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Online Colleges in Florida

Most Affordable Online Colleges
Top Florida Cities
School Interviews
Dr. Christine Broeker
- interim executive director of eLearning
"Seminole State offers nearly 40 fully online programs, including two baccalaureate programs. "
See entire interview

Introduction

Online degree programs are currently available at a wide range of public and private Florida colleges, including some of the largest institutions in the state. While many, such as the University of Miami, only offer online courses at this time, an increasing number are beginning to feature full degree programs. The University of Florida offers both undergraduate and graduate programs online, including its Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. Similarly, the University of Central Florida boasts over two dozen fully online degrees, certificates, and degree completion programs, as well as hundreds of web-based courses.

The Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida website provides access to 31 private, non-profit schools that feature online education options. On top of that, Florida Virtual Campus features 39 public universities and community colleges now offering over 10,700 courses and 650 degrees or certificates online. As of November 2012, the number of programs at each level is as follows:

  • Online Associate Degrees: 76 programs from 15 schools
  • Online Bachelor's Degrees: 82 programs from 17 schools
  • Online Master's Degrees: 246 programs from 13 schools
  • Online Doctorate Degrees: 27 programs from 6 schools


Along with state schools, many national online colleges also offer degrees to students in Florida. Many of these schools have been offering online education for several years and host a broader set of courses and programs. Some, such as Argosy University and Everest, also have physical campuses in Florida where students can attend classes. Based in Florida, Full Sail University is a nationally accredited school that offers fully online degrees in art, video game design, music production, and related entertainment fields.

There are also several accredited online universities headquartered outside of Florida, such as University of Phoenix, Ashford University, and Walden University, that can accept residents located in Florida.

There are 18.8 million people living in Florida, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and nearly 86 percent of them have earned a high school diploma. Among those 18 to 25 years old, 43.6 percent have an Associate's degree or have attended some college, and 7.7 percent have earned at least a Bachelor's degree.

There are about 9.5 million workers in Florida, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earn an average of $41,140 a year, or about $19.78 an hour. About a third of the workforce is located in Miami, where the unemployment rate is below the national average.

There are 154 institutions where students can earn a Bachelor's degree in Florida. Thirty-five of those schools are public, and 58 of them are non-profit private schools.

Most Affordable Colleges in Florida

The following list ranks the 10 schools in Florida that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the actual degree programs that are taught online, and information on tuition fees, accreditation and notable alumni. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (2013-2014) and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

Palm Beach State College

Tuition/Year
$2,378
Graduation Rate
36%
# of Online Degrees
2
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

According to their web site, Palm Beach State College has been offering online education for 10 years, including a host of online courses and two degree programs. Students can complete their bachelor's degrees online in applied science and nursing.
School Website: 
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2

Eastern Florida State College

Tuition/Year
$2,496
Graduation Rate
45%
# of Online Degrees
5
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The online degree programs at Eastern Florida State College promise a technology rich environment and flexible scheduling, with five terms per year. In addition to a wide range of online certificates in the accounting, business, and education fields, Eastern Florida State also offers the following online associate degrees: arts; office administration; paralegal studies; business administration; and criminal justice technology.
School Website: 
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3

Indian River State College

Tuition/Year
$2,764
Graduation Rate
40%
# of Online Degrees
8
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

In addition to several online courses, Indian River State College offers a wide variety of online degrees, including two associate degrees in arts and business administration, and six Bachelor's degrees, including organizational management; business administration; nursing; education/ESE; public administration; information technology & cyber security.
School Website: 
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4

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Tuition/Year
$2,830
Graduation Rate
35%
# of Online Degrees
12
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers online bachelor's degree programs in business administration; early childhood education; information technology management; and supervision and management. It also offers associate degrees in accounting technology; business administration; information technology; criminal justice technology; early childhood management; histological technology; industrial management technology; and office administration. The school also offers a variety of certificates in such fields as personal lines insurance and claims adjuster.
School Website: 
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5

