Community Colleges in Florida offer outstanding options for students that want to earn a career certificate, a technical certificate, or an associate’s degree. Some students attend a Florida community college because they want to learn the skills necessary for a particular career, or to earn the required certification that allows them to work in a particular trade. Other students complete an associate of arts (A.A.) degree because they plan to transfer to a school with four-year degree programs. Students earning an associate of science (A.S.) degree likely plan to start working in their chosen career after graduation.
There are some colleges that are considered community colleges that also offered a limited number of bachelor’s degrees.
Is Attending a Community College in Florida Really Worth It?
This is a question that some prospective students may ask when considering whether to attend one of the community colleges in Florida. Does earning a certificate really matter? What about an associate’s degree? The truth is that there is a significant difference when considering whether completing a Florida Community College program really matters in earnings or career progression.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that adults do not necessarily have to earn a bachelor’s degree to earn higher wages. The BLS lists 99 occupations that typically do not require completion of a bachelor’s degree program, stating that most of the occupations require only a community college-level certificate or associate’s degree. The BLS projects that employment for individuals that have an associate’s degree or a post-secondary certificate is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2026, which is faster than the projected 7 percent average for all occupations.
Consider the comparison between the annual wages of someone with a high school diploma and the wages of someone with an associate’s degree. A worker with an associate’s degree in 2017 earned an average of $16,730 more than a worker with only a high school diploma. The authors of a 2019 Business Insider article indicated that the median annual pay range for individuals with an associate’s degree was between $55,460 to just under $75,000, and that some workers earn over $100,000 a year, depending on the particular job.
These community colleges in Florida offer a variety of opportunities for people that want to learn a new trade, start a new career, change careers, or that want to earn an advanced degree to prepare for their future.
Please note that the listed tuition rates are the costs for resident students. Some schools charge different rates for non-residents. Tuition does not include extra costs such as lab fees, material fees, books, uniforms, or transportation, unless stated in a school’s listing. Tuition covers only the cost of enrolling in each particular course.
1. Manatee Technical College
The Manatee Technical College career and technical education programs serve students that want to prepare for the ever-changing workforce. The school offers more than 50 programs, which is more than any other technical college in Florida.
Choose from programs in architecture & construction, the arts, audio-visual technology and communications, your choice of four business programs, or education and training options. Students may wish to enroll in one of the 13 healthcare options, such as medical assisting, dental assisting, medical laboratory assisting, practical nursing, or optometry assistant. There are also options in human services, the barber, the cosmetology, facials specialty or nails specialty. Other concentrations include hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, or public safety.
The tuition is affordable, even for out-of-state students, who pay just $11.71 per clock hour.
- Tuition: $2.92 per clock hour
- Accreditation: COE, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, ACF, ADA, ASE, CAAHEP, CODA, CoAEMSP, NACCAS, ARC/STSA
2. St. Johns River State College
The St. Johns River State College considers itself a ‘full-service college’ that is dedicated to meeting the educational needs and the workforce needs of the Northeast Florida area. There are three locations, leading to the school calling itself ‘truly the community’s college.’
The school admits adults that do not have a high school diploma into its GED program. There are eight career certificate programs. Some students pursue an associate’s degree in areas such as criminal justice, business administration, computer sciences, acting, health services management, engineering, nursing or visual arts.
There are also three bachelor’s degree programs, which the school began offering in 2010. Tuition for the bachelor’s degree programs is $91.79 per credit hour for both residents and non-residents.
- Tuition: $78.84 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CoARC
3. Seminole State College of Florida
Seminole State College was the Seminole Junior College when it opened to 800 students in 1966. Enrollment quickly soared, and the school changed its name in 1975 after enrollment reached more than 14,000 students.
Seminole State College recognizes that many careers do not require a degree. The school offers 16 certificate programs in areas such as electrician, childcare center manager, automotive technician, correctional officer, pharmacy technician, and other options. Many students enroll for the first time in an associate’s degree program in the arts, humanities, communications, education, business, health sciences, technology, engineering, public safety, and other focus areas.
Although the school started as a junior college, today it also offers seven bachelor’s degree programs. Tuition for these programs is an affordable $91.79 per credit hour. Tuition is the same for residents and non-residents.
