Cheapest Colleges in Florida
Reviewer & Writer
Reviewer & Writer
www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.
As a student in Florida, you can choose from more than 100 four-year colleges throughout the state. Florida's average tuition rates also fall far below the national average, meaning you can easily earn your degree without going into serious debt.
Our guide to the cheapest colleges in Florida offers an overview of affordable education in the Sunshine State. Read on to learn about tuition rates, top schools, and the cost of living in Florida.
3 Popular Affordable Colleges in Florida
Here are three popular affordable colleges in Florida you can apply to. We chose these schools based on factors like overall reputation, academic rigor, and number of applicants.
- Avg. Annual Net Price: $11,740
- Acceptance Rate: 23%
- Total Student Enrollment: 55,211
UF is the state's flagship public university and is also one the cheapest four-year colleges in Florida. UF operates a main campus in Gainesville, along with a top-rated online education program. Despite its size, the school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of just 17:1, meaning you can expect plenty of attention from professors.
UF consistently ranks among the best public colleges in the country. The school hosts many top academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including business, engineering, and nursing.
- Avg. Annual Net Price: $9,881
- Acceptance Rate: 64%
- Total Student Enrollment: 55,609
A major research university based in Miami, FIU also ranks among the cheapest colleges in Florida. The school is renowned for innovation, social mobility, and strong undergraduate teaching. FIU is also highly diverse, serving a student body that is 61% Hispanic.
As one of the largest colleges in Florida, FIU offers more than 200 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of the school's top-ranked academic programs include business, global policy, and international law.
3. Florida Polytechnic University
- Avg. Annual Net Price: $9,376
- Acceptance Rate: 56%
- Total Student Enrollment: 1,593
Based in Lakeland (part of the Tampa Bay area), Florida Poly is the state's only public college dedicated to STEM education. The school offers over 30 programs in areas such as computer science, mechanical engineering, and applied mathematics.
Florida Poly's small size allows you to work closely with faculty on specialized research. You can also benefit from the school's robust industry partnerships, which offer job opportunities, internships, and other professional experiences.
Featured Online Programs
10 Most Affordable Colleges in Florida
We've created a list of the 10 most affordable four-year nonprofit colleges in Florida. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants. This list does not include schools that are a part of the Florida College System, as they are considered two-year community colleges.
The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates were excluded from this list.
|School||Total Student Enrollment||Avg. Annual Net Price||Acceptance Rate||Number of Applicants|
|University of North Florida||16,594||$7,746||77%||16,004|
|Florida Atlantic University||30,155||$8,771||78%||25,148|
|University of Florida Online||5,168||$9,024||66%||1,766|
|The Baptist College of Florida||446||$9,256||100%||36|
|Florida Polytechnic University||1,563||$9,376||55%||2,124|
|Florida International University||56,664||$9,398||64%||16,406|
|New College of Florida||659||$9,727||74%||1,650|
|University of Florida||55,781||$9,809||30%||51,207|
|Florida Gulf Coast University||15,909||$9,840||89%||14,462|
|The University of West Florida||13,288||$10,344||53%||8,660|
What Is the Cost of College in Florida?
The most affordable colleges in Florida offer tuition rates below the national average. NCES reports that in-state Florida students at four-year public universities paid an average of $4,541 in tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 school year, much lower than the national average of $9,375.
|Institution Type||Average Tuition & Required Fees|
|Public 4-year (in-state)||$4,541|
|Public 4-year (out-of-state)||$18,322|
|Public 2-year (in-state)||$2,506|
|Public 2-year (out-of-state)||$9,111|
Cost of Living in Florida
Florida's overall cost of living ranks slightly higher than the U.S. average. Florida ranks above the national average in housing expenses but below average in other expenses like utilities and healthcare.
If you're considering the cost of college in Florida, keep in mind that living expenses can vary widely based on location. In general, South Florida, including Miami, features a much higher cost of living than the rest of the state. Many other Florida cities offer a generally lower cost of living.
Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Colleges in Florida
Is it worth going to college in Florida?
Affordable colleges and a low cost of living in Florida mean you can get an education that won't break the bank. Many of the cheapest colleges in Florida also rank highly for academics. The state is a practical choice for higher education, especially if you can pay in-state tuition.
What colleges in Florida offer free tuition?
Few, if any, colleges in Florida offer free tuition. That said, you may qualify for greatly reduced tuition through the state's Bright Futures Scholarship Program. With a high GPA, strong SAT or ACT scores, and community service, you can receive either full or partial tuition assistance.
Consult the Bright Futures website for specific scholarship requirements.
Why are Florida colleges so cheap?
The affordable cost of college in Florida comes from strong state education funding and a focus on increased graduation rates. State spending on education has kept tuition low, allowing Florida to offer financial support through scholarship programs like Bright Futures.
Increased graduation rates also help the state keep operational costs low, lowering public college tuition.