Why Choose a Private College or University in Florida?
According to the College Navigator published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are 304 private schools in Florida — 136 of which are four-year colleges.
Career colleges such as the Acupuncture and Massage College, the Academy of Career Training, and the American Academy of Cosmetology are also on the list.
There are many reasons a student might choose to attend a private college or university. Many private institutions offer smaller classes and more personal attention. They may also have access to better resources and offer more financial aid.
Some students choose private colleges and universities for their undergraduate research opportunities. At a private institution, many feel they can get a higher return on this investment in their education.
One reason a student may decide not to attend one of the best private schools in Florida is the cost. Attending a private college typically costs significantly more than going to a public college.
Another reason Florida students might choose private four-year colleges is location. Since there are only 40 four-year public colleges in Florida, students are more likely to live near a private school than a public one.
Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in Florida
Private colleges and universities may offer smaller classes and more individualized attention.Private colleges and universities often offer more financial aid.Private colleges and universities may offer more undergraduate research opportunities.There are more private colleges in Florida than public colleges, so students are more likely to live close to a private college.
Private colleges typically cost more than public colleges.Even with the added financial aid, the out-of-pocket cost of a private college or university could be higher than for a public institution.Private colleges may offer fewer majors than their public counterparts.
Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Florida
Nonprofit colleges and universities work to provide a great educational experience to their students. They have no profit motive. Any profits these colleges make are reinvested into the schools.
For-profit colleges and universities, on the other hand, prioritize making a profit for their owners and shareholders.
There are 97 private nonprofit and 207 private for-profit colleges in Florida. There are also 94 public colleges, all of which are nonprofit.
For-profit colleges typically rely solely on tuition for their funding. However, public nonprofit colleges receive state funding. Nonprofit colleges also receive donations and endowments to help fund their operations.
There are many pros and cons to attending a for-profit or nonprofit college or university.
For example, public colleges usually charge lower tuition rates than for-profit colleges. But public and private nonprofit schools tend to have lower acceptance rates than for-profit colleges and universities.
Consider all of the pros and cons before deciding on a nonprofit vs. for-profit college.
How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Florida?
According to NCES, the average cost of tuition and fees for 2019-2020 was $27,381 for private four-year colleges and universities in Florida. It was $4,463 for public four-year colleges in the state. The average cost of room and board was $10,774 for public schools and $12,469 for private institutions.
There is more than tuition and room and board to consider when paying for college. Among other costs: Transportation to and from school and a computer or laptop, if needed, for classes.
Let's look at the most and least expensive private colleges and universities in Florida.
Among the most expensive is Rollins College, which charges $56,110 in tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Among the least expensive private institutions in Florida is Hobe Sound Bible College, which charged $7,698 for 2021-2022, according to NCES. There are no tuition-free colleges in Florida.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Florida
How many private colleges and universities are there in Florida?
There are 97 private nonprofit colleges and universities and 207 private for-profit colleges and universities in Florida. Of those 304 schools, 136 are four-year colleges and universities. The rest offer programs that take two years or less to complete.
A total of 91 private schools in Florida have the word "university" in their names.
Private nonprofit universities in Florida include Barry University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Everglades University, Jacksonville University, and Saint Leo University.
What is the most expensive private college or university in Florida?
Rollins College is among the most expensive private institutions in Florida. For the 2022-2023 school year, its tuition is $56,110. Why is this college so expensive? There are several factors. But an article on the school's website lists 10 reasons why it is still a good value.
One of those reasons is financial aid. Unfortunately, even if students get the $35,000 per year in financial aid that Rollins says is possible, that still leaves over $21,000 for students to pay — and that doesn't include room and board.
What is the least expensive private college or university in Florida?
Hobe Sound Bible College (HSBC) is among the least expensive private schools in Florida. Tuition was $7,698 for the 2021-2022 academic year. HSBC is a Wesleyan college that is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
Students can choose from a variety of programs in counseling, intercultural studies, ministerial studies, and music education. The school also offers programs in professional studies, education, and language and linguistics. HSBC offers a Bible-centered education.
Is a private college or university right for me?
Only you can decide which college or university is right for you. You should make a list of the pros and cons of public vs. private colleges and universities as well as the pros and cons of the specific schools you are considering.
Think about what's most important to you. Is it more important to choose a school that is close to your home or one that costs less?
Another important consideration is the availability of the program you want to study. If you want to be a teacher, you should only consider schools that have good teaching programs — whether those happen to be private or public schools.
Can I get more scholarship money at a private college or university?
Yes, it is possible that you may be able to get more scholarship money at a private college or university. However, this is offset by the fact that the tuition is likely higher as well. You should compare the out-of-pocket costs when comparing schools.
If one school costs $50,000 per year, but you qualify for $40,000 in scholarships, you'll still have to pay $10,000 per year. On the other hand, if the school costs $12,000 per year, and you qualify for $10,000 per year in scholarships, you'll have to pay $2,000 per year.
Apply for as many scholarships as possible. You can include the out-of-pocket cost as part of your final decision.