Public Universities in Florida: A Complete List

Top public universities in Florida produce groundbreaking research, offer unique programs, and help students succeed.
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Danika Miller
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Danika Miller is a senior writer at BestColleges and Accredited Schools Online. Her writing has also appeared in Grad School Hub, Best Value Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and Her Campus. Her financial expertise has been featured in The Simple ...
Updated on August 23, 2023
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Hannah Muniz is a senior editor with BestColleges, specializing in college planning, test prep, student life, and sponsored content. She previously worked as a freelance writer, composing articles on the SAT/ACT, higher education, language learning, ...
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.

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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).

1. University of Florida

  • 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.

2. Florida State University

  • 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.

3. University of South Florida

  • 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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4. Florida International University

  • 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.

5. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $5,785 (in-state) | $17,725 (out-of-state)
  • Acceptance Rate: 33%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 9,000

Based in Tallahassee, FAMU is an HBCU where an impressive 97% of all undergrads receive grant or scholarship aid. The university also prides itself on its innovative research and STEAM programs.

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.

Public Colleges in Florida
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
Source: NCES

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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.

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

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. 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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