Online Colleges in Florida 2021

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Florida boasts many affordable online colleges and universities. Students living in Florida for more than 12 months may qualify for in-state tuition, costing just a fraction of out-of-state tuition. Online and hybrid degree programs eliminate or reduce commuting and residency expenses. Many distance learners stave off some debt by working while in school.

Florida’s unusually large economy makes this state a great place to study. The best colleges in Florida often create partnerships with local organizations and require students to complete internships at real-world work sites. These experiences facilitate hands-on learning, professional networking, and sometimes even employment offers.

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Accredited Online College Programs

 
 

Selecting an online college in Florida is an important decision, requiring a lengthy research process. To make the decision easier, we formed these rankings by considering factors like affordability, quality, and accessibility. The following guide highlights these and other notable features of Florida’s best online colleges.

See Our Rankings Methodology

Top 10 Online Colleges in Florida

FAQ


  • Do online credits cost more or less in Florida?

    Affordable Florida online colleges typically charge less per credit than on-campus colleges.


  • What is the most affordable college in Florida?

    A public research university located in Gainesville, the University of Florida scores the highest in our affordable college rankings.


  • How long do you have to live in Florida to get in-state tuition?

    If a student or student’s parent lives in Florida for 12 months, the student may qualify for residency status and in-state tuition at Florida online colleges.


Best Online Colleges in Florida 2021



  1. The Baptist College of Florida
    Location

    Graceville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1943, The Baptist College of Florida is a small private institution that serves approximately 450 students in more than 25 programs. BCF's 20 online bachelor's degrees include programs in business leadership, ministry studies, and missions. Some degrees offer concentration options, whereas others allow for customization through electives. Each online degree requires 120 credits.

    Most of BCF's online classes are asynchronous, though some synchronous sessions may be required. Some programs may feature onsite requirements. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma and must submit ACT or SAT scores. Applicants must also be active participants in a Christian church. Distance learners may need to participate in an online orientation before they start their program.

  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Florida International University serves more than 54,000 students across nearly 200 programs. FIU also operates one of the largest online learning platforms in the country, serving more than 40,000 online learners and offering more than 100 programs, including over 40 online bachelor's degrees. FIU's online bachelor's degrees include programs in crime science, human resource management, and international relations.

    FIU delivers bachelor's degree online coursework asynchronously and throughout the year. Programs usually start in the fall, spring, and summer. While learners can complete most programs entirely online, some may feature onsite requirements like clinical work. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They also need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students may receive credit for previous college coursework. Upon admission, all distance learners get paired with a success coach for support.

  3. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida serves more 50,000 students in over 180 programs. To better accommodate working professionals, USF developed online courses and programs, including six online bachelor's degrees. Students can enroll in information studies, public health, and RN-to-BSN online programs. Some programs may feature practicum components that require on-campus or clinical visits.

    USF delivers most coursework asynchronously, although some courses include synchronous elements. Programs usually start twice each year, with classes running through the fall, spring, and summer. Though admission requirements vary by program, applicants typically need at least 60 undergraduate credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants with credit from USF may qualify with a lower GPA. Transfer applicants with more than 60 credits usually need a minimum GPA of 2.5 for admission and transfer credit.

  4. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established in 1964, Florida Atlantic University offers students access to more than 170 degrees, including a variety of online programs. The school offers more than 10 online bachelor's degrees, including programs in public safety administration, marketing, and hospitality and tourism management. Additionally, some programs offer concentrations. Most FAU degrees require 120 credits.

    FAU delivers most online coursework asynchronously. Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer, and classes run throughout 12-week sessions each semester. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They also need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.5 for admission and transfer credits. Online students can access the FAU library, career services, and academic support resources.

  5. University of Florida-Online
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Serving more than 35,000 students across more than 200 research and educational centers, the University of Florida is one of the largest schools in the Sunshine State. UF offers more than 200 online programs, including more than 20 online bachelor's degrees in fields like telecommunication, sport management, and tourism and recreation management. UF also offers concentration options and minors for learners looking to further specialize their degree.

    UF delivers most online coursework asynchronously. Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer. Online students can customize their course loads, taking as few as 3-6 credits or as many as 15-18 credits each semester. For admission, applicants need a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or the GED equivalent. They may also need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Competitive transfer applicants typically have more than 60 transfer credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

  6. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Central Florida was founded in 1963 and now offers more than 220 programs across 13 colleges. UCF introduced online learning in the late 1990s and now offers more than 90 programs. The university offers online bachelor's degrees in fields like health services administration, social sciences, and senior living management. Most programs require 120 credits.

