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Colleges & Universities

The State of Florida has multiple institutions for receiving a higher education including community colleges, state colleges and universities as well as private colleges. Each offers something unique and a college-bond student should consider all available options.

College vs University

While the terms are often interchangeable, a college, usually smaller in size, is an institution that typically offers undergraduate degrees; some may offer only two-year degrees. Universities tend to be larger and offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, the latter of which can lead to a master's degree or Ph.D.

Private vs Public Institutions

Public colleges and universities receive more of, and rely heavily on, state funds than private schools. Tuition for a public university or college will cost significantly less than a privately funded university or college if you attend a college in your state. If you attend a public college in another state, you will lose the in-state tuition benefits. Public universities also tend to be significantly larger than private colleges. A public college can have over 60,000 undergraduates. This means your classes will have more students, but you will generally have more classes to choose from. Public colleges and universities tend to have a plethora of degree options as well.

Private universities and colleges receive funding from tuition, alumni and friend donations, and endowment. Most tend to cost significantly more than a public institution, but the tuition cost will vary depending on the university or college. Generally smaller than a public institution, a private college or university will have smaller classes and fewer courses offered. The institution will likely offer only a few degrees, often in a specialized area.

Community Colleges Location
Eastern Florida State College (formerly Brevard Community College) Cocoa
Broward College (formerly Broward Community College) Fort Lauderdale
College of Central Florida (formerly Central Florida Community College) Ocala
Chipola College (formerly Chipola Community College) Marianna
Daytona State College (formerly Daytona Beach Community College) Daytona Beach
Florida State College at Jacksonville (formerly Florida Community College at Jacksonville) Jacksonville
Florida Keys Community College Key West
Gulf Coast State College Panama City
Hillsborough Community College Tampa
Indian River State College (formerly Indian River Community College) Fort Pierce
Florida Gateway College (formerly Lake City Community College) Lake City
Florida SouthWestern State College (formerly Edison Community College) Fort Meyers
Miami Dade College (formerly Miami-Dade Community College) Miami
North Florida Community College Madison
Northwest Florida College (Okaloosa-Walton Community College) Niceville
Palm Beach State College (formerly Palm Beach Community College) Lake Worth
Pensacola State College Pensacola
Polk State College Winter Haven
Sante Fe College (formerly Santa Fe Community College) Gainesville
Seminole State College Sanford
South Florida State College (formerly South Florida Community College) Avon Park
St. Johns River State College (formerly St. Johns River Community College) Palatka
St. Petersburg College St. Petersburg
State College of Florida (formerly Manatee Community College) Bradenton
Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee
Valencia College (formerly Valencia Community College) Orlando

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