Online Colleges in Florida

Updated on: 06/01/2020
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College graduates in Florida can expect ample job opportunities in both the short-term and long-term. Strategy Labs projects that, by 2020, 65% of jobs in the state will require postsecondary education. In addition, according to College Measures some of the state's fastest-growing industries, including educational services, nursing, and management, require a college education. This upward trend in employment for college-educated workers makes Florida a great place for in-state and out-of-state students to pursue an online degree.

This guide covers the details of earning online degrees in Florida, including transfer credits, financial aid, and enrollment dates, and ranks the top affordable online schools in Florida.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Florida 2020

Check out Florida's top 10 most affordable accredited online colleges. Want to see more? See the full list below.

  1. The Baptist College of Florida
  2. Florida International University
  3. University of South Florida
  4. Florida Atlantic University
  5. University of Florida-Online
  6. Stetson University
  7. University of Central Florida
  8. St Petersburg College
  9. University of North Florida
  10. Jacksonville University

Online Colleges in Florida 2020

Best Online Colleges
The list below features Florida's best and cheapest online schools. We evaluated the schools for academic quality based on factors including number of online programs, student-teacher ratio, and graduation rate. We judged each school's affordability based on figures including average in-state tuition, percentage of students receiving institutional grants and scholarships, and average financial aid package. The list below includes online schools in Florida that offer students the most value for their money
Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
1 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL
$9,252 Tuition
62% Graduation Rate

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 Miami, FL
$9,180 Tuition
58% Graduation Rate

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 Tampa, FL
$10,460 Tuition
73% Graduation Rate

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 Boca Raton, FL
$9,486 Tuition
52% Graduation Rate

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 Gainesville, FL
$10,287 Tuition
54% Graduation Rate

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 Stetson University DeLand, FL
$25,721 Tuition
61% Graduation Rate

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 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
$13,016 Tuition
73% Graduation Rate

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 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
$3,477 Tuition
32% Graduation Rate

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 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
$10,809 Tuition
59% Graduation Rate

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 Jacksonville University Jacksonville, FL
$21,820 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate

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.

11 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
$25,867 Tuition
50% Graduation Rate

The University of West Florida first opened in 1967 and now offers students access to more than 90 programs. UWF offers six online bachelor's degrees, including programs in community education, maritime studies, and instructional design and technology. Bachelor's degrees at UWF require 120 credits, and most of these programs allow students to complete 60 credits of upper-level courses online. Out-of-state online learners may qualify for tuition discounts.

UWF delivers most online coursework asynchronously. Though most programs run entirely online, some onsite requirements, such as clinical work, may be required. Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer, and learners can complete their degrees within two years. For admission, applicants often need up to 60 undergraduate credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

12 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
$9,091 Tuition
43% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1947, Florida Gateway College now serves more than 5,000 students and offers programs in eight fields. FGC offers online certificates, online associate degrees, and three online bachelor's degrees in early childhood education, nursing, and water resources management.

FGC delivers most online coursework asynchronously, though most programs feature clinical requirements that students must attend clinical sites to complete. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They may also need to submit ACT or SAT scores or complete a placement test. Some programs require applicants to meet other requirements, like an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or licensure. Out-of-state online learners pay a reduced tuition compared to on-campus learners.

13 Florida Gateway College Lake City, FL
$3,599 Tuition
51% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is the oldest Catholic university in the state. Saint Leo offers approximately 150 programs, including 25 online bachelor's degrees in fields like software engineering, religion, and human resource management. Most online programs at Saint Leo require 120 credits.

All of Saint Leo's online courses are asynchronous. Saint Leo offers six online start dates per year, and each online course lasts eight weeks. Depending on the program, some on-campus or onsite clinical requirements may be required. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Some applicants may need to submit ACT or SAT scores or have a specific number of undergraduate credits.

14 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
$20,036 Tuition
51% Graduation Rate

Florida State University was founded in 1851 and is the oldest continuous site of higher education in the Sunshine State. FSU's distance learners can now access five online bachelor's degrees in criminology, computer science, and public safety and security.

