Saving money is an anomaly when it comes to getting a college degree, but if you choose one of these cheap colleges in Florida, you can do just that.
Let's face it, numbers and ratings can be manipulated to mislead people. In theory, you could have a college that charges $500 per semester for student attendance. Sounds like a lot and puts me at the top of some cost rankings, right? But did I mention the $2,500 in fees? This type of cost manipulation doesn't seem honest or fair, so we ranked these colleges by final cost in this "Top 15 Cheapest Colleges" ranking. This includes school expenses such as accommodation, tuition, book costs and fees.
The ratings below would change if you could avoid the expense of dorm living or if you choose to live off campus. The total cost in dollars you see below is for a full year at a college or university and has been pulled directly from each school's website to bring you the most up-to-date information. No gimmicks, no gimmicks.
15. Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Net price:$22,856 per year
Located near downtown Boca Raton and with satellite facilities in Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter and Fort Pierce,Florida Atlantic Universityit has nearly 26,000 undergraduate students and is still growing. The university offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate programs and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university. Admission requirements have been tightened in recent years, suggesting that the university leadership not only wants to increase the number of enrollments, but is also interested in the quality of the applicants. The average class size is 33 students and nearly 25% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
The university campus is home to the Center of Excellence in Biomedicine and Marine Biotechnology and the Center for Marine Energy Technology, two facilities aimed at developing technologies for renewable energy harvesting and new drug discovery. Florida Atlantic University has also partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to create a research partnership center in the school's College of Engineering and Computer Science. This collaboration enables university students and researchers to design and test government and commercial applications in the fields of medical technology, surveillance, manufacturing and video.
A Florida Atlantic University is a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
14. Emmaus Baptist College in Brandon, Florida.
Net price:$22,550 per year
Located on a 10-acre campus in Brandon, Emmaus Baptist College operates under the mission of “Equipping men and women for the service of God.” The university offers students five areas of study in a variety of biblical courses. The range of courses includes pastoral arts, biblical languages, theological studies, elementary school and youth work. Students receive personal attention from teachers in small classes and are challenged spiritually and academically. Students also have the opportunity to be active while studying at the university as there are several Baptist missionary churches nearby.
Emmaus Baptist College is not regionally accredited but is a member of the American Association of Baptist Theological Schools.
13. Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Florida.
Net price:$21,940 per year
Located in suburban Lakeland,Florida Polytechnic Universitywas founded just a few years ago in 2012. The school's stated mission is to prepare 21st-century students for careers in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The university had only 554 students in its inaugural class in Fall 2014, but is expected to grow rapidly. Florida Polytechnic University currently offers six undergraduate programs and two master's programs that focus on preparing students for STEM-related careers.
The university has partnered with leaders in the STEM industry such as Cisco, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin to lead curriculum development and offer internship opportunities. As a new school, Florida Polytechnic had the opportunity to innovate with normal college buildings and services. For example, the main library is all digital and the campus has a 160,000-square-foot innovation, science and technology building that includes a 3D printing lab and a supercomputer. Florida Polytechnic University is not yet accredited by any regional agency due to its recent incorporation.
12. University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
Net price:$21,172 per year
Located about ten miles from Pensacola, the main campus ofUniversity of West FloridaIt is the third largest in the State University System and is bounded by two rivers and Escambia Bay. The university has a secondary campus in Fort Walton Beach that it shares with Northwest Florida State College. The male to female ratio at the school is one of the highest on our list, with 43% male students and 57% female students in a student body of over 10,000.
The school is considered a research university and opened a new multi-million dollar science and engineering building in 2010. This state-of-the-art building includes 3D virtual reality simulators, a holographic platform, robotic prototype manufacturing and test labs. The university offers an underwater archeology program that is unique in that it has access to the remains of a Spanish colony ship that sank during a hurricane in 1559. Popular courses at the University of West Florida include business and management, special education and instruction, health sciences, and mass communications.
The University of West Florida has a strong online presence with 28 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs available entirely online. The university operates several facilities in partnership with the US military, which is why a significant number of University of West Florida students are military and noncommissioned officers. The University of West Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
11. University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
Net price:$21,052 per year
Located near Jacksonville,University of North Floridahas around 15,000 students and is only 24 km from the Atlantic Ocean. It is also surrounded by a nature reserve. The university offers 53 undergraduate and 28 graduate programs. Notable courses offered at the University of North Florida include nursing, economics, coastal biology, nutrition and music. The school has high academic standards for admission; As of fall 2013, the University of North Florida's acceptance rate was only 44% of applicants, and the average SAT score for freshmen was 1215.
