Florida Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2017-2018

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Best Online Colleges In Florida

Florida is well-known for its commitment to online learning, both at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Data from the State University System of Florida reveals that approximately 40 percent of college students take at least one course online, and more than 700 Internet-based academic programs are available in the state. Find out which schools in Florida ranked highest in developing and fostering online learning opportunities and providing top overall value.

Rank University Location #of Online Program Acceptance Rate Financial Aid %Annual Tuition score Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services Description
1 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, Florida 48 72% 99%$20,110 99.81 15:1 45% Yes Yes Yes

Online undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Saint Leo University prepare students for careers in many in-demand fields. Saint Leo University’s success for students dates back more than 125 years and they have created a firm foundation for their online programs through their online portals, WebAdvisor and eLion. WebAdvisor is an administrative database, while eLion offers real-time information on class schedules and grades. In addition, through “Starting Point,” online students are offered a series of self-paced tutorials that highlight the realities of the virtual classroom. Students can choose from associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs for their online education through Saint Leo.

2 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 47 46% 29%$6,313 99.70 21:1 88% No Yes Yes

The University of Florida offers over 100 online programs for students to choose from, including undergraduate programs, doctorate, specialist, master’s degree programs and four international programs. Students can expect to achieve the same academic excellence as on-campus programs, but with the flexibility to learn from a distance and have access to resources all over the world. In addition, the University of Florida also offers open online courses, which means anyone can take the course, regardless of enrollment status. The University of Florida is the oldest university in the state and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3 Florida International University Miami, Florida 42 1% 48%$6,497 99.43 26:1 54% No Yes Yes

Florida International University is the largest educational institution in Miami, and has been providing online programs for distance learning since 1998. The university has 27 different programs that are 100 percent virtual that can be completed entirely online with some of the programs designed to be completed in as little as one year. FIU online students will have access to university resources such as counseling and psychological services (CAPS), financial aid assistance, and career services. The Veteran and Military Affairs office is also available for veterans and active duty members and their dependents with educational benefits.

4 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, Florida 42 49% 77%$16,936 99.18 12:1 55% Yes Yes Yes

Keiser University in Florida was founded in 1977 as a way to better serve adult learners who wanted to advance their careers. The university offers certificate, associate, bachelor’s and graduate degree programs that can be obtained by mostly online courses where students work on one class at a time for four weeks and must pass a final exam before moving on to the next class. Online students will also have access to some of the same student resources that are available for their on-campus peers including career and professional development services.

5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 43 50% 44%$6,368 99.11 31:1 70% Yes Yes Yes

As part of the University of Central Florida’s online programs, the center for distributed learning offers more than 60 online degrees. The online offerings include bachelor degrees, graduate degrees, graduate certificates, 2+2 baccalaureate completion programs and undergraduate minors and certificates. The types of courses taught at UCF include World Wide Web courses, mixed mode/reduced seat time, which includes both classroom settings and online instruction, video streaming courses, video streaming/reduced seat time and face to face instruction. UCF is also a partner with Complete Florida, which helps adults who have some college credit complete degree programs.

6 The University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida 29 42% 45%$5,776 99.11 23:1 51% No Yes Yes

Distance learning through the University of West Florida involves four comprehensive ways of earning a degree. Students can choose from seven fully online undergraduate programs of 60 semester hours, 18 online graduate programs that are comprised of 30 different specializations and 33 different certificate programs. In addition, UWF offers the Complete Florida program where students can choose from 50 different online programs that will help them finish their degree and secure a good job upon graduation. Distance learners will also be paired with an academic coach that will help keep them on track for degree completion.

7 Indian River State College Fort Pierce, Florida 24 N/A 11%$2,764 98.57 26:1 39% No Yes Yes

The Virtual Campus at Indian River State College provides students with several options for obtaining a degree including 12 different degree programs offered completely online. E-courses are accessed through the online learning software, Blackboard where students can access course information, assignments, and communication tools. Online students can also keep up with IRSC news, interact with peers, access academic records, and find professional development opportunities through the school’s online portal, RiverLife. The Career Center is a great resource for students to find information about jobs and develop their professional portfolio.

8 St Petersburg College Clearwater, Florida 30 N/A 23%$3,347 98.56 22:1 33% Yes Yes Yes

St. Petersburg College in Florida is committed to providing students with the convenience and flexibility to earn a degree entirely online. Through the eCampus online learning program, students can take more than 650 courses online and have access to more than a dozen degrees that can be earned virtually. Online course instructors are trained to teach in a virtual environment and are typically available to work one-on-one with students through email, phone, or web conferencing. To help students adapt to online instruction, various tutorials are provided along with accessible technical support services.

9 State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Bradenton, Florida 22 N/A 11%$3,074 98.42 22:1 31% Yes Yes Yes

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota was founded in 1957 and has since seen more than 47,000 students graduate with degrees in various areas of concentration. SCF offers three different types of classes as part of their distance learning programs, online courses which are 100 percent virtual, blended courses that combine both online learning and traditional classroom and technology-enhanced courses which gives instructors the flexibility of using advanced resources while meeting in face-to-face environments. Online students will access all course content through the online learning platform, Canvas.