FSU's online programs offer both synchronous and asynchronous learning. While most programs require 120 credits, students may need to complete lower-level credits prior to declaring their major. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma, plus ACT or SAT scores. Some applicants need an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0. To graduate, students may need to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

15 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
$13,318 Tuition
83% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1968, Palm Beach Atlantic University serves more than 3,500 students in over 50 majors. To improve access and better accommodate its students, PBA expanded its programs to include online learning. Students can access five online bachelor's degrees, including programs in ministry, community psychology, and Christian studies. Learners can complete most of each degree entirely online, but some programs may feature onsite requirements like a practicum.

PBA delivers online coursework both synchronously and asynchronously in eight-week sessions. Most programs require 120 credits, and students can enroll in the spring or fall. For admission, most applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Some prospective students may need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.0.

16 Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL
$24,557 Tuition
53% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1958, St. Johns River State College has offered bachelor's degrees to its students since 2011. SJR State then began to offer online programs at various levels, including two online bachelor's degrees in organizational management and nursing. While these degrees require 120 credits in total, learners can earn 30-60 credits online at SJR State.

SJR State's online classes often combine asynchronous and synchronous delivery. Programs start in the fall and spring, and students can typically graduate within two years. Nursing students must attend on-campus courses to complete their capstone. Furthermore, clinicals and practicums may require onsite visits, though distance learners can usually complete those locally. For admission, applicants need an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Nursing applicants also need a valid nursing license.

17 Saint Johns River State College Palatka, FL
$5,183 Tuition
46% Graduation Rate

Since its founding in 1940, Barry University has opened several campuses and learning locations throughout Florida. Barry also introduced online learning to make its programs more convenient and accessible. At Barry, learners can pursue 20 online degrees, including online bachelor's degrees in emergency management, health services administration, and public administration. Transfer students can graduate within one year.

Barry delivers most online coursework asynchronously. Distance learners can choose from six annual start dates, and courses usually last seven weeks each. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma, plus two years of work experience. Transfer applicants can receive up to 90 transfer credits, including credits for experiential learning, testing, and licensure and certification.

18 Barry University Miami, FL
$19,293 Tuition
36% Graduation Rate

Offering just one degree when it opened in 1966, South Florida State College now offers more than 15 degrees, plus several certificates. SFSC introduced online learning to make its programs more accessible. SFSC students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in supervision and management. The program allows learners to build on previous undergraduate coursework and complete their degree in two years, taking courses in the spring and fall in consecutive years.

The online bachelor's degree requires 120 credits, though most incoming students have at least 60 transfer credits. The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously throughout eight-week sessions. For admission, applicants need an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Transfer applicants with more undergraduate credits may receive additional transfer credit.

19 South Florida State College Avon Park, FL
$5,873 Tuition
42% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1961, Saint Thomas University serves nearly 4,000 students. To better serve working professionals, STU offers more than 10 online degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in nursing. During the 30-credit RN-to-BSN, learners complete courses in healthcare system issues, leadership, and information, along with clinical requirements. Students usually complete clinical components in person at a local site.

Students in the program must complete 120 credits, with 60 credits available online. STU delivers online coursework asynchronously throughout accelerated eight-week sessions. Students choose from six annual start dates and can graduate within one year. For admission, applicants need a valid nursing license and a minimum GPA of 2.5. All online learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live.

20 St Thomas University Miami Gardens, FL
$19,476 Tuition
40% Graduation Rate

Established in 1960, Eastern Florida State College serves more than 20,000 learners annually across four campuses and online. EFSC offers four online bachelor's degrees, including programs in applied health sciences, organizational management, and computer information systems technology. While most courses take place online, some courses may require campus visits.

Online programs at EFSC allow learners to build on their previous undergraduate study and complete a bachelor's program in less than two years. Online programs usually offer three start dates and run through eight-week or 12-week sessions. Admission requirements vary by program. Most programs require an associate degree, for which students receive 60 credits.

21 Eastern Florida State College Cocoa, FL
$4,408 Tuition
47% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1965, Florida State College at Jacksonville now serves more than 50,000 students annually across four locations and online. FSCJ offers more than 15 online degrees, including nine online bachelor's degrees in fields like financial services, logistics, and public safety management. All bachelor's degrees require 120 credits, but FSCJ typically only offers upper-level and major courses online.