The university campus and surrounding areas offer miles of nature trails and numerous lakes and ponds. A state-protected bird and wildlife sanctuary is located near campus, and the social sciences building is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Applications for LEED certification are pending for other buildings on campus. The University of North Florida operates the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, which allows the university to offer art classes to undergraduates. On a social level, Osprey Productions is the schools entertainment agency that organizes free events for students such as concerts, films, games and open mic nights. The University of North Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
10. Johnson University of Florida in Kissimmee, Florida.
Net price:$20,852 per year
The hotel is located in the suburb of Kissimmee, approximately 15 miles south of Orlando.Johnson University Floridais a non-denominational university affiliated with the Independent Christian Church. The university's faculty and administration focus on preparing students for leadership roles in corporations, non-profit organizations, and government departments. The university offers six majors: a one-year certificate program, a four-year associate degree in arts and applied sciences, four-year arts and science majors, and a four-year five-year theology major.
Approximately 400 students attend Johnson University Florida, and all students are required to earn a dual degree in Bible and ministry along with their chosen major. The university maintains an average student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 to provide students with a personalized educational experience. Johnson University Florida is nationally accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the Commission for Independent Education with the Florida Board of Education.
9. University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.
Net price:$20,910 per year
Located in downtown Tampa,University of South Floridais a research organization with regional offices in St. Petersburg and Sarasota. The school's research record is ranked 10th among all universities in the world for the number of US patents granted. The student body is approximately 41,000 students, of which approximately 5% are international students from over 130 different countries. The student-to-faculty ratio at the University of South Florida is 24:1. The student population is demographically 60% White, 17% Hispanic, 11% African American, and 7% Asian/Pacific Islander.
The university offers more than 80 undergraduate programs and 130 graduate, specialization, and doctoral programs. Some of the most popular of these courses include finance, psychology, criminology, and medical microbiology and bacteriology. Courses are offered throughout the year and the summer semester is divided into three overlapping sessions of either six or ten week courses. The University of South Florida has consistently ranked among the nation's top senior colleges. USF is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
8. University of Florida at Gainesville, Florida.
Net price:$20,590 per year
Located near downtown Gainesville,University of FloridaRanked #48 by US News and World Report in their 2015 edition of "Best Colleges". With nearly 50,000 students, the school is the eighth largest in the United States and third largest in Florida. The university does not accept everyone who fills out an application; The acceptance rate for the 2015 freshman class was just over 44%. Despite its size, the University of Florida maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1 and has an average freshman retention rate of 95.8 percent.
The University of Florida is an elected member of the Association of American Universities, which recognizes the school as a research university of excellence. The university offers students a separate honors program with over 100 courses offered exclusively to students in the program. Invitation criteria for this program include a weighted GPA of at least 4.0 and an SAT score of 2070 out of 2400 or an ACT score of 33. Benefits of accepting the honors program include separate living and special scholarships, internships, and Seek.
From a social perspective, the university was ranked sixth on the Princeton Review's 2014 list of best party schools. It was also named PETA's Best Vegan School in 2014. College sports teams, commonly known as "Florida Gators," compete in NCAA Division I and have won numerous championship titles in recent years. The most popular majors at the University of Florida include business, marketing, engineering, communications, and biological/biomedical sciences. The University of Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
7. Neues Florida-College in Sarasota, Florida.
Net price:$20,519 per year
This public liberal arts institution and independent university in Sarasota has a total enrollment of around 800 students. Liberal Arts and Sciences and General Studies and Humanities are two of the most popular majors offered atnew college in Florida. Four core principles form the basis of New College's academic philosophy: (1) each student is responsible for his or her own education, (2) the best education requires a shared pursuit of learning from enthusiastic teachers and able students, (3) progress must be on demonstrated competency and actual mastery, rather than the accumulation of credit and grades, and (4) students should be given early opportunities to explore in depth areas of interest to them. Letter grades and grade point averages are not used at New College of Florida. However, this does not preclude attending a secondary school.
The intellectual intensity of New College of Florida enabled an 87 percent graduate school acceptance rate for New College graduates between 2004 and 2008. . New College of Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
6. Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida.
Net price:$20,342 per year
Located in the suburbs of Fort Myers,Florida Gulf Coast Universityis a newcomer to the ranks of Florida universities, having been founded in 1991 and first offering courses in 1997. The school's student acceptance rate is just under 66% and applicants are required to have a minimum SAT score of 1450 or an ACT minimum score of 21. Each incoming freshman student is expected to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language or equivalent in American Sign Language.
