Is the University of Florida Online a Good School?
US News ranks the University of Florida #28 in National Universities. On the other hand, Niche ranks it #7 in Top Public Universities in America and #1 Best Colleges in Florida.
But does this mean that its online campus, which is the University of Florida Online, is just as prestigious as the Gainesville, Florida-based institution?
The University of Florida Online is a good school simply for the fact that it’s the online campus of a highly ranked prestigious school, which is the University of Florida. It’s the ideal online institution for students who wish to earn a University of Florida degree without stepping foot on its campus.
Read until the end of this post if you are thinking about applying to the University of Florida Online.
We will discuss just about everything you need to know about this online school, from its accreditation, transfer credit policy to rankings, thus helping you to make an informed decision.
University of Florida Online Accreditation
Because it’s the online campus of the University of Florida, the University of Florida Online being a diploma mill is out of the question. As a matter of fact, it is accredited by the same accreditor of the University of Florida: the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Some online colleges and universities out there serve as the virtual campuses of actual institutions.
It’s very unlikely for you to end up with a meaningless degree if you attend any one of them because they are far from being diploma mills. As a result, whatever you earn will be respected by employers.
Being a part of the University of Florida and accredited by SACSCOC, which is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), it’s obvious that the University of Florida Online is not a diploma mill, which typically has no physical office and legitimate accreditation.
Needless to say, you can count on the online degree you will earn from the University of Florida Online when applying for a job or to a graduate school in order to further your education.
When was the University of Florida Online Established?
The University of Florida was founded in 1853, which makes it a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Meanwhile, the University of Florida Online was established in 2014 per Florida law, which required the offering of high-quality, fully-online bachelor’s degree programs.
Besides offering top-notch undergraduate degrees that can be completed online 100% to first-time, first-year college students or transferees, the University of Florida Online was also established to offer them affordably.
Now, it’s one of the somewhat selective online schools in the US, with an acceptance rate of 62%.
Meanwhile, the graduation rate of the University of Florida Online is 75%, which is considerably higher than what’s regarded as the average graduation rate at online schools: 20%.
The higher graduation rate at the University of Florida Online is a testament to the positive learning experience of its attendees.
And since we’re already talking about the online school’s graduation rate, you will be happy to learn that degree holders from the University of Florida Online, after 10 years from initial enrollment, have an average annual salary of $62,600, which is 83% higher than what’s considered the national median.
What is the University of Florida Online Known For?
The University of Florida Online is the online campus of the University of Florida, which is a high-ranking public research university that gets hundreds of millions of dollars in grants per year for research purposes. Many of the bachelor’s and MBA programs at the University of Florida Online have high US News rankings.
Being a student at the University of Florida Online is like being a student at the University of Florida.
As a matter of fact, the diploma and transcript you will receive after completing your chosen degree from the online school are the very same diploma and transcript that you would get if you attended the University of Florida — they will not indicate that you attended the online campus and earned an online degree.
Besides online undergraduate degrees, the University of Florida Online also offers various online graduate degrees, from master’s, doctorate to specialist. There are also certificates and non-degree college credit courses available.
Some of the most popular majors at the University of Florida Online include:
- Sport and Fitness Management
- Public Health
- Fire Science and Fire Fighting
- Radio and Television
- Information Science
How Much Does It Cost to Attend the University of Florida Online?
The cost of attending the University of Florida Online, which is a public institution, varies between in-state and out-of-state students. The rate for Florida residents is $129.18 per credit hour. The rate for non-Florida residents is $552.62. The estimated total cost of an undergraduate degree is from $15,501.60 to $66,314.40.
Earning an online degree is generally cheaper than earning a traditional degree. That’s because associated college costs such as transportation and room and board are out of the picture.
Still, it’s the tuition that makes up most of the cost of going to the University of Florida Online.
Tuition for in-state students attending the University of Florida Online amounts to $111.92. On the other hand, for out-of-state students, tuition is equivalent to $500.00. Most international students attending the University of Florida Online are considered non-Florida residents, which is why they pay out-of-state rates.