FSCJ delivers most online coursework asynchronously. The college's online programs offer three start dates a year. Some programs offer both part-time study and accelerated pathways that allow students to graduate in 20 months. Some courses, such as clinicals, require onsite attendance. For admission, most applicants need an associate degree or at least 60 undergraduate credits. To graduate, learners typically must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

22 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
$3,498 Tuition
38% Graduation Rate

Established in 1957, the College of Central Florida offers online students access to 10 certificates, five associate degrees, and an online bachelor's degree in nursing. The online RN-to-BSN program requires 120 credits, though students earn most of these credits through transfer credits and prerequisites. The 39-credit core program builds on prior education and experience and helps nurses advance their careers.

Programs start in the fall, spring, and summer, and the program includes both synchronous and asynchronous courses. For admission, applicants need an associate degree in nursing, along with a valid nursing license. Once accepted, online students enjoy access to academic support services and a variety of student organizations.

23 College of Central Florida Ocala, FL
$6,448 Tuition
37% Graduation Rate

Founded in 1957, Gulf Coast State College was the first public two-year college in the state. GCSC offers a variety of online certificates, associate degrees, and four online bachelor's degrees in information technology, nursing, health services administration, and entrepreneurship. Each of these degrees combines online courses with on-campus learning.

GCSC's online bachelor's degrees each require 120 credits. All applicants need an associate degree for admission, which covers approximately 60 of the required credits. Transfer applicants may receive additional transfer credits, and nursing students receive credit for their mandatory licensure. GCSC provides six start dates per year. Learners can graduate in three semesters. Capstone and clinical components usually require on-campus attendance.

24 Gulf Coast State College Panama City, FL
$3,128 Tuition
44% Graduation Rate

In 1960, Miami Dade College opened its doors to 1,400 students. Since then, the school has grown to enroll more than 90,000 students annually. MDC offers five online bachelor's degrees in fields like information systems technology, public safety management, and supply chain management. Each degree requires 120 credits. MDC offers upper-level courses online.

MDC delivers online coursework asynchronously throughout accelerated eight-week sessions. Most learners take two courses at time and can complete required courses in two years. For admission, most applicants need an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Some programs feature additional requirements, such as a higher GPA or a professional licensure. Certain program components, particularly clinicals and practicums, require onsite attendance.

25 Miami Dade College Miami, FL
$6,393 Tuition
35% Graduation Rate

Johnson University Florida offers 25 online programs, including certificates, graduate degrees, and five online bachelor's degrees. At Johnson University, online students can pursue bachelor's degrees in intercultural studies, ministry leadership, and business administration.

Most of the university's online degrees require 120 credits, with 30-40 credits dedicated to the major. The university delivers most online coursework asynchronously throughout eight-week sessions in three semesters. Some online courses last seven weeks. For admission, applicants typically need a high school diploma or a GED, plus ACT or SAT scores.



Why Choose Florida for Online Higher Education?

Florida colleges offer more than 200 fully online programs, which enroll about 160,000 students. The many online programs in Florida provide academic opportunities to underserved populations who have not enjoyed widespread access to education. Through online education, single parents and full-time professionals can earn a degree while fulfilling their responsibilities.

  • Number of programs offered completely online in Florida 205

  • Undergraduate students enrolled exclusively online in Florida 123,423

  • Graduate students enrolled exclusively online in Florida 36,549

  • Total international students enrolled exclusively online in Florida 1,500

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost of Attending an Online College in Florida

Overall, tuition tends to be more affordable for in-state students than for out-of-state students. However, many schools set different rates for online and on-campus students, and some institutions extend in-state rates to online learners, regardless of location. In addition, students in some neighboring states may qualify for reduced tuition rates through reciprocity agreements. Private colleges and universities charge the same rates to residents and nonresidents.

To qualify for in-state tuition, students must have lived in Florida for at least 12 months prior to the start of classes. According to the government data below, nonresidents pay more than triple the in-state tuition rate at public institutions.

In-state tuition
$4,435 – public, four-year institution
$2,552 – public, two-year institution
Out-of-state tuition:
$18,304 – public, four-year institution
$9,122 – public, two-year institution

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2017

Both in-state and out-of-state students in Florida pay significantly less than the national average tuition for two-year and four-year public institutions.