The school prides itself on having a technology-friendly campus with over 40 Wi-Fi hotspots while maintaining a focus on campus environmental sustainability. The university has a solar field for energy supply and an ice heat storage system for cooling the campus buildings in summer. Several lakes have been created on campus to promote the ecology of the area. Newer homes heat water with solar panels on the roof. Marketing, journalism, communications, and business management are among the 51 different types of bachelor's degrees offered by Florida Gulf Coast University. With an estimated enrollment of nearly 13,000 undergraduate students, Florida Gulf Coast University is a good mix of small-school intimacy and big-school anonymity. FGCU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
5. Florida Baptist College in Graceville, Florida.
Net price:$19,852 per year
This rural private college in Graceville originally focused on training Baptist ministers. Today,Florida Baptist CollegeIt has a total of just over 500 students and offers secular degrees in popular courses such as music, business, counseling and elementary school. Single students under the age of 21 who do not travel from home must live in a dormitory on campus for the first four semesters of their on-campus studies. An excerpt from the mission statement of the university reads: ". . . The faculty seeks to develop in students the qualities that contribute to effective ministry. In the area of personal growth, we want to encourage the desire for knowledge; develop cultural awareness by providing students with a wide range of knowledge; promoting the ability to obtain, evaluate, absorb and use information; and promote personal and social maturity”.
The student-teacher ratio is 14:1 and almost 90% of classes have fewer than 20 students. The gender distribution is the opposite of the schools analyzed so far; 63% of the school consists of male students and 37% of female students. Baptist College of Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
4. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Net price:$19,805 per year
better known asFlorida A&M University oder FAMU, the university's main campus is in Tallahassee, with a law school campus in Orlando. A total of almost 9,000 undergraduate students are enrolled. Another historically black university, Florida A&M, accepts students of all races and nationalities and is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Ninety percent of enrolled students are African American, and the second largest demographic is white students, making up 5 percent of the total population.
Freshmen and students with less than 12 credit hours must live on campus if their families are more than 35 miles away. Despite its name, Florida A&M University offers degrees outside of the agricultural and mechanical fields. The school has 62 baccalaureate degrees in 103 majors/tracks. The most popular majors include marketing, psychology, and journalism. The student-faculty ratio is 17:1 and the gender distribution is 39% male and 61% female. Almost a third of the classes have fewer than 20 students. FAMU's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has completed more than 50% of African American PhDs in pharmaceutical sciences since 1990 and is consistently ranked as one of the best funded pharmacy schools in the United States. Florida A&M is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
3. Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida.
Net price:$19,607 per year
This regionally accredited private institution in downtown Jacksonville is a historically black university founded in 1866 to educate newly freed slaves. This non-profit private institution has nearly 800 students.Edward-Waters-Collegedoes not accept anyone to increase enrollments; the acceptance rate is 23 percent.
The university offers students bachelor's degrees in eight academic programs, including communications, music, psychology, criminal justice, biology, elementary school, mathematics, and business administration. Class sizes are typically 15-20 students, allowing for greater interaction between students and teachers. The oldest building on campus, Centennial Hall houses the Obi Scott Umunna Collection of African Art and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Edward Waters College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
2. Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Net price:$19,548 per year
Located in downtown Tallahassee,Florida State UniversityIt was ranked 95th in the 2015 "Best Universities" list by US News and World Report. The university serves over 32,000 students but is selective in its approach to applicants. just over 56% of applicants were accepted for the 2014-2015 academic year. Popular courses at FSU include finance, international relations, English language and literature, psychology, and criminal justice. The gender distribution is 45 percent male and 55 percent female students.
Florida State University is home to the state's national laboratory, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. The university also operates the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Florida State Museum of Art. Funding for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects is plentiful, with the University of Florida investing in four out of eight areas of the external leads funding. The collegiate athletic teams, referred to as the Florida Seminoles, are well represented on the national scene and have won thirteen national team championships and numerous individual championship awards. Florida State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
1. University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.
Net price:$16,814 per year
Based in Orlando and twelve remote campuses throughout Central Florida,University of Central FloridaIt is the second largest university in the United States. It offers 211 courses and is a scientific leader in areas such as optics, modeling and simulation, engineering and computer science, business administration and education. Some of the most popular courses at the University of Central Florida include marketing, psychology, education, engineering, and business. With nearly 60,000 students and covering 1,415 acres, the University of Central Florida is the largest university in the United States by student enrollment and the second largest university by total enrollment.
The university's size, combined with more than 230,000 alumni worldwide, enables the University of Central Florida to offer students a rich education combined with virtually unlimited networking and social opportunities. Newsweek ranked the main campus among the top 20 most beautiful campuses in the country. Central Florida Research Park, the seventh largest research park in the country, is just south of the main campus and employs thousands of graduate students in more than 116 companies. The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- National Center for Education Statistics
- school websites