Three Florida universities among the most affordable in America

by | Oct 23, 2023

  • University of Florida (UF) is the nation’s most affordable school with an annual tuition of $8,285 and a median alumni salary of $45,803.
  • Florida State University (FSU) ranks second with a tuition of $7,493 and a median alumni salary of $38,690. University of South Florida (USF) is fourth with $6,410 in annual costs and a graduate salary of $39,907.
  • The merit-based Bright Futures scholarship and other financial aid offerings make state universities in Florida largely affordable.

Three Florida schools — the University of Florida (UF), Florida State University (FSU), and the University of South Florida (USF) — were named among the most affordable schools in the country, according to a ranking compiled on Monday.

The report analyzed the average costs of tuition, fees, room and board, and books and supplies across over 1,700 higher education institutions and identified UF as the nation’s most affordable school, with an annual tuition of $8,285 and a median alumni salary of $45,803.

FSU trails closely behind, placed second in the list with an annual tuition of $7,493 but a comparatively lower median alumni salary of $38,690. USF ranks fourth, trailing the two flagship state schools and New Mexico State University, registering $6,410 in average annual costs and a median graduate salary of $39,907.

The University of Miami (UM), Florida’s sole private school on the list, ranks 41st. While its tuition is the highest among the listed universities at $57,194 annually, UM graduates also have the top median salary of $50,273.

Broadly speaking, state universities — UM withholding — are deemed largely affordable due to the prevalence of financial aid offerings in public institutions, most pertinent of which is the merit-based Bright Futures scholarship. The aid program offers financial assistance for high-achieving students to pursue post-secondary education at Florida’s colleges.

“It’s also worth noting that a high percentage of students, averaging at 92.05 percent, receive financial aid, with this figure reaching 100 percent at the 90th percentile,” reads the report. “This suggests that financial support is widely available, making these best affordable colleges more accessible to a broader range of students.”

Earlier this year, the State University System reported a 12 percent five-year increase in graduation rates alongside a 49 percent year-over-year drop in the overall cost of earning a bachelor’s degree.

For the 2022-23 academic year, average in-state tuition costs at Florida universities are the lowest in the nation, according to state data, and nearly $5,000 cheaper than the national average of $11,103.

Additional state data shows that 75 percent of resident undergraduate students graduated without student loans in the 2020-21 academic year, an uptick from 69 percent the previous year.

Moreover, once financial aid is applied, the State University System reports that the average cost of a degree is $1,550. The figure is a nearly 50 percent decrease compared to the year prior, and $12,210 lower in cost than the same statistic from the 2016-17 academic year.


%d bloggers like this: