2017 Guide to online colleges in Florida

Despite the many opportunities to earn a degree in a traditional manner, many talented students aren’t able to attend a university in the traditional way of taking classes on campus. Thousands of motivated individuals are already working full time or are limited by personal circumstances and are not able to attend classes on campus. Others want to finish school at a faster pace than offered on campus. Whatever your reason for not attending college, you shouldn’t be limited in your educational opportunities.


With the increasing availability of online schooling, you can earn a degree on your own time, at your own pace, and in any place you choose across the country. Many colleges in the sunshine state offer quality online education. The only challenge is to find the best fit for your interests, financial situation, and professional goals. Luckily, we’re here to help.


Top 25 online colleges in Florida


25) Adventist University of Health Sciences




The Adventist University of Health Sciences is an Orlando university focused on providing a Christ-centered education and preparing professionals to extend health care services in a representation of the healing ministry of Jesus. The school is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and has a partnership with Florida Hospital, one of the largest medical facilities in the world. ADU offers online programs in health sciences fields like nursing, allied health, and health administration.


  • 5 Online Programs
  • 50% Graduation Rate
  • $12,430 Tuition


24) Pensacola State College




Although Pensacola State College’s primary location sits in its namesake Pensacola, Florida, the college also has five other sites. Pensacola is another extremely affordable university, sitting in the top 1% of most affordable colleges in the nation. The community college currently hosts more than 26,000 students and has six online programs available to students unable to attend one of the campuses. Associate’s degrees include areas like accounting technology and business management.


  • 6 Online Programs
  • 33% Graduation Rate
  • $2,704 Tuition


23) University of Miami


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Despite being one of the most well-known universities in the state, the University of Miami is somewhat limited in its online offerings. With that said, the school hosts nearly 17,000 students annually. Students can pursue degrees in finance, accounting, and sports administration. Even though these are top-notch programs, they come at a hefty price.


  • 7 Online Programs
  • 81% Graduation Rate
  • $45,600 Tuition


22) Warner University




The very first commencement ceremony at Warner University in 1972 celebrated just four graduates. Since then, the school has grown significantly currently hosting nearly 1,500 students pursuing degrees in one of more than 30 areas. With this growth came the availability of fully online degrees offered by the university. Online students can pursue degrees in areas such as business administration, educational studies, healthcare management, and transformational Christian ministry.

  • 9 Online Programs
  • 38% Graduation Rate
  • $18,966 Tuition


21) Trinity College of Florida




Trinity College of Florida, located in Trinity, Florida is a college with a biblical foundation focused on creating a tightly-knit community between students and professors. With a 9-1 student-to-teacher ratio, students at Trinity College get more intimate and personalized instruction from experienced faculty members. Online students complete their degree through the TrinityQuest program. Through this program, students can either complete 5-week courses by attending classes one evening a week or complete all coursework online.


  • 9 Online Programs
  • 32% Graduation Rate
  • $13,860 Tuition


20) Daytona State College




Daytona State College in Daytona Beach has been offering online degrees since 1996. The institution has grown over the years to seven different campus locations. It offers over 300 online courses. Students may earn online certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. Subject areas include technology, management, and engineering. 81% of students at Daytona State receive some financial aid on top of an already affordable tuition cost.


  • 9 Online Programs
  • 40% Graduation Rate
  • $3,134 Tuition


19) Northwood University



Northwood University is a specialized business school located in West Palm Beach. Students at Northwood University have the flexibility of completing their degrees 100% online or through a blended approach of online and on-campus classes. Degrees offered from Northwood include accounting, aftermarket management, entrepreneurship, finance, and healthcare management. Online students can begin classes during spring, summer, or fall semesters with start dates in spring and summer.


  • 10 Online Programs
  • 42% Graduation Rate
  • $21,950 Tuition


18) Florida Gulf Coast University




Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Myers, Florida, is one of the youngest schools on this list. However, despite the university having been established less than 20 years ago, the school has over 23,000 graduates. In its second semester as a university, Florida Gulf Coast began its online distance learning program and has continued the tradition ever since. FGCU offers degrees at certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels in areas like criminal justice, physical therapy, and planning. With affordable tuition and a nearly 60% acceptance rate, FGCU is an accessible university to students of all walks of life.


  • 11 Online Programs
  • 49% Graduation Rate
  • $6,118 Tuition


17) Florida Atlantic University




With the main campus in Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University also has campuses in six other locations including Dania Beach and Fort Lauderdale. FAU provides many online programs through several different colleges. In 2015-2016, more than a quarter of total graduates came from the business college. Many online courses offered by FAU are business related including four different bachelor’s in business administration with a variety of specific concentrations. Apart from business, FAU also offers programs in the areas of social inquiry, education, nursing, and engineering.


  • 12 Online Programs
  • 46% Graduation Rate
  • $4,831 Tuition

16) Broward College




Broward College is a highly affordable college based in the Fort Lauderdale area. Not only is the tuition cost already much more affordable than other private and state universities, but Broward also offers many online courses with no cost for textbooks. Broward College also supports online students with a unique approach to financial aid, an online library, technical support, and access to required software for free. Online programs include nursing, information technology, and management. Broward College is a perfect option for online students looking for education at a better value.


  • 14 Online Programs
  • 32% Graduation Rate
  • $2,542 Tuition


15) Florida Institute of Technology




The Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida is the only independent technological university in the Southeast. As such, FIT offers impressive online education options over an engaging platform. Online students can enhance their learning through live chats with professors, discussion boards, and student forums. Online programs in areas like business, information systems, criminal justice and liberal arts are provided through 8-week terms, 100% online. All online courses are offered through a partnership with University Alliance.


  • 15 Online Programs
  • 55% Graduation Rate
  • $37,990 Tuition


14) Southeastern University




Although Southeastern University was originally established in New Brockton, Alabama, it was since moved to Lakeland, Florida and provides education to students all over the country. Southeastern University is another faith-based university and even offers an online degree in ministerial leadership. The base of faith, learning, and service established by the university is further supplemented by access to an online chapel and online tutoring. Southeastern University accepts around 44% of applicants, and 79% of students receive some financial aid.


  • 17 Online Programs
  • 42% Graduation Rate
  • $22,202 Tuition


13) Everglades University




Everglades University is another school in Boca Raton, but also has campuses in Sarasota, Orlando, and Tampa. This university supports students with a variety of student services for online degree seekers. Students studying online have access to free online tutoring, technical support, and the university’s online library. Online students also benefit from state-of-the-art virtual classes that include interactive lessons and live chats on top of the class schedules and electronic lesson plans. Students both online and on campus are also assigned an academic advisor to guide their education and future career plans.


  • 18 Online Programs
  • 58% Graduation Rate
  • $16,000 Tuition


12) State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota



The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota offers a range of options for students either online or on campus. Students can choose from courses entirely online, a combination of online and on-campus classes, or technology-enhanced face-to-face instruction at any of its three different campuses. Since 1957, SCFMS has helped 27,000 students progress in their education as well as an additional 14,000 individuals participating in professional development and personal enrichment classes.


  • 22 Online Programs
  • 31% Graduation Rate
  • $4,206 Tuition Cost


11) Hodges University




Hodges University in Naples, Florida is another university that offers online options for degrees at all levels. Students can pursue associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in areas like psychology, digital design, management, and information technology. Hodges’ UPower is also a huge benefit offered by the school to highly motivated students. UPower allows you to complete courses at the pace you dictate and has a cost cap no matter how many classes you end up taking.


  • 26 Online Programs
  • 29% Graduation Rate
  • $3,000 for six months unlimited course access with UPower


10) Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide




Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a university located in Daytona Beach. The school has an emphasis on its aeronautical science and aerospace engineering programs but also offers more than 30 other areas of study more commonly found in non-specialized colleges. For online students, Embry-Riddle provides the ability for video or audio-streamed classes in real time. Another unique option for online students from Embry-Riddle is some programs offer combined graduate work which would allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s in just five years.


  • 30 Online Programs
  • 55% Graduation Rate
  • $8,040 Tuition Cost


9) Lynn University




Boca Raton, Florida is home to Lynn University. Apart from its top-tier educational offerings, this university is widely recognized for its athletic prowess having won 23 national championships in various sports. This school hosts a smaller student population of just over 3,000, but the students come from over 100 different countries. For online students looking to get their degree quickly, Lynn University provides accelerated terms. The university is also dedicated to providing a technology-enhanced learning experience with the core curriculum based on iPads.


