Hero Image The 10 Best Value Online Schools in Florida for 2021

The 10 Best Value Online Schools in Florida for 2021

Are you ready to find your fit?

Best Value Online Schools in Florida

Colleges and universities in the state Florida offer a wide range of online bachelor’s and master’s programs to help broaden your education. Online degree programs have become increasingly popular in recent years, due in part to the convenience of attending school remotely while being free to attend to work and life obligations. 

About 14% of college students around the U.S. studied exclusively online as of 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) National Center for Education Statistics. And, that work and time spent completing online degrees will likely pay off in both employment opportunities and salaries. For example, social workers in the state of Florida earn an average salary of $52,770 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Elementary school teachers in Florida earn an average salary of $57,520 per year, while software developers make an average salary of $100,030, and registered nurses earn an average annual salary of $69,510.

You may choose an online school in Florida for many reasons. For one, you can qualify for in-state tuition after living in Florida for 12 months. Additionally, some online programs in Florida combine online learning with in-person classes, and studying from home often proves convenient to working students.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

The 10 Best Value Online Schools in Florida

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Florida International University Miami, FL
3 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
4 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
5 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
6 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
7 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
8 Southeastern University Lakeland, FL
9 Hodges University Naples, FL
10 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Methodology: Here's How We Rank Schools


    At Best Value Schools, we help students of all ages get the best possible value for their education. When choosing the best schools and programs, we prioritize tuition rates, student debt, financial aid opportunities, graduation rates, and the availability of online programs.
    We source unbiased data from government and educational databases like the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 6,374 schools across the U.S. We organize that data into five weighted categories to compile our school rankings.

    Metric Data Used Percentage
    Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 25%
    Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 35%
    Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 15%
    Program Offerings Number of program options 10%
    Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 15%

    You can read more about our comprehensive evaluation process on our methodology page.


Have Questions About Online Schools in Florida? We Have Answers.


  • How long does it take to earn an online degree?

    A bachelor’s degree generally takes four years to complete. A master’s degree can take 1-3 years.

  • What kinds of degrees can I earn online?

    Students can earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree online. Learners may choose from different majors available for online programs.

  • Do I need to be a resident of Florida to study at an online school in Florida?

    You do not need to be a Florida resident to study in an online school in Florida. However, your residency status will determine how much in tuition you’ll pay. As a non-resident, you’ll have to pay out-of-state tuition, which is generally more expensive than in-state tuition. In order to be considered a resident of Florida, you must have lived in the state for the last year or be a dependent of someone who is considered a resident of the state.


  • How long does it take to become an official resident of Florida for college?

    You must live in Florida for 12 consecutive months before the first day of the enrollment term.

In-State Tuition Cost in Florida

Compared to the rest of the nation, in-state tuition in Florida comes with quite an affordable price tag. The average cost of in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions in Florida averages about $4,443, while the national average for in-state tuition is about $9,212 per year — or about twice the cost of Florida’s in-state tuition. 

Tuition at a private university in Florida is far more expensive, however. It costs about $26,317 per academic year to attend a private, four-year institution in Florida. While that may seem pricey, it’s  still a few thousand dollars below the national average for private tuition, which is $31,875.

Out-of-State Tuition Cost in Florida

If you’re attending school out of state, you should be prepared to shell out more money than state residents attending the same school. In Florida, the out-of-state tuition costs average about $18,456 per year at a public college or university. This is still significantly less than the national average for out-of-state tuition, which is about $26,382 per year. 

Keep in mind that these cost estimates only include room and board, which are additional costs tacked on to the price of your education.

Average Cost of Room and Board in Florida

Room and board are often some of the heftiest bills that college students foot, especially if you live on campus. In Florida, you’ll pay an average of about $6,173 for your room and $4,443 for your board, bringing the total to a little over $10,600. 

While this is no small sum, it’s still a bit less than the national average cost for room and board, which are $6,459 and $4,927 respectively. If you’re living off campus in Florida, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,800, with the price highly dependent on the area in which you choose to live. 

Scholarships for Online Students in Florida

Although finding affordable online schools in Florida may seem challenging, many state-specific scholarships can help offset expenses. The existing scholarships cover a variety of majors and programs for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The list below includes more information on scholarships for online students in Florida.

