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2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida

65 Colleges
$41,764 Avg Salary*
55% Avg Grad Rate*

Non-traditional students have to weigh their education options carefully. College Factual was founded to give every student the clear and understandable data they need to make this critical decision.

We analyzed 65 colleges and universities across Florida to determine which were the best for non-traditional students. Our ranking methodology focuses on over 20 different objective factors - such as degree completion, loan default rate, post graduate earnings, as well as factors important to non-traditional students such as distance learning and flexible learning options.

For our ranking, we define a non-traditional student as anyone who is part-time or returning, or an adult learner (over the age of 24).

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or international students.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges for Non-Traditional Students 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 for non-traditional students in Florida. Gainesville, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,663 students in 2018-2019.

The 6-year grad rate at the school is 87%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 62%. The school charges $149 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UF is $56,000 during the early years of their career.

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#2

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges For Non-Traditional Students in Florida list means University of Central Florida is a great place for adult learners and/or non-traditional students working on their bachelor’s degree. Orlando, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 14,087 students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 2.4% 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%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $212. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UCF go into careers with an average salary of $45,400 during the early years of their career.

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One of the best schools for adult learners and other non-traditional students is Florida International University. The school came in at #3 in Florida in this year’s ranking. FIU is a public institution located in Miami, Florida. The school has a large population, and it awarded 12,352 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 35% of the students are 25 years or older. The school charges $206 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $46,300 a year.

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#4

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Florida State University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for non-traditional learners in Florida. Tallahassee, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,688 students in 2018-2019.

The 6-year grad rate at the school is 79%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 62%. The school charges $218 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Florida State is $46,400 during the early years of their career.

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Out of the 65 schools in Florida that were part of this year’s ranking of the best schools for adult learners and non-traditional students, University of South Florida - Main Campus landed the #5 spot on the list. USF Tampa is a large public school situated in Tampa, Florida. It awarded 8,684 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

As an adult learner you’ll be in good company. 33% of the school is older than 24. The school charges $211 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from USF Tampa make an average of $43,500 per year during the early years of their career.

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#6

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

University of North Florida came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. This fairly large public school is located in Jacksonville, Florida, and it awarded 3,493 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.3%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. The school charges $213 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UNF go into careers with an average salary of $43,200 during the early years of their career.

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#7

The University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

The University of West Florida landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. Located in Pensacola, Florida, the fairly large public school handed out 2,410 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school charges $212 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UWF make an average of $38,900 per year during the early years of their career.

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University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. USF Sarasota-Manatee is located in Sarasota, Florida and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 538 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.2%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. The school charges $186 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from USF Sarasota-Manatee go into careers with an average salary of $43,500 during the early years of their career.

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#9

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

With a ranking of #9, Florida Atlantic University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida list. Located in Boca Raton, Florida, the large public school awarded 5,855 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 34% of the students are 25 years or older. The school charges $203 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. During the early years of their career, graduates from FAU make an average of $43,200 a year.

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#10

Barry University

Miami, Florida

Barry University came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. Barry University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Miami, Florida. It awarded 697 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 4.7% 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%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $925 per credit hour. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Barry University go into careers with an average salary of $45,800 during the early years of their career.

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#11

University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida

University of Miami did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking, coming in at #11. University of Miami is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Coral Gables, Florida that handed out 3,118 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 6-year graduation rate is 82%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 62%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $2,100 per credit hour. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from U Miami make an average of $60,100 per year during the early years of their career.

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#12

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida list. Jacksonville, Florida is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 762 students in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.0%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $1,275 per credit hour. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $50,500 a year.

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#13

Lynn University

Boca Raton, Florida

With a ranking of #13, Lynn University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida list. Located in Boca Raton, Florida, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 449 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

There are 809 adult students enrolled in the school, which is 27% of the student body. The school charges $295 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. During the early years of their career, graduates from Lynn University Fighting Knights make an average of $39,300 a year.

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#14

Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale landed the #14 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that handed out 1,478 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $825. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $31,100 a year.

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#15

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nova Southeastern University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking, coming in at #15. Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,108 students in 2018-2019.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 68% of the students are 25 years or older. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $1,038. During the early years of their career, graduates from NUS Florida make an average of $45,300 a year.

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#16

Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, Florida

Florida Gulf Coast University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. FGCU is located in Fort Myers, Florida and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 3,100 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $204. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from FGCU go into careers with an average salary of $42,100 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 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. Saint Leo University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Saint Leo, Florida that handed out 2,050 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school charges $600 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. During the early years of their career, graduates from St. Leo University make an average of $43,800 a year.

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Florida National University - Main Campus came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. Located in Hialeah, Florida, the small private for-profit school handed out 268 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school charges $550 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Florida National University - Main Campus go into careers with an average salary of $23,800 during the early years of their career.

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#19

St Petersburg College

Clearwater, Florida

St Petersburg College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking, coming in at #19. Clearwater, Florida is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,213 students in 2018-2019.

A high percentage of the school is made up of adult learners. 52% of the students are 25 years or older. The school charges $112 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from SPC make an average of $32,900 per year during the early years of their career.

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#20

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking, coming in at #20. Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the large public school awarded 836 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

There are 9,161 adult students enrolled in the school, which is 46% of the student body. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $111 per credit hour. During the early years of their career, graduates from FSCJ make an average of $31,900 a year.

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#21

Palm Beach Atlantic University

West Palm Beach, Florida

With a ranking of #21, Palm Beach Atlantic University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida list. Palm Beach Atlantic is a private not-for-profit institution located in West Palm Beach, Florida. The school has a small population, and it awarded 541 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

There are 933 adult students enrolled in the school, which is 28% of the student body. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $765 per credit hour. During the early years of their career, graduates from Palm Beach Atlantic make an average of $40,600 a year.

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#22

St. Thomas University

Miami Gardens, Florida

St. Thomas University came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. St. Thomas University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Miami Gardens, Florida that handed out 192 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Part-time students in-state can expect to be charged $618 per credit hour. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from STU is $49,400 during the early years of their career.

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#23

Broward College

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Broward College came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking. BC is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 658 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The school charges $118 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from BC make an average of $34,900 per year during the early years of their career.

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#24

Southeastern University

Lakeland, Florida

Southeastern University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida ranking, coming in at #24. Located in Lakeland, Florida, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 860 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The school charges $1,068 per credit hour for part-time students in-state. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to earn average salaries of $34,800 a year.

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#25

College of Central Florida

Ocala, Florida

With a ranking of #25, College of Central Florida did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students in Florida list. Located in Ocala, Florida, the medium-sized public school awarded 224 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The per credit hour charge for part-time students in state is $113. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from CF is $31,400 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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