Tuition costs vary by school and program. Even online programs within the same university may cost different amounts. Typically, public two-year colleges charge the least, followed by public four-year universities and then private institutions.

Considering a Florida School as an Out-of-State Student

Depending on your academic interests and preferences, attending an out-of-state college may be an ideal option. However, out-of-state students should consider a few factors before choosing an online program in Florida. Some interstate agreements can significantly reduce tuition costs for students in nearby states. In addition, you should research state restrictions that would prohibit you from attending online universities in Florida.

Out-of-state undergraduate students studying exclusively online in Florida 21,569

Out-of-state graduate students studying exclusively online in Florida 13,111

TUITION DISCOUNTS

Four regional interstate compacts in the U.S. help institutions collaborate and promote high-quality education across state lines. Florida is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which also includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

SREB's Academic Common Market allows students in member states to pay in-state tuition rates at colleges in 15 participating states (all members except North Carolina). Students who want to pursue degrees that are not available at institutions in their state qualify for this program.

STATE AUTHORIZATIONS FOR ONLINE LEARNING

Florida joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2017. All participating SARA states follow the same national standards for regulating and approving distance education programs, making it easier for online colleges to enroll out-of-state learners. To receive SARA approval, Florida institutions undergo a voluntary application process. Nonresidents considering earning an online degree in Florida can choose from nearly 80 SARA-approved online colleges and universities.

Check with an admissions or financial officer

Tuition rates are ultimately program- and institution-based. Ask someone from a prospective program about what rates apply to you specifically as a potential member of a specific program.

One-Stop College Research Resources for Florida's Online Schools

This section answers some of the most common questions about online learning in Florida. The resources below can help students find an online program that fits their goals and lifestyle.

Do online credits cost more or less in Florida?

Online tuition structures vary widely between schools in Florida. Some institutions charge all undergraduates the same rate, while others charge different rates to online and on-campus learners. Additionally, many colleges in Florida charge the same tuition rate to all online students, regardless of residency. Some schools charge distance learners per credit, while others charge a flat rate each semester.

Saint Leo University charges on-campus undergraduates more than double per semester what online learners pay. However, online students at Miami Dade College pay a per-credit virtual learning fee

Students should research online colleges in Florida to determine which best match their budget and learning preferences. Students mainly considering public institutions can consult the State University System of Florida's list of public four-year universities. In addition, the Florida Department of Education maintains a list of institutions in the Florida College System.

Which Florida schools accept the most transfer credits?

Each school in Florida sets its own transfer policies, and some colleges accept more transfer credits than others. The University of Florida accepts transfer credits from courses where students earned at least a D and requires students to complete at least 25% of their credits through the university. At the University of Miami, transfer students from two-year colleges must complete 56 credits in residence, while those from four-year institutions must earn 45 credits at the school. Transfer policies vary widely, and some programs do not accept any transfer credits. Transfer students should carefully research the policies of each prospective school.

Statewide articulation agreements allow students to easily transfer from associate programs at state colleges to bachelor's programs at public four-year universities. Students who graduate with an associate of arts degree from a college within the Florida College System are guaranteed admission to one of 11 state universities. However, students are not guaranteed entry to any program, since some bachelor's programs include additional requirements, such as a certain GPA, minimum test scores, or prerequisite coursework. Students can learn more about transfer policies through FloridaShines, a service from the Florida College System and the State University System of Florida.

Will any online colleges in Florida accept a GED?

Most institutions accept a GED in place of a high school diploma. Colleges evaluate applicants on several criteria in addition to a high school diploma or GED. Many schools require ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal essays. These components provide plenty of opportunities for applicants to impress admissions officers. Plus, GED holders can improve their chances of acceptance by earning a high score on the GED exam.

The Florida College System provides links to information about admission requirements at Florida's state colleges. The State University System of Florida offers resources about the admission processes at Florida's public four-year universities. In addition, the Florida Department of Education posts information about obtaining and using a GED in the state.

How many academic terms per year do online colleges in Florida offer?

Online programs generally afford students more flexibility than on-campus programs. Distance learners can study from anywhere with an internet connection, and they can schedule their studies around other obligations. In addition, online learners may not need to wait until fall to begin their studies. Though programs typically do not start every week or month, many colleges offer online students multiple start dates each year.