    Most of UCF's online courses are asynchronous. The university offers multiple start dates, and courses run throughout the year. Most of UCF's online programs award completion degrees, requiring applicants to already have some college credits. For admission, applicants typically need a minimum GPA of 2.0. UCF's distance learners pay a lower tuition rate than their on-campus counterparts.

  7. St Petersburg College
    Location

    Clearwater, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1927, St. Petersburg College was Florida's first two-year college and the first to offer bachelor's degrees. SPC offers 20 online bachelor's degrees, including programs in elementary education, sustainability management, and management and organizational leadership. Some programs also offer concentration options.

    Online courses at SPC are mostly asynchronous, though some synchronous sessions may be required. Online courses last eight, 12, or 16 weeks. Admission requirements vary, but many programs require applicants to hold a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Some programs may feature additional requirements, such as work experience or a higher GPA. Transfer applicants receive credit on a case-by-case basis.

  8. University of North Florida
    Location

    Jacksonville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Established in 1965, the University of North Florida serves nearly 15,000 undergraduate students. Many of these students study online, pursuing certificates, master's degrees, or an online bachelor's degree. UNF offers an accelerated, 30-credit online RN-to-BSN program that includes coursework in health assessment, perspectives in chronicity, and professional nursing transition.

    The RN-to-BSN program offers six start dates per year in the fall, spring, and summer. Each online course lasts eight weeks. While learners can study part time, full-time students usually graduate within one year. Most of UNF's online courses are asynchronous, but some scheduled sessions may be required. For admission, applicants need at least 60 undergraduate credits or an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.8. They also need to complete all nursing prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

  9. Jacksonville University
    Location

    Jacksonville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Jacksonville University was founded in 1934 and offers more than 100 majors. To make programs more accessible, JU introduced a variety of online programs, including an online bachelor's degree in nursing. In the 30-credit RN-to-BSN program, learners with RN licenses can complete a bachelor's degree within 10 months. Required courses include acute care concepts, evidence-based nursing, and application of nursing concepts. The program offers six start dates per year, and learners can enroll part time or full time.

    JU delivers most online coursework asynchronously throughout eight-week sessions. Students can complete in-person clinical requirements in their own communities. For admission, applicants need a nursing degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5, plus a valid nursing license. Applicants receive 30 transfer credits for their license and must complete 90 additional credits for the bachelor's degree.

  10. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    In 1972, eight years after its founding, Nova Southeastern University introduced its first offsite programs. Over the years, the school expanded its distance-learning programs to include online courses and degrees, including online bachelor's degrees. NSU offers online bachelor's programs in human services administration, health services, and psychology.

    Online classes at NSU are both synchronous and asynchronous, and some programs may feature on-campus or in-person requirements. Courses run throughout the fall, winter, and summer semesters. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They also need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Some programs may include additional requirements, including a higher GPA or college credits. Transfer applicants may receive credit for previous coursework.

What Choose Florida for Online Higher Education?

Florida’s online degree programs often feature flexible options for attendance, participation, and program pacing. This flexibility accommodates busy schedules, allowing Florida students to continue working while pursuing their degrees.

Prospective students seeking careers in Florida may benefit from online degree programs relevant to the state’s largest industries: manufacturing, homeland security, and life sciences. Other top Florida industries include aerospace and information technology. Earning bachelor’s degrees in fields such as computer science, biochemistry, and engineering can help graduates secure careers in these industries.

Common Online Bachelor’s Programs in Florida



The best colleges in Florida offer diverse majors, including biochemistry, computer science, education, and engineering. Studying the subjects below can prepare students for the growing Florida careers described further down this page.

Biochemistry degrees often lead to lab, clinical, or research careers in diverse industries such as pharmaceutics, healthcare, or education. Biochemistry programs include coursework on biological systems, biophysical chemistry, and organic chemistry. Course topics include states of matter, equilibrium theory, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics.

Degrees in this promising field support high-paying, high-growth computer science and IT jobs. Computer science bachelor’s programs include courses on computer programming, data analysis, information technology management, and software engineering. Some programs also offer courses in artificial intelligence, 3-D animation, and algorithms.

Bachelor’s in education graduates usually pursue teaching or education administration careers. These degree programs often allow enrollees to focus their degree based on their intended student population. Popular specializations include career and technical education, English as a second language, special education, and physical education. Many bachelor’s in education programs include intensive practicum experiences qualifying enrollees for state teaching certification.