Florida Nurses Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Those enrolled in a nationally accredited nursing program with at least one completed semester in their current nursing program may qualify. Applicants must have lived in Florida at least one year and need a minimum GPA of 2.5 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students.
Amount: Varies
Deadline: April 15

José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant

Who can apply: Students born in or having a natural parent born in Mexico or another Hispanic country in the Caribbean, Central America, or South America may apply. Applicants need a minimum unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 by the end of the seventh semester.
Amount: $2,000 per school year
Deadline: April 1

Minority Teacher Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Florida residents who are Black, Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaskan Native in a state-approved teacher education program may apply. Applicants must not hold a bachelor’s degree in education.
Amount: $4,000 annually or $2,000 a semester
Deadline: For fall semester: August 1; for spring semester: November 30

Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans

Who Can Apply: Dependent children ages 16 to 22 or spouses of Florida veterans may apply. Applicants must enroll for at least six credits per term.
Amount: Variable, but it can be up to 100% of the cost of tuition and registration fees
Deadline: April 1

SILA Post-Secondary College Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants majoring in business, education, finance, information technology, insurance studies, marketing, or mathematics and who have a 3.0 GPA or higher may apply.
Amount: $2,500
Deadline: May 31

The 10 Best Value Online Colleges in Florida for 2021



  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the best online colleges in Florida, University of Florida Online aims to offer high-quality, affordable programs fully online. Both in-state and out-of-state students can attend UF Online. Students in the Gainesville area can take advantage of in-person services such as sports, fitness facilities, and the health center when they pay an optional fee.


    The University of Florida's UF Online is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    • Graduation rate: 88%
    • School status: Public
    • Tuition cost: In-state: $6381; out-of-state: $28,659
    • Number of programs offered: The University of Florida's UF Online program offers 25 online bachelor's programs in areas such as biology, computer science, and nursing. The program also offers online graduate and certificate programs.
    • City location: Gainesville, Florida
    • Admission requirements: 2.0 GPA
    • Contact: (352) 392-3261
    • Website: www.ufl.edu/
  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Miami, Florida International University charges different tuition fees for in-state and out-of-state enrollees. In addition to tuition, online students pay an athletic fee that provides access to the gym and FIU athletic events. Transfer students or those with a previous bachelor's degree work with advisors to determine which previous credits can transfer to FIU. Graduate students need a bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA.


    Florida International University's FIU Online is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 63%
    • School status: Public
    • Tuition cost: In-state: $6,565; out-of-state: $18,963
    • Number of programs offered: More than 130 online degrees and program tracks 
    • City location: Miami, Florida
    • Admission requirements: Varies depending on program
    • Contact: (305) 348-2000
    • Website: www.fiu.edu/ 
  3. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UCF Online program leaders say that they recognize the extra responsibility and time management involved with online learning. For this reason, they offer online students a personal success coach to help them pave their way toward graduation. UCF Online students can use on-campus facilities such as the library and writing center. As a public university, UCF charges different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state residents. Students transferring from another college need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 72% 
    • School status: Public
    • Tuition cost: In-state: $6,368; out-of-state: $22,467
    • Number of programs offered: More than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs fully online
    • City location: Orlando, Florida
    • Admission requirements: 2.0 GPA
    • Contact: (407) 823-2000
    • Website: www.ucf.edu/ 
  4. The University of West Florida
    Location

    Pensacola, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    As a public university, University of West Florida Online charges in-state and out-of-state tuition. However, those living in nearby Alabama pay a reduced out-of-state tuition fee. Active-duty military who live in or stationed outside of Florida can waive out-of-state tuition. The school touts its affordable cost. Transfer students need a 2.0 minimum GPA or higher and must be in good academic standing.

    The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 46%
    • School status: Public
    • Tuition cost: In-state: $6,360; out-of-state: $19,241
    • Number of programs offered: More than 55 online programs in undergraduate, graduate, or certificate studies
    • City location: Pensacola, Florida
    • Admission requirements: 2.0 GPA
    • Contact: (850) 474-2000
    • Website: uwf.edu/
  5. Saint Leo University
    Location

    Saint Leo, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Saint Leo University, Florida's first Catholic university, calls its online program Saint Leo WorldWide. The school invites students of all faiths and states that its students seek balanced growth in mind, body, and spirit. Saint Leo enhances its online student life with fully online clubs, including the Business Association and Human Resources Association. As a private university, tuition at Saint Leo WorldWide is the same for in-state and out-of-state residents. Transfer students need a 2.0 GPA or higher from a regionally accredited two- or four-year college.


    Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 49%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $24,640
    • Number of programs offered: 27 online bachelor's programs 
    • City location: Saint Leo, Florida
    • Admission requirements: 2.0 GPA
    • Contact: (352) 588-8200
    • Website: www.saintleo.edu/ 
  6. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Situated in the Southeast Florida town of Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) runs a prestigious online program. The school offers most of its online bachelor's and master's programs fully online. However, the school offers a handful -- including a master of science as a nurse educator -- partially online.