10 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida 12 66% 43%$4,831 98.37 24:1 46% No Yes Yes

Online degrees are available in many of the colleges at Florida Atlantic University. A student will be able to advance through their education quickly by employing online courses, as they will not need to worry about class meetings. Over 30,000 students travel from all over the United States to study one of FAU’s 180 degree programs. Completing a degree is often expensive, but at FAU, nearly 154 million dollars is awarded annually, giving all students their best shot at a bright future. Students will be able to fully immerse themselves in campus life by living in one of FAU’s numerous on-campus housing facilities.

11 University of North Florida Jacksonville, Florida 4 61% 54%$5,747 98.33 20:1 55% No Yes Yes
12 Hodges University Naples, Florida 34 74% 37%$13,220 98.12 15:1 29% No Yes Yes
13 Southeastern University Lakeland, Florida 17 44% 79%$22,202 98.07 18:1 42% Yes Yes Yes
14 Daytona State College Daytona Beach, Florida 9 N/A 24%$3,306 97.92 18:1 36% Yes Yes Yes
15 Warner University Lake Wales, Florida 9 26% 89%$18,966 97.82 17:1 38% Yes Yes Yes
16 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, Florida 9 N/A 15%$2,609 97.80 22:1 36% Yes Yes Yes
17 Florida Gateway College Lake City, Florida 3 N/A 33%$3,100 97.78 14:1 48% Yes Yes Yes
18 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, Florida 11 59% 24%$6,118 97.75 22:1 49% No Yes Yes
19 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, Florida 30 1% 14%$8,040 97.63 12:1 23% Yes Yes Yes
20 Pensacola State College Pensacola, Florida 6 N/A 23%$2,704 97.63 21:1 33% Yes Yes Yes
21 Bethune-Cookman University Daytona Beach, Florida 3 64% 80%$14,410 97.60 16:1 50% No Yes Yes
22 Florida SouthWestern State College Fort Myers, Florida 9 N/A 18%$3,341 97.38 27:1 33% Yes Yes Yes
23 Webber International University Babson Park, Florida 6 51% 98%$24,034 97.13 23:1 30% No Yes Yes
24 Broward College Fort Lauderdale, Florida 3 N/A 23%$2,542 96.94 27:1 34% Yes Yes Yes
25 City College-Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, Florida 9 N/A 9%$12,782 96.65 10:1 40% Yes Yes Yes
26 Remington College-Heathrow Campus Heathrow, Florida 9 59% 2%$13,185 96.32 7:1 N/A No Yes Yes
27 University of Fort Lauderdale Lauderhill, Florida 6 N/A N/A$7,410 96.22 4:1 N/A No Yes Yes
28 Everglades University Boca Raton, Florida 18 86% 39%$16,000 94.43 7:1 51% No Yes Yes
29 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, Florida 42 56% 44%$9,700 93.67 15:1 47% No No Yes
30 Johnson University Florida Kissimmee, Florida 3 35% 64%$14,270 91.89 10:1 35% Yes No Yes
31 Adventist University of Health Sciences Orlando, Florida 12 100% 4%$12,430 91.68 9:1 35% No No Yes
32 Trinity College of Florida Trinity, Florida 9 N/A 91%$13,540 88.97 8:1 32% Yes No Yes
33 South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary Deerfield Beach, Florida 6 N/A N/A$6,200 87.62 8:1 N/A Yes No Yes
34 Hobe Sound Bible College Hobe Sound, Florida 21 N/A 58%$5,920 86.00 11:1 69% No No No

Best 2-Year Online Colleges In Florida

Rank University Location #of Online Program Acceptance Rate Financial Aid %Annual Tuition score Student-Teacher Ratio Grad Rate Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services Description
1 Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee, Florida 12 N/A 13%$2,026 99.65 24:1 32% Yes Yes Yes

Tallahassee Community College enrolls 37,000 students every year who work to earn Associate of Art, Associate of Science and certificates in more 70 different programs. There AA degrees have guaranteed transfer to state universities and 77 percent of AA students choose to transfer after graduation. TCC offers classes in three different counties across Florida and maintains a student to teacher ratio of 24 to 1. Students can take classes on-campus or online. Online classes are taught through Canvas and are offered in the spring, fall and summer semesters. Many courses have "Express" terms throughout the year, allowing students to complete course in eight weeks.

2 Radford M Locklin Technical Center Milton, Florida 6 N/A 9%$2,563 98.21 26:1 47% No Yes Yes

Radford M. Locklin Technical Center offers a wide variety of degrees that will not only prepare students to enter the workforce quickly after graduation, but can also be completed in as few as two semesters. Online courses are available to quicken the academic process, so students will be able to start doing what they love as soon as possible. While students will receive their education in conventional classroom settings, a good deal of a Radford education is accomplished through practical work experience. Tuition is affordable at Radford, but several thousand dollars in financial aid are available for students.