Some of the most affordable online degrees from Florida schools come from the University of Florida Online. As a matter of fact, it is #3 in the Top 25 Most Affordable Online Colleges in Florida by Great Value Colleges.
Does the University of Florida Online Accept Financial Aid?
Students at the University of Florida Online are eligible for consideration for a variety of financial aid. They include grants, scholarships, work-study programs, loans and non-Office for Student Financial Affairs (SFA) aid. Up to 91% of the University of Florida Online’s attendees receive some form of aid.
The University of Florida Online encourages applicants to fill out the FAFSA in order to determine whether or not they will be eligible to receive financial aid.
Students can do so by either visiting studentaid.gov or through the University of Florida Online’s MyStudentAid app.
In order for the University of Florida Online to consider you for a financial aid package, you should be a degree-seeking admitted student.
While it’s true that you have to be accepted for enrollment at the online school before you are considered for financial aid, you should apply for financial aid before getting admitted.
The Florida Department of Education also offers an assortment of student financial assistance programs, which are administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA). They are:
- Florida Bright Futures Program
- Benacquisto Scholarship (formerly Florida Incentive Scholarship)
- Florida Prepaid College Plan
- Florida College Transfer Scholarships (FCTS)
- Minority Teachers Education Scholarship (MTES)
- Ethics in Business
- Jose Marti Challenge Grant Fund
- Rosewood Family
- Robert C. Byrd
- Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans
Does the University of Florida Online Offer Special Benefits for Military Personnel?
Under certain circumstances, active-duty members of the US Armed Forces (and their spouses and children) can enjoy in-state tuition rates whether they are residing or stationed in Florida. Military personnel attending the University of Florida Online can take advantage of many programs to cover their educational costs.
The University of Florida Online has a long history of supporting students coming from all branches of the military, which is why it’s no wonder that the school is #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans by US News.
We will discuss this matter and other rankings, too, in a few — so don’t stop reading now!
Serving as a testament to the fact that the University of Florida Online wants enrolled military personnel to succeed in their quest to earn online degrees are the existence of three departments specially tasked with lending a hand to active service members, veterans and their dependents:
- Office of Student Veteran Services
- Collegiate Veterans Success Center
- Collegiate Veterans Society
Above, we mentioned in-state tuition rates applying not only to active-duty members who are Florida residents but also to those who are stationed in the Sunshine State. Those who do not fall into these categories may instead enjoy the out-of-state fee waiver, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements.
The University of Florida Online participates in the following programs and services for military personnel:
- Tuition Assistance
- Yellow Ribbon Program
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
- Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Program (VR&E)
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
In order to help reduce college costs, the University of Florida Online also awards credit for military experience and/or coursework to accepted military personnel. The type and amount of credit awarded will depend on their records. However, most credits will only count toward electives.
GPA You Need to Get Into the University of Florida Online
Competitive freshmen admitted into the University of Florida Online have a high school GPA of 3.7 or higher. According to the online school itself, its standards are higher than the minimum set by Florida, which is a high school GPA of 2.5 at least. Transferees, meanwhile, should have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
It’s not uncommon for selective colleges and universities to have high minimum GPA eligibility requirements.
True enough, the University of Florida, which has a low 31% acceptance rate, requires applicants to its online campus to have an above-average high school GPA in order to enjoy increased admissions chances.
Students taking dual enrollment courses, on the other hand, must have a minimum of 2.0 college GPA.
The minimum GPA requirement for transferees varies. Most lower-division transfer applicants admitted into the University of Florida Online have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The more college credits they have, the less their GPA is weighted in the admissions process. Meanwhile, upper-division transfer applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 at least.
Does the University of Florida Online Require SAT or ACT?
Freshman applicants to the University of Florida Online who finished high school five or more years ago are not required to submit their SAT or ACT scores as the requirement is waived. On the other hand, freshman applicants who finished high school less than five years ago must submit their test scores.
