Pensacola, Florida (FL) Colleges and Universities

There are seven schools within Pensacola, FL. Read about the schools with the most program variety, lowest net prices, highest graduation rates and lowest student-faculty ratios to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

Among the seven schools located within 15 miles of Pensacola, FL, are two public colleges and a technical center. By comparing what these three institutions have to offer, students can get a better idea about which would be the best fit for them. This article compares and ranks the schools within each of the following categories:

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

Most Program Variety

Students who have not yet decided on a major would most likely benefit most from a school that offers a wide range of programs and degree options. Read on to see which one of these mainstream schools offers the most in terms of program variety.

1 - Pensacola State College

At the top of the list is Pensacola State College, which offers approximately 83 different programs at the undergraduate level. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the liberal arts and sciences were the most popular associate's programs during the 2011-2012 academic year, followed by registered nursing, business administration and computer systems analysis. Four-year students also showed a preference for business administration, while the majority of those enrolled in certificate programs earned their credentials in emergency medical technology and cosmetology. During this school year, Pensacola State College awarded a total of 1,766 associate's and 17 bachelor's degrees, as well as 608 certificates.

2 - The University of West Florida

The University of West Florida in Pensacola is a 4-year public college that provides roughly 79 undergraduate and graduate programs. In the 2011-2012 school year, the university conferred 186 associate's, 2,053 bachelor's, 531 master's and 18 doctoral degrees, as well as 32 post-graduate certificates, per the NCES. While all of the associate's degrees were conferred in the liberal arts and sciences, mass communication and general psychology were the most popular majors for students seeking bachelor's degrees. At the graduate level, organizational management (nonprofit and public) and educational leadership were the most sought after programs for students pursuing masters' degrees. All of the doctoral degrees and 13 of the postgraduate certificates were awarded in curriculum and instruction.

3 - George Stone Technical Center

Located in Pensacola, George Stone Technical Center has approximately 35 programs, all at the certificate level. During the 2011-2012 school year, the NCES reported that the center awarded 204 certificates that took less than one year to complete, with the nursing and patient care assistant programs attracting the most number of students. The most popular certificate programs that could be completed between one and two years included computer technology and cosmetology. During the same year, all students pursuing the sole 2-4-year certificate program were training to be electricians.

Lowest Net Price

NCES determines the average net cost for U.S. colleges and universities by subtracting the amount of government or institutional aid that students receive from the total cost of attendance. As reported by the NCES for the 2011-2012 school year, the following three schools had the lowest average net prices within a 15-mile radius of Pensacola. Information about financial aid and cost of attendance was provided by the NCES.

1 - Pensacola State College

Once again, Pensacola State College is in first place, with an average net price of $6,755. Undergraduate tuition and fees during the 2012-2013 academic year were calculated at $2,704 for in-state students and $10,875 for out-of-state students. Additional costs included $1,900 in books and supplies and $7,650 for off-campus room and board. In the 2011-2012 school year, 78% of first-time, full-time students received an average grant or scholarship package of $4,561, with just 6% obtaining federal student loans averaging $2,371.

2 - George Stone Technical Center

George Stone Technical Center had an average net price of $7,999, and tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 school year ranged from $2,840 to $3,468 for the school's largest programs. Students in the 6-month criminal justice program could also expect to pay another $400 in books and $7,716 in off-campus room and board. While none of the students enrolled during the 2011-2012 school year obtained student loans, 76% of first-time, full-time students received an average grant or scholarship package of $1,425.

3 - The University of West Florida

Third in this category is the University of West Florida, with an average net price of $10,050. In the 2012-2013 academic year, undergraduate tuition and fees were $6,238 for Florida residents and $19,120 for nonresidents, with $1,200 estimated for books and supplies. Students from both in- and out-of-state could also expect to pay an additional $8,418 for on- and off-campus room and board. During the 2011-2012 school year, 85% of first-time, full-time freshmen received grant or scholarship aid in the average amount of $5,648, with 48% receiving an average federal student loan package of $5,130.

Highest Graduation Rate

The NCES reports overall graduation rates according to the percentage of full-time students who graduated within 150% of the 'normal time' it takes to complete a program (e.g., three years for an associate's or six years for a bachelor's degree). Read on to see which school had the highest overall graduation rate among the three mainstream, not-for-public schools in the Pensacola area, as reported by the NCES.

1 - George Stone Technical Center

The highest overall graduation rate was found at George Stone Technical Center, where 72% of students who enrolled in the 2009-2010 year completed their programs within 150% of normal time. In addition, the NCES showed that 52% of full-time students and 30% of part-time students who began their certificate programs in Fall 2011 returned in Fall 2012.

2 - The University of West Florida

The University of West Florida had an overall graduation rate of 45%, as well as a 4-year graduation rate of 24% for students who began their bachelor's degree studies in Fall 2006. According to the NCES, 8% of students who enrolled at the same time transferred to other schools. Among freshmen who started bachelor's programs in 2011, 71% of full-time students and 63% of part-time students returned to campus in Fall 2012.

3 - Pensacola State College

In third place is Pensacola State College, where students who enrolled in Fall 2006 had an overall graduation rate of 31% and a transfer-out rate of 9%. Although graduation rates for the various student populations, (e.g., American Indian, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and White, etc.) ranged from 13% to 39%, 67% of non-resident aliens who began their programs in Fall 2006 graduated within 150% of normal time, per the NCES.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

While not a guarantee, a low student-faculty ratio can serve as one indication of how much one-on-one time instructors might have with their students. In the Pensacola area, none of the three mainstream schools had a student-faculty ratio of less than 23:1, as reported by the NCES.

1 - The University of West Florida

In first place is the University of West Florida, with a student-faculty ratio of 23:1. As of Fall 2012, the university had a student population of 12,652, including 10,345 undergraduates. In the same year, the NCES showed that faculty was composed of 326 full-time and 313 part-time members, along with 223 graduate assistants. All but 12 of the full-time faculty were devoted to instruction, while 20 of the graduate assistants were involved in research. According to U.S. News & World Report, 37.7% of the university's classes had less than 20 students, while 9.8% enrolled 50 students or more in 2012.

2 - Pensacola State College

At 24:1, Pensacola State College had the next-lowest student-faculty ratio among all the three schools. In Fall 2012, the college employed 187 full-time and 445 part-time faculty members who provided instruction to approximately 11,862 undergraduates, according to the NCES.

3 - George Stone Technical Center

With a student-faculty ratio of 26:1, George Stone Technical Center had the third-lowest student-faculty ratio among Pensacola's mainstream institutions. In Fall 2012, the center had a student population of nearly 600 students and employed 20 full-time instructors, based on NCES data.

Pensacola Area Schools at a Glance

School Name LocationSchool TypeProgram Levels Offered Area Ranking
George Stone Technical CenterPensacola, FL2-year, publicLess than 1-year, 1-but-less-than-2-year and 2-but-less-than-4-year certificates Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Net Price,
3rd Most Program Variety,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Pensacola State CollegePensacola, FL4-year, publicLess than 1-year and 1-but-less-than-2-year certificates; associate's and bachelor's degreesMost Program Variety,
Lowest Net Price,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate
The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL4-year, publicAssociate's, bachelor's and doctoral degrees; post-master's certificates Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
2nd Most Program Variety,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Net Price

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