3 Sheridan Technical College Hollywood, Florida 36 N/A 1%$2,520 92.33 14:1 52% Yes Yes Yes

For nearly 50 years, Sheridan Technical College has been supporting students in their pursuit of a successful career. By employing online classes, summer and winter classes, and evening classes, Sheridan helps its students to complete their education at their own pace. High school seniors can get a jump start on earning college credit with Sheridan's dual enrollment program, resulting in an overall cheaper and quicker educational experience. Not only will Sheridan students be provided with a well-rounded education, but they will also have a highly trained team of career support staff members ready to help them achieve their goals.

4 Atlantic Technical College Coconut Creek, Florida 27 N/A 1%$2,520 91.47 13:1 48% Yes Yes Yes

Prospective students looking to study vocational programs may consider enrolling in one of Atlantic Technical College's virtual courses and programs. Areas of study include building trades, culinary arts and health sciences. Upon enrollment, distance learners receive login information for the ATC online learning portal, Desire2Learn, for all course materials including discussion boards and examinations. The online programs are designed to make learning convenient for adult general education and vocational programs. Online students will also receive the same student support and financial aid opportunities as students studying on the ATC campus.

5 William T McFatter Technical College Davie, Florida 6 N/A 1%$2,520 90.58 8:1 57% Yes Yes Yes

At William T. McFatter Technical College, students are able to pursue vocational degrees in areas such as automotive technology, business, communication arts, education and health science. This institution strives to help students meet their academic goals so that they can be successful in the professional world. Those interested in enrolling in McFatter's online programs can take the school's quiz to gauge is e-learning is right for them. Students have access to career services such as interviewing strategies, job search resources and resume and cover letter workshops.

6 Florida Keys Community College Key West, Florida 3 N/A 22%$3,276 86.00 12:1 32% Yes No Yes

Florida Keys Community College provides open access learning to students in and around the Florida Keys. FCC is part of the "Great 28" and offers five education pathways including Bachelor of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science and professional certificates. With an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students a year, FKCC provides students with lots of one on one attention with small classes with an average of 12 students. Students can choose to participate in online learning opportunities through the Desire2Learn learning management system. Once graduated AA students can transfer to a four-year institution to continue their education.

Choices for Florida Colleges Online

Florida’s academic institutions offer myriad online learning options. In 2013, 53 four-year schools in the state featured online programs as various institutions adopted web-based delivery in addition to traditional coursework. Among Florida online colleges, the University of Florida shows an impressive collection of degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. UF Distance Learning provides more than 12 degree programs online at the bachelor’s level, as well as 10 doctoral and over 60 master’s. The focus on advanced study helps working professionals earn a quality degree in a flexible setting.

To gain a better understanding of the breadth of academic options in the state, let’s look at one of Florida’s major metropolitan areas—Jacksonville—and its diverse assortment of educational institutions.

Higher Education in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is located on the St. Johns River, offering residents a spectacular cityscape to go along with this urban North Florida center of tourism, performing arts and international deep-water trade. The biggest U.S. city in terms of geographical area, Jacksonville is buoyed by industries like transportation, biomedical research, insurance and financial services. It doesn’t require a major in the arts or natural sciences to appreciate the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Jacksonville Landing and Riverwalk, and more than 335 city parks covering 80,000 acres – the largest expanse of public parks in the nation.

The largest public university in Jacksonville is the University of North Florida (UNF), known for its maritime biology, nursing and business programs. The school offers 53 undergraduate degrees and 28 programs at the graduate level. The Princeton Review has named UNF among its Best Value Colleges and Best Southeastern Colleges. Florida State College at Jacksonville offers popular associate degree and workforce certification programs in addition to its Bachelor of Applied Science degree. Its programs draw students from 120 countries.

Jacksonville University (JU), a private school, provides a liberal arts education through more than 70 undergraduate majors. Its graduate programs give area students an opportunity to pursue Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. JU reports that its Davis College of Business is the only North Florida business school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. CEO Magazine has ranked Davis as the No. 3 business school in the United States.

Distance Learning in Jacksonville

For students who can’t earn a degree on campus, Jacksonville universities offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s and postgraduate credentials via distance education, while area colleges and trade schools feature a range of online vocational certificates. Columbia College, for example, provides online degrees and certificates through eight-week sections, allowing participants to start and stop studies to fit their lifestyles. The University of North Florida offers electronic delivery of master’s and doctoral degree programs and professional certificates, spanning options such as nursing PhDs and RN-to-BSN studies, nutrition, special education and early childhood education.

Jacksonville State University has been named among U.S. News & World Report’s best online graduate business programs. Courses in JSU’s web-based programs are recorded for 24/7, 365-day access by business students. Another Jacksonville landmark, the Florida Institute of Technology, supplies undergraduate, graduate and professional certificate programs entirely online. U.S. News & World Report listed Florida Tech among the 2014 best online programs for bachelor’s degrees and graduate business studies.

