Cheapest Colleges in Florida

You can earn a degree in Florida without going broke. Check out our guide to the cheapest colleges in Florida to learn more.
portrait of Reese Lopez
Reese Lopez
Read Full Bio


Reese Lopez is a writer with over a decade of experience in the education field. After earning his BA in English from Evergreen State College, he worked as an English language instructor and tutor. Reese also writes fiction and performs in the local ...
Updated on October 13, 2023
Edited by
portrait of Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas
Read Full Bio


Kelly Thomas is an editor with BestColleges and specializes in alternative education. She covers topics like coding bootcamps and the tech industry, as well as skilled trades and certifications. She holds a BA in political science from the University...
Reviewed by
portrait of R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss
Read Full Bio

Reviewer & Writer

R.J. Weiss is a certified financial planner who has worked with clients planning investments, insurance, income taxes, and retirement. Weiss is CEO of financial education company The Ways To Wealth, which teaches financial planning fundamentals to hu...
Learn more about our editorial process 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.

1. University of Florida

  • 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.

2. Florida International University

  • 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: $12,373
  • 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

15 Most Affordable Colleges in Florida

We've created a list of the 15 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 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.

Most Affordable Colleges in Florida
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
University of West Florida 13,521 $8,609 48% 9,113
Florida Atlantic University 29,592 $9,711 81% 24,268
Florida International University 55,609 $9,881 64% 17,343
New College of Florida 689 $10,496 75% 1,830
University of Florida-Online 5,356 $10,791 65% 1,499
Florida Gulf Coast University 15,969 $10,834 74% 15,657
University of South Florida 49,600 $11,004 44% 65,568
University of North Florida 16,406 $11,338 71% 19,744
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University 9,215 $11,583 33% 12,372
University of Florida 55,211 $11,740 23% 64,473
Florida Polytechnic University 1,593 $12,373 56% 2,779
University of Central Florida 68,346 $13,108 41% 54,977
Edward Waters University 1,181 $13,649 84% 8,988
Florida State University 44,161 $14,003 25% 78,088
Bethune-Cookman University 2,727 $15,769 85% 12,818
Source: NCES

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 $4,613 in tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 school year, much lower than the national average of $9,596.

Cost of College in Florida in 2021-2022
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-year (in-state) $4,613
Public 4-year (out-of-state) $18,344
Private 4-year $29,605
Public 2-year (in-state) $2,506
Public 2-year (out-of-state) $9,111
Source: NCES

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. 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.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.