Orlando students graduating high school have many options when it comes to choosing a college. Within a two-hour drive of Orlando, Central Floridians have numerous community colleges, public universities, private universities, and specialized schools to choose from.
It's crucial to look for colleges accredited by official local, state and national agencies that offer degree programs you're interested in.
Other things to consider include cost, available aid, location, admissions rate and criteria, graduation rate, class size, campus amenities, job placement rates, and safety.
Community colleges in the Orlando area offer two-year associates degrees, a number of certificate programs, and even a few four-year degrees. They are popular with students who want to save money for two years before transferring to a four-year public or private university. Tuition tends to be much lower at community colleges.
The below list may not be exhaustive, but it includes most community colleges located near Orlando.
- 3001 S.W. College Rd. Ocala, FL 34474
- 1200 W International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
- 1519 Clearlake Rd. Cocoa, FL 32922
- 101 W State St. Jacksonville, FL 32202
- 1206 N Park Rd. Plant City, FL 33563
- 9501 US-441 Leesburg, FL 34788
- 3425 Winter Lake Rd. Lakeland, FL 33803
- 3000 NW 83 St. Gainesville, FL 32606
- 100 Weldon Blvd. Sanford, Florida 32773
- 1800 S Kirkman Rd. Orlando, FL 32811
Public universities are funded by state and local governments. They tend to offer lower tuition than private universities, especially for in-state students. Central Floridians are lucky to have four excellent public universities to choose from that are close to home.
I've only included universities located roughly two hours from Orlando, so some big names have been left out (so no complaints from FSU fans!).
- 4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816
- 737 Reitz Union Dr. Gainesville, FL 32611
- 1 University of North FL Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32224
- 4202 E Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33620
Private colleges rely on private sources of funding to operate, so tuition fees tend to be higher than those charged by public universities, but many private schools provide generous financial aid packages that make up the difference.
Some of the larger private universities near Orlando that offer a liberal arts education are below.
- 640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
- 74 King St. St Augustine, FL 32084
- 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr. Lakeland, FL 33801
- 1000 Holt Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789
- 1000 Longfellow Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33801
- 421 N Woodland Blvd. DeLand, FL 32723
- 33701 State Road 52 St Leo, FL 33574
- 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606
Students interested in specialized careers, such as culinary arts, healthcare, entertainment and media, hospitality, or aviation should consider colleges focused on these fields.
Tuition rates vary at specialized schools, so it makes sense to apply for all aid packages available.
- 671 Winyah Dr. Orlando FL, 32803
- 600 South Clyde Morris Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
- 5950 Lakehurst Dr. Orlando, FL 32819
- 7100 Lake Ellenor Dr. Orlando FL, 32809
- 150 W. University Blvd. Melbourne, FL 32901
- 4700 Research Way, Lakeland, FL 33805
- 12900 Challenger Parkway Orlando, FL 32826
- 3300 University Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32792
- 6039 S. Rio Grande Ave. Orlando, FL 32809
- 2700 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34234
- 9907 Universal Blvd. Orlando, Florida 32819
- 1485 Florida Mall Ave. Orlando, FL 32809