Tuition and Living Expenses in Florida

When planning a college education through Florida online colleges, cost is a significant factor. Tuition, the largest college expense, varies according to each institution. The tuition at many colleges is cheaper for eligible state residents. The annual tuition for Florida residents was $12,503 in 2012, giving Florida the 21st highest in-state tuition in the country.

Living expenses, particularly room and board, represent a large portion of college costs. Expenditures vary considerably depending on whether students choose residential housing or off-campus alternatives. The cost of living (COL) in Florida is comparable to the national average, and this table addresses COL rates in Florida’s different metro areas compared to the national average (100):

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Tampa -7.6% -15.3% -3.7% -6.2% 3.3% -1.6% -6.6%
Jacksonville -7.1% -20.0% 2.8% -8.1% 3.6% -1.3% -1.1%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers -4.4% -12.5% 7.9% -16.3% 3.0% 13.3% 22.1%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers -4.4% -12.5% 7.9% -16.3% 3.0% 13.3% 22.1%
Bradenton -7.1% -20.0% 2.8% -8.1% 3.6% -5.5% -2.7%
Jacksonville -4.2% -9.8% 6.6% -9.6% 1.3% -1.2% -3.9%
Vero Beach-Indian River -2.6% -16.5% 9.1% 4.5% -2.2% -2.3% 2.5%
Orlando -2.2% -14.6% -2.2% 8.5% 1.8% -4.5% 4.5%
Panama City -0.6% 1.5% -6.3% -0.3% 8.8% -5.5% -2.4%
Gainesville -0.2% 1.8% 6.3% -0.8% 3.3% -7.3% -4.5%
Sarasota 1.5% 2.9% 7.7% -2.6% 2.5% 5.2% -1.9%
Miami-Dade County 6.0% 7.7% 10.9% -8.1% 8.8% 5.7% 6.2%
Fort Lauderdale 15.7% 44.0% 12.5% -7.5% 6.3% 2.4% 3.7%

Return on investment (ROI) remains one of the most important yet overlooked metrics when evaluating colleges. ROI looks at the total cost of attending a college, and subtracts it from the average lifetime earnings of that school’s graduates. In Florida, a number of colleges and universities demonstrated high ROI, according to 2013 data:

  1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  2. Florida Tech
  3. University of Florida
  4. Barry University
  5. Jacksonville University

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Florida Students

In order to reduce costs for college students, the federal government offers the opportunity to apply for financial aid. Interested students must complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, which begins the process of determining the potential amount of aid they may be eligible to receive. In 2012, 70 percent of Florida undergraduate students received federal financial aid, ranking the Sunshine State 17th in the nation.

Students have other options in addition to federal financial assistance. State and local governments, nonprofit organizations and various companies have established awards for Florida students. Many colleges and universities have their own scholarship programs as well. The following list includes some of the scholarship awards open to students in Florida colleges and universities.

  • AQHF Joan Cain Florida Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship Program
  • Barnes Scholarship
  • Central Florida Orchid Society Scholarship
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
  • Florida Department of Higher Education
  • Florida Early Achievers Scholarship
  • Florida First Generation Matching Grant
  • Florida Student Assistance Grants
  • Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund
  • Minority Teacher Education Scholarship
  • NTA Florida Scholarship
  • Partner Florida Foundation Scholarship
  • PMI Central Florida Chapter Scholarship
  • Salute to Education
  • William Boyd Florida Resident Access Grants

Accreditation Impacts Educational Standards

Prospective Florida students choose accredited colleges and universities in order to qualify for possible financial assistance. Regional and national accrediting agencies set their own accreditation standards. In Florida, the main regional accrediting body is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Public and private not-for-profit colleges based in the state seek and maintain accreditation from SACS.

In addition, many institutions reach out to specialized accrediting bodies to vet individual schools and programs. Florida State University’s College of Law, for example, has been recognized by the American Bar Association. Before applying to any institution or program, whether campus-based or online, aspiring students should check accreditation carefully. Potential employers may only hire candidates with diplomas from qualifying schools.

Search Tool for Accredited Florida Colleges

With nearly 400 colleges and more than 1.7 million college students, Florida is well-positioned as a leader in higher education. For prospective students, making sense of the sheer number of universities and academic programs can be challenging. The search tool below can help students narrow the scope of their search, concentrating on factors that are important to them, such as tuition, enrollment and types of degree programs.

Degree Level:
Student Population:
School Type:
see map

Best Online Colleges in Florida For 2015-2016

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCostMORE INFO
1 University of Florida 98.8421:196%

As one of the largest educational providers in the state, UF also provides a great number of completely-online degrees at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Bachelor’s programs currently available include those offered from the colleges of journalism and communication; liberal arts and sciences; agricultural and life sciences; business administration; and health and human performance. There are also a number of 2+2 programs for students who have already completed an associate degree. Postgraduate options are wide ranging and include a number of degrees with further specializations available, and a large number of certificates are also offered.

