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A Closer Look at Florida Colleges in Today’s Economy

Students at Florida colleges can choose from a robust network of colleges, universities, and technical schools and enjoy a wide range of program offerings. Many schools also offer established classroom-to-career transitional assistance. And that’s not all. Here’s why you should give serious consideration to Florida universities.

An Overview of Florida College

The Florida College System reports that the state’s 28 colleges operate 183 sites around the state providing educational opportunities within commuting distance to almost all of Florida Lottery residents. The state awarded 76,445 degree and certificates in 2008-2009.

The Florida College System also gives you a comprehensive view of the Florida university student. As of 2010, the state serves 867,308 students– 40 percent full-time and 60 percent part-time. The average student age is 25 and 60 percent of students are female while 43 percent are minorities.

If you’re planning on earning a bachelor’s degree, Florida’s State Pathways to Success report offers you some eye-opening statistics. According to the report, Florida’s 2 + 2 System–the state’s combination of community college to four-year degree–guarantees you the opportunity to earn your bachelor’s degree after completing your associate’s degree.

Average Costs and Financial Aid at Florida Universities

Central Florida News 13 cites a report by The College Board that reveals the cost of attending Florida colleges and universities ranks third lowest in the nation, at an average tuition expense of $4,886. One mitigating factor might be the annual monetary commitment of the Florida Lottery. The Lottery transferred more than $1.24 billion to the Educational Enhancement Trust Funds in 2009-2010, adding to the $21 billion in donations since its inception.

With respect to financial aid, The Florida Department of Education lists the following federal and state resources for students seeking help funding their college education:

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • National SMART Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education
  • Florida Student Assistance Grant
  • Florida Work Experience Program
  • Bright Futures Program
  • Homeless students and financial aid

State Report Card for Colleges in Florida

Higher education in Florida makes the grade. In fact, the state report card is all the evidence you need to know you’re in the right atmosphere. A 2009 Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) State Data Exchange report showed that colleges in The Florida College System perform at the highest levels when compared to the other SREB member states in topics such as degree productivity and persistence, headcounts, funding, and faculty.

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