Private Universities in Florida: School Overviews

Florida is home to 90 not-for-profit, private 4-year institutions. Compare data for some of these colleges and universities, including graduation rates and costs, to determine which institutions might be right for you.

Discover more about private not-for-profit universities and colleges in the state of Florida. Learn about the schools with the highest graduation rates, lowest net costs, largest student populations, and location, with data culled from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Florida Private Schools Near Large Cities

Private schools can be found in many large cities in Florida, such as Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa. If you are looking to study in or near a major city, look into the following options:

  • The University of Tampa (Tampa)
  • University of Miami (located in Coral Gables)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach (located in Daytona Beach)
  • Edward Waters College (located in Jacksonville)
  • Everest University - North Orlando (located in Orlando)

Largest Private Schools in Florida

At least four private schools had student populations exceeding 15,000 in 2015. Two of those institutions are found in Fort Lauderdale. If you are planning to study in a large school, consider the following private institutions:

  • Nova Southeastern University (23,236 students; 4,641 undergraduates)
  • University of Miami (16,825 students; 11,100 undergraduates)
  • Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale (16,579 students; 15,310 undergraduates)
  • Saint Leo University (15,800 students; 12,021 undergraduates)
  • Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University- Worldwide (13,740 students; 9,727 undergraduates)

Lowest Net Prices

To find net prices, the NCES subtracts the average financial aid received by full-time undergraduates from the total cost of attendance. Five non-specialty private schools had net costs below $15,000 for 2014-2015. Three of those institutions are located in Jacksonville.

  • Jones College - Jacksonville ($6,471)
  • The Baptist College of Florida ($10,360)
  • Edward Waters College ($11,746)
  • Trinity Baptist College ($12,864)
  • Florida Memorial University ($14,969)

Highest Graduation Rates

To find graduation rate percentages, the NCES uses the total number of full-time undergraduates who finish their studies within 150% of the typical amount of time. Three non-specialty private schools had rates higher than 70% for students starting in the autumn of 2009. They are located in the cities of Coral Gables, Leesburg, and Winter Park.

  • University of Miami (82% graduation rate)
  • Beacon College (80% graduation rate)
  • Rollins College (71% graduation rate)
  • Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale (68% graduation rate)
  • Eckerd College (65% graduation rate)

For those seeking a private not-for-profit university in the state of Florida, there are numerous options if you want to study in schools in or near a major city, as well as institutions with low costs, high graduation rates, and large student populations.


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