- Tuition: $79.78 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ASE Education Foundation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, ABA, ACEN, CAAHEP, CoAEMSP, FESHE, CAHIIM, CAPTE, CoARC, AECT
4. The College of the Florida Keys
The College of the Florida Keys provides students with the opportunity to earn a certificate or a degree. The Marine Science Department offers a certificate, an Associate of Arts in Marine/Aquatic Biology transfer plan, or an Associate of Science Marine Environmental Technology. Earn an associate’s degree in Marine Engineering, Management, and Seamanship or a certificate in marine propulsion. The school offers several options through the Lockwood School of Diving and Underwater Technology. Learn to dive, perform search and rescue operations, professional research diving and more. A few programs also offer a bachelor’s degree.
The school also offers degrees and certificates in business, criminal justice, nursing, hospitality, and culinary management. Earn your professional certification or licensure after program completion. Enjoy free tuition if you choose certain construction apprenticeship programs. Some programs are offered online.
- Tuition: $82.78 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC
5. Pensacola State College
Pensacola State College opened in 1948 as Pensacola Junior College. Today, the school serves students that primarily reside in Florida and Alabama as a comprehensive community college. The school has six convenient locations.
The more than 100 programs lead to either a career-oriented certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. The school offers four bachelor’s degree options. Students that earn an associate’s degree at Pensacola State College are guaranteed acceptance at one of Florida’s 12 state universities as a transfer student. The school boasts a job placement rate of nearly 100 percent in many technical specialties for students that complete a certificate or associate degree program.
- Tuition: $91.79 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, NCER, ACF, CODA, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, ACEN, CCNE, JRCERT, AVMA
6. Gulf Coast State College
Gulf Coast State College was the first public two-year college that opened after the Florida Legislature established a statewide system of community colleges. The school changed its name from ‘Gulf Coast Community College’ to its current name in 2011, after the college received accreditation to offer four-year degrees.
There are six bachelor’s degree programs in business, digital media and nursing. Tuition for bachelor degree programs is an affordable $117.59 per credit hour.
There are dozens of associate’s degree options in areas such as anthropology/archaeology, liberal arts, business administration, computer sciences, criminal justice, or dental hygiene. Perhaps you prefer to complete a degree in digital media, engineering, fire science technology, oceanography, meteorology, nursing, or women’s studies. The school also offers approximately 40 career certificate programs in alternative energy systems, automation, CNC specialist, logistics and transportation specialist, network infrastructure, chef’s apprentice and several other options.
- Tuition: $98.75 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CODA, CCNE, ACEN, CAPTA, CoARC, CAAHEP, American Culinary Federation
7. North Florida College
North Florida College, located in Madison, offers four career and technical certificates. Earn your certificate in advanced manufacturing, early childhood education, allied health, or commercial vehicle driving. The school also administers a public safety academy, with the option to pursue certification as a correctional officer, a law enforcement officer, or probation officer.
Do you want to pursue an associate’s degree? Consider enrolling in the accounting technology program, the business administration program, emergency medical services, criminal justice technology, or the engineering technology program. If you pass the required exam to become a registered nurse, the school offers its only bachelor’s degree program, which is the ADN-RN to BSN Bridge Program.
- Tuition: $99.80 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ACEN, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
8. Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee Community College strives to be ‘your college of choice’ by focusing on the success and growth of students. The school has seven convenient locations, and offers more than 70 certificate and degree program. The school explains that 79 percent of its graduates transfer to a four-year school to continue their education.
Students pursue a certificate or degree from academic divisions that focus on behavioral or social sciences, business administration, healthcare professions, science and mathematics, transitional studies or communications and humanities. Tallahassee Community College also offers several online programs for busy students that are not able to attend traditional on-campus classes.
- Tuition: $100.83 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ADA, Commission on Dental Accreditation, ACEN, Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions, CoARC
9. Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College first opened in 1913 as Florida’s first public community college, serving just 41 students. It now serves 49,000 students each year, offering a variety of career and technical certificates, associate in arts degrees and associate of science degrees. The college recently began offering a limited number of bachelor’s degrees.
Pursue an education in business, education, STEM, nursing, graphic design, motion picture production, supply chain management, journalism, psychology degrees, along with many other degree concentrations. Students enrolling in a certificate program choose from concentrations that include business, early childhood education, practical nursing, automotive service or diesel maintenance technology, welding, or several other options.
