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Colleges in Central Florida: A Guide to Higher Education

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Central Florida is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the state, offering students a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities. From large public universities to small private colleges, there is something for everyone in this vibrant region of Florida.

Here’s a closer look at some of the best colleges in Central Florida, including information about each institution, approximate tuition costs, location information, transit options, and nearby housing options.

Where there are costs listed, they are based on the time of this writing, March 2023.

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University of Central Florida (UCF)

Location: Orlando, FL

Tuition: Approximately $6,368 for in-state students and $22,467 for out-of-state students (2022-2023 academic year)

The University of Central Florida is one of the largest universities in the country, with over 68,000 students enrolled. UCF offers over 200-degree programs, including undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of fields, such as business, engineering, health sciences, and more. 

The university is located in Orlando and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.

Transportation: UCF provides a shuttle service for students, as well as a bike-sharing program. The university is also located near several major highways, making it easy to get to and from campus by car.

Housing: There are several on-campus housing options available for UCF students, including traditional dorms, apartment-style housing, and more. Off-campus housing is also available, with options ranging from student apartments to single-family homes.

Address: 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, Florida, 32816

Phone: 407.823.2000

 

Rollins College

Location: Winter Park, FL

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Tuition: Approximately $49,000 (2022-2023 academic year)

Rollins College is a private liberal arts college located in Winter Park, Florida. The college offers a variety of undergraduate programs, including business, psychology, and more, as well as several graduate programs. 

With a small student body of just over 3,000 students, Rollins College provides a close-knit and supportive community for its students.

Transportation: Rollins College is located just a short drive from Orlando, and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. The college provides a shuttle service for students, as well as bike-friendly paths throughout campus.

Housing: On-campus housing is available for Rollins College students, with options ranging from traditional dorms to apartment-style housing. Off-campus housing options include apartments and single-family homes in the surrounding Winter Park area.

Address: 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, Florida, 32789

Phone: 407.646.2000

 

Valencia College

Location: Various Campuses in Central Florida

Tuition: Approximately $2,472 for in-state students and $9,804 for out-of-state students (2022-2023 academic year)

Valencia College is a public college located in Orlando, offering a wide range of academic programs, including associate’s degrees and certificate programs. With over 70,000 students enrolled, Valencia College is one of the largest colleges in Central Florida.

Transportation: Valencia College is easily accessible by car or public transportation, with several major highways running near the college. The college also provides a shuttle service for students.

Housing: Off-campus housing is available for Valencia College students, with options ranging from student apartments to single-family homes.

Valencia has several campus locations. There is the downtown campus, along with the east, Lake Nona, Osceola, Poinciana, West, and Winter Park campuses. These campuses offer students a wide range of studies and convenient locations.

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Address: P.O. Box 3028, Orlando, Florida, 3282

Phone: 407.299.5000

gainesville

University of Florida

Location: Gainsville, FL

Tuition: Approximately $6,380 for in-state students and $28,658 for out-of-state students (2022-2023 academic year)

Founded in 1853, the University of Florida is a public college that has approximately 34,881 undergraduate enrollment. It has a semester-based academic calendar. 

Just two miles away from downtown Gainesville, freshmen do not have to live on campus but about 75% choose to do so.

Transportation: The University of Florida is easily accessible by car or public transportation, with several major highways running near the college. 

The Campus Connector is a fixed-route walk-on shuttle service that connects faculty, staff, and students at multiple destinations across campus and is free to students.

Housing: There are coed dorms, along with sorority and fraternity housing. Apartments for married and single students are available. There is also special housing for international students and disabled students.

Address: P.O. Box 114000, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611

Phone: 352.392.3261

Florida Polytechnic University

Location: Lakeland, FL.

Tuition: The in-state tuition fees are $4,940 and the out-of-state tuition and fees are $21,005. (2022-2023 academic year)

Florida Polytechnic University is a public institution founded in 2012. The 178-acre campus is set in the city of Lakeland. This is the same city that hosts major league baseball training camps in the spring. 

The school provides education in engineering and applied sciences. It is an affordable, but selective public STEM university.

Transportation: Florida Poly offers complimentary bus transportation to certain local destinations.

Housing: There is campus housing available in women’s dorms, men’s dorms, and special housing for disabled students.

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Address: 4700 Research Way, Lakeland, Florida, 33805

Phone: 863.583.9050

 

Full Sail University

Location: Winter Park, FL

Tuition: $26,336 a year, whether you are an in-state or out-of-state resident.

Full Sail offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees that help its students be successful in entertainment, media, arts, and technology. 

It is an immersive, fast-paced learning experience. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 20 months and work hands-on with the same tools and technologies that are used in the industry today.

Transportation: There is on-campus parking, and the campus itself is walkable.

Housing: There are no dorms at Full Sail, but they do have suggestions for nearby accommodations.

Address: 3300 University Blvd, Winter Park, Florida, 32792

Phone: 407.679.6333

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the many excellent colleges and universities located in Central Florida. Whether you’re looking for a large public university or a small private college, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your needs and interests in this vibrant region of Florida.

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Heather, her husband, and two collies live in Central Florida and try to enjoy just about everything the Sunshine State has to offer, especially if it involves being on the water or out enjoying nature.

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