Seminole State College of Florida

Tuition/Year
$3,131
Graduation Rate
35%
# of Online Degrees
13
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Seminole State College offers 11 associate degrees, 2 bachelor's degrees and 27 certificate programs online. The online associate degrees include arts; administrative office management; business administration; computer programming and analysis; criminal justice administration; entrepreneurship and small business management; fire science technology; health information technology; information systems technology; network services technology: network operating systems track; network services technology: virtualization track. Their online bachelor's degrees include information systems technology and construction.
School Website: 
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6

Daytona State College

Tuition/Year
$3,306
Graduation Rate
38%
# of Online Degrees
11
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Daytona State College offers numerous online certificates, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees. Associate degrees include arts; accounting technology; business administration; office administration; computer information technology; computer programming and analysis; and Internet services technology. Their online bachelor's degrees include four degree completions programs: supervision and management; engineering technology; information technology; education (offered partially online and as a degree completion program).
School Website: 
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7

Florida Atlantic University

Tuition/Year
$4,831
Graduation Rate
41%
# of Online Degrees
8
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton offers online degree programs through its Center for eLearning, working with the College of Business, College of Design and Social Inquiry, College of Education, and College of Science. Bachelor's degrees are offered in accounting; management; marketing; and public safety administration. Master's degrees are offered in accounting; taxation; exercise science and health promotion; and instructional technology. It also offers certificate programs in geographic information systems and procurement.
School Website: 
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8

Florida Gulf Coast University

Tuition/Year
$6,118
Graduation Rate
44%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, in addition to offering its own bachelor's and master's degree programs, also partners with Florida Virtual Campus and the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus to deliver online programs to Floridians and students in 19 other states. FGCU itself offers bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice; health sciences; and legal studies, and master's degree programs in business administration; public administration; educational technology; and special education.
School Website: 
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9

University of Central Florida

Tuition/Year
$6,368
Graduation Rate
67%
# of Online Degrees
37
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

UCF in Orlando delivers its extensive online degree programs through its Center for Distributed Learning. Not only is there a wide variety of online degree programs, but UCF's Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness is continually analyzing the effectiveness of those programs in an effort to make sure its online programs are as effective as they can be. Bachelor's degree programs are offered online in anthropology; criminal justice; creative writing; English literature; technical communication; health services administration; history; interdisciplinary studies; international and global studies; nursing; political science; psychology; religion and cultural studies; sociology; and technical education and industry training. Some of its online graduate degree programs include English; career and technical education; instructional design and technology; criminal justice; executive health services administration; civil engineering; digital forensics; industrial engineering; materials science and engineering; nursing; and forensic science.
School Website: 
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10

Florida International University

Tuition/Year
$6,497
Graduation Rate
52%
# of Online Degrees
13
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

FIU in Miami offers their distance education students success coaches, academic coaches, advisers and tutors. What's more, it offers and broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It offers online undergraduate degree programs in communication arts; psychology; business administration (with options in finance, human resources management, international business, management and marketing); criminal justice; early childhood education; hospitality management; nursing; and recreation and sports management. Graduate degrees are offered in curriculum and instruction; special education; international business; international real estate; human resource management; and business administration with a corporate or healthcare emphasis.
School Website: 
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11

Florida State University

Tuition/Year
$6,507
Graduation Rate
77%
# of Online Degrees
11
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

FSU is physically located in Tallahassee but its online degree programs carry its quality courses to many parts of the country. Students who want to earn an online bachelor's degree typically have to earn an associate degree or have at least 60 hours of transferable credit. It offers undergraduate degree programs in public safety and security (with an emphasis on law enforcement intelligence, operations or police science); computer science (both a BS and a BA); criminology; and interdisciplinary social science. Graduate degrees are offered in business administration; management; information systems management; communication disorders; information technology; library and information studies; and criminology.
School Website: 
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12