Are you unsure about which program is best suited to your interests or aptitude? The school offers a free career assessment test.
- Tuition: $101 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CODA
10. State College of Florida
Manatee Community College is now the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. The school explains that although it now offers four bachelor’s degree programs, it continues to focus on certificate programs and associate’s degree programs that prepare graduates for a professional career or to transfer to a four-year university. The college also offers a variety of programs and individual courses online.
Choose your preferred certificate or degree program in nursing, art, design, and humanities, dental hygiene, business and technology, music, natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, or theater. Some students complete their program in language and literature, mathematics, radiography, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
- Tuition: $102.48 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CODA, ACOTE, ACEN, CAPTE, JRCERT
11. Valencia College
Valencia College is another college in the State of Florida that originally opened as a junior college. The school changed its name to Valencia Community College, and in 2011, the school became Valencia College. That is the same year that the school began offering bachelor’s degrees. Although the school offers only a few bachelor’s degree programs, they are the same high quality as programs offered at large universities. Valencia College offers several career certificates, technical certificates and advanced technical certificates. Start your career in a year or less when you enroll in one of these programs.
Enroll in an associate’s degree and focus on a program to transfer to a four-year school, or in a program with concentrations that fits your career goals. Students can focus on concentrations such as baking and pastry management, biotechnology laboratory sciences, computer information technology, diagnostic medical sonography, nursing or medical administration. Other associate’s degree programs include energy management and controls technology, new media communication, engineering, and plant science and agricultural technology. The school lists several other degree and certificate options.
- Tuition: $103.06 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CCNE, CODA, CoAEMSP, LEED
12. Florida Gateway College
Florida Gateways College is the name of the former Lake City Community College. The school focuses on creating an individualized educational experience for every student. Pursue the certificate or degree program that best suits your career goals and passion from options in education, business, arts, humanities, communications and design, health sciences, industry, manufacturing, construction, transportation, public safety training and criminal justice, liberal arts and sciences, or STEM. Some courses are available in an online format.
Florida Gateway College has an open admissions policy because the school believes in helping every person access the available academic programs and student resources.
- Tuition: $103.32 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CCNE, ACEN, CAPTE, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, NAEYC
13. Hillsborough Community College
Hillsborough County, Florida is home to Hillsborough Community College, where students choose from more than 200 academic program options. Learn, engage, and excel at a school that focuses on a vision of promoting a thriving community where students achieve their full potential through affordable, high-quality, and innovative educational opportunities.
Earn your degree or certificate in accounting, architectural design, several apprenticeship programs, biotechnology, broadcast production, business, veterinary medicine, or clinical research. Perhaps your choice is to enroll in an engineering, computer programming, cybersecurity, dental assisting, music, digital media or fire science technology program. The school also offers programs in hospitality management, medical laboratory sciences, nursing, office management, robotics, supply chain management, and a wide variety of other certificate and degree options.
- Tuition: $104.39 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CAHEA, NASM, ACFF, CAAHEP, CODA, CAEP, ACEN, JRCERT, CARC, AVMA
14. Santa Fe College
Santa Fe College, located in Gainesville, Florida, initially opened as Santa Fe Junior College. Today, the college serves the needs of students wanting a comprehensive education typically offered at the community college level. The school offers a few bachelor’s degrees, and offers some online and hybrid programs.
Consider earning a certificate in applied welding technology, dental assisting, graphic design production, surgical technology, plumbing apprenticeship, or approximately 35 other certificate options. The school offers associate’s degrees in programs such as business administration, early childhood education, or criminal justice. Perhaps your interests stretch beyond the typical options, and the nuclear medicine technology, chemical technology, networking systems technology, or zoo animal technology is more aligned with your educational and career goals. Clinical laboratory science, nursing, and the multimedia and video production technology are a few of the bachelor’s degree offerings.
- Tuition: $106.77 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, American Council for Construction Education, Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology, CODA, ACEN, CCNE, CAAHEP, CAPTE, JRCERT
15. St. Petersburg College
St. Petersburg College was founded in 1927, and became Florida’s first two-year college. The college offers more than 100 academic programs today that guide students towards earning an associate in arts transfer degree, an associate in science degree, short-term training and career certificate programs. Some students continue their education at the school by earning a bachelor’s degree. Enroll in your choice of business, communications, education, engineering, building arts, public safety, social and behavioral sciences, health sciences or veterinary sciences, or art, humanities and design programs.
