Pursuing a degree at one of the cheapest colleges in Florida may not seem like a good idea to individuals that believe that receiving a high-quality education is only achieved by graduating from an expensive college. Prospective students or their parents possibly believe that obtaining a better job and good career depends upon graduating from an expensive college.
Discover the truth about comparing the value of earning a degree from one of the most expensive colleges in Florida to one of the cheapest colleges in Florida.
Is There Real Value in Earning a Degree from the Cheapest Colleges in Florida?
The Pew Research Center explains that when considering career attainment, economic well-being, and job satisfaction, college graduates outperform their peers with less education. Analysis showed that the annual earnings of college graduates was significantly higher than the earnings of individuals without a college degree.
Do you believe that attending an expensive college or university guarantees you a better education and greater career opportunities? A Gallup poll revealed that only nine percent of surveyed business leaders considered where a job candidate received their degree as ‘very important.’ Yet, 84 percent of the business leaders considered the knowledge of a candidate ‘very important,’ and 79 percent rated the skills of a job candidate as ‘very important.’
The results of another Gallup study involving nearly 30,000 college graduates showed that just three percent of the students had the college experiences that Gallup relates to ‘great jobs and great lives’ after graduation. The type of school, whether a large public school, a smaller school or a private school hardly mattered at all when considering current well-being or workplace engagement.
Consider these cheapest colleges in Florida to gain the same knowledge and skills often received at higher-priced schools.
1. St. Johns River State College
St. Johns River State College has three campuses across Northeast Florida. The college offers several technical and vocational certificates, apprenticeship programs, several associate’s degrees, and three bachelor’s degree programs. Do your work or life responsibilities prevent you from attending regular classes on-campus? Consider enrolling in online courses to complete your certificate or degree program.
- Tuition: $78.74 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CoARC, ACEN
2. Seminole State College of Florida
The Seminole State College of Florida is one of the cheapest colleges in Florida to offer certificates, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Students choose from more than 100 degree or certificate programs, including several bachelor’s degree options. The school also offers more than 40 fully online programs.
The school charges the same tuition for residents and non-resident students.
- Tuition: $79.78 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, ABA, AECT, ACEN, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, CoAEMSP, FESHE, CAPTE, CoARC, ASE Education Foundation
3. Florida Southwestern State College
Students at Florida SouthWestern State College benefit from one-on-one mentoring from all their professors, which the school believes contributes to the success of every student. The college offers 45 academic programs, offered through the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Pure and Applied Sciences, School of Business and Technology, the School of Education, or the School of Health Professions.
- Tuition: $81.21 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAAHEP, CODA, ACEN, CoARC, CoAEMSP, CAPTE
4. College of Central Florida
The College of Central Florida offers certificate programs, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees that include more than 140 pathways to help students reach their educational and career goals. Some students earn complete their courses online while other students enjoy the online course offerings. Students have the opportunity to earn a degree completely online if they cannot attend classes on campus.
Do you want to work in a non-traditional area? Consider an agribusiness degree, or earning an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in an equine studies area. Consider the applied welding technologies program if you prefer a technical certificate program.
- Tuition: $82.78 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CODA, JRCERT, ACEN, CAHIIM, CAPTE, CAAHEP
5. College of the Florida Keys
The College of the Florida Keys says that the school does not just produce college graduates, but that ‘We develop well-rounded citizens who will thrive in their careers and shape the society of tomorrow.’
Earn your degree while enjoying the island location, and the small class sizes. Some academic programs include the Associate of Science Marine Environmental Technology degree, or a certificate or degree in business, hospitality, criminal justice, nursing, or other options.
- Tuition: $82.78 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC
6. Pensacola State College
The award-winning Pensacola State College offers more than 100 programs across six locations. There are four bachelor’s degree programs, in addition to the many certificate and associate’s degree programs. Graduates of Pensacola State College are guaranteed transfer placement at a Florida university to continue their education. The school indicates that the primary focus of every program is to help each student to reach their educational or career goals.
- Tuition: $91.79 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACF, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, CODA, ACEN, CCNE, NCER, JRCERT, AVMA
7. Gulf Coast State College
Gulf Coast State College offers more than 40 technical, vocational, and workforce certificate programs, more than 100 associate’s degree programs, and four bachelor’s degree programs. The school also offers several continuing education opportunities.