Jones College-Jacksonville

Tuition/Year
$7,650
Graduation Rate
24%
# of Online Degrees
7
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Jones College in Jacksonville, Fla., offers online Bachelor of Science degree programs with majors in business administration; computer information systems; interdisciplinary studies; and legal assistant (for Florida residents only). The school's online degree programs also include Associate of Science degree programs with majors in business administration; computer information systems; and legal assistant (Florida residents only). Course work can be completed on your schedule from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
School Website: 
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13

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

Tuition/Year
$8,040
Graduation Rate
50%
# of Online Degrees
25
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has campuses in more than 150 locations around the world, and Daytona Beach, Fla., is one of them. From there, online students can gain access to the variety of online degree programs from Embry-Riddle's worldwide collection of educators. Associate degrees are offered in aeronautics aviation business administration; aviation maintenance; engineering fundamentals; and technical management. Bachelor degree programs are offered in aeronautics; aviation business administration; aviation maintenance; aviation security; communication; emergency services; engineering technology; technical management; and transportation. Master's degree programs are offered in aeronautical science; business administration in aviation; aviation finance; engineering management; information security and assurance; leadership; logistics and supply chain management; management; management information systems; occupational safety management; project management; unmanned systems; and engineering.
School Website: 
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14

Fortis Institute-Pensacola

Tuition/Year
$12,788
Graduation Rate
52%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

Fortis is a post-secondary network of colleges and institutes operating in 15 different states. They offer several online options for those that can't make it to one of their 40 locations. Their online degrees include Associate of Applied Business Degrees in business management - accounting; Internet marketing; business management; and business management - human resource management.
School Website: 
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15

Hodges University

Tuition/Year
$13,220
Graduation Rate
30%
# of Online Degrees
29
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Hodges University in Naples, Fla., offers associate degrees in business administration; computer information technology; criminal justice; digital design and graphics; health information management; health services administration; interdisciplinary studies; management; and paralegal studies. Online bachelor's degrees are offered in applied psychology; business administration; computer information technology; computer networking; criminal justice cybersecurity and forensics; digital design and graphics; health services administration; information systems business analyst; information systems management; interdisciplinary studies; legal studies; management; marketing and branding; and software development. It's graduate degree programs include business administration; health services administration; information systems management; legal studies; and management.
School Website: 
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16

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Miami

Tuition/Year
$13,456
Graduation Rate
72%
# of Online Degrees
3
Accredited
 
School Type
2-Year

About

The Miami branch of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts offers three online degrees for those interested in working in the are of culinary management. They offer two online associate degrees in culinary operations and hospitality & restaurant management, and one bachelor's degree in culinary management online.
School Website: 
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17

Saint Leo University

Tuition/Year
$20,420
Graduation Rate
46%
# of Online Degrees
29
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla., offers online bachelor's degree programs in business administration (with specialties in accounting, logistics, management, marketing, and project management); computer information systems; criminal justice; criminalistics; homeland security; healthcare management; human resources management; liberal studies; psychology; religion; and sociology. Its associate programs focus on business administration; criminal justice; information technology; and liberal arts. Its master's degree programs include business administration; educational leadership; exceptional student education; instructional leadership; reading; criminal justice; cybersecurity; instructional design; accounting; theology; advanced clinical practice; social work; and teaching exceptional children.
School Website: 
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School Interviews

Christine Broeker

Dr. Christine Broeker, interim executive director of eLearning at Seminole State College

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Seminole State College of Florida?

Seminole State offers nearly 40 fully online programs, including two baccalaureate programs. The college, which is regionally accredited, ranks as one of the most affordable four-year colleges in the nation.

In August 2014, Seminole State added these online two-year programs: Fire Science, which is recognized by FEMA, and Entrepreneurship and Business Management which is unique in Florida.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Online programs require a unique commitment from students as well as good time management skills, motivation and self-discipline. Take a look at yourself and examine what type of programs work best for you.