Some online schools are test-optional, which means that applicants can decide whether or not they would like to submit their test scores. Well, the University of Florida Online is both test-optional and test-required.
It depends on which first-time, first-year student is applying to it.
Graduated from high school not less than five years ago? Then there is no need for you to include your SAT or ACT score in your application to the University of Florida Online — it is automatically waived. Otherwise, if you graduated from high school not more than five years ago, you will have to submit your test score.
It’s not enough that you provide your test score if you want to gain admission into the University of Florida Online — it’s also a must that you meet certain sub-scores:
- Reading – 24
- Writing and language – 25
- Math – 24
- Reading – 19
- English – 17
- Math – 19
Took the SAT or ACT more than once? Then consider submitting all your test scores across all test dates. That’s because the University of Florida Online superscores and accepts only the highest sub-scores.
How Many Transfer Credits Does the University of Florida Online Accept?
The University of Florida Online can accept a maximum number of 60 credits from an accredited institution. Transferees with a degree from a Florida community college, state college or public state university automatically receive 60 transfer credits. Various transfer credit policies and procedures apply.
First things first: credits earned by transferees from courses that are remedial, vocational, technical or doctrinal in nature are not transferable to the University of Florida Online.
On the other hand, up to 60 credits earned from accredited public or state institutions in Florida are automatically accepted. Credits earned from out-of-state schools can be transferred to the University of Florida Online, too.
However, there are requirements to meet, such as that courses should be similar in nature and content.
Courses that do not have any equivalents can transfer as elective credits within the appropriate department.
But it’s not enough that transfer credits were earned from accredited colleges or universities — they should also be earned from schools accredited by any (or an equivalent from a foreign institution) of the following accreditors:
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
How Much Time is Spent Online by the University of Florida Online Students?
The number of time spent by the University of Florida Online students studying depends on how many credits they take per semester. A three-credit course usually requires eight to 12 hours of studying a week. While many courses are asynchronous, the University of Florida Online students have coursework deadlines to meet.
Depending on your schedule or learning style, you can take a light load of three to six credits or a full load of 15 to 18 credits at the University of Florida Online.
The majority of courses are asynchronous, which means that there are no schedules to stick to.
However, assignments and tests have due dates. But the good news is that your professor will provide you with a detailed syllabus at the start of each semester, including deadlines for various coursework tasks. As a result of this, you can plan ahead of time, thus keeping you from missing deadlines and delaying your graduation.
University of Florida Online Rankings
US News ranks the University of Florida Online #1 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The popular and college ranking site also ranks many degree programs, the vast majority of which are graduate degrees such as MBA programs, being offered by the online campus of the University of Florida.
It’s not uncommon for college-bound teens to turn to college ranking sites when having a difficult time deciding which colleges and universities they should shortlist.
Besides being a part of a highly ranked school, the University of Florida Online has many highly ranked programs.
Related Article: Top 20 Online Colleges in US
If you are looking to get your hands on a high-quality online undergraduate degree based on college rankings alone, look no further than the ones available at the University of Florida Online — it’s #1 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News.
Also, the same college ranking site ranks it #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans.
Here are some other US News rankings of the University of Florida Online:
- #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs
- #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs
- #1 in Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans
- #1 in Best Online Master’s in Educational Administration Programs
- #2 in Best Online Master’s in Education Programs
- #5 in Best Online MBA Programs
- #9 in Best Online Master’s in Business Programs for Veterans (Excluding MBA)
Just Before You Apply to the University of Florida Online
The University of Florida Online is the online campus of the University of Florida, which is a highly ranked and selective public research university. Needless to say, it’s far from being a diploma mill.
Despite completing your degree program of choice 100% online, you will earn the kind of diploma and transcript that on-campus attendees of the University of Florida get upon graduating — it will not say that you attended the institution’s online campus and you earned the online counterpart of a traditional degree.
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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.