The number of start dates available often depends on the program's delivery format. Cohort-based programs, in which a group of students begin and finish the degree at the same time, typically include more rigid start dates than self-paced programs, which allow students to progress through courses independently.

Prospective students should research online colleges to determine which programs best fit their schedule. The Florida College System provides links to information about online learning at Florida state colleges, including start dates and delivery formats at public two- and four-year institutions. Students can use the FloridaShines online course search to learn when courses start and end at various schools.

Which online colleges will accept FAFSA in Florida?

Federal student aid is one of the best options for financing an education. The federal government offers grants, scholarships, and work-study programs. Students may also qualify for federally subsidized loans, which carry lower interest rates than most other types of loans. Students should exhaust all federal aid options before taking loans from banks and other private lenders

To qualify for U.S. government aid, students must attend an accredited college or university. The Florida Department of Education provides accreditation information for students considering online colleges in Florida. The state's Office of Student Financial Assistance maintains a list of state-sponsored scholarships and grants. The Florida Department of Education also provides links to resources related to financial aid.

Are there any free online classes I can take from Florida colleges?

Many colleges offer free online courses to the public. These classes, often called massive open online courses (MOOCs), are a great starting point for learners considering an online degree. Though free courses do not award college credit, they can help students decide whether online education is right for them. Colleges often deliver free courses in a similar format as paid, for-credit classes. Free online classes can also help students explore a variety of subjects and disciplines.

Florida International University offers nine MOOCs, which are self-paced and condensed versions of college-level courses. These eight-hour classes cover topics such as cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, and project management. The University of Florida offers free online courses, which mainly comprise video lectures. Subjects include financial planning, agricultural land management, and the science of athletic training. In addition, Barry University offers an MOOC in mathematics that prepares students for college-level math courses.

FloridaShines provides free educational resources through the Orange Grove, where students can access free textbooks, courses, and materials including learning modules and videos.

How can I find the online program options at Florida colleges?

Students can visit each prospective school's website and peruse online program options. Schools often mention whether a program can be completed online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format; however, not every school prominently displays this information, and reading through dozens of college's websites can be a hassle.

Fortunately, students can use a few tools to quickly and easily search through online programs in the state. The Florida College System provides links to online learning pages at two-year and four-year state colleges. In addition, FloridaShines offers a degree search tool that allows users to search for programs by subject, location, and delivery method.

Florida Scholarships and Grants

Pell Grants and other federal financial aid programs are ideal for students who need to reduce out-of-pocket tuition costs. Not everyone qualifies for federal aid; however, and Pell Grants only cover first-time undergraduate students. Below are a few scholarships opportunities for Florida students, which can supplement or replace federal aid.

  1. José Martí Scholarship Challenge Fund

    This state-sponsored scholarship supports Hispanic students who plan to attend public or private institutions in Florida full time. Applicants must have a 3.0 high school GPA and must demonstrate at least $2,000 in financial need through the FAFSA. Only Florida residents qualify for this scholarship.

    Scholarship Amount: $2,000

    View Details
  2. George Snow Scholarship Fund

    High school seniors living in several Florida counties, including Palm Beach County, can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be active in their community and school and must demonstrate strong academic and career goals. Applicants must also show financial need. Recipients may attend any accredited institution and study any discipline.

    Scholarship Amount: Unknown

    View Details
  3. Sunshine Opportunity Scholarship

    The Godbold Foundation sponsors this scholarship for high school seniors living in the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. Applicants must have overcome significant obstacles, must demonstrate financial need, and must hold at least a 3.0 GPA. Recipients must attend a public university in Florida.

    Scholarship Amount: $5,000 per year

    View Details
  4. Marie Silverman Scholarship Award

    This scholarship from the Florida Reading Association supports educators in the state who are working toward a graduate degree. Applicants must be enrolled at or plan to attend a university in Florida and must choose a degree related to reading education. Applicants should have at least three years of classroom teaching experience.

    Scholarship Amount: $500-$1,000

    View Details
  5. Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship

    The Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance offers this scholarship to high-achieving students who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must reside in Florida and enroll full time at Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University, or Florida Memorial University. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 high school GPA.

    Scholarship Amount: Unknown

    View Details

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