Is Florida International University Online a Good School?

Florida International University is one of the largest universities in the US. Besides traditional degrees, it also offers online degrees as well as certificates through Florida International University Online (FIU Online). But does it mean right away that FIU Online is a good school because it’s associated with a very big institution?

Since 2015, Florida International University has been classified as Carnegie R1, which signifies very high research activity. It offers over 500 online courses, all of which are certified by Quality Matters (QM). With 20 years of experience in online education, FIU Online has graduated over 200,000 alumni.

Continue reading if you are on the fence as to whether or not you should earn your online degree from Florida International University Online — we will discuss just about everything you need to know about this school in this post.

florida international university

Florida International University Accreditation

Florida International University Online is not a diploma mill. As a matter of fact, it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is an accrediting agency recognized by both the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

According to a report, the US is home to the largest number of diploma mills on the planet — it’s where around 40% of all diploma mills in existence can be found.

Due to this, it can be easier for non-traditional students to end up attending a diploma mill than a legit online school.

If Florida International University Online is at the top of your college list, you will be more than happy to learn that it’s far from being a diploma mill. Proof of this is the fact that it is accredited by SACSCOC, which is a fully recognized and legitimate accrediting agency.

What’s more, the hundreds of courses available at FIU Online are all QM-certified, which means that they have met the rigorous QM Rubric Standards for Course Design.

Is Florida International University Regionally or Nationally Accredited?

Florida International University is a regionally accredited institution. That’s because its accreditor, which is SACSOC, is one of the six regional accreditors in the US. Credits from FIU Online are accepted by more regionally accredited colleges, and degrees from it are accepted by more graduate schools.

It’s not enough that you check that an online school is accredited. Especially if you are considering earning a graduate degree one day, it’s also a good idea to check whether it’s regionally or nationally accredited.

Regional accreditation is widely regarded as more prestigious than national accreditation.

One of the reasons for this is that it has more rigorous quality standards. What’s more, it’s been around since 1885 — national accreditation, on the other hand, started in 1984 only. Because of this, credits earned from a regionally accredited college can be transferred easily to other regionally accredited institutions.

Fortunately for you if you are thinking about attending Florida International University Online, the online school is regionally accredited. This means that it’s very much unlikely for the credits you will earn from it to go to waste should you decide to transfer to a traditional or another online college in the future.

When was Florida International University Established?

Florida International University was established in 1965 as a part of the State University System of Florida, which consists of a total of 40 public and state colleges and universities. Florida International University first offered an online course in 1998 and a fully online degree program (Master in Hospitality Management) in 2003.

It’s true that it wasn’t too long ago when Florida International University first came into being.

Despite the fact that it’s not one of the oldest colleges and universities in the US, it’s now the second-largest institution in Florida and the fifth-largest in the US enrollment-wise.

It was in the late 1990s when Florida International University Online first appeared in the form of an online course for on-campus students. But what started out having only three classes and five employees only now offers over 1,500 online classes and has over 1,400 online instructors.

FIU Online reached another turning point in its history in 2020: it conferred degrees to more than 10,000 students who are attending the school completely online!

What is Florida International University Known For?

Florida International University is known for being a top-tier public research university, as evidenced by its Carnegie R1 classification. In the US, there are only nearly 150 colleges and universities with such distinction. On the other hand, Florida International University Online is known to have various highly ranked programs.

Earlier, we mentioned the fact that Florida International University is one of the largest in Florida and the US.

It’s no wonder why it has a diverse student body, too. As a matter of fact, a College Factual report says that the institution is above-average in overall diversity. Meanwhile, Niche ranks it #20 in Most Diverse Colleges in Florida and #352 in Most Diverse Colleges in America.

Florida International University Online, on the other hand, is known to offer over 500 courses, which are all QM-certified. QM uses several tools in assessing how courses stack up against the agency’s rigorous benchmarks to measure quality. Since 2016, as of this writing, QM has certified more than 11,000 courses.

Some of the most popular majors at Florida International University are:

  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Communications
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice and Safety Studies

FIU Online is also known for its highly ranked online undergraduate and graduate degree programs — in a few, we will talk about them, so don’t stop reading now if you are interested in applying to the online school.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend Florida International University?

