Orlando, Florida (FL) Colleges and Universities

Orlando is home to about 37 postsecondary schools. See rankings of the cheapest and best schools in Orlando to determine which schools might be right for you.

School Ranking Overview

There are close to 40 postsecondary schools in Orlando and its surrounding areas. However, the majority of these schools are either for-profit or specialty schools. Eliminating these schools leaves about 5 traditional colleges (public or private not-for-profit) that offer a variety of programs. Read on to see how these schools measure up when compared and ranked in 4 categories:

  • Most Program Variety
  • Lowest Net Price
  • Highest Graduation Rate
  • Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

Some schools offer more programs than others, and individuals who have yet to choose a discipline may place priority on schools with the most program options. The following schools offered the most variety of the traditional Orlando colleges.

1 - University of Central Florida

This public university in Orlando has considerably more programs than any other Orlando college or university. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported there were approximately 134 programs for students to choose from. Degrees are awarded at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels; post-master's certificate programs are also offered. In 2013, UCF ranked #174 on the US News and World Report's (USNWR) list for the best colleges. UCF is classified as having very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. The USNWR stated that some of the school's research areas include optics, education, engineering and biomedical sciences.

The only associate's program UCF offers is in liberal studies, and 316 students graduated from this program in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the NCES. More than 11,500 students earned bachelor's degrees during this school year, and the most popular majors were general psychology, interdisciplinary studies and registered nursing. For the 2,392 master's graduates, business, registered nursing and social work were the most popular disciplines. Education, physical therapy and public administration were the most pursued fields of study for the 266 doctoral graduates in 2011-2012. And the 21 postgraduate certificates awarded were in school psychology, educational leadership and education.

2 - Valencia College

Fifty-six programs are available at this 4-year, public college in Orlando, which primarily awards associate's degrees, reported the NCES. However, students can also earn undergraduate certificates and a few bachelor's degrees. The majority of the awards conferred in 2011-2012 were at the associate's level; 7,974 students received associate's degrees, and 6,602 of these degrees were in liberal studies. Another 4,055 students earned undergraduate certificates, and the most pursued fields of study were business administration, executive assisting and computer technology. Bachelor's degree programs in electrical, electronics and communications engineering technology and medical radiologic technology are offered; however, no students graduated from these programs in 2011-2012.

3 - Rollins College

Fewer than 3 miles from Orlando in Winter Park is this 4-year, private, nonprofit school, where students can choose from 48 programs, reported the NCES. In 2013, Rollins College was ranked the #1 regional university in the South by USNWR. Some of the college's renowned programs include its undergraduate arts and sciences program and its Master of Business Administration program, reported the USNWR.

Of the 571 bachelor's graduates in 2011-2012, general economics, general psychology and international affairs were the most popular majors, according to the NCES. Of the 327 master's graduates, 236 studied business administration.

Lowest Net Price

Finding the most affordable Orlando school can be done by comparing the net prices. The NCES figures this number by taking the complete cost of attendance for either an in-state/ in-district student or for the largest program and subtracting the amount of scholarship and grant aid. Most of the nonprofit, traditional colleges and universities in Orlando had net prices between $8,000 and $13,000 in 2010-2011. The following summaries rank the top 3 Orlando schools that had the lowest 2010-2011 net prices, according to the NCES.

1 - Orlando Tech

This 2-year, public school had the lowest 2010-2011 net price of $8,141, reported the NCES. This net price figure was calculated using the cost of attendance for students completing the largest program. During this school year, 29% of the full-time, first-time students were awarded grant or scholarship aid; the average amount of this aid totaled approximately $2,850. In 2012-2013, the tuition and fees for the largest program (licensed practical nursing) were $3,956. The books and supplies for this program were estimated at $940. Off-campus room and board costs for 2012-2013 were estimated at $19,316.

2 - Valencia College

The NCES stated that this college had a slightly higher 2010-2011 net price of $8,672. Close to 80% of the full-time students who entered college in this school year received grant or scholarship aid. The average amount of this aid was $6,487, and the total amount of this aid was $26,348,915. According to 2012-2013 NCES estimates for tuition and fees, in-state students paid $2,378, and out-of-state students paid $9,005. Books and materials for all students during this year cost about $1,250, while another $9,084 was estimated for off-campus room and board.