2 Adventist University of Health Sciences 98.6610:195%

Adventist University of Health Sciences offers an online degree completion program to students who have already received credit for general education courses at another postsecondary institution. Adventist University of Health Sciences provides bachelor’s degrees in radiologic sciences, diagnostic medical sonography and an RN to BS in nursing. All courses and degree programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Incoming online undergraduates are assigned an academic coach to provide support. Residents living in Wisconsin, Indiana, Massachusetts, Iowa and Minnesota are not eligible to apply to this university.

3 Hodges University 98.6515:197%

Hodges University offers several online degree plans at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s level. All degrees earned at Hodges University provide students with a science degree. Hodges University offers an accelerated program called UPower for a select few degree plans for students who wish to complete their educations faster. UPower students also have the added benefit of a cost cap no matter how many courses students choose to take. Hodges University offers nearly 30 degrees focusing on marketing, legal studies, management, psychology, management, digital design and information technology. Hodges University also offers a certificate program in e-discovery/e-litigation. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify for Hodges University.

4 Florida Atlantic University 98.2424:187%

The Center for eLearning at Florida Atlantic University provides multiple courses and degree plans offered fully online to students seeking degrees at the baccalaureate to doctoral level. Degree programs are available from the colleges of business, education, nursing, geosciences, engineering and computer science. Numerous professional certificates are also offered within these fields of study. All faculty teaching online courses undergo special training and instructional designers are on hand to lend professors support for any technical needs during each course. Students will undertake their courses via Blackboard, an interactive learning management system that manages assignments and allows engagement with peers and faculty.

5 Florida International University 97.9627:191%

Students at Florida International University can choose from several fields of study at the bachelor’s level, including early childhood education, finance, health services and communication arts. The university also offers a number of specialized programs in areas such as network security, writing and publishing and construction management. All programs at Florida International University have been designed to accommodate the lives of online students by offering several start times throughout the year. Students are provided with multiple outlets for engaging with their peers and professors in both academic and extra-curricular settings through the Blackboard learning platform.

6 University of Central Florida 97.7431:196%

The online degrees offered by UCF are a mix of traditional and out-of-the-box courses. With over 50 degrees offered at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels combined, students can take advantage of engaging courses in topics like anthropology, international and global studies, creative writing and Latin American studies to name a few. There are also certificates for students seeking continued professional development. While the majority of online courses are delivered fully via a digital learning platform, a select number may require a few on campus visits, so interested students should research this fully before undertaking any program.

7 Everglades University 97.668:192%

Degree plans at both the bachelor’s and master’s level are offered by Everglades University, which provides science-focused degree plans in multiple fields of study, including crisis and disaster management, aviation science, business, human resources, public affairs and alternative medicine. All faculty members are at the top of their respective fields and have been trained in delivering education through an online platform using tools such as online group discussions, live chats and one-on-one instruction. Students are provided with a range of services, ranging from academic advising and career support to technical assistance and library services.

8 University of North Florida 97.6220:194%

UNF provides an assortment of degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Currently one undergraduate degree is available for students looking to convert their RN qualification into a BSN degree. Postgraduate courses include studies in nutrition and dietetics, educational leadership, special education and American Sign Language. All online learning is overseen by the Center for Instruction & Research Technology, which is responsible for ensuring all education delivered online lives up to the same standards as courses being taught at the university’s physical campus. The majority of classes are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete assignments in their own time.

9 Florida State University 97.5326:195%

Undergraduate degrees in topics of study such as criminology, public policy and social sciences are available online from FSU. Students enrolling in the university’s baccalaureate programs must have already completed all general education requirements at another college or university. Master’s level students can choose from 15 different degree plans including nursing, information technology, social work and business administration. Flexibility is a key component of all programs offered and the majority of courses are delivered asynchronously to allow students the flexibility to complete their education alongside other responsibilities. All courses follow a traditional semester schedule.

10 Warner University 97.5322:199%

The Adult Learning department at WU offers four degree completion programs for students who have already obtained at least 45 transfer credits at another institution. Areas of study available include healthcare administration, transformational Christian ministry, business administration and educational studies. Depending on how many transfer credits students have, these degrees can be completed in as few as 13 months by taking one intensive class at a time. All professors have real-world experience in their field and students find it easy to excel in the university’s supportive learning environment with a small student-to-faculty ratio.

11 Florida Gulf Coast University 97.2322:181%

Florida Gulf Coast University offers online students multiple options for study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Baccalaureate students are able to enroll in programs concentrated on criminal justice, health sciences and legal studies, while postgraduate students can choose from programs in business, public administration, health science and education. All of the online courses are fully accredited and are taught by the same faculty members leading classes at the Florida Gulf Coast University’s main campus. Teaching is delivered primarily through an online learning platform and via interactive video sessions.

