Online Colleges in Florida

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Florida students have a bright future!

The Sunshine state ranks first in the nation for higher education by US News & World Report. The rankings look at factors such as tuition costs and graduate rates, areas where the state really excels.

Florida has a lot to offer, and the ranking serves as inspiration to boost spending on financial aid and increasing and continued improvement.

Overview of Higher Education in Florida

Florida is home to 181 colleges and universities. A 2018-2019 report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NES) indicates that of the 181 institutions, 43 are public, 65 are non-profit, and 73 are for-profit.

Florida’s tuition rates are among the lowest in the country. The NCES reports that in-state students pay, on average, just $4,443 to attend a 4-year intuition. Out-of-state students pay around $18,456. That’s $4769 less than the national average for in-state, and $7926 less for out-of-state students.

On top of low tuition rates, students can look forward to excellent financial aid opportunities. Florida is one of the top in the nation when it comes to financial aid awards.

Florida students are also supported by the state’s involvement in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which encourages resource sharing among the 16 participating states. Through this program, Florida students can enroll in out-of-state programs in nearby states while paying in-state rates.

About Online Colleges in Florida

Florida is one of the nation’s leaders in online learning.

In 2018 the NCES reported that 18.8% of Florida’s higher education students were enrolled in fully online degree programs. Another 25.5% of students were participating in some combination of online and on-campus courses.

Most of Florida’s 181 institutions offer online learning opportunities. One of the most impressive programs can be found at University of Florida, where there are over 500 online courses available.

A number of programs exist to help support distance education within the state.

Through the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), online students have access to academic advising, library resources, career readiness and distance learning resources. Tools and training materials are also provided for distance educators and staff.

One of FLVC’s star services, FloridaShines, acts as a hub for delivering innovative educational services that operate at all of the state’s institutions.

Another supportive resource, the Florida Distance Learning Association, brings together educational institutions, government agencies, community groups and more to help share information and advance distance learning.

Scholarships and Financial Aid in Florida

Florida residents have two financial aid applications to fill out: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA).

The FAFSA opens the door to federal financial aid, and many state and private financial aid programs require it as well.

To complete the application, you will need to answer questions about your income and assets, as well as those of your parents (unless you’re considered independent). The information you provide will determine how much and what type of financial aid you are offered.

You may begin to fill out the FAFSA starting October 1st of the year before you plan to attend college.  The earlier you complete it, the sooner the college(s) of your choice can offer you a financial aid package, and the more funds you are likely to receive since the money is awarded on a first come, first served basis.

College grants for Florida students

The FFAA, also available starting on October 1st, is a separate application that applies only to the scholarships and grants administered by the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA).  OSFA handles about a dozen programs, several of which offer sizable, renewable financial aid packages. Here are just a few examples:

Bright Futures Scholarship Program – Three merit-based scholarships with varying GPA and ACT/SAT score requirements; Awards vary per credit hour, renewable (with merit requirements)

Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) Grant – Need-based aid for students enrolled full-time at an eligible institution and not studying theology or divinity; Amount varies each year, renewable up to 9 semesters (with merit requirements)

First Generation Matching Grant Program – Need-based aid for students whose parents have not earned a baccalaureate degree; Award shall not exceed student’s unmet financial need

José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund –  Need and merit based scholarship for students of Spanish culture attending public or eligible private institution; $2000 per year, renewable (with financial need and merit requirements)

Each individual school may have slightly different requirements for recipients of these grants and scholarships. In addition to these statewide opportunities, schools may also have other aid available, which you can learn about by contacting their financial aid office.

While the programs above are dependent upon financial need and/or academic excellence, scholarships can be offered for a variety of other things, such as the region you live in, a peculiar hobby, or the certain course of study you’ve chosen.

Here are some unique scholarships exclusively available to Florida residents:

Scholarship Name Details

Scholarship amount

Arts for Life! Scholarship High  school seniors who demonstrate excellence in creative writing, dance, drama, music or visual arts

$1000; 25 awards

South Florida Fair Scholarship Residents of specific counties; Additional credit given to applicants who participate in South Florida Fair

Varies / Multiple awards

College Fund of Pinellas County Grant Residents of Pinellas County only; Must demonstrate significant need

$1000 per year up to $4,000

Right Fit Foundation Scholarship Residents of specific counties; Preference to middle income families

$5000

Opportunities like these can be found on scholarship search sites such as Fastweb.com, where you can enter basic information about yourself and be matched with dozens of scholarships.

 

List of Online Colleges in Florida

Online Colleges in Florida Location Annual Tuition Accreditation Application Fee
Webber International University Babson Park, Florida  $25,358  Regional  $35
Everglades University Boca Raton, Florida  $18,320  Regional  $50
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida  $4,831  Regional  $30
Lynn University Boca Raton, Florida  $36,650  Regional  $45
St Petersburg College Clearwater, Florida  $3,385  Regional  $40
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, Florida  $33,886  Regional  $50
Broward College Fort Lauderdale, Florida  $2,753  Regional  $35
Keiser University Fort Lauderdale, Florida  $21,008  Regional  $55
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Florida  $28,736  Regional  $50
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, Florida  $6,118  Regional  $30
University of Florida Gainesville, Florida  $3,876  Regional  $30
Jacksonville University Jacksonville, Florida  $33,930  Regional  $30
University of North Florida Jacksonville, Florida  $6,394  Regional  $30
Florida Tech University Lakeland, Florida  $4,940  Regional  $30
Southeastern University Lakeland, Florida  $24,160  Regional  $40
Saint Thomas University Miami Gardens, Florida  $28,800  Regional  $40
Florida International University Miami, Florida  $6,556  Regional  $30
Hodges University Naples, Florida  $13,700  Regional  $20
Rasmussen College Ocala, Florida  $9,360  Regional  $0
Everest University Orange Park, Florida  $12,879 National  $0
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida  $6,368  Regional  $30
University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida  $6,360  Regional  $30
Saint Leo University Saint Leo, Florida  $21,440  Regional  $0
Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida  $6,507  Regional  $30
University of South Florida Tampa, Florida  $6,410  Regional  $30
Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida  $23,116 National  $40

Conclusion

Students in the sunshine state pay some of the country’s lowest tuition rates, and then save even more thanks to the numerous grants and scholarships offered by the state. They also have several state organizations committed to supporting them through their education and into their careers, with online and on-campus resources.

Florida is a state that’s committed to education, and the country is taking notice!

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.