3 - Mid Florida Tech

The 2010-2011 net price for this 2-year, public school in Orlando was calculated using the school's largest program, and it totaled $10,573, according to the NCES. Of all the first-time, full-time students who started in 2010-2011, 67% received grant or scholarship aid. The average amount of this aid totaled $2,489. In 2012-2013, tuition and fees for the largest program (automotive mechanics technology) cost about $5,619. Books and supplies for this program were estimated to cost $324 in 2012-2013. And the total for off-campus room and board for this school year was estimated at about $25,755.

Highest Graduation Rate

To measure an Orlando school's student success, individuals can evaluate the overall graduation rate. The NCES finds this rate by calculating how many first-time, certificate- or degree-seeking, full-time students completed their programs within 150% of 'normal' time (e.g. 3 years for an associate's program or 6 years for a bachelor's program). Most of the colleges and universities in Orlando had fairly moderate overall graduation rates.

1 - Rollins College

The highest overall graduation rate was found at this college. The NCES reported that 70% of all full-time, first-time students who began programs in fall 2005 graduated within 150% of 'normal' time. Sixty-one percent of the students who began bachelor's programs in fall 2005 graduated within 4 years. The NCES also reported retention rates for this school, which can be a sign of student satisfaction. In fall 2010, 81% of first-time, bachelor's-seeking students returned in fall 2011.

2 - Orlando Tech

The NCES found that 69% of full-time, first-time, Orlando Tech students who started programs during the 2008-2009 school year graduated within 150% of 'normal' time. And about 56% of the students who began during this academic year graduated within 'normal' time. Of the first-time students who enrolled in fall 2010, 55% of the full-time students and 39% of the part-time students returned in fall 2011.

3 - University of Central Florida

The third highest overall graduation rate of 63% for full-time, first-time students who started in fall 2005 was found at UCF, according to the NCES. Another 8% of these students transferred out. About 34% of bachelor's-seeking students who began in fall 2005 graduated within 4 years. From fall 2010 to fall 2011, UCF retained 87% of its full-time, bachelor's-seeking students and 70% of its part-time, bachelor's-seeking students.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Individuals who value a school where its faculty can provide adequate 1-on-1 attention may want to consider the student-faculty ratio at Orlando's schools. The NCES found that the largest student-faculty ratios (32:1) were found at the schools with the largest student populations. At schools where the student populations were below 3,500, the student-faculty ratios were 10:1 or below.

1 - Orlando Tech

Orlando Tech had a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, according to the NCES. The school also had the lowest fall 2011 student population of 639. Also at this time, there were 43 full-time faculty members and 47 part-time faculty members.

2 - Rollins College

Rollins College was 1 of 2 Orlando-area schools that had a student-faculty ratio of 10:1, according to the NCES. As of fall 2011, 3,272 students attended this college, and 327 faculty members worked here. According to Rollins, class sizes averaged 17 students.

2 - Mid Florida Tech

The NCES also found a student-faculty ratio of 10:1 at this school. There were 2,011 students enrolled during fall 2011. Also during fall 2011, 225 faculty members worked here, and 151 of them worked part-time.

Orlando Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Degrees Offered Area Ranking
Mid Florida Tech Orlando 2-year, public Less-than-1-year, 1- to less-than-2-year and 2- to less-than-4-year certificates Second Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
Third Lowest Net Price
Orlando Tech Orlando 2-year, public Less-than-1-year, 1- to less-than-2-year and 2- to less-than-4-year certificates Lowest Net Price,
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
Second Highest Graduation Rate
Rollins College Winter Park (2.8 miles from Orlando) 4-year, private, nonprofit Bachelor's and master's degrees Highest Graduation Rate,
Second Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
Third Most Program Variety
University of Central Florida Orlando 4-year, public Post-master's certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Most Program Variety,
Third Highest Graduation Rate
Valencia College Orlando 4-year, public Less-than-1-year and 1- to less-than-2-year certificates; associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees Second Most Program Variety,
Second Lowest Net Price

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