12 Saint Leo University 97.0215:194%

This Florida-based institution provides fully-online degree programs at levels ranging from associate to doctorate in a variety of fields. At the bachelor and master’s levels, programs are available from the schools of arts and sciences, education, social services, and business, and there are graduate certificates available in similar fields. At the doctoral level, there is a DBA through the school of business.  Since all programs were designed with the adult learner in mind, students can expect a flexible yet supportive educational environment where professors understand that many students will have additional commitments outside their schoolwork.

13 University of South Florida-Main Campus 96.3324:198%

At USF, students who have already completed their first two years of higher education at another institution can take advantage of the bachelor’s degree in general education, which provides specializations in areas such as criminal justice, information architecture, public administration and public health. There are also a number of postgraduate programs delivered fully online, including unique programs in global sustainability, sport business, cyber security and epidemiology. With hundreds of courses offered online each term, students have many options when it comes to personalizing a degree program to meet their individual goals and aspirations.

14 Hobe Sound Bible College 96.155:188%

Hobe Sound Bible College is a Christian university providing multiple fully-online degrees at the undergraduate level. Degree programs include fields of study in counseling, education, ministerial studies and general biblical studies. Both the core and upper-level curriculums are designed for students looking to work in full-time ministry or within a Christian organization. Several associate degrees with similar degree programs are also offered. Each course lasts seven weeks for maximum flexibility. Students can elect to study at their own pace and learning plans for both part-and full-time study are available.

15 Daytona State College 96.0121:181%

A number of associate and bachelor’s level programs are offered to students enrolling in the Daytona State College online program. Online degree completion plans are offered in topics of study including engineering technology, computer programming and nursing. Students completing an undergraduate degree at DSC will follow a 2 + 2 model that requires students to complete an associate of science degree prior to completing their baccalaureate coursework. A number of certificate programs are also available fully-online. Students undertaking their degrees virtually learn under the same faculty teaching courses at the institution’s brick-and-mortar campus.

16 Indian River State College 95.9925:179%

The Virtual Campus of IRSC offers students two associate degrees and six bachelor’s degrees available wholly online. Topics available at the baccalaureate level are in areas of business and management, nursing, education, IT and public administration. All courses are designed and taught by the same faculty members providing instruction to campus-based students, ensuring a high level of academic excellence is maintained across the board. Resources available to online learners include a job bank, tutoring services, course advising, financial aid assistance and an online orientation program for all incoming students.

17 Broward College 95.7424:182%

A select number of associate and bachelor’s level degrees are brought to students in a fully-online format through Broward College. The school offers undergraduate programs in information technology, supervision and management, technology management and nursing. Technical certificates are also available for a number of technological and business specialties. Some of the degree programs at Broward College can be completed in as few as 15 months. Actual completion time depends on the number of applicable transfer credits and the number of courses students take at a time. Online courses are taught by the same faculty leading campus-based programs and are delivered by the Desire2Learn online platform.

18 Palm Beach Atlantic University 95.5713:1100%

With a firm commitment to providing educational options to busy professionals or working parents whose schedules don’t allow a traditional educational experience, PBA offers three bachelor’s programs and one master’s level program fully online. Baccalaureate students can choose from programs of study in ministry, organizational management, or psychology, while postgraduate students can undertake an MS in leadership. All classes maintain a small student to teacher ratio and are taught by the same faculty members leading campus-based programs. There is a dedicated team at the school managing the eCollege program, meaning online learners receive support and encouragement throughout their educational journey.

19 Jones College 95.117:150%

JC has a select number of associate and bachelor’s degree programs available wholly online, including baccalaureate programs with majors in business administration, computer information systems, interdisciplinary studies and legal assistant (available to Florida residents only). Courses are delivered asynchronously via Blackboard, allowing students to complete their work in a way that fits in with responsibilities outside of schoolwork. Special assistance is available for those who have served in the military, and all online students are able to take advantage of a wealth of student resources. Some of these include program advising, technical assistance, career services and library resources.

20 Webber International University 94.9422:1100%

The Department of eLearning at WIU provides AA, BS and MBA degree programs totally online in a variety of topics, including business, computer information systems and sport business management to name a few. Each course lasts 15 weeks and the majority of students take two classes per term, providing a flexible plan of study that easily fits into the busy lives of adult learners. All incoming students will take an online program and Moodle training course to introduce them to the online learning platform. Those enrolled will also have access to full technical support to ensure they are taking full advantage of their online education.

21 Lynn University 94.5917:179%

Online learners – referred to as “iLynn” students at Lynn – can choose from 25 undergraduate and 19 postgraduate programs in a variety of fascinating subject areas, including composition, aviation management, sports management and drama. The cutting-edge online learning environment is enhanced by an iPad-powered curriculum and terms are at an accelerated pace, allowing students to complete their degrees more quickly. All classes are taught by professors highly regarded and recognized in their specific fields, and students benefit from engaging with peers from over 100 countries worldwide. Both college and certified work experience credits earned by incoming students are transferrable.

