West Palm Beach, Florida (FL) Colleges and Universities

While there are a couple of schools in West Palm Beach, there are many more schools located within a 25-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

There are around 10 public or private not-for-profit schools within 25 miles of West Palm Beach, FL. This article examines one 4-year university in West Palm Beach, as well three other public and private not-for-profit schools in the vicinity. The top three of the four schools were then ranked in each of the following categories:

  • Program Variety
  • Net Price
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Program Variety

Having many educational options can be important to college students, particularly if they have not decided on a major. The following three schools have the highest number of program offerings among all four institutions, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

1. Palm Beach State College

This 4-year college in Lake Worth, which is a suburb of West Palm Beach, offers diploma, professional certificate and associate degree programs, as well as a bachelor's degree program in supervision and management. There are around 110 different programs available at this school, and some fields of study include biotechnology, business, environmental science and healthcare.

2. Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University houses ten academic colleges and offers about 104 programs leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees as well as certificates. The 4-year university operates a main campus in Boca Raton, approximately 23 miles south of West Palm Beach. Popular degree programs include elementary education, accounting, management and criminal justice.

3. Palm Beach Atlantic University

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a Christian, liberal arts university based in downtown West Palm Beach. The university's nine academic schools offer associate, bachelor's and master's degrees; there is also a doctorate degree program in pharmacy. There are about 69 programs to choose from at this school, and undergraduate majors are available in the arts and sciences, business, education, ministry, communications and health-related fields. Graduate and professional studies are offered in counseling, business administration and organizational leadership.

Net Price

Calculations to find net price take into account the average in-state cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, room/board and books) and subtract the average amount of financial aid awarded. The NCES provides school-specific net price information for full-time undergraduate students.

1. Palm Beach State College

This public college was the most affordable by far of all four schools profiled. In 2012-2013, in-state, undergraduate full-time students paid an average of $2,647.

2. Florida Atlantic University

Those who attended this institution spent more than five times the amount of what students at the first-place school paid. Specifically, for the 2012-2013 school year, full-time, in-state undergraduates paid an average of $13,614.

3. Palm Beach Atlantic University

This private not-for-profit university came in third place. The average net cost to attend full time was $22,793 in 2012.

Graduation Rate

The NCES also compiles data on graduation rates based on the percentage of full-time, beginning undergraduates who complete their program within 150% of the normal time frame; for bachelor's degree seekers, this is considered to be six years. The three schools below had the highest graduation rates among these schools, based off of NCES data for students who enrolled in 2007.

1. Palm Beach Atlantic University

Out of all bachelor's degree seeking students who started full time in 2007, 47% graduated within six years' time. Out of students who first enrolled in 2012, 73% returned for a second year of study in 2013.

2. Florida Atlantic University

Not far behind was this institution, where 41% of full-time undergrads earned their 4-year degree within six years. In addition, the retention rate for those students who started in 2012 and returned in 2013 was 77%.

3. Lynn University

Lynn University in Boca Raton shared the same graduation rate as Florida Atlantic University (41%). However, it takes third place because it had a lower student population in 2013. This school had a 2012-2013 retention rate of 69%.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Having a low student-to-faculty ratio can offer advantages, such as more intimate learning atmospheres and ease of instructor accessibility. The following data was compiled by the NCES based off of information from fall 2013.

1. Palm Beach Atlantic University

In 2013, 3,764 students attended this school. Out of these students there was an average of 13 to every one faculty member.

2. Lynn University

In 2013, Lynn University had an average student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. This was taking into account a total student population just below 2,300 in the same year.

3. Florida Atlantic University

Though this institution had the highest student population of all four schools profiled, around 30,800 students in 2013, it still managed to come in third place for student-to-faculty ratio. On average there was one teacher to every 24 students at this school that year.

West Palm Beach Area Schools: At a Glance

School NameLocationSchool Type Programs OfferedArea Ranking
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees#2 Program Variety, #2 Net Price, #2 Graduation Rate and #3 Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Lynn University Boca Raton, FL Private not-for-profit Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees#3 Graduation Rate and #2 Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FLPrivate not-for-profit Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees#3 Program Variety, #3 Net Price, #1 Graduation Rate and #1 Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Palm Beach State College Lake Worth, FLPublic Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees#1 Program Variety and #1 Net Price

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