Small Colleges in Florida: Exploring Your Options

Florida is a vibrant state with a diverse range of higher education institutions. From large universities to small colleges, there are plenty of options for students looking to pursue their academic goals. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at small colleges in Florida and explore what makes them unique.

Small Colleges in Florida: Exploring Your Options

What are Small Colleges?

Small colleges are institutions of higher education that typically offer undergraduate degrees and have a student body of fewer than 5,000 students. These schools tend to have smaller class sizes, which can lead to more personalized instruction and greater opportunities for individual attention from professors.

Small colleges also tend to focus on undergraduate education rather than research, although some may offer graduate-level programs as well. They often place greater emphasis on teaching rather than research, and many faculty members at small colleges prioritize working directly with students over publishing papers or engaging in other academic pursuits.

Why Attend a Small College in Florida?

There are several reasons why someone might choose to attend a small college in Florida over a larger university:

Personalized Attention

One of the biggest advantages of attending a small college is the opportunity for personalized attention from professors. With smaller class sizes, instructors have more time to work one-on-one with students and provide individual feedback on assignments and projects.

For students who thrive in close-knit communities where they can establish relationships with faculty members, a small college can be an ideal environment.

Tight-Knit Community

Small colleges often foster tight-knit communities where students can form close friendships and develop networks that will serve them well beyond graduation. Because these schools tend to have smaller enrollments, it’s easier for students to get involved in extracurricular activities, athletics, and other campus events.

Many small colleges also offer housing options such as dorms, apartments, or shared houses that encourage collective living spaces and help build community among the student body.

High-Quality Education

Small colleges can offer high-quality education that rivals larger universities in many ways. With smaller class sizes and more direct interaction with professors, students may have a better chance of mastering course material and developing skills that will serve them well in their careers.

In addition, small colleges often have specialized academic programs that cater to specific interests, such as the arts or sciences. For students who are passionate about a particular field of study, attending a small college can mean gaining access to unique resources and opportunities that are not available elsewhere.

Lower Cost

Finally, attending a small college in Florida can be a more cost-effective option than enrolling at a large university. Tuition and fees tend to be lower at smaller schools, and some may also offer scholarships