22 Northwood University-Florida 94.3313:196%

At NU, online students can choose from 10 undergraduate programs including aftermarket management, automotive marketing and management, franchising management, and entrepreneurship. There is also a computer information management program available as a completion degree for those who have already finished their first two years of study at another institution. The same faculty leading campus classes teach the university’s online courses, ensuring a consistent level of academic excellence. Additionally, students receive support from a dedicated team of staff entrusted with providing an excellent educational experience to all online learners.

23 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide 94.2312:132%

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Online offers degrees in topics such as aerospace and aviation or fire science and technical management. Students can undertake programs in these fields at any level ranging from associate to doctoral. In addition to a degree earned fully online from day one, the institution also offers a 4+1 program whereby students can complete both a bachelor’s and master’s program with as little as five years of full-time study. Courses are offered to aeronautical students from around the world at ERAU and are delivered using the EagleVision online learning platform.

24 City College-Gainesville 92.7919:1100%

City College’s three online bachelor’s degrees provide instruction from industry professionals with practical curriculum and job placement assistance upon graduation. Students gain a strong foundation in their chosen program –management, nursing or healthcare administration– allowing them to be competitive in their field. Programs focus on modern technologies, law and ethics and professional strategies in each industry. Students who choose the nursing program must have prerequisite coursework under their belts prior to acceptance.

25 Trinity International University-Florida 87.6910:1 N/A

Three online degree completion programs are available at Trinity International University in the fields of business, Christian ministries, and psychology. Online students can access their coursework any time, from anywhere with an Internet connection, and each program begins with students completing an orientation and success seminar. Coursework integrates faith and learning through reading assignments, homework, and interaction between students and their peers and instructors. Online tutoring services, tutorials, and other resources are available to those who need extra support. The university offers a free online video that walks prospective students through the online learning environment so they can see how it works and determine if the program is right for them.

26 Florida Institute of Technology-Online 86.5832:1 N/A

Nearly 50 fully-online degrees are offered by the Florida Institute of Technology, which is also known as Florida Tech. The school offers multiple degrees at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s level, with degree programs in business, psychology, criminal justice, liberal arts, computer information systems and information assurance. All online courses are delivered through a partnership with University Alliance. While the majority of learning takes place within an online learning platform, students may also engage with professors and their peers via a number of other digital methods, including live chat rooms, MP3 lectures, video lectures and discussion boards.

An Inside Look: Interviews With Florida Online Colleges

We spoke to Palm Beach State College and four more of Florida’s most affordable online colleges to get a closer look at educational opportunities in the state. These interviews showed that the Sunshine State is setting the bar high for quality and ingenuity in distance learning. Read the interviews below:

Online Departments in FLORIDA

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The first approach that FAMU applied when establishing its online program was to assess the need. It was very important to understand why an online program was necessary at the institution. That need was identified in that the current student body expressed the desire to have an all around twenty-first century experience to learning. Additionally, administrators and other stakeholders of the institution recognized the importance of offering a global learning environment that could attract individuals to our institution both nationally and internationally.

The second approach that FAMU identified was quality assurance. It is imperative that the online students experience the same quality education as the face-to-face students. FAMU has developed a comprehensive faculty development training process to ensure that the same rigor associated with the traditional courses is transitioned into the online environment.

The third approach that FAMU applied to the development of its online program was collaboration with other sister institutions that have established online programs as well as maintaining consortium memberships. FAMU continuously establishes and maintains working relationships with other institutions who have online programs in an effort to discover best practices.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

FAMU has a unique brand that is worthy to students who choose to enroll in its online degree programs. The three online degree programs consists of only five semesters in which students receive a high quality, professional educational experience.

The online MBA program affording students the opportunity to network with representatives from Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, the program includes an international residency that affords students a global experience of assuming leadership roles in the profession of business administration.

The online MPH program is an extension of FAMU's premier College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This program is unique to current health professionals or related areas in preparation for leadership and management positions in the public health workforce.

The online MSN program prepares nurses to become Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (AGPCNP) or Women's Health Nurse Practitioners (WHNP). The MSN program was created with the national certification exam in mind and has a consistently high rate of certification.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years?

In the next five years we envision that FAMU will continue to offer online degree programs in the current disciplines of Business Administration, Public Health and Nursing. We anticipate tremendous enrollment growth across all three programs. Additionally, we are certain that FAMU will continue to produce graduates of the online degree programs with the expectation of them acquiring leadership roles in the three existing areas of study as a result of the online graduate degrees that they will have obtained.

As FAMU's online program extends beyond five years, we certainly anticipate enrollment growth by extending our offerings to both graduate and undergraduate disciplines. FAMU is committed to providing its online students with a robust educational experience that will afford them the opportunity to compete on a global level within any profession that is desired. Furthermore, FAMU is confident that increasing its online offerings will ultimately serve as a major catalyst in increasing its retention, progression, and graduation rates. We strongly encourage everyone who is pursuing an online institution to further their education to allow FAMU to become their online connection to excellence with caring.