Since Florida International University is a public institution, attending it is cheaper for in-state students. The estimated cost of going to the school for one semester is $23,997 for residents and $36,396 for non-residents. The tuition for out-of-state students is 67% higher than the tuition for in-state students.

According to a ranking by Academic Influence, here are the most affordable colleges and universities in Florida:

1Florida Atlantic University
2University of South Florida Sarasota – Manatee
3University of North Florida
4University of West Florida
5Florida A&M University
6University of South Florida St. Petersburg
7Florida Gulf Coast University
8University of Central Florida
9University of Florida
10University of South Florida
11Florida State University
12Florida International University
13New College of Florida
14Trinity Baptist College
15Florida National University
16Hodges University
17Bethune-Cookman University
18Florida Memorial University
19Everglades University
20Flagler College

Unlike some other online schools associated with public colleges and universities, Florida International University Online has different tuition rates for in-state students and out-of-state students. The tuition rate for non-Florida residents and international students are the same.

The estimated total cost of attending FIU Online for one academic year can vary according to the type of degree — certificate, undergraduate degree or graduate degree — and the program itself.

Just to paint you a better picture, for the academic year 2021 to 2022, a full-time student from Florida taking an online bachelor’s degree in Computer Science pays $7,185.37. On the other hand, a full-time out-of-state student who is taking the same degree from FIU Online pays $10,697.17 per academic year.

Does Florida International University Accept Financial Aid?

Florida International University, including FIU Online, has various financial aid options. They are available in the form of scholarships, grants, federal work-study, student loans and even those from outside resources. As much as 93% of students receive some form of aid, each award averaging $10,325.

To make it easy for incoming first-year students to find institutional scholarships, Florida International University has the FIU scholarship search that allows them to search for and also learn about available ones.

Students may also choose to apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship program.

Not too many online schools offer the Federal Work-Study Program.

Simply put, it allows students to earn money, which they never have to repay, in order to pay for their academic program. At FIU Online, students who are eligible for the work-study program can choose from on- or off-campus jobs.

florida international university

Does Florida International University Offer Special Benefits for Military Personnel?

Florida International University provides GI Bill benefits to eligible veterans of the US Military in order to help them pay for college. The school also offers benefits to the spouses, unmarried children and other dependents of veterans. Veterans with an associate degree from a Florida community college enjoy automatic admission.

In order to receive benefits, the first couple of steps veterans planning on attending Florida International University Online have to do are to submit a certificate of eligibility and fill out VA form 22-1995.

Dependents, on the other hand, need to fill out VA form 5495.

Besides eligibility criteria, benefit amounts also vary from one VA educational assistance program to the next.

For instance, the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) covers the full cost of tuition and fees of veterans who qualify for maximum benefit. The program may also award them up to $1,000 per academic year for books and supplies.

As mentioned above, veterans with an associate degree earned from a community college in Florida are automatically admitted into FIU Online. However, they should have completed their associate program within three years.

What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Florida International University?

Florida International University does not have any published minimum GPA requirement first-time, first-year students have to meet. However, based on the school’s latest Common Data Set (CDS), the average GPA of 66% of admitted first-year students is 4.0. Transferees should have a GPA of 2.0 at least.

Like the majority of colleges and universities in the US, Florida International University has a holistic admissions policy. This means that it considers not only academic factors but also various non-academic factors when reviewing applications.

Because both the GPA and academic rigor are taken into account, submitted GPAs are recalculated.

Some competitive programs, such as nursing and architecture, have higher minimum admissions requirements than the rest. As a matter of fact, some of them may require applicants to submit additional pieces of information and take exams, too. Before applying to certain programs, one must do thorough research first.

Does Florida International University Require SAT or ACT?

Unlike test-optional colleges and universities, Florida International University requires applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. Also, the score they will submit should be from a standardized exam taken no later than fall of their high school senior year. Transferees may or may not have to submit test scores.