At Seminole State, we offer several types of courses, from traditional to hybrid (online and on-campus) to fully online. We also encourage students to take advantage of resources that are available to them. At Seminole State, we offer online tutoring, incorporating librarians within certain courses to help with research; and a team of student success specialists who provide advising services for online students.

Finally, students interested in online programs should always make sure the institution is regionally accredited.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

We know we’ll continue to see an increase in the number of students. Enrollment increased 15.5 percent in fall 2014 compared with fall 2013.

We expect students will use a range of mobile technologies, such as tablets and smartphones, to learn online. Technology will continue to emerge and improve – such as through voice recognition, retina display, fingerprint scanners and webcam tools -- and online learning will integrate new technology to enhance student learning.


Amy Locklear

Amy Locklear, vice president for academic affairs at Daytona State College

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Daytona State College?

The college ranks among the top 10 Best Online Bachelor's programs in the country, two years running, according to U.S. News & World Report. More than half of Daytona State's students take one or more online courses a year, and last year nearly 3,000 students enrolled in fully online programs at DSC. The college offers online 11 degree programs - including two-year university transfer - and 10 online certificate programs.

Q. How is online learning changing higher education?

Today we can give most students the delivery mode they need for success, be it online or on campus. That's the beauty of technology in modern higher education.

It's an exciting time in education. We're constantly looking at new best practices and multimedia instruction to help the success of today's students, who come from all stages and walks of life.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

While online classes have grown in number and popularity throughout higher education, distance learning requires self-discipline and time management to keep up with coursework deadlines and online lectures. Some students thrive in that environment, embracing digital communication and freedom from a physical setting. Others learn better in face-to-face settings, interacting directly with professors and fellow students. DSC recommends students review its advisory web page about online benefits and challenges before jumping into distance learning.

Top Cities For Students In Florida

Miami, Florida

Mean Wage

$43,120

Average Cost of a House

$357,000

# of Employed People

3000000

Total Population

5500000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$42,431

Economics

The Miami metropolitan area is home to about 3 million workers, who pull down an average annual salary of $43,120, or about $20.73 per hour. Miami provides roughly a third of all workers employed in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Cost of Living Index in Miami is 110.5, with average home prices just over $357,000.

Demographics

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area has about 5.5 million residents, who live in an area referred to as South Florida and the Gold Coast. It's a strip of oceanfront land that is about 110 miles long but only 20 miles wide at its thickest point, as the region sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades. Miami provides roughly a third of all workers employed in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fun Facts

There is no shortage of fun things to do in Miami. There is plenty of nightlife, ethnic restaurants, cruises, zoos, professional sports, museums, shopping and, when all else fails, the beach. Miami's Art Deco Historic District is a must-see for many visitors, and the Little Havana section provides tourists an authentic taste of Miami's strong Cuban flavor.

Tampa-St. Petersburg , Florida

Mean Wage

$42,320

Average Cost of a House

$209,709

# of Employed People

1300000

Total Population

4000000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$46,144

Economics

The Tampa Bay on the western shoreline of Florida is home to 1.3 million workers, who earn an average of $42,320 a year, or about $20.35 per hour. Although tourism is important to the region, one of its main economic drivers is its strong financial services and information technology industries. Average home prices in Tampa average $209,709, and the Cost of Living index is 92.9.

Demographics

The metropolitan area of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater supplies about 13 percent of the state's total workforce with a combined population of about 4 million people. The Tampa region has enjoyed steady growth in recent years, and is expected to continue growing in coming years.

Fun Facts

The Salvador Dali Museum is one of several high quality art museums in the Tampa Bay region. Visitors also enjoy going to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Weeki Wachee Springs and Legoland Florida. Tampa Bay is also home to professional football, hockey and baseball.

