Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024

Sunshine, coastline, and prestigious schools attract students to Florida. Discover more about the benefits of attending an online college in Florida.
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Updated on January 16, 2024
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Best Online Colleges in Florida

Want to study in Florida? The Sunshine State has over 160 private and public four-year colleges that attract students from all over the world. And with the growth of online degree programs, those students can attend without traveling to Florida.

Florida offers affordable living costs for college students and tuition well below the national average. Studying online in Florida can provide an even cheaper college education, with many distance learning programs offering discounts to out-of-state students.

Featured Online Programs

Top Online Colleges in Florida

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

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.

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#1 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024 Best Value

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $129
Out-of-State | $553

Credits to Graduate: 120

Thanks to its affordable in-state tuition rate and variety of online programs, this public university ranks as the best online college in Florida. Located in Gainesville, the University of Florida charges Florida residents just $129 per credit in online tuition. 

You can earn a degree in business, liberal arts, or science at UF Online. Programs in nursing, public relations, and computer science emphasize practical skills. UF also reports retention and graduation rates of over 90%, demonstrating the university’s commitment to student success.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,770
Out-of-state
$27,335
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
30%
Students Enrolled
55,781
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024 Best Value

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $236
Out-of-State | $649

Credits to Graduate: 120

At Florida International University, you can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree online. Miami’s public research university offers more online bachelor’s programs than any other college in Florida. 

FIU Online offers more than 50 majors, including programs in biology, communications, economics, and finance. Or specialize in hospitality management to prepare for careers in one of Florida’s largest industries.

FIU enrolls nearly 56,000 students and boasts an alumni network of 165,000 in South Florida, making it a great choice for local students who prefer the flexibility of an online learning format. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,912
Out-of-state
$21,393
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
90%
Acceptance Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
56,664
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024 Best Value

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $179
Out-of-State | $716

Credits to Graduate: 120

More than 70,000 students enroll at the University of Central Florida, the largest public university in the state. And you can also earn your degree online with more than 100 options. UCF Online pairs you with a personal success coach who helps you choose from over 25 majors offered in a fully online format. 

Taught by 200 tenure-track faculty, the online bachelor’s programs prioritize flexibility and affordability. You can study English, nonprofit management, psychology, or sociology at UCF. Or choose a unique program like lifestyle community management.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,916
Out-of-state
$25,759
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
92%
Acceptance Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
70,310
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
9% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Annual Full-Time Tuition
In-State | $35,880
Out-of-State | $35,880

Credits to Graduate: 120

This private institution in Fort Lauderdale is one of the best online colleges in Florida. Founded in 1964, Nova Southeastern University offers 90 online programs. You can major in criminal justice, elementary education, or health science. Or you can earn a graduate degree in computer science, counseling, or nursing. 

NSU also offers evening and weekend classes from its nine regional campuses, including a campus in Puerto Rico, to give students flexible options to earn their degrees.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$33,510
Out-of-state
$33,510
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$21,153
Out-of-state
$21,153
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
78%
Acceptance Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
20,898
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Best Online Colleges in Florida 2024

Keiser University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Year:
In-State | $23,248
Out-of-State | $23,248 

Credits to Graduate: 120

Earn your degree from an online college that prioritizes hands-on learning and flexible scheduling. At Keiser University, a private institution based in Fort Lauderdale, you gain career-focused experience. Employers also evaluate the curriculum, which incorporates practical and real-world skills.

Choose from online associate programs, bachelor’s degrees, or graduate programs at Keiser. You can major in business, engineering, criminal justice, or nursing. The interdisciplinary studies major offers a customizable degree plan to maximize transfer credits.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$20,800
Out-of-state
$20,800
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$29,632
Out-of-state
$29,632
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
19,861
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

Florida College Tuition

College tuition runs far cheaper in Florida than the national average. Undergraduates attending public four-year colleges in Florida in 2021-2022 paid $4,613 for tuition and fees, about $5,000 less than the national average.