Of all freshmen students admitted into Florida International University, as per CDS 2021 to 2022, 87% submitted their SAT scores. Meanwhile, 13% submitted their ACT scores.

The middle 50% of the school’s current first-year students have composite SAT scores of 1030 to 1220. The middle 50% composite ACT scores, on the other hand, are from 21 to 27. According to Florida International University’s admissions office itself, neither the SAT Essay nor the ACT Writing component is required.

Below are tables demonstrating the breakdown of the test scores of admitted first-time, first-year students:

1400 to 16003%
1200 to 139933%
1000 to 119958%
800 to 9996%
600 to 7990%
400 to 5990%
30 to 3610%
24 to 2942%
18 to 2346%
12 to 172%
6 to 110%
Below 60%

While all incoming first-year students are required to submit their test scores, which should be from the SAT or ACT taken no later than fall of their high school senior year, transferees may or may not be required to do the same.

It all depends on the number of credits they earned from their previous school.

Got no associate degree or earned less than 60 credits from an earlier undergraduate degree program?

Then you will have to submit either your SAT or ACT score if you wish to apply to Florida International University. What’s more, you will also need to submit both your high school and college transcripts.

How Many Transfer Credits Does Florida International University Accept?

Florida International University accepts a maximum of 30 upper-division credits and up to 60 lower-division credits. Besides credits earned from an accredited institution, the school also accepts credits from military education or experience, based on credit recommendations by the American Council on Education (ACE).

It’s not just any accreditation that Florida International University has — it has regional accreditation.

One of the perks of applying to a regionally accredited institution is that there’s a huge possibility that credits earned from another college or university will be accepted.

However, it’s a must for the credits to be transferred to be earned from a regionally accredited school. At Florida International University, earned credits can also be from institutions in Florida participating in the Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS), which is basically a database of postsecondary courses.

Applicants with an associate degree obtained from an accredited community college in Florida can have peace of mind that all their 60 lower-division credits will be accepted. Otherwise, an evaluation will have to be done beforehand.

How Much Time is Spent Online by Florida International University Students?

Florida International University Online students have to spend varying hours each week studying, depending on their program. Undergraduate students, for instance, are recommended to devote eight to 12 hours each week to readings and assignments for every three-credit course. Projects and papers will require additional time.

Many online schools are self-paced, which means students can complete their respective degree programs as quickly or as slowly as they want, depending on their schedule and learning style.

Unfortunately, available courses at FIU Online are not self-paced, which means that there are due dates to meet.

The length of time it will take for you to earn your FIU Online degree will depend on the program and type of degree. It will also depend on whether or not you have any transfer credits and how many courses you take per semester. No matter the case, the fact remains that course activities, assignments and others have deadlines.

Florida International University Rankings

US News ranks Florida International University #78 in Top Public Schools and #162 in National Universities. Many of its online programs are highly ranked, too, by US News. Rankings should be used as a part of the overall college selection process and not the only tool in deciding which institution, online or physical, to attend.

Besides being regionally accredited, there is one more thing that guarantees that Florida International University Online should not be mistaken for a diploma mill: it appears in the rankings of reliable college ranking sites.

Many of the programs at FIU Online are US News-ranked, such as:

  • #17 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs
  • #18 in Best Online Master’s in Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #25 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs
  • #25 in Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs
  • #35 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans
  • #42 in Best Online MBA Programs
  • #49 in Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs
  • #59 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #69 in Best Online Master’s in Education Programs

As mentioned earlier, Florida International University is #78 in Top Public Schools by US News. Niche, which is another popular college ranking site, meanwhile, ranks it #6 in Top Public Universities in Florida and #60 in Top Public Universities in America. It’s also #9 in Best Value Colleges in Florida by the same ranker.

Just Before You Apply to Florida International University

Florida International University is a good school for students who wish to earn a degree from a public university with very high research activity, as evidenced by a Carnegie R1 classification and it’s often in the top online schools’ lists.

It is also highly recommended for those who wish to earn an online degree that employers will honor and accept — the courses at Florida International University Online are all QM-certified, and many of its undergraduate and graduate programs are highly ranked by US News.

Read Next: Is the University of Florida Online a Good School?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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