List of Schools with Associate Degree Programs in Florida
More than 50 schools in Florida offer associate degree programs. Read about the schools with most program variety, highest graduation rates, lowest student-faculty ratios and lowest costs to find the school for you.
School Ranking Overview
A wide variety of schools throughout the state of Florida offer associate degree programs. The list includes 2-year public community colleges, technical schools, career centers and even a few 4-year universities. This article specifically profiles traditional public and non-profit institutions in Florida that grant associate degrees, ranking them in the categories below to help students see which schools are potentially a good fit:
- Most Program Variety
- Lowest Net Cost
- Highest Graduation Rate
- Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Most Program Variety
When selecting a college, students may look for schools that offer many program options. Schools with more program options may benefit students who wish to gain a broad education as well as those who are unsure of what are of study they wish to pursue. The following Florida schools have associate degrees available and offer the most program variety.
1 - Florida Gateway College
Offering the most program variety among colleges with associate degree programs, Florida Gateway College (FGC) in Lake City is a public school that has around 50 programs. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that FGC awarded 436 associate degrees in 2011-2012. The most popular areas of study that year were liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies and registered nursing. That same year, FGC awarded 340 certificates; of that number, 199 came from studies in health professions and related areas.
2 - Pasco-Hernando Community College
Located in New Port Richey, Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) is a public institution that has more than 40 academic programs. PHCC offers certificate and associate degree programs. According to the NCES, more than 1,700 associate degrees were awarded in 2011-2012, with the most popular areas of study being business administration and management, liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies, registered nursing and legal assistant/paralegal. A student who earns an Associate in Arts degree at PHCC is guaranteed admission as a junior into one of 11 Florida public colleges.
3 - Lake-Sumter Community College
Lake-Sumter Community College in Leesburg offers the third-most program variety, with around 35 programs to choose from. In 2011-2012, the NCES found that over 730 associate degrees were awarded. While the majority of associate degrees awarded were in liberal arts and sciences, several degrees were also awarded for registered nursing that year. In addition to associate degrees, the college also offers certificate programs as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Lowest Net Cost
The cost of going to college is often the most important factor when selecting a school. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) determines the average net price by subtracting the amount of government or financial aid a student receives from the total cost of attendance. The following schools offered the lowest net price among Florida schools offering associate degree programs in 2010-2011.
1 - Indian River State College
With a net price of $1,440, Indian River State College in Fort Pierce is the state's most affordable school. As of 2012-2013, in-state students paid yearly tuition and fees of $2,764, according to the NCES. Out-of-state students paid more than triple that amount, with estimated tuition and fees at $10,201. The NCES also reported that around 43% of undergraduate students received grants or scholarship aid in 2010-2011, with average amounts received at $3,966. According to the 2012 U.S. Department of Education's College Affordability and Transparency List, Indian River State College was rated the fifth-most affordable college in the country.
2 - Palm Beach State College
Located in Lake Worth, Palm Beach State College has the second lowest net cost at $2,746. The NCES reported that in-state students paid $2,378 in tuition and fees for 2012-2013, while out-of-state students paid $8,612. The NCES noted that 43% of undergraduates received grants or scholarship aid in 2010-2011, with the average award amount at $3,304. An average amount of $907 was received by the 10% of students who received federal student loans.
3 - Lake-Sumter Community College
Lake-Sumter Community College is the third-most affordable college on the list, with a net cost of $3,290. For 2012-2013, in-state students paid yearly tuition and fees of $3,142, while out-of-state students paid $13,246, according to the NCES. For the 2010-2011 school year, 41% of students received grants or scholarship aid, with the average amount received at $4,605. Lake-Sumter Community College has a variety of financial aid programs available to students as well as several scholarships.
Highest Graduation Rate
Students may also want to find out the success of a college, which is often determined by the graduation rate. The figures reported by the NCES are determined by the overall graduation rates of full-time students who graduated in 150% of 'normal time' (e.g. three years for an associate degree). Aspiring students who are pursuing associate degrees may also be interested in the transfer-out rate, which provides an estimate of how many students went on to continue their studies at a 4-year school. The three schools listed below have the highest graduation rates among Florida colleges that offer associate degree programs.
1 - Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale
With a graduation rate of 57%, Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale had the highest graduate rate of qualified schools. Of the first-time students who began pursuing bachelor's degrees in 2010, 84% of full-time and 35% of part-time students returned in fall 2011, according to the NCES.
2 - Chipola College
Located in Marianna, Chipola College featured a graduation rate of 49%. The NCES also found that 18% of students transferred to another school within 150% of 'normal time'.
3 - Florida Gateway College
Florida Gateway College had a graduation rate of 48% among full-time students who began their studies in 2008. The NCES also noted that 10% of the students transferred to other colleges. Florida Gateway College retained 54% of full-time and 44% of part-time students who began their studies in fall 2010.
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
When attending a school with a low student-faculty ratio, a student is less likely to be 'one of many students' and more likely to get individual attention. The three schools listed below have the lowest student-faculty ratios among Florida schools that offer associate degrees.
1 - South Florida State College
Formerly known as South Florida Community College, this school in Avon Park features a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, which is the lowest out of schools that offer associate's degrees. The school has 62 full-time and 159 part-time faculty members. The school boasts an average class size of 13 students.
2 - Florida Keys Community College
Florida Keys Community College in Key West has the second lowest student-faculty ratio. A small public college with around 1,300 students, Florida Keys Community College had around 27 full-time and 70 part-time faculty members in fall 2011 and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1.
3 - North Florida Community College
Coming in third on this list is North Florida Community College, which is located in Madison. This school features a student-faculty ratio of 17:1. For the 2011-2012 school year, this small public college had around 70 full- and part-time faculty members. In Washington Monthly's 2010 edition of college rankings, North Florida Community College ranked 31st among the nation's 'Top 50 Community Colleges'.
Florida Area Schools at a Glance
|School Name||Location||School Type||Degrees Offered||Area Ranking|
|Chipola College||Marianna, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public||Less than 1-year, between 1- and 2-year and 2-year but less than 4-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees||2nd Highest Graduation Rate|
|Florida Gateway College||Lake City, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public||Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees|| Most Program Variety,|
3rd Highest Graduation Rate
|Florida Keys Community College||Key West, FL||2-year, public||Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate degrees||2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|Indian River State College||Fort Pierce, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public||Less than 1-year, between 1- and 2-year and 2-year but less than 4-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees||Lowest Net Cost|
|Keiser University - Fort Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, private, not-for-profit||Between 1- and 2-year and post-master's certificates; associate, bachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees||Highest Graduation Rate|
|Lake-Sumter Community College||Leesburg, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public||Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees|| 3rd Lowest Net Cost,|
3rd Most Program Variety
|North Florida Community College||Madison, FL||2-year, public||Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate degrees||3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
|Palm Beach State College||Lake Worth, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public||Less than 1-year, between 1- and 2-year and 2-year but less than 4-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees||2nd Lowest Net Cost|
|Pasco-Hernando Community College||New Port Richey, FL||2-year, public||Less than 1-year and between 1- and 2-year certificates; associate degrees||2nd Most Program Variety|
|South Florida State College||Avon Park, FL||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public||Less than 1-year, 1 between 1- and 2-year and 2-year but less than 4-year certificates; associate and bachelor's degrees||Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio|
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