Best Online Colleges in Florida

There are many schools in Florida that offer programs completely or primarily online in a variety of subject areas. Explore the top 25 schools as well as popular programs and careers.

Best Florida Colleges with Online Programs

When choosing an online program in Florida, students should consider school accreditation, cost, flexibility and program length. Listed below are 25 of the top schools in Florida that offer online programs.

1. Santa Fe College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Gainesville, FL $2,563 68%

Santa Fe College is accredited by the SACSCOC, or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, as well as various other program-specific accrediting agencies. The school offers numerous undergraduate programs including associate's degrees, certificates and bachelor's degrees. Students can choose from majors such as information systems, nursing, education, management and business. SFC offers many courses in completely or primarily online formats, enabling students to complete all or most of their degree without coming to campus. Florida residents have a tuition cost per credit of $78 to $92 while out-of-state residents have a tuition rate of around $310 to $367 per credit hour.

2. Nova Southeastern University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fort Lauderdale, FL $30,900 100%

Nova Southeastern University offers more than 60 programs online with little to no on-site requirements. Students can pursue undergraduate degrees in subjects such as health science, psychology and human services management, or graduate degrees in areas such as computer science, forensic psychology and education. NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as well as program-accrediting agencies such as the Computing Accreditation Commission (computer science) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (education programs). Depending on their program and degree level, students may have a tuition fee of $15,575 for up to 18 credit hours (undergraduate) or $755 to $1,330 per credit hour (graduate). NSU has a 79% retention rate for first-time students who study full-time and boasts a 17:1 student-faculty ratio.

3. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fort Lauderdale, FL $20,208 88%

Keiser University has institutional accreditation through SACSCOC and programmatic accreditation through several organizations including the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The school has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 and a retention rate of 79% (full-time students). Keiser offers dozens of undergraduate degree programs online, including majors in psychology, public safety and criminal justice, and has an undergraduate tuition rate of $9,904 per semester for full-time undergraduate students. Online graduate students can choose programs in management or business administration and have a tuition of $12,586 to $13,188 per semester (12 credit hours).

4. Florida International University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Miami, FL $6,546 89%

Florida International University has a retention rate of 90%, a student to faculty ratio of 26:1, and one of the most affordable tuition rates for Florida residents. Undergraduate Florida residents have a tuition-per-semester rate of $3,432 (15 credit hours), while graduates have a rate of $4,310 (9 credit hours). FIU offers more than 60 programs entirely online at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including degree programs in curriculum & instruction, engineering, hospitality and psychology. FIU has institutional accreditation through the SACSCOC along with program accreditation through various other agencies for programs in business, healthcare management and more.

5. University of Florida

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Gainesville, FL $6,381 93%

The University of Florida offers undergraduate degree programs, master's degree programs and specialist and doctoral degree programs online. With more than 200 programs available, students can choose from a multitude of degree options including those in computer science, business administration, education and engineering. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and boasts a student-faculty ratio of 18:1. Undergraduate in-state students have an estimated tuition cost of $3,876 per year while in-state graduate students have an estimated tuition cost of $12,740.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Seminole State College of Florida Sanford, FL $3,131 74%
7 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL $23,020 100%
8 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL $6,368 90%
9 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL $11,400 90%
10 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL $4,831 81%
11 University of South Florida Tampa, FL $6,410 91%
12 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL $9,360 60%
13 Hodges University Naples, FL $14,180 81%
14 Herzing University Winter Park, FL $14,000 100%
15 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL $5,656 96%
16 Carlos Albizu University-Miami Miami, FL $12,444 67%
17 Everglades University Boca Raton, FL $17,600 77%
18 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL $6,394 82%
19 Jacksonville University Jacksonville, FL $36,670 98%
20 Barry University Miami, FL $20,014 100%
21 Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL $31,450 100%
22 Ave Maria University Ave Maria, FL $20,850 98%
23 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL $6,118 75%
24 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL $6,360 89%
25 AdventHealth University Orlando, FL $12,240 96%

Table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition values represent undergraduate tuition for the 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Choosing the Right Online College in Florida

If you're considering an online program in Florida, there are a few factors to think about. First, it's important to understand that online programs require more self-motivation and discipline, but they enable you to study from any location at times convenient for you.