Private college students in Florida also pay less, spending an average of $29,605 in tuition and fees, while the national average for private college tuition was $34,041 in 2021-2022.

Online colleges in Florida may offer a more affordable education since you don't need to pay for transportation and on-campus housing fees, though online learners sometimes need to pay technology fees not charged to on-campus students.

In addition, online tuition often costs less than studying on campus. For instance, in-state undergrads at the University of Florida pay $6,380 per year, while in-state undergrads at UF Online pay $3,876 per year. In this case, attending the University of Florida Online will save you nearly 50% in tuition.

Tuition for 10 Popular Florida Colleges 2022-23
University In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition
Everglades University $20,000 $20,000
Florida Atlantic University $4,879 $17,324
Florida Institute of Technology Online $12,240 $12,240
Florida State University $5,656 $18,786
Nova Southeastern University $36,300 $36,300
The University of West Florida $6,360 $19,241
University of Central Florida $6,368 $22,467
University of Florida Online $3,876 $16,579
University of Miami $57,194 $57,194
University of South Florida $6,410 $17,324
Source: NCES

Why Study Online in Florida?

Online learning offers many benefits beyond convenience, affordability, and flexibility. Here are five reasons you should consider online universities in Florida.

1. Study at Your Own Pace

Online learning blends independent study with live or prerecorded lectures, discussions, and virtual assistance. As an online learner, you may work primarily asynchronously, meeting deadlines each week, or attend live classes, where you can interact with instructors and classmates.

2. Lower Cost of Living

Florida offers a moderate cost of living, with a cost-of-living index of 98.8%. The cost-of-living index measures the cost of housing, food, healthcare, and other basic expenses in a state compared to the national average. Florida has the 31st lowest cost of living.

3. More Diverse Classrooms

Many Florida colleges accept online learners from across state lines or even internationally, which allows you to make connections across the nation and world. Online programs attract a diverse selection of students to learn with and from.

4. Flexible and Convenient Format

You can earn your degree online without traveling to campus or attend a hybrid program that incorporates in-person learning. Students can choose classes that work around their work schedule and family life.

5. Growing Job Market

Florida saw a 2.6% job growth rate from July 2022-2023, compared to 1.9% nationally, according to the Florida governor's office. In fact, the private sector in Florida added 42,800 jobs in July 2023. Students attending college in Florida will graduate into a healthy job market.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Florida

What is the easiest online college to get into in Florida?

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The Florida Institute of Technology Online in Melbourne, Florida, is one of the easiest online colleges to get into in the Sunshine State. The college admitted 92% of applicants in the fall of 2022.

On the other end of the spectrum, the University of Miami, which admitted 19% of the 49,169 applicants in the fall of 2022, has one of the most selective admission processes in Florida, according to NCES. UM offers 10 online master's and doctoral programs and 12 certificates.

Is it hard to get into the University of Florida Online?

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The University of Florida Online is easier to get into than the University of Florida main campus. In fall 2022, the University of Florida received 64,473 applications and accepted 23%. Compare that to UF Online, which in fall 2022 got 1,499 applications and admitted 65%.

You can apply to UF's main campus as a first-year, transfer, graduate, or professional student. Transfer students to the main campus need at least 60 college credits, while UF Online accepts lower-division transfer students with only 12 credits.

Is online college free in Florida?

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No, an online degree is not free in Florida. That said, you can find non-credit online courses at institutions such as South Florida State College. Florida students may also apply for fee waivers or exemptions, which provide discounts or an entirely free education. Students from foster care or those who meet financial need requirements may apply.

What is the fastest degree to get online?

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You can find accelerated degrees in a variety of subjects: art, business management, English, and computer science. Many colleges allow online learners to complete traditional degrees faster than average timelines. Shortened semesters may allow students to take more classes per academic year, and generous transfer policies allow you to graduate quicker.

For instance, Everglades University offers a bachelor's in business administration that you can complete in three and a half years instead of the traditional four years.

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.

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