Private Colleges in Florida: A Complete List

Private colleges in Florida boast beautiful campuses, research investment, affordability, and a focus on aerospace and marine science.
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Updated on September 1, 2023
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Each year, students from all over the world head to the Sunshine State for college, often attracted by Florida's promise of beachside studying, unique research facilities, and fairly affordable tuition.

Private universities in Florida, such as the University of Miami and Florida Tech, can offer a prestigious education and ample employment opportunities.

We've compiled a list of all private colleges in Florida and spotlighted five popular schools to help you in your search.

5 Popular Private Colleges in Florida

If you're considering attending school in Florida, check out our spotlight on five popular private colleges in Florida below.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). We chose schools based on factors like number of applicants, academic rigor, and overall prestige.

1. University of Miami

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $57,194
  • Acceptance Rate: 19%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 49,169

At UM, 80% of students gain work experience. In fact, work experience opportunities likely helped 98% of 2022 UM graduates get employed or attend graduate school within six months of graduating.

You can participate in a dual-degree program to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree. Dual-degree programs are available through UM's College of Arts and Sciences; College of Engineering; Miami Herbert Business School; Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science; School of Law; and Miller School of Medicine.

2. Nova Southeastern University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $36,300
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 20,898

In addition to being the largest private Hispanic-serving institution in the U.S., NSU is Florida's biggest private research university and houses the state's only college of optometry.

NSU also offers students over $220 million in scholarships and sponsors over 250 research projects. Students often conduct research in areas like anticancer therapies, chronic fatigue syndrome, coral reef restoration, stem cells, and shark DNA forensics.

3. University of Tampa

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $32,218
  • Acceptance Rate: 26%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 10,794

At UT, 100% of undergrads received grants or scholarship aid in 2022. Most students here major in finance, marketing, international business, biology, nursing, or psychology.

UT has invested around $800 million in construction for its stunning riverfront campus. The university's main academic and administrative building, Plant Hall, is also a national historical landmark. Originally built in the 1880s as an opulent hotel, the building now doubles as a museum and university facility.

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4. Florida Institute of Technology

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $43,670
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 7,830

Located in Melbourne, a city known as Florida's Space Coast, Florida Tech has developed a reputation for its premier aeronautics program. The school has graduated many successful Space Shuttle astronauts.

Through Florida Tech's College of Aeronautics, you can major in aeronautical science, air traffic control, aviation management, aviation meteorology, flight operations and dispatch, or aviation human factors and safety. Within each major, you can choose from flight and non-flight programs.

5. Rollins College

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $56,110
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 3,057

Rollins College is located in Winter Park, an Orlando suburb not too far from Walt Disney World. The 80-acre campus sits on a lake and boasts idyllic Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and an outdoor pool near the dorms.

One of Rollins' most beloved traditions is Fox Day. One day each spring, the Rollins fox statue appears on the campus lawn. Classes are immediately canceled for the day, and there's a pancake breakfast and picnic.

List of All Private Colleges in Florida

Here is a complete list of all four-year nonprofit private universities in Florida. Use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

All data comes from NCES. Schools with fewer than 500 undergrads were not included in this list.

Private Colleges in Florida
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
AdventHealth University 1,667 $27,329 34% 694
Ana G. Mendez University 5,150 $17,726 100% N/A
Ave Maria University 1,302 $21,078 44% 3,404
Barry University 7,337 $20,207 60% 13,225
Beacon College 460 $43,474 52% 416
Bethune-Cookman University 2,624 $15,769 85% 12,818
Eckerd College 2,036 $41,857 65% 5,549
Edward Waters University 2,871 $13,649 84% 8,988
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 9,593 $38,983 65% 9,875
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide 12,720 $17,002 58% 1,668
Everglades University 2,649 $28,778 70% 779
Flagler College 2,652 $26,547 81% 5,416
Florida Institute of Technology 7,830 $30,752 64% 13,941
Florida Institute of Technology Online 1,461 $24,115 92% 113
Florida Memorial University 1,137 $16,359 70% 11,931
Florida Southern College 3,386 $27,324 57% 11,120
Jacksonville University 3,995 $26,943 58% 9,119
Lynn University 3,385 $38,728 80% 7,843
Nova Southeastern University 20,898 $29,589 76% 16,789
Palm Beach Atlantic University 3,687 $30,276 95% 6,220
Ringling College of Art and Design 1,663 $55,752 65% 2,462
Rollins College 3,057 $35,317 50% 9,022
Saint Leo University 9,523 $20,390 80% 6,928
Southeastern University 9,365 $27,910 61% 2,182
St. Thomas University 5,921 $28,654 65% 7,520
Stetson University 4,257 $25,756 94% 7,344
University of Miami 19,096 $36,467 19% 49,169
University of Tampa 10,794 $34,653 26% 40,286
Warner University 907 $20,431 55% 1,372
Webber International University 812 $27,995 49% 2,665
Source: NCES

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What Is the Cost of College in Florida?

Average tuition costs in Florida are quite a bit cheaper than the national average. For in-state public universities, the average tuition cost in Florida was $4,541 in 2021, according to NCES. That's about $5,000 cheaper than the national average.

For out-of-state students, the average tuition cost in Florida is $18,322, nearly $10,000 cheaper than the U.S. average.

Private college tuition is significantly more expensive, especially compared to public tuition for in-state students. The average private college tuition in Florida is $28,860.

Cost of College in Florida 2020-2021
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-Year (In-State) $4,541
Public 4-Year (Out-of-State) $18,322
Private 4-Year $28,860
Public 2-Year (In-State) $2,506
Public 2-Year (Out-of-State) $9,111
Source: NCES

Fastest-Growing Jobs in Florida

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) projects impressive job growth for 10 careers in Florida. Demand for nurse practitioners is projected to grow the most at a rate of 50% through 2030.

Other fast-growing healthcare positions include physician assistant (32%), physical therapy assistant (27%), veterinary technician (25%), and respiratory therapist (24%).

Florida is also projected to see job growth for information security analysts (33%), gaming dealers (27%), and healthcare instructors (26%).

10 Fastest-Growing Jobs in Florida 2022-2030
Job Projected Growth Median Hourly Wage
Nurse Practitioners 50% $48.61
Information Security Analysts 33% $48.41
Physician Assistants 32% $48.88
Physical Therapist Assistants 27% $29.94
Gaming Dealers 27% $12.28
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary 26% $49.13
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary 25% $34.14
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians 25% $17.56
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers 25% $13.79
Respiratory Therapists 24% $29.10
Source: Florida DEO

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges in Florida

How many private colleges are in Florida?

There are fewer than 40 four-year nonprofit private colleges in Florida. If you're interested in attending a Florida private college, there are plenty of options to choose from across the state, including the University of Miami, Florida Tech, and the University of Tampa.

You can narrow your search by size, price, program options, or location.

What is the No. 1 private college in Florida?

The University of Miami consistently ranks as the top private university in Florida. The school has an R1 Carnegie Classification for high research activity. It was also invited to be part of the Association of American Universities, an organization of research universities founded by Ivy League-level colleges.

UM is known for its elite music, medicine, and business programs.

What is the most affordable private college in Florida?

According to NCES, Edward Waters University is the most affordable private college in Florida, with an average annual net price of $13,649. EWU is a small HBCU based in Jacksonville.

What is the hardest college to get into in Florida?

The University of Miami is the hardest college to get into in Florida. In 2022, UM reported a 19% acceptance rate and received nearly 50,000 undergraduate applications. The school's total undergraduate population is just over 12,000 students. 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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