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2023 Best Colleges in Florida

77 Colleges
$49,709 Avg Salary*
44% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Top Florida Colleges ranking is part of that endeavor.

We analyzed 77 colleges and universities across Florida to determine which were the best in terms of overall quality. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on over 20 objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as student-to-faculty ratio, average graduate earnings, and graduation rate.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges in Florida

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

University of Florida tops this year’s ranking as the best school in Florida for overall quality.Gainesville, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 17,268 students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $64,463 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on University of Florida

#2

University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges in Florida list means University of Miami is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree.Coral Gables, Florida is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 6,042 students in 2020-2021.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $67,362 during the early years of their career..

Full University of Miami Report

#3

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Florida State University. It ranked #3 on our 2023 Best Colleges in Florida list. Located in Tallahassee, Florida, the large public school awarded 13,129 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 95%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Florida State make an average of $53,449 a year.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach. The school came in at #4 in Florida on this year’s overall quality ranking. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Daytona Beach, Florida that handed out 1,551 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.1%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach make an average of $77,768 per year during the early years of their career.

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#5

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Central Florida. The school came in at #5 in Florida on this year’s overall quality ranking. Located in Orlando, Florida, the large public school awarded 19,318 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $51,912 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on University of Central Florida

University of South Florida - Main Campus did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking, coming in at #6. USF Tampa is a public institution located in Tampa, Florida. The school has a large population, and it awarded 14,828 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from USF Tampa make an average of $50,262 per year during the early years of their career.

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#7

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida

Florida Institute of Technology ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges in Florida list. Florida Tech is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Melbourne, Florida. It awarded 2,070 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Florida Tech make an average of $63,704 a year.

Read full report on Florida Institute of Technology

Florida International University landed the #8 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking. FIU is located in Miami, Florida and has a large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 18,483 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $54,501 during the early years of their career..

Full Florida International University Report

#9

Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

With a ranking of #9, Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida list. Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has a fairly large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 5,884 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale is $36,284 during the early years of their career.

Full Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale Report

Rasmussen University - Florida ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges in Florida list. Rasmussen University - Florida is a private for-profit institution located in Ocala, Florida. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 4,368 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Rasmussen University - Florida go into careers with an average salary of $35,667 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Rasmussen University - Florida

#11

Southeastern University

Lakeland, Florida

Southeastern University ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges in Florida list.Lakeland, Florida is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,595 students in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from SEU is $40,636 during the early years of their career.

Full Southeastern University Report

#12

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

With a ranking of #12, Nova Southeastern University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida list. NUS Florida is a private not-for-profit institution located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The school has a large population, and it awarded 6,062 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from NUS Florida is $53,201 during the early years of their career.

Full Nova Southeastern University Report

#13

Valencia College

Orlando, Florida

Valencia College ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges in Florida list. Valencia College is a large public school located in Orlando, Florida that handed out 18,199 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Valencia College is $38,070 during the early years of their career.

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#14

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Florida Atlantic University came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Florida ranking. Florida Atlantic University is a large public school located in Boca Raton, Florida that handed out 8,628 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 4.4% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from FAU go into careers with an average salary of $50,478 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Florida Atlantic University

#15

The University of Tampa

Tampa, Florida

With a ranking of #15, The University of Tampa did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida list.Tampa, Florida is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 2,489 students in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UT make an average of $55,040 per year during the early years of their career.

Full The University of Tampa Report

#16

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

University of North Florida ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges in Florida list. UNF is a public institution located in Jacksonville, Florida. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 4,871 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UNF make an average of $49,338 per year during the early years of their career.

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#17

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Saint Leo University landed the #17 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking. St. Leo University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Saint Leo, Florida. It awarded 3,388 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University is $46,070 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Saint Leo University

#18

Rollins College

Winter Park, Florida

Rollins College came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Florida ranking. Located in Winter Park, Florida, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 848 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. During the early years of their career, graduates from Rollins make an average of $53,363 a year.

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#19

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville University landed the #19 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking.Jacksonville, Florida is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,229 students in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, graduates from JU make an average of $52,409 a year.

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#20

Palm Beach State College

Lake Worth, Florida

Palm Beach State College did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking, coming in at #20.Lake Worth, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 7,049 students in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Palm Beach State College make an average of $38,834 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Palm Beach State College Report

#21

Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, Florida

With a ranking of #21, Florida Gulf Coast University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida list. FGCU is a fairly large public school situated in Fort Myers, Florida. It awarded 3,631 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from FGCU go into careers with an average salary of $49,984 during the early years of their career.

Full Florida Gulf Coast University Report

#22

Broward College

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Broward College landed the #22 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the large public school awarded 13,738 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from BC go into careers with an average salary of $38,630 during the early years of their career.

Full Broward College Report

With a ranking of #23, Hillsborough Community College did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida list.Tampa, Florida is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 6,012 students in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from HCC go into careers with an average salary of $37,367 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Hillsborough Community College

#24

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges in Florida list. This large public school is located in Jacksonville, Florida, and it awarded 9,256 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from FSCJ make an average of $36,819 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Florida State College at Jacksonville Report

#25

Florida Southern College

Lakeland, Florida

Florida Southern College landed the #25 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Florida ranking. Florida Southern is located in Lakeland, Florida and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 925 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The low student loan default rate of 4.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $47,123 during the early years of their career..

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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