Indian River State College

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The Indian River State College combination of quality with affordability makes IRSC online programs an exceptional educational value. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, IRSC is ranked as the 12th top public regional college in the South by US News & World Report and as the 4th Most Affordable College in the country by the US Department of Education. IRSC delivers online learning with an emphasis on personal attention and flexibility at low tuition cost.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

IRSC online programs are valued by students for their convenience and quality courses are nationally certified by Quality Matters (QM) with a consistent, easy-to-navigate layout so students can focus on content. There are many opportunities for interaction with faculty, virtual office hours, video enhancement, and real-time participation. IRSC online students benefit from the College's combination of quality at affordable cost. Courses are accepted for transfer at most colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years?

IRSC will continue to expand online services, particularly related to career and employment support, as well as introducing additional degree programs, with particular emphasis on Bachelor's Degree programs.

Palm Beach Atlantic University-West Palm Beach

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Palm Beach Atlantic University was the first institution of higher education in state to be completely wired for the Internet and the first to introduce a wireless network. These initiatives established the framework that continues to support the University’s online efforts today. The establishment of the of the Office of Online Learning in 2006, the infrastructure it provides and the recognition it has received by experts in the field testify to the importance of these early decisions and commitment to technology integration at the University.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

  • Interactivity with students is a hallmark of Palm Beach Atlantic’s online courses, which have garnered awards for the intentional design elements the engage learners with the educational content.
  • Faith integration is incorporated into the online experience from the gateway to the opening web pages to the educational components of the courses.
  • Single sign-on experience conveniently allows students to remain within the learning management system to access embedded elements and additional course materials.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Professional Design to Create Content to Drive Student Engagement

  • Accommodation for special needs and a variety of learning styles
  • Addition of more social tools to increase student/faculty and student/student interaction
  • Real-time components that provide immediate feedback

Growth and Innovation

  • Blended or hybrid learning can reduce the need to build more classrooms
  • Offer additional online programs and in-demand career tracks
  • New applications for study abroad and workplace technology
Palm Beach State College

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Palm Beach State College has been in the online learning field for almost two decades, first offering online classes in 1996. We have continued to evolve our online learning program and organizational approach. Five years ago we made some significant changes to our online learning program by developing a common course template that faculty use in course development, and instituting a very robust quality review process. We have moved away from certifying online instructors to certifying online courses to ensure that each course includes the College’s required elements involving instructor expertise and content in the course, student engagement with interactive elements, and frequent feedback from the instructor. Faculty do complete an introductory course on the learning management system from a technical perspective, but what really counts is that the online courses they produce meet our quality standards. More recently the College started offering Bachelor’s degree programs; from the onset the programs were designed as online programs using our organizational approach to online education.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

As the leading provider of higher education in Palm Beach County, online courses allows Palm Beach State College to offer general education courses, elective courses, and full degree programs online to our students so they can learn without traveling to the campus. This permits many students who work full-time and attend on campus classes to take an extra class online and speed completion time to degree. For degree programs, having a fully online program is greatly beneficial to students. For example, in the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, students in the program typically work a 12-hour shift, making classroom-based courses very difficult to attend. Online learning allows these students to learn and study at times convenient to them, even if its 2 AM.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

In Palm Beach State College’s strategic plan, online learning is targeted for growth in all areas. Our plans include expansion of online degree offerings and continued exploration of new and emerging technologies to help online students stay engaged and actively learning. We also plan to increase online courses offered in a blended/hybrid format, where students have some time on campus but also complete some instruction online. We know that online learning will continue to grow and we plan to support that growth.

University of North Florida

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The University of North Florida's investment in distance learning is focused on faculty development, student support services and quality assurance processes in order to facilitate the development of high-quality distance-learning courses and programs that are based on the best practices identified by national organizations, such as the Sloan-C Pillars of Quality; the Southern Regional Education Board’s Principles of Good Practice; and the American Distance Education Consortium’s Guiding Principles for Distance Learning. Our courses employ the best pedagogical practices based on the existing research literature and are compatible with the highest levels of student learning, interaction and engagement.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

The University of North Florida provides programs in which students have the opportunity for high-peer interaction, collaboration group work and frequent interactions with faculty. Distance-learning offerings are selected and developed to meet student needs in a manner that is consistent with the University’s mission. Our programs allow students from around the country to have access to faculty who are nationally known scholars in their field. Students are able to earn degrees that allow them to grow personally and professionally, while having the flexibility to take care of work and family responsibilities.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

The University of North Florida's Distance Learning Strategic Plan calls for continued growth of high-quality online courses and programs. The plan establishes goals for 2017 of at least 10 fully online degree programs and an increase in the number of distance learning courses to 20 percent of total course offerings. UNF also plans to develop at least one distance-learning path through general education courses, allowing for the possibility of fully distance-learning undergraduate degrees.

Great Resources for Florida Online Students

Prospective students at Florida online colleges may have a long list of questions about student aid, scholarships, state-based support and more. The resources below can serve as a starting point when making a decision about where to attend college. These sources also provide information from Florida’s higher education office and the state university system.

Major Florida Educational Resources: