Florida Colleges Mentioned in List of Best Inexpensive Public Colleges

L. Cane

Many families are concerned with their young adults getting the best college education for a reasonable price. After all, debt from college can be a financial strain for college graduates. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, student loans are among the largest causes of household debt in America. And the U.S. Department of Education indicates that the total amount owed in federal student loans in 2017 was $1.37 trillion. Therefore, getting a good education without taking on debt is important to many families and students.

Determining the Best Colleges at the Best Value: The website Stacker wanted to know which American colleges offered the best education at the best value. So it used data from the website Niche to find out. Stacker released its findings in July 2022. Stacker is a website that uses analytics in its articles, and Niche is a website that connects colleges and schools with families.

What Were the Criteria?: In terms of quality of education, Niche looked at factors like acceptance rates, the average student loan amount, diversity, and the quality of professors. (Note that in 2022, the weight of standardized test scores like the ACT and SAT were reduced, in part because of the pandemic.)

Stacker used Niche's 50 top public colleges of 2022 and then used its own analytics to rank colleges considering the average cost per year after financial aid for students receiving grants or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

How Did Florida Fare?: Florida did extremely well on this list, with four Florida institutions in the top 10, including:

The University of South Florida at number 3

The University of Florida at number 5

The University of Central Florida at number 6 and

Florida State University at number 8.

It's important to note that the Florida schools may be a good value in part because of the state's Bright Futures Scholarship program, which awards scholarships based on grades, test scores, and work or volunteer hours. According to Prep Scholar, over 725,000 students have received Bright Futures Scholarships.

What Other Studies Say About the Quality and Value of Florida's Colleges and Universities: Stacker and Niche are a couple of data points, but for objectivity, we can look at additional data. In March 2022, the website SmartAsset ranked the University of Florida as the top value university in Florida.

UF also ranked 8th in Money Magazine's “The Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value," list which ranked the top 10 universities in the country.

And in 2022 U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Florida as the 22nd best university in the entire nation, while FSU came in at number 55. However, this ranking did not include financial data or consider the "value" of universities based on costs and financial aid considerations, as Stacker's analysis did.

Finally, the University of Florida came in 11th in the Princeton Review's Best Value Colleges of 2022, while FSU came in at 18th.

The Top 25 of Stacker's List of the Best Inexpensive Public Colleges and Universities: It's arguably interesting to see how other colleges did on Stacker's list. The top 25 schools are listed from low to high, meaning the schools considered the best value are listed last.

#25. University of California - Santa Barbara

Location: Santa Barbara, California

Net price: $17,223

Acceptance rate: 37%

#24. University of California - Davis

Location: Davis, California

Net price: $17,026

Acceptance rate: 46%

#23. University of Texas - Austin

Location: Austin, Texas

Net price: $16,892

Acceptance rate: 32%

#22. Michigan State University

Location: East Lansing, Michigan

Net price: $16,655

Acceptance rate: 76%

#21. University of Georgia

Location: Athens, Georgia

Net price: $16,580

Acceptance rate: 48%

#20. University of California - Los Angeles

Location: Los Angeles, California

Net price: $16,474

Acceptance rate: 14%

#19. Mississippi State University

Location: Mississippi State, Mississippi

Net price: $16,402

Acceptance rate: 80%

#18. Iowa State University

Location: Ames, Iowa

Net price: $16,105

Acceptance rate: 92%

#17. University of California - San Diego

Location: La Jolla, California

Net price: $15,222

Acceptance rate: 37%

#16. Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma

Net price: $14,763

Acceptance rate: 70%

#15. Arizona State University

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Net price: $14,653

Acceptance rate: 88%

#14. North Carolina State University

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Net price: $14,600

Acceptance rate: 46%

#13. University of Wisconsin

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Net price: $14,030

Acceptance rate: 57%

#12. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Location: Urbana, Illinois

Net price: $13,517

Acceptance rate: 63%

#11. Indiana University - Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Net price: $13,191

Acceptance rate: 80%

#10. University of California - Irvine

Location: Irvine, California

Net price: $13,106

Acceptance rate: 30%

#9. University of Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Net price: $12,881

Acceptance rate: 79%

#8. Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Net price: $12,815

Acceptance rate: 36%

#7. Purdue University

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Net price: $12,294

Acceptance rate: 67%

#6. University of Central Florida

Location: Orlando, Florida

Net price: $11,108

Acceptance rate: 44%

#5. University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Net price: $10,075

Acceptance rate: 31%

#4. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Net price: $10,038

Acceptance rate: 25%

#3. University of South Florida

Location: Tampa, Florida

Net price: $10,004

Acceptance rate: 49%

#2. University of Washington

Location: Seattle, Washington

Net price: $9,661

Acceptance rate: 56%

#1. United States Military Academy at West Point

Location: West Point, New York

Net price: $0

Acceptance rate: 12%

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