    Online students enjoy access to an e-learning center that provides online tutoring, library services, career services, and disability access.
    As a public university, FAU's tuition rates vary for in-state and out-of-state enrollees. Transfer students need a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher on all attempted college work.


    Florida Atlantic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 50%
    • School status: Public
    • Tuition cost: In-state: $4,879; out-of-state: $17,324
    • Number of programs offered: 15 online bachelor's programs
    • City location: Boca Raton, Florida
    • Admission requirements: 2.5 GPA
    • Contact: (561) 297-3000
    • Website: www.fau.edu/ 
  7. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale touts that it offered the first distance learning program in 1972 with a doctoral distance education program. Now, Nova Southeastern offers more than 65 online undergraduate and graduate degrees in majors such as accounting and criminal justice. Its online programs are broader for graduate studies and include conflict analysis and resolution, data analytics, and human resource management. Nova Southeastern charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state enrollees. Transfer students should set an appointment with the transfer admissions office to review specific admission requirements. Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 58%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $33,430
    • Number of programs offered: Nova Southeastern offers more than 65 online undergraduate and graduate degrees in majors such as accounting and criminal justice. Its online programs are broader for graduate studies and include conflict analysis and resolution, data analytics, and human resource management.
    • City location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • Admission requirements: SAT: 1060; ACT: 21
    • Contact: (954) 262-7300
    • Website: www.nova.edu/ 
  8. Southeastern University
    Location

    Lakeland, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The town of Lakeland, located between Orlando and Tampa, is home to Southeastern University's SEU Online program. The program offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. Master's programs include pastoral care and counseling and teaching English to speakers of other languages. The school offers programs fully online, although the master's in kinesiology and art of design management come as hybrid options. Hybrid programs offer some coursework online and some on campus.

    Transfer students must submit their most recent grades and a Christian character reference form from a pastor, Bible study teacher, or someone in a similar position.


    Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 45%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $27,520
    • Number of programs offered: 10 bachelor's programs online 
    • City location: Lakeland, Florida
    • Admission requirements: NA
    • Contact: (863) 667-5000
    • Website: www.seu.edu/ 
  9. Hodges University
    Location

    Naples, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Hodges University in the Southwest Gulf Coast city of Fort Myers offers associate, undergraduate, and master's degrees online. The school's top online programs include interdisciplinary studies, digital design and graphics, and positive psychology.


    Most of the online courses at Hodges run fully online, but a few are hybrid. That means that some classes are online and some are in person. This includes the bachelor's program in health sciences. Hodges also offers several English as a Second Language courses online.


    A private university, Hodges charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state enrollees.


    Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 26%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $14,660
    • Number of programs offered: 15 online bachelor's programs and 6 master's programs
    • City location: Fort Myers, Florida
    • Admission requirements: NA
    • Contact: (239) 513-1122
    • Website: www.hodges.edu/ 
  10. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    With a residential campus in Fort Lauderdale, Keiser University also offers online programs and satellite locations throughout Florida.
    Online students at Keiser can use resources from the Department of Student Services to help with job preparation. Learners can also access the online career center and participate in organizations such as the Student Government Association.


    In-state and out-of-state enrollees pay the same tuition. Transfer students must show a letter grade of "C" or higher for transfer credit classes from regionally accredited institutions.


    Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    • Graduation rate: 69%
    • School status: Private
    • Tuition cost: $21,008
    • Number of programs offered: More than 40 associate, undergraduate, and graduate programs online
    • City location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • Admission requirements: NA
    • Contact: (954) 776-4476
    • Website: www.keiseruniversity.edu/

Amanda Push picture

Amanda Push

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Amanda Push is a freelance writer who covers education topics for Best Value Schools, Grad School Hub, and Criminal Justice Degree Schools, and others. Her writing has also been featured at TheSimpleDollar.com, Interest.com, MyMove.com, and Safety.com.

Get prepared for your next steps

Use articles and resources to uncover answers to common questions, get guidance on your goals, and learn about applying to schools.


8 Career Paths for a Master’s in Counseling Graduate

8 Career Paths for a Master’s in Counseling Graduate

June 24, 2021   |   Erin Gobler

Are you interested in helping others resolve their issues and hurdles through talk therapy? You may want to consider a career in the counseling field. Counseling is a field that’s...

The Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Career Guide

The Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Career Guide

June 16, 2021   |   Lyss Welding

Mental health counseling jobs exist across many settings — from hospitals and government agencies to schools and private practices, and they’re projected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...

Discover a program that is right for you.

Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.