Universities and Colleges for Orlando Area Students

Where Should You Go to College?

UNF Engineering
••• University of North Florida Engineering Building. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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

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.

College of Central Florida

  • 3001 S.W. College Rd. Ocala, FL 34474
  • 352-873-5800

Daytona State College

  • 1200 W International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
  • 386-506-3000

Eastern Florida State College

  • 1519 Clearlake Rd. Cocoa, FL 32922
  • 321-632-1111

Florida State College at Jacksonville

  • 101 W State St. Jacksonville, FL 32202
  • 904-633-8100

Hillsborough Community College

  • 1206 N Park Rd. Plant City, FL 33563
  • 813-253-7000

Lake-Sumter State College

  • 9501 US-441 Leesburg, FL 34788
  • 352-787-3747

Polk State College

  • 3425 Winter Lake Rd. Lakeland, FL 33803
  • 863-297-1000

Santa Fe College

  • 3000 NW 83 St. Gainesville, FL 32606
  • 352-395-5000

Seminole State College

  • 100 Weldon Blvd. Sanford, Florida 32773
  • 407-708-4722

Valencia College

  • 1800 S Kirkman Rd. Orlando, FL 32811
  • 407-299-5000

Public Universities

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!).

University of Central Florida

  • 4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816
  • 407-823-2000

University of Florida

  • 737 Reitz Union Dr. Gainesville, FL 32611
  • 352-392-3261

University of North Florida

  • 1 University of North FL Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32224
  • 904-620-1000

University of South Florida

  • 4202 E Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33620
  • 813-974-2011

Private Universities

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.

Bethune Cookman College

  • 640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
  • 386-481-2000

Flagler College

  • 74 King St. St Augustine, FL 32084
  • 904-829-6481

Florida Southern College

  • 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr. Lakeland, FL 33801
  • 863-680-4111

Rollins College

  • 1000 Holt Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789
  • 407-646-2000

Southeastern University

  • 1000 Longfellow Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33801
  • 863-667-5000

Stetson University

  • 421 N Woodland Blvd. DeLand, FL 32723
  • 386-822-7000

St. Leo University

  • 33701 State Road 52 St Leo, FL 33574
  • 800-334-5532

University of Tampa

  • 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606
  • 813-253-3333

Other Schools

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.

Adventist University of Health Sciences

  • 671 Winyah Dr. Orlando FL, 32803
  • 407-303-7742

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  • 600 South Clyde Morris Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114
  • 386-226-6000

Florida Christian University

  • 5950 Lakehurst Dr. Orlando, FL 32819
  • 407-896-0101

Florida College of Integrative Medicine

  • 7100 Lake Ellenor Dr. Orlando FL, 32809 
  • 407-888-8689

Florida Institute of Technology

  • 150 W. University Blvd. Melbourne, FL 32901
  • 321-674-8000

Florida Polytechnic University

  • 4700 Research Way, Lakeland, FL 33805
  • 863-583-9050

Florida Technical College

  • 12900 Challenger Parkway Orlando, FL 32826
  • 844-402-3337

Full Sail University

  • 3300 University Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32792
  • 800-226-7625

International Academy of Design and Technology

  • 6039 S. Rio Grande Ave. Orlando, FL 32809
  • 888-489-8111

Ringling College of Art and Design

  • 2700 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34234
  • 941-351–5100

Rosen College of Hospitality Management (UCF)

  • 9907 Universal Blvd. Orlando, Florida 32819
  • 407-903-8000

Southern Technical College

  • 1485 Florida Mall Ave. Orlando, FL 32809
  • 877-347-5492