9 Low Tuition Universities in Florida

  1. University of Florida

A 2,000-acre campus established in 1853, the University of Florida is the state’s oldest university and home to 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. There are 135 scholarships, grants and fellowships available to the student population of UF. Over half (54 percent) of full-time undergraduates receive need-based financial assistance. The average first-year financial aid package is $11,875. This typically consists of grants, loans and work-study options. The Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program supports students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who have been admitted to the university and who are the first in their families to attend college. Recipients are given a full grant and scholarship package towards a bachelor degree.

  1. Santa Fe College

Santa Fe College is a community college in Gainesville, Florida that offers associate degrees in the arts, sciences, technology and applied sciences, as well as eight bachelor’s degrees. More than three-quarters (79%) of full-time beginning undergraduates at SFC receive financial aid, including scholarships, loans, federal grants and work study. Scholarships are endowed scholarships that come through the Santa Fe College Foundation Scholarship and are merit-based, need-based or talent-based. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to 43% of full-time beginning undergraduates, with students receiving an average award of $4,174. In addition, through Federal Work Study, students can work up to 20 hours per week and are paid minimum wage.

  1. University of South Florida-Main Campus

As a global research university, the University of South Florida offers its student population (31,000 strong as of the academic year 2014-2015) 180 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and specialty levels. The USF Foundation awards over $5 million in scholarships every year. Incoming USF students with at least two more undergraduate years to go for the completion of a degree can apply for the A. Harrison and Ruth Kosove Undergraduate Scholarship. The amount of the award varies but may be enough to cover the cost of attendance at USF. The First Generation Brad and Terry Holcombe Scholarship supports USF freshmen with financial need who are the first in their family to attend college.

  1. Valencia College

Located in Orlando, Florida, Valencia College is a public state community college that offers over 30 associate degrees. Valencia has transfer agreements with Florida State Universities that make it easier for students to transfer. There are a wide range of scholarships available for Valencia students like the Universal Orlando Scholarship, Mercury Marine Scholarship, Bloom N Grow Scholarship, and many other Valencia Foundation Scholarships. Students may also pursue external scholarships, grants, loans, or the Federal Work Study program. Tuition waivers are available for senior citizens (people over 60) and teachers who are employed full-time by a school district that meets the academic requirements set by Valencia College.

  1. Chipola College

Chipola College in Marianna, Florida was founded as Chipola Junior College in 1949 but changed its name when it began offering four-year degrees in science and math in 2003. Of all full-time beginning undergraduates at Chipola, 14% receive institutional grants or scholarships and 85% receive grant or scholarship aid from governmental, institutional or private sources. Chipola College does not participate in Federal Direct Loan Programs, including Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Federal Direct Plus Loans. The college does, however, participate in Federal Grant Programs like the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program and the Federal Pell Grant Program. Federal Pell Grants, for example, are awarded to 42% of all undergraduate students.

  1. University of Central Florida

Established in 1963 and now the second largest university in the country, the University of Central Florida has more than 60,000 students from 50 states and 140 countries now calling its Orlando campus home. Incoming qualified freshmen are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships within the Pegasus Scholarship Program. Admitted non-resident students who qualify for scholarships will receive a portion of their scholarship in the form of a waiver. The value of this waiver depends on the number of credits the student takes each term and so may vary from year to year. UCF has several scholarships available for transfer students as well. All students must apply or reapply yearly for financial assistance.

  1. University of North Florida

Initially designated as an upper division college for juniors and seniors, the University of Northern Florida started admitting freshmen in 1984, and now has five colleges, offering 53 undergraduate degree programs and 28 graduate degree programs. The Presidential Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship for academically outstanding incoming freshmen. There are four award levels – Diamond ($24,000), Platinum ($16,000), Gold ($8,000) and Silver ($4,000). UNF has a First Generation Scholarship Program for students who are the first in their family to go to college. Additionally, there are a number of need-based scholarships such as the AT&T Florida Scholarship ($10,000 over four-years) and the Bank of America Community Scholarship ($8,000 over four-years).

  1. Florida International University

Founded in 1965, Florida International University is the only public research university in Miami. The majority of incoming students can expect to receive institutional aid, with 70% of full-time beginning undergraduates receiving institutional grants or scholarships. FIU’s Merit Scholarships provide full-tuition awards to National Merit, National Achievement and National Hispanic Scholar Finalists. Other merit scholarships for first-year students include the Presidential, Ambassador and Transfer Academic Scholarship, which provide awards that range from 50% tuition to 100% tuition. The school also offers five institutional grants. The Leverage Grant provides awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per year to students who don’t receive the Pell Grant, and the University Grant provides awards that vary annually from $950 to $1,900.

  1. The University of West Florida

Serving more than 12,000 students and located close enough to Pensacola beaches to hear the sound of the surf, the University of West Florida is the only comprehensive four-year university in Northwest Florida. UWF has several merit-based scholarships for qualified freshmen including the Pace Presidential Scholarship ($50,000 over four-years), the Nautilus Scholarship ($6,000 to $12,000 over four-years) and the Argonaut Scholarship ($4,000 to $12,000 over four-years). There are also a number of Foundation scholarships with certain restrictions, such as the Amsouth Banker’s Scholarship for business majors and the Pensacola Pledge Scholars for freshmen and transfer students who are the first in their family to attend college and who reside within the City of Pensacola.

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