Florida’s online nursing bachelor’s programs typically serve aspiring registered nurses seeking Florida licensure. Core curricula typically include anatomy, microbiology, patient care, and nursing research. Nursing bachelor’s programs often provide specialization options such as obstetrics and gynecology, gerontology, cardiology, or surgical nursing.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

Cost of Attending an Online College in Florida



Florida online colleges vary widely in price, so consider your options carefully when choosing where to apply. The best colleges in Florida often cost more, but high-quality schools may offer more financial aid or better job prospects. However, many Florida schools boast both high quality and affordability.

Florida students can save money by attending public, in-state schools. As the table below indicates, Florida schools charge in-state students a fraction of what non-residents pay. Similarly, private four-year colleges prove five times more expensive than public four-year colleges.

Students often save money by pursuing degrees online rather than on-campus, eliminating commuting and on-campus housing costs. Many online programs waive university fees for distance learners and charge less per credit than on-campus programs.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Florida
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $4,443 $26,317 $2,506
Out-of-State $18,456 N/A $9,111

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Florida



Degrees from Florida online colleges support many lucrative and growing careers in the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data in the table below, the following five advanced careers feature impressive median annual salaries ranging from about $126,000-$146,000. BLS job outlook data suggests that computer and information systems managers and financial managers enjoy particularly promising career growth projections.


  • Petroleum Engineers

    Sometimes called drilling, production, or reservoir engineers, petroleum engineers work on oil and gas extraction. Petroleum engineers create plans, methods, and equipment for onshore or offshore extraction. These professionals identify the best extraction methods based on the natural environment surrounding the oil or gas site.


  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

    Also known as IT managers, CIS managers oversee computer and information technology systems, employees, and activities. These professionals identify IT needs, establish goals, manage IT staff, and install and maintain computer systems. CIS managers usually hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a technology-related field.


  • Financial Managers

    These professionals oversee their organizations’ or departments’ financial performance. Common duties include financial goal-setting, investment decision-making, and financial reporting. Financial managers supervise finance and budgeting staff, analyze market trends, ensure legal compliance, and advise executives. Financial managers typically hold at least a bachelor’s in finance or business.


  • Sales Manager

    These managers analyze information, set sales goals, and train and supervise sales teams. Additional duties include customer complaint resolution, budgeting, and sales projection. Sales managers often collaborate with marketing, research, and design departments.


  • Marketing Managers

    Sometimes called advertising or promotions managers, marketing managers help their companies sell products or services. Often cooperating with sales, design, and finance departments, marketing managers create programs designed to attract consumers. Marketing managers negotiate contracts, plan advertising campaigns, analyze market trends, and meet with clients.


Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028)
Petroleum Engineers $149,750 2.4%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $138,400 11.3%
Financial Managers $131,000 16%
Sales Managers $125,810 5.1%
Marketing Managers $124,600 8.1%

Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral

Florida Scholarships and Grants

Many nonprofit organizations, schools, governments, and private donors offer scholarships for college students. These funders often award scholarships to applicants demonstrating academic merit, underrepresented identities, or interest in particular fields. Scholarship amounts vary and do not require repayment. The scholarships below can support qualifying students attending Florida online colleges.

Bank of America Minority Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Graduating minority Palm Beach County high school seniors planning to major in business or finance may apply. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and fill out a common application demonstrating 2.5 minimum GPAs.
Amount: Unspecified

Minority Teacher Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Minority residents of Florida entering or enrolled in state-approved teacher education programs at participating schools may apply. This scholarship supports college juniors, seniors, or graduate students lacking an education-related bachelor’s degree and boasting at least 60 credits or an associate in arts degree. Only graduate students working toward initial teacher certification may apply.
Amount: $4,000 annually

Women’s Empowerment Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Female Florida residents exhibiting financial need may qualify. High school applicants need 2.5-3.5 GPAs. Recipients attend two-year or public four-year postsecondary institutions. Applicants complete a common application and the FAFSA.
Amount: Unspecified

Harry and Bertha Bronstein Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Palm Beach or Martin county high school students with 2.5 minimum GPAs may apply. Minority students or learners with disabilities receive preference. Applicants submit financial information and a Florida scholarship common application.
Amount: Unspecified

Florida Farmworker Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: This need-based merit scholarship program supports up to 50 Florida-resident farmworkers or their children pursuing full-time undergraduate degrees or certificates at public schools. Eligible candidates maintain 3.5 minimum GPAs in high school coursework, complete 30 service hours, and boast a 90% attendance rate.
Amount: Up to total tuition and fees

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Advertisement AffordableCollegesOnline.org 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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