Orlando, Florida

Mean Wage

$39,400

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

1000000

Total Population

2100000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$41,628

Economics

The Orlando metro area, which includes Kissimmee and Sanford, supports just over a million workers, about 10 percent of the state's workforce. Workers in Orlando earn about $39,400 a year, or about $18.94 per hour. While those wages are less than those paid in other parts of the state, the unemployment rate in Orlando is among the lowest in Florida.

Demographics

Orlando is the county seat for Orange County, and its 2.1 million population makes it the 26th largest metro area in the country. In addition to is robust tourism industry, Orlando also hosts a great number of conferences and conventions, making its airport the 13th busiest in the nation.

Fun Facts

Orlando is known as the "The City Beautiful" and as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" for good reason. In addition to Walk Disney World, Orlando is home to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios.

Top Florida Articles
 
Other Florida Resources

Prospective students can utilize online tools to help find degree programs and plan their academic future. For example, the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus allows students to browse distance education offerings throughout the South. Florida Virtual Campus, a service of the State University System of Florida and the Florida College System, is a similar resource for programs available from the state's public schools. Students can search for online courses or degrees by level, subject, delivery method, and college. In addition, the site offers online academic advising services, career planning, and electronic access to the library holdings of all Florida public universities, including full-text journals, databases, and eBooks.


Sources:

  1. Amy Locklear, interview with the author, December 2014
  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  3. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33100.htm#00-0000
  4. Christine Broeker, interview with the author, December 2014
  5. Daytona State College, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daytona_State_College#Notable_alumni
  6. Degrees and Certificates Available Online, Daytona State College, http://www.daytonastate.edu/online/
  7. Distinguished Alumni, Seminole State College of Florida, https://www.seminolestate.edu/foundation/distinguishedalumni
  8. Dynamic Learning - Online, Palm Beach State College, https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/programs/bachelor/online-learning.aspx
  9. Earn Your Degree Entirely Online in One of the Following Programs, Indian River State College, http://virtualcampus.irsc.edu/online-degrees.html
  10. Eastern Florida State College, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Florida_State_College#Notable_alumni
  11. eLearning Degrees and Certificates, Seminole State College of Florida, https://www.seminolestate.edu/elearning/degrees/
  12. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide, http://worldwide.erau.edu/degrees-programs/online-campus/
  13. Florida Atlantic University, http://www.fau.edu/cel/catalog/distance-learning-programs.php
  14. Florida Gulf Coast University, http://www.fgcu.edu/distance/
  15. Florida International University, http://online.fiu.edu/programs/undergraduate
  16. Florida State College at Jacksonville, http://www.fscj.edu/academics/online-learning/online-degrees-and-certificates/
  17. Florida State College at Jacksonville Notable Alumni and Attendees, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_State_College_at_Jacksonville
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  21. Hodges University, http://www.hodges.edu/academics/academicPrograms/olPrograms.aspx
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  23. Jones College-Jacksonville, http://www.jones.edu/online-learning/
  24. Le Cordon Bleu Congratulates Chef Daryl Shular as One of Two Chefs in the Country to Earn Prestigious Certified Master Chef (CMC) Designation in 2014, Le Cordon Bleu, November 10, 2014, http://www.chefs.edu/About-Us/press-release/current-press-releases/brand/Chef-Daryl-Shular-ACF-CMC-Certification?archive=False
  25. List of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Embry%E2%80%93Riddle_Aeronautical_University_alumni
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  27. List of Florida International University People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Florida_International_University_people
  28. List of Florida Atlantic University People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Florida_Atlantic_University_people
  29. List of Florida State University People, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Florida_State_University_people
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  39. Sanford-Brown College Online, Sanford-Brown Institute, http://www.sanfordbrown.edu/online
  40. Success Stories from Le Cordon Bleu Graduates, Le Cordon Bleu, http://www.chefs.edu/Student-Life/success-stories
  41. Tampa Bay Area, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_Bay_Area
  42. University of Central Florida, http://programs.online.ucf.edu/
  43. Unlock Tampa Bay, http://www.visittampabay.com/play/
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