More than 95 percent of students were either employed or continued their education within one-year of graduation. More than 98 percent of students recommend the school.
- Tuition: $98.75 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CODA, ACEN, CCNE, CoARC, CAPTA, CAAHEP, American Culinary Federation
8. Tallahassee Community College
Students at Tallahassee Community College choose their major from more than 70 certificate and degree programs across 10 academic divisions. Many students enjoy the online learning format, with five online degree options.
The school invites prospective students to ‘start your journey to success.’
- Tuition: $100.83 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ADA, CoARC, CODA, ACEN, Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions
9. Palm Beach State College
The Palm Beach State College history dates back to more than 80 years ago, when it opened as a community college. There are now five campuses that serve nearly 49,000 students. Students choose from more than 130 programs of study, including associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degree programs. The school indicates that it is the nation’s leader in educating skilled professionals. There is also an honors program.
- Tuition: $101 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CODA
10. Daytona State College
Daytona State College explains that its curriculum is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to become a more responsible, informed, and articulate citizen. The college features four academic divisions, along with online programs. The school offers certificates, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees in areas such as barbering and cosmetology, broadcast TV production, nursing, electronics engineering, and education. There are a variety of other academic programs.
- Tuition: est. $102.40 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, NATEF, CODA, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, ABET, AAMA, ACEN
11. State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota
The State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota was formerly known as Manatee Community College before the school began offering bachelor’s degree programs. The school offers certificate and associate’s degree programs, along with online program options in addition to the bachelor’s degrees across 13 academic program areas. State College of Florida also features an accelerated dual enrollment program.
- Tuition: $102.48 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, ACOTE, CODA, CAPTE, JRCERT
12. Florida State College at Jacksonville
The Florida State College at Jacksonville boasts a 95 percent job placement and transfer rate for its graduates. The school offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs at a number of campus locations. Start on the path to your future by choosing your academic focus area from the eight areas of study, which includes Arts, Humanities, Communication and Design, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Public Safety, Industry, Manufacturing, and Construction, STEM, or Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services.
- Tuition: $104.88 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACBSP, CCIE, JRC-CTV, ACFEF, CODA, CAHIIM, NAACLS, ACEN, CoARC, CAPTE, ACOTE
13. Florida Atlantic University
The main campus of Florida Atlanta University is located in Boca Raton Florida, and has five satellite campuses. Do you want to earn an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree in an academic area that is not the typical degree program areas? Consider pursuing a degree in ocean engineering, neuroscience and behavior, actuarial science, the casino and gaming industry or marine science and oceanography.
Florida Atlantic University offers associate’s degree’s bachelor’s degrees, master’s and doctoral degrees. The school also offers post-graduate certificate programs. Non-resident students pay the same tuition as residents, both for undergraduate and graduate programs. The graduate tuition is just $303.71 per credit hour.
- Tuition: $105.07 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), CCNE, IIA, NCATE, NAAB, ABET, AACSB, PMI, HRCI, ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program
14. Santa Fe College
Santa Fe College offers a variety of certificate programs, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degree programs. The school says that its philosophy is simple. Santa Fe College offers ‘education that ensures prosperous futures.’
The school offers 36 certificate programs. There are associate of arts degrees in business, networking systems technology, nursing, theatre and entertainment technology and 29 other options. There are dozens of other education focus options, including nine bachelor’s degrees .
- Tuition: $106.77 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CODA, CCNE, ACEN, CAAHEP, CAPTE, JRCERT, American Council for Construction Education, Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology
15. Lake Sumter State College
Lake Sumter State College believes that your success is their mission. The school embraces a learning environment that focuses on providing high-quality, innovative instruction, and personal attention to every student. The school offers 15 technical certificate programs, nine associate degree programs, and two bachelor’s degrees. Students in a bachelor’s degree program pay just slightly more for tuition compared to students in an associate’s degree program.
- Tuition: $107.73 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, MSSC, ACEN
16. Polk State College
Polk State College was a community college until it received approval to award bachelor’s degrees. Today, the college serves more than 20,000 students across multiple campus sites, and online. The school offers certificate programs, 24 associate degree programs, and six bachelor’s degree programs. Students have the advantage of small class sizes, hands-on learning opportunities, exceptional faculty, a vibrant student life, and affordable tuition.
Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program pay a slightly higher tuition rate than students enrolled in associate degree programs. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree pay just $123.89 per credit hour.
- Tuition: $112.22 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAAHEP, CALEA, ACEN, NIMS
17. Broward College
Broward College indicates that ‘Brighter futures begin here,’ and that every student can transform their life. There are three locations and six additional centers that serve Broward College students. There are dozens of degree options to choose from across eight academic areas.
Consider an associate’s degree in business, or in the arts, humanities, communication and design, or the health sciences programs. Other options include the industry, manufacturing, construction and transportation option, a degree in education, a degree in STEM, or a degree in social behavioral sciences and human services. Bachelor’s degree options at the college include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or a bachelor’s degree in education, supervision and management or in technology. Some courses are offered online.
- Tuition: $117.90 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CCNE, COA, CAHIIM, CAPTE, CoARC, CAAHEP, CODA, FAA, JRCERT, NASAD, NASM
18. Eastern Florida State College
Eastern Florida State College offers students the opportunity to choose from more than 100 academic programs, leading to completion of a certificate program, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Some students complete their degree 100 percent online or through a hybrid format, which means taking some courses online and completing other requirements in the traditional classroom setting. The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) leads to an alternative path to teaching grades prekindergarten through 12th grade for students that hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an area outside of education. Students receive a certificate of completion upon completing the Educator Preparation Institute program.
Tuition: $128.51 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, COA, ACEN, CCNE, CODA, CAHEA, NAACLS, JRCERT, AVMA, CoARC, CAAHEP, COAEMSP, NATEF
19. Florida State University – Panama City
Florida State University Panama City wants to see all students achieve their personal best, and turn their dreams into reality. The school offers a supportive and challenging learning environment that provides the tools and real-world experiences to help every student succeed in the classroom and beyond the classroom.
Start your future path when you choose a certificate program, an undergraduate or graduate degree program. The school invites students to enroll in the graduate school without the burden of having to submit GRE scores. There are 18 undergraduate academic degrees and nine graduate programs, including some online programs. Graduate students have the opportunity to pursue their master’s degree or in some areas, to earn a doctoral degree.
Tuition for graduate students is an affordable $444.26 per credit hour.
- Tuition: $180.49 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, COA, ABET, Behavior Analysis Accreditation Board, Council on Social Work Accreditation
20. Florida International University
Florida International University students study across South Florida, across the U.S., and across the globe. The school is a public research university that offers more than 200 degrees, including a variety of online programs.
Students choose their preferred academic path from bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctoral degree options. Start on your educational and career path to success by choosing to earn a degree in an area such as business, communications, or criminal justice. Perhaps you prefer to earn your degree in an area not offered at most schools. Consider earning an MS or PhD in biomedical engineering, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership, or a Master of Arts or PhD in Global and Sociocultural Studies. Do you already have your undergraduate degree and want to pursue a career as a physician? Consider completing the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program. The school offers the Juris Doctor (JD) for students that want to practice law, and both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing and many other areas.
Most graduate students pay an estimated $456 per credit hour for tuition.
- Tuition: $205.60 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CEPH, AACSB, ACEJMC, LCME, LAAB, NAAB, CAHIIM, CIDA, NASM, NAST, NASAD, ABET, CCNE, CEPH
We included each of these schools that are fully accredited by ranking them as among the cheapest colleges in the State of Florida. We wanted to shine a light on Florida schools that provide a high-quality education at an affordable cost. When there was a tie, we gave the school with the highest number of academic programs and accrediting bodies the higher ranking.
We took an unbiased approach in our rankings, and we do our best to be fair, honest and accurate in the ranking of the schools. Please note that the listed cost of tuition is the cost of enrolling in the classes, and is based on one credit hour of study. The listed tuition is for resident students unless stated otherwise in the listing of an individual school. The tuition cost does not cover required fees, supplies, housing, or other costs of attending the college or university.
We do not allow any college to pay us for a higher ranking. We list any sponsored school separately, where it is clearly labeled as SPONSORED.
If you would like us to include your school in our rankings, or if you need to update your school’s information, please feel free to contact us.