StateofFlorida.com is not affiliated with, owned, or operated by the State of Florida and is not endorsed or approved by the State of Florida. Visit MyFlorida.com
The State of Florida has multiple institutions for receiving a higher education including community colleges, state colleges and universities as well as private colleges. Each offers something unique and a college-bond student should consider all available options.
College vs University
While the terms are often interchangeable, a college, usually smaller in size, is an institution that typically offers undergraduate degrees; some may offer only two-year degrees. Universities tend to be larger and offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, the latter of which can lead to a master’s degree or Ph.D.
Private vs Public Institutions
Public colleges and universities receive more of, and rely heavily on, state funds than private schools. Tuition for a public university or college will cost significantly less than a privately funded university or college if you attend a college in your state. If you attend a public college in another state, you will lose the in-state tuition benefits. Public universities also tend to be significantly larger than private colleges. A public college can have over 60,000 undergraduates. This means your classes will have more students, but you will generally have more classes to choose from. Public colleges and universities tend to have a plethora of degree options as well.
Private universities and colleges receive funding from tuition, alumni and friend donations, and endowment. Most tend to cost significantly more than a public institution, but the tuition cost will vary depending on the university or college. Generally smaller than a public institution, a private college or university will have smaller classes and fewer courses offered. The institution will likely offer only a few degrees, often in a specialized area.