Programs Available

When reviewing your school choices, you should choose what field you're interested in studying. Just because a college offers a program doesn't mean it is available online. Once you know which program you wish to pursue, check with your schools to see if it is available online and if the admissions requirements are feasible.

Accreditation

Although most schools will have some type of accreditation, it is important to confirm that your schools have proper accreditation. Accreditation is mandatory for federal aid, and programmatic accreditation may be required depending on your field of study, especially if it involves certification or licensure.

On-site Requirements

Many online programs in Florida can be completed without ever stepping foot on campus, but some programs may require students to attend one or more face-to-face sessions. These might look like orientations, periodic learning sessions, or practicum components for programs with hands-on experience requirements (such as nursing or teaching).

Flexibility

Depending on your time constraints, you may need a program that is offered full-time or part-time. Additionally, while most programs offer asynchronous courses, some classes can require synchronous (scheduled) components. Synchronous items can include scheduled exams or lectures and may be included in one course or all courses of a program. It's vital to ask your school what the flexibility of your program involves to ensure it fits with your schedule.

Faculty

When enrolling in an online program, it's important to inquire about the program faculty. How many faculty members are involved in your program, and how quickly do they respond to student inquiries? What is their background in the field? Asking about faculty can be a key factor in your success in an online program.

Cost

The cost of an online program in Florida can vary substantially and include various program and out-of-pocket expenses. Review all required costs for your program and keep in mind that there are a variety of financial aid options available to online students.

Transferring Credits in Florida Online Programs

Online programs in Florida typically allow students to transfer qualifying credits from accredited institutions. The number of credits that students can transfer vary based on the program that they are entering. Credit transfers can save students both time and money throughout their programs. In general, students entering a bachelor's degree program can transfer up to around 60 credit hours, cutting their program requirements in half.

Students who have already completed coursework through an online program in Florida can also transfer those credits to another institution. As long as the credits were earned at an accredited school, like those listed above, students will be able to transfer those that apply to their new program with the same limitations and allowances as their online program.

Accreditation for Online Programs in Florida

Schools that offer online programs in Florida can be accredited through various agencies, regional or national. Regional accreditation is more common and is typically easier to transfer credits out of while national accreditation typically means more relaxed admission standards, less expensive tuition and for-profit schools. Regardless of whether a school has regional or national accreditation, both types articulate that a school has met specific criteria. To gain accreditation, schools are reviewed on things like graduation rates, curriculum and faculty. Accreditation is reviewed and renewed (or denied) every few years by the accrediting agency. For students to qualify for financial aid, they must attend an accredited institution.

In addition to institutional accreditation, students should also consider if their program needs programmatic accreditation. This accreditation is awarded similarly to institutional accreditation but focuses on program-specific criteria. Programmatic accreditation is common for programs such as nursing and education and may be required for graduates to gain licensure in their field.

Cost of an Online Degree in Florida

The cost of an online degree in Florida varies based on the previous education of students as well as their chosen program and degree level. Students who have completed some college coursework may be able to transfer in several credits, decreasing the overall costs of their degree. When reviewing the costs associated with a program, students should consider more than just the listed tuition fee.

Tuition

The most prominent cost associated with earning a degree is tuition. A school may post $200 per credit hour for tuition, but that may only apply to in-state students. Out-of-state students enrolling in the same program may have a tuition rate of $600 per credit hour. If these rates are applied to a full bachelor's degree program, the in-state student would have a tuition cost of $24,000 while the out-of-state students would have a total tuition cost of $72,000. Some online schools offer one tuition rate for all students, but most schools have separate rates.

