Public Universities in Florida: A Complete List
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Florida public universities are world renowned for their unique research programs and expertise in marine science and the aerospace industry.
The coastal state may also appeal to you if you enjoy sunshine, surfing, and wildlife. From Walt Disney World to Daytona Beach to Everglades National Park, there's plenty to keep college students busy in Florida.
To help you search for a Florida school, we've compiled a list of all public colleges in Florida and highlighted a few of the most popular.
5 Popular Public Colleges in Florida
Below, we spotlight five of the most popular and prestigious Florida public universities. We chose these schools based on factors like overall reputation, academic quality, and number of applicants.
All school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $6,381 (in-state) | $28,659 (out-of-state)
- Acceptance Rate: 23%
- Total Student Enrollment: 55,781
Based in Gainesville, UF boasts a lush campus with several lakes, creeks, and ponds. The university is also home to the Florida Bat Conservancy and the largest collection of moths and butterflies.
The Independent Florida Alligator, UF's daily student newspaper, is one of the largest student-run papers in the U.S.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $5,656 (in-state) | $18,786 (out-of-state)
- Acceptance Rate: 25%
- Total Student Enrollment: 45,130
Tallahassee is home to FSU, the oldest university in Florida. Just over 80% of FSU students hail from Florida.
FSU is also one of the only universities to have a collegiate circus program. The FSU Flying High Circus performs throughout the year in the campus circus tent. Here, students can audition for circus acts or work on the production side.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $6,410 (in-state) | $17,324 (out-of-state)
- Acceptance Rate: 44%
- Total Student Enrollment: 49,708
USF ranks highly for its industrial and organizational psychology program. The university's most popular majors relate to the health industry — public health, health services, biomedical sciences, and nursing.
USF hosts a Bull Market every Wednesday, where vendors and student organizations sell goods, give out free swag, promote their events, and raise money.
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- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $6,565 (in-state) | $18,963 (out-of-state)
- Acceptance Rate: 64%
- Total Student Enrollment: 56,664
FIU has a lot to be proud of: Its College of Law has the highest bar pass rates in the state, and its College of Medicine is the most diverse public medical school in the country. What's more, FIU's Aquarius Reef Base is the only underwater research lab in the world.
If you're interested in an international career, consider FIU's School of International and Public Affairs, which has a senior diplomat in residence and offers a Peace Corps prep program.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $5,785 (in-state) | $17,725 (out-of-state)
- Acceptance Rate: 33%
- Total Student Enrollment: 9,000
FAMU's College of Agriculture features a variety of unique majors like agribusiness, animal science industry, food science, agronomy, entomology, and veterinary technology. Its agriculture department also produces research in sustainability and recycling.
List of All Public Universities in Florida
Here is a complete list of all four-year nonprofit public 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 undergraduates were not included in this list.
|School||Total Student Enrollment||Avg. Annual Net Price||Acceptance Rate||Number of Applicants|
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||9,000||$11,583||33%||12,372|
|Florida Atlantic University||30,155||$9,711||81%||24,268|
|Florida Gulf Coast University||15,909||$10,834||74%||15,657|
|Florida International University||56,664||$9,881||64%||17,343|
|Florida Polytechnic University||1,563||$12,373||56%||2,779|
|Florida State University||45,130||$14,003||25%||78,088|
|New College of Florida||659||$10,496||75%||1,830|
|University of Central Florida||70,310||$13,108||41%||54,977|
|University of Florida||55,781||$11,740||23%||64,473|
|University of Florida Online||5,168||$10,791||65%||1,499|
|University of North Florida||16,594||$11,338||71%||19,744|
|University of South Florida||49,708||$11,004||44%||65,568|
|University of West Florida||13,288||$8,609||48%||9,113|
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How Much Is Public College in Florida?
Florida public college tuition for in-state students is half the price of the national average, according to NCES. In 2020-2021, the average tuition cost for in-state students in Florida was $4,541, while the national average was $9,375.
For out-of-state students, the average public tuition cost in Florida was $18,322 in 2021. That's quite a bit cheaper than the national out-of-state average tuition rate of $27,091.
|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|
5 Reasons to Go to College in Florida
The Sunshine State attracts college students from all over the world with its natural landscapes, unique industries, and relatively low cost of living.
1. Nature and Weather
Florida's natural landscapes, beaches, and lush parks are big contributors to student life. Year-round spring break weather is also a major plus. If you like the idea of palm trees in your backyard and crocodiles as the local pest, Florida might just be for you.
2. Low Cost of Living
While not the cheapest state to live in, Florida is more affordable than many other popular places to attend college. Many college towns like Tampa and Tallahassee have a lower cost of living than the national average.
3. Proximity to the Ocean and Marine Life
Not only is the coastal location ideal for recreation, but it's also great for students looking to study in these areas. Florida public universities specialize in the research and study of marine life, biology, and oceanography.
4. Entertainment and Activities
Florida is home to world-class amusement parks, bustling cities, national parks, and stunning beaches. There are plenty of ways to stay busy and live an active social life in Florida, regardless of your interests.
5. Job Market and Industries
Several industries thrive in Florida and provide many job opportunities for young professionals. Some of the biggest industries in Florida include space, tech, hospitality, tourism, energy, science, and sustainability.
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges in Florida
How many public colleges are in Florida?
There are 13 four-year nonprofit public universities in Florida. When including small technical and community colleges, there are nearly 50 public colleges in Florida. Students have a wide variety to choose from when considering Florida public colleges.
What is the No. 1 public college in Florida?
The University of Florida is consistently ranked as the best public university in Florida — and it also ranks highly nationwide. UF students boast high success rates post-graduation, and the school has an impressive 90% graduation rate.
UF is primarily known for its research and innovation. For example, in 1965, scientists at UF's College of Medicine formulated Gatorade!
What is the most affordable public college in Florida?
The University of West Florida has the lowest average annual net price in Florida at $8,609, according to NCES data. This makes it the cheapest public college in the state.
What is the hardest public college to get into in Florida?
The University of Florida has the lowest acceptance rate of all public colleges in Florida. Just 23% of 64,473 undergraduate applicants were accepted in 2022.
The number of UF applicants each fall is around double the total number of undergraduates enrolled.