There are also dozens of online programs, which allow students with work or family responsibilities to still receive a high-quality education that likely leads to better career opportunities and a higher salary.
- Tuition: $111.75 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, Florida Department of Education, ABA, CCNE, CAAHEP, AVMA
16. Broward College
Broward College, originally known as Broward Community College, received designation which allowed the school to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in 2008. The school is typically still affectionally known by some as a community college, and in 2012, was included in the ‘top 10 percent’ of community colleges in the country.
The school invites prospective students to ‘up-skill and restart’ by exploring the career certificate, technical certificate, and associate’s degree programs. Some students earn their associate’s degree and continue to earn a bachelor’s degree at Broward College. Although the number of bachelor’s degree programs are limited, students still receive the high-quality education that they would receive at a big-name school. Consider a program in education, business, public safety, STEM, health sciences, or art, humanities, communications and design. Some students enroll in an online program due to need or convenience.
- Tuition: $117.90 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACEN, CCNE, CAHIIM, CoARC, CAPTE, CAAHEP, CODA, FAA, JRCERT, NASAD, NASM, ABA
17. Pasco-Hernando State College
Pasco-Hernando State College, formerly the Pasco-Hernando Community College, wanted to meet the needs of the community, and now offers its two bachelor’s degree programs. Students choose from five campus locations.
Students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Supervision and Management. Some students complete their associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and then earn their BSN. Choose a career certificate or an associate’s degree program in architecture, construction and manufacturing, information technology, law and public safety, health sciences, or business administration program. The school also offers aviation programs, and an unmanned vehicles systems operation program. There is an associate’s degree program for students that want to become a professional pilot.
- Tuition: est. $210.45 per credit hour
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, CODA, ACEN, CCNE, CoAEMSP, ASHP, CAAHEP
18. Southeastern College
The mission of Southeastern College is to provide a quality education and skills development for every student, whether the student is just starting out in their career, or seeking career advancement. The school offers associate’s degrees in cloud and information technologies, business administration, nursing, surgical technology, pharmacy technology and other program areas. Some students prefer to complete a career diploma program, choosing to enroll in their choice of program, such as medical billing and coding, medical assisting, phlebotomy, practical nursing, business or information technology.
Some courses are available online.
- Tuition: est. $225.20 per credit hour
- Accreditation: ACCSC, ABHES, CAAHEP, ACEN, ASHP
19. Taylor College
If you dream of a career in healthcare, Taylor College offers a variety of affordable programs. Earn your certificate or associate’s degree in 16 to 24 months. Clinical rotations provide students with real-world experiences in actual healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices and skilled nursing facilities.
Enroll in the practical nursing test prep course, or the practical nursing diploma program. Taylor College offers an associate’s degree in professional nursing, or physical therapy assistant. Do you already have your degree and want to earn certification to enhance your career opportunities? Consider completing one of the continuing education programs at the school such as Heartsaver Bloodborne Pathogens, EKG Continuing Education Course, or the Phlebotomy Continuing Education Course, among other options.
The cost of some fees is included in the tuition rate.
- Tuition: est. $269.55 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), ACEN, CAPTE
20. Meridian College
Meridian College originally opened as a beauty school in 1982, and soon expanded its program offerings to serve more students. Meridian College understands that a technical program is often the ideal step for individuals that want to improve their career, their education, and long-term job prospects. Students that contact the admissions department likely discover that there are no longer any roadblocks between where a student is right now and where they want to be in the short-term future.
The school offers six vocational technical programs, including cosmetology, medical assistant, medical billing and coding, dental assistant, diagnostic medical ultrasound, or the medical administration option. The cost of tuition at this school covers most fees.
- Tuition: est. $281.66 per credit hour
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Commission for Independent Education
We work hard to develop lists of the best and most affordable schools, based on factors that are relative to today’s prospective students. We ranked each of these Florida Community Colleges by assigning a unique score for tuition and including only properly accredited schools in our listings.
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