Most people think Florida is only for spring breakers, beach bums and retirees. However, the fourth largest state in the US is a great destination for college students. In fact, four of the ten largest universities in the country by enrollment are located in the Sunshine State. While students up north spend their winters dreaming of their spring break plans, you can experience the Florida lifestyle while earning a college degree at a reputable institution. Live year round where others only get to vacation for a few days!
The Variety of Public Universities in Florida
The State University System of Florida consists of 12 public universities located in every corner of the state. No matter what part of Florida you want to live in, you’ll find an affordable and respectable public university nearby.
Florida’s Famous Flagship Universities
Florida’s flagship public universities are the University of Florida in Gainesville and Florida State University in Tallahassee. Both universities are known for their intense research activity and offer an almost endless amount of majors.
Gainesville is the quintessential college town with a high undergrad population and a low cost of living. Students interested in political science and government will feel right at home at FSU thanks to its being located near the Florida State Capitol building. While both schools have excellent reputations nationwide, FSU tends to be regarded more favorably in the humanities while UF is considered better in the sciences.
The Florida Gators football team helped create the popular sports drink Gatorade and both schools are football obsessed. The FSU Seminoles and the UF Gators share a historic rivalry that truly divides the state.
Public Universities Serving Each Region of Florida
The University of Central Florida in Orlando is the largest university in Florida, and has the second largest number of undergraduates in the entire country. UCF has grown from its founding as a technological university, and though located in a big city, its giant campus is essentially a place of its own.
Located in the Hispanic hotbed of South Florida, Florida International University in Miami is Florida’s second biggest university by enrollment and offers over 200 majors across multiple colleges.
The Tampa Bay area is well served by the University of South Florida, which includes three area campuses, making it the 10th biggest university by enrollment in the country.
A Variety of Private University Options
Florida is also a great destination for those looking to attend a prestigious private university. While private schools typically charge higher tuition, they also tend to be more generous with scholarships and financial aid due to their high endowments.
The University of Miami in Coral Gables is South Florida’s oldest university and is rooted in Miami’s vibrant culture. UM is famous for its marine studies programs as well as the Miami Hurricanes football team, winner of 5 national championships.
Rollins College boasts small class sizes and a beautiful Spanish revival campus in the picturesque town of Winter Park.
Located in Florida’s oldest town of St. Augustine, Flagler College is the perfect example of a small Northeast liberal arts college, except one with palm trees and balmy weather.
The New College of Florida in Sarasota is known for its innovative and creative educational philosophy; the college does not assess students by letter grades or grade point averages.
Few states can offer what Florida can: perfect weather and beaches, proximity to dynamic cities and pristine natural wildlife preserves, and a multitude of excellent public and private institutions of higher education.