  • 34 Online Programs
  • 40% Graduation Rate
  • $35,400 Tuition


8) Keiser University




This university, based in Fort Lauderdale, takes a unique career-focused approach to online schooling. Keiser University was initially founded in 1977 to assist adult learners in advancing their professional lives. Now, the university provides more than 20,000 students with online options and 18 distance learning sites to support the busy schedules of working students. Online students also have access to career preparation services including resume preparation, job interview coaching, and professional development workshops.


  • 42 Online Programs
  • 60% Graduation Rate
  • $16,936 Tuition


7) Baptist College of Florida




The Baptist College of Florida is a private institution in Graceville, Florida that somewhat in 1943. The school has a pronounced focus on preparing future Christian leaders and providing students with a quality education based on its Christian values. This university offers several completely online courses, but also provides the option of studying at one of the several off-campus instructional sites. Online courses at this school are asynchronous allowing students to complete coursework in any order.


  • 42 Online Programs
  • 58% Graduation Rate
  • $10,200 Tuition


6) Florida International University




Florida International University is the only public research university in Miami and was founded in 1965. FIU is another school on this list that offers resources in student services to all online students. For those looking to fast track their education, Students can complete many of the online programs in as quickly as a year. FIU is also unique in its offering of Mass Open Online Courses which are free, condensed college courses available to anyone.


  • 42 Online Programs
  • 54% Graduation Rate
  • $6,497 Tuition


5) University of Central Florida


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The University of Central Florida is a public university in Orlando that serves over 60,000 students. One huge benefit of completing an online degree with UCF is that the school pairs each online student with Student Success Coach. Students have a range of choices from completely online degrees to partially in-class instruction to completely face-to-face education. For adults that already have some college credits but lack those sufficient for an actual degree, UCF is a great option. As a partner with Complete Florida, the university assists people with some credits to earn their degree.


  • 43 Online Programs
  • 70% Graduation Rate
  • $6,368 Tuition


4) University of Florida


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As the oldest university in the state, the University of Florida- Gainesville has helped thousands of students achieve their higher education goals. The school boasts an impressive 85% graduation rate and is one of the most accessible institutions by tuition cost. The online programs include many open online courses that anyone can take regardless of enrollment status. The University of Florida offers online degrees at all levels and even offers four international online programs.


  • 47 Online Programs
  • 85% Graduation Rate
  • $6,313 Tuition


3) Nova Southeastern University




One of the few schools on this list located in Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University was established in 1964 and currently hosts 24,000 current students. Although Nova Southeastern offers several completely online programs, the university also offers added flexibility with the option for online students to attend one its many regional campuses. At these campuses, students can interact with peers and communicate with main campus professors via video conferencing technology. Another reason this school is a great online college in Florida is due to the ability to start classes at six different times throughout the year.


  • 48 Online Programs
  • 43% Graduation Rate
  • $27,660 Tuition


2) Saint Leo University




Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida sits at the top of this list due to its impressive variety of online options combined with its dedication to providing student services to all of its students, traditional or not. Saint Leo offers services like tutoring, technical support, and peer mentoring to all online students. Students have the choice of completing programs at any level from certificate programs to doctoral degrees. Although not particularly inexpensive, 99% of students receive some financial aid at Saint Leo.


  • 48 Online Programs
  • 45% Graduation Rate
  • $21,600 Tuition


1) Florida State University




Over 55% of applicants to Florida State University are admitted each year. The Tallahassee based university is one of the most well-known public universities in the state of Florida and offers great variety in online degrees. Students can pursue a degree in anything from nursing to risk management and insurance. The school hosts more than 45,000 students on an annual basis. FSU also has some of the best athletic programs in the nation with consistent national success in many different sports, so there are bragging rights. On top of all of this, 95% of students receive some financial aid.


  • 50 Online Programs
  • 78% Graduation Rate
  • $4,640 Tuition


The Ranking Process


This list is an incredible resource for anyone looking at pursuing a degree online. Each of these Florida online schools was primarily evaluated and ranked based on the number and variety of online programs with additional considerations of tuition cost, options for flexibility, and graduation rate.


If you’re looking at starting or continuing your college education online, check out any of these great schools on our list. If your school isn’t listed here, please reach out to be featured on a future list!