List of Colleges in the Southeast United States

The Southeast region of the United States is home to more than 500 colleges and universities. Compare four of the institutions in the Southeast to determine which schools might be right for you.

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School Ranking Overview

Students interested in earning a degree or certificate in the Southeast have hundreds of school options to choose from in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas. These include both public and private colleges, universities, seminaries and other postsecondary institutions. This article highlights four of the region's largest schools and ranks the top three in the following categories:

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

Program Variety

Students ready for college do not necessarily know what academic or career path they want to take. In these cases, going to a school with lots of programs can be helpful; students can take classes in a variety of subjects and learn about fields they may not have even known existed before. Of those compared, the institutions below have the most academic programs.

1. University of Georgia

Based out of Athens, the University of Georgia offers the most programs among the schools. Students can choose from 191 programs culminating in bachelor's degrees, graduate certificates, master's degrees and doctorates. Some of the fields of study available at the university include veterinary medicine, athletic training, music therapy, fashion merchandising, insurance, broadcast journalism, agriculture, wildlife management, chemistry and dance, among others.

2. Miami Dade College

A public four-year school in Miami, FL, Miami Dade College has 131 programs available. Some of the areas of study available include hotel management, business administration, architectural technology, criminal justice, interior design, culinary arts, engineering technology and teacher education. The college also has many programs preparing students for healthcare careers in nursing, sonography, dental hygiene, medical assisting and substance abuse counseling, among others. Miami Dade College awards certificates, associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees.

3. Liberty University

Liberty University takes third place in this category for its 90 programs. The school, located in Lynchburg, VA, offers many certificate programs, in addition to degrees from the associate's to doctoral levels. Students at Liberty can pursue an education in subjects such as accounting, curriculum and instruction, information technology, public health, nursing, engineering, history, graphic design and political science. A private non-profit Christian institution, the university offers several religious degree programs in fields like ministry, pastoral counseling, religious music and theology.

Net Price

The following three schools had the lowest net prices for undergrads in the 2012-2013 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). These figures are based on subtracting an average amount of financial aid from an institution's total cost of attendance. That latter number takes into account undergraduate tuition rates and fees, along with educational costs like textbooks, supplies and housing.

1. Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), located in Annandale, is a two-year public school offering undergraduate certificates and degrees. It had the lowest average net price among the compared institutions at $9,173.

2. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is positioned right in the middle of the top three in this category. Its net price was $12,862 on average. Students here and at other accredited schools can apply for governmental or institutional financial aid to help them cover their educational costs.

3. Miami Dade College

Ranking third for its average net price is Miami Dade College; students here paid $14,535 for a year of enrollment.

Graduation Rate

The graduation rates reported by the NCES are based on students who entered undergraduate programs in the fall of 2007 and completed them within 150% of normal time. These stats can help prospective students gauge the academic quality of their school options. The institutions below have the highest graduation rates among those profiled.

1. University of Georgia

With an overall graduation rate of 83%, the University of Georgia easily ranks first among the four institutions. The school also has a very high retention rate; 94% of full-time bachelor's-level students enrolled at the University of Georgia in fall 2012 remained there a year later.

2. Liberty University

Liberty University comes in second in this category with a 50% overall graduation rate. Of the full-time students in bachelor's degree programs in fall 2012, 69% opted to continue their studies at Liberty the next fall.

3. Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College has a graduation rate of 32%, which places the institution at the bottom of the top three. As of December 2014, the NCES has not reported a student retention rate for the college.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Colleges and universities with low student-to-faculty ratios are more likely to provide a learning environment in which personalized attention is emphasized. Smaller class sizes, which are more conducive to one-on-one interaction between educators and students might be more widely available as well. According to the NCES, the schools that follow have the lowest student-to-faculty ratios of those profiled.

1. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia comes out on top in this category as well; its student-to-faculty ratio stands at 17:1. In 2013, the school employed 2,559 full-time and 383 part-time faculty members. The majority worked in instructional roles, but 728 held research positions at the institution.

2. Liberty University

Liberty University -- an institution with more than 77,000 students -- manages to maintain an 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which is the second lowest of the compared schools. According to the NCES, 2,680 faculty members worked at the university in 2013; of those, 63% worked on a full-time basis.

3. Northern Virginia Community College

NOVA ranks third for its 22:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The college has more than 51,000 students and, in 2013, they were educated by a faculty of 2,657 instructors. Nearly 2,000 of the faculty members held adjunct positions.

Southeast Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Liberty University Lynchburg, VA Private non-profit Undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #3 in Program Variety, #2 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Miami Dade College Miami, FL Public Undergraduate certificates; associate's and bachelor's degrees #2 in Program Variety, #3 in Net Price, #3 in Graduation Rate
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, VA Public Undergraduate certificates and associate's degrees #1 in Net Price, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
University of Georgia Athens, GA Public Graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #2 in Net Price, #1 in Graduation Rate, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
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