The State of Florida has developed itself into a higher education hub in the United States, with two large systems managing the funding of many of its universities and colleges. In addition to that, there is a plethora of private colleges and universities within the Sunshine State. It has long been known as a state where students can receive an affordable education, with tuition, room and board and other educational fees being lower in Florida than in many other states.
The State University System of Florida is the governing body which manages the state's 11 public universities and it is also responsible for one liberal arts college. The universities that are a part of this system include: Florida A&M University, Florida Atlantic University, New College of Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Florida Polytechnic University, University of West Florida, University of South Florida, University of North Florida, University of Central Florida and University of Florida.
In addition to the large State University System of Florida, the Florida College System also has a significant presence in the state. This system manages the 28 different community colleges and technical schools that are located in the State of Florida. Most students in Florida begin their college education career at a community college or trade school. In addition to providing high school graduates with an affordable start to higher education, this system also provides a dual-enrollment program for high school students who want to get an early start on their college careers. This system also provides an opportunity for people who need to retrain themselves in a new career during difficult economic times or a major life change.
Aside from all of the public university options available to students in Florida, there are 64 private colleges and universities. This provides students a wide variety of options to choose from, allowing them to decide between large and small campuses and many different educational programs. As a state with a diverse population, it is beneficial that there are many different higher education opportunities available to residents.
Florida is known for several notable alumni, including astronauts Norman Thagard and Winston Scott who attended Florida State University. Miss America 1997 Tara Dawn Holland Christensen also went to school at Florida State University. These graduates are just a few of the notable people who went to Florida universities.