(and 2 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Based in Ocala with physical campuses in multiple counties, the College of Central Florida offers a range of online program offerings. Students have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science in Business Administration, Criminal Justice Technology, and Early Childhood Education. They also offer an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as 11 certificate options, including a Certificate in Business Administration. The school has a Virtual Library system to provide online students with around-the-clock catalog access. Distance learners are also able to seek career services through the Talent Center's online portal.

#12 St. Petersburg College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,352
  • Locations: Clearwater
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

St. Petersburg College is part of the Florida College System. The state college offers a wide range of online programs for individuals seeking an associate or bachelor's degree, as well as certificates in specialized areas. Some of the most notable options include an Associate of Science in Cybersecurity, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainability Management, and a Certificate in Homeland Security. Offering both eight-week and traditional 16-week sessions, online classes are available in both asynchronous and synchronous formats, with live web conferencing and on-demand lecture streaming capabilities.

#13 Indian River State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,114
  • Locations: Fort Pierce(and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida, offers multiple associate and bachelor's degrees through their online-learning program. A few of the top options available include an Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Education with a specialization in middle grades math, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. All online courses are provided through the Blackboard system with help desk support available 24 hours a day. Tuition for Florida and non-Florida residents varies by course level. Lower-level class rates are around $104 per credit hour for in-state residents, while out-of-state students pay around $390 per credit.

#14 Florida SouthWestern State College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,436
  • Locations: Fort Myers(and 3 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Based in Fort Myers, Florida, Florida SouthWestern State College offers an online Associate of Science in five areas of study: Accounting Technology, Business Administration and Management, Criminal Justice Technology, Early Childhood Education, and Social and Human Services. There is also an online Associate of Arts, along with various bachelor's degrees and certificate options. Utilizing the Canvas system, students access all coursework remotely, with exams taking place online through Proctorio. The school also offers support services to remote participants, including resume-building guidance.

#15 Polk State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,366
  • Locations: Winter Haven
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Polk State College offers a variety of courses and degree programs in an online format. Classes are offered asynchronously through Canvas, a platform through which students receive lesson material, take tests, and submit assignments. Canvas can be used on desktop or laptop computers, as well as accessed from one's mobile phone, making coursework available on-the-go. Popular classes include courses in computer systems, business management, criminal justice, nursing, and education. Distance learners at Polk State College have access to a number of online resources to support them in their academics, such as a virtual student center, counseling, tutoring and writing assistance, and a student help desk. 

#16 Broward College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,400
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is home to a substantial number of online programs. The offerings cover technical certificates, as well as both associate and bachelor's degrees, including an Associate of Science in Office Administration, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, and a Technical Certificate in Airport Management. The state college offers both synchronous and asynchronous courses, with some classes offering game-based learning options. All remote courses are designed with online proctoring for exams, and every distance learner has access to online tutoring, academic advising, career counseling, and library services.

#17 Pasco-Hernando State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,155
  • Locations: New Port Richey
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

With locations across both Hernando and Pasco counties, Pasco-Hernando State College offers a few online associate and bachelor's degree programs. The selection consists of an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There are also five online certificate options available. Students access digital resources through the PHSC Online system, with all remote coursework taking place in Canvas.

#18 Florida Keys Community College

  • Annual Tuition: $2,483
  • Locations: Key West
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida Keys Community College in Key West features one online program — an Associate of Arts. The degree is designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor's degree. With a little more than 1,200 students, this Florida community college offers an 11-to-1, student-to-faculty ratio. While online courses take place through the Canvas platform, all online students are able to request live, virtual tutoring services through the school's Smarthinking program.

#19 Pensacola State College

  • Annual Tuition: $3,137
  • Locations: Pensacola
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Founded in 1948, Pensacola State College offers both online associate degrees and certificate programs. Students can pursue an Associate of Arts in Business or General Studies, as well as an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology, Accounting Technology, and Business Administration. For online certificates, the options cover a variety of areas, including Business Management, Human Resource Administrator, and Project Management. Online courses are available with both proctored and non-proctored requirements, and each student has virtual access to support and library services.

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