Common Costs

In addition to the cost of tuition, students typically have other fees directly associated with their degree program. These fees can include online learning or technology fees, course fees, book or supplies fees and registration fees. Throughout their program, these fees can add up to several thousand dollars. Students should review all fees associated with their programs to get a good picture of the total cost of attendance. Although most schools separate these fees, some schools do wrap tuition and fees together and charge a flat-rate fee by credit hour or semester.

Other Costs

Students should consider other costs that are indirectly associated with their program such as those needed to maintain their online capabilities. Most online programs require students to have a personal computer. In most cases, the computer needs to be fairly new and equipped with a certain level of memory to ensure it can access its online learning platform. Students usually need to have reliable internet access at their home, which will come out of their own pockets.

Financial Aid

Students can obtain financial aid for their online program in Florida through a variety of sources. They should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which shows what types of aid that they can qualify for. After filling out the FAFSA, students can look for scholarships through their school and other sources, some of which are available to students in specific programs. After searching for scholarships, students may choose to obtain work-study aid, which pays some of their program costs in exchange for part-time work.

Students who still have program costs that are not covered can obtain loans through federal, local, state and private sources. Federal loans are income-based and have interest rates that are set nationally. They're generally the best option for student loans because students can apply for income-based repayment plans upon graduation, and may qualify to have some or all of their loans forgiven federally or by their employers.

Popular Programs and Careers in Florida

The most popular programs for online students are business, management, computer and information sciences, health, social sciences and humanities. Graduates are equipped to pursue a variety of careers. The most popular career fields in Florida are administrative support, business, healthcare, education and management. Several popular careers are discussed in further detail below, along with career requirements, salary and job growth.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistant programs typically award graduates with an associate's degree or a diploma. Medical assistants work under the supervision of nurses, doctors, and various other healthcare providers, completing both clinical and administrative duties. Their tasks may include assisting with patient exams and counsel, scheduling appointments, updating records and preparing samples for laboratory testing.

Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners

These advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) provide primary and collaborative care to patients. Their duties can include assessing and diagnosing patients, administering medications and treatments as well as monitoring and working with patients to improve their health. APRNs are registered nurses who have earned a master's degree in their field of specialty and passed required licensure exams.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct children in a variety of subjects, usually teaching a broad number of topics. Their duties can include grading, creating lessons, conferring with parents and providing individual support to students. They typically need to have at least a bachelor's degree and state certification to teach.

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators create, revise and implement curriculums in schools. They typically need to have a master's degree and applicable experience in school administration or teaching.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers provide instruction to students beyond high school and usually teach their subject of expertise. Although some community colleges hire teachers who have earned a master's degree, most other positions require teachers to have earned a doctoral degree in their teaching field.

Elementary, Middle and High School Principals

Principals oversee and direct schools and their operations. Principals can be responsible for tasks such as counseling students, reviewing teacher performances, meeting with parents and maintaining curriculum standards. Principals usually need to have at least a master's degree and experience as teachers.

Management Analysts

Management analysts need a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in business administration or a related field. They work with managers to improve the efficiency of an organization and their tasks can include reviewing finances and operations and recommending new procedures.

Financial Managers

Financial Managers maintain the financial health of companies and are responsible for tasks such as reviewing financial reports, analyzing trends in the market and supervising employees. Financial managers usually need significant work experience and a bachelor's or master's degree in fields such as business and finance.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts need a bachelor's degree or higher in market research, business administration or a related field. These analysts monitor the conditions of the market to estimate the results of specific products or services.

Job Title National Median Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Medical Assistant $33,610 23%
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners $113,930 26%
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $57,980 3%
Instructional Coordinators $64,450 6%
Postsecondary Teachers $78,470 11%
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals $95,310 4%
Management Analysts $83,610 14%
Financial Managers $127,990 16%
Market Research Analysts $63,120 20%

All job and outlook information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
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  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
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  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
      • DBA in Management
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  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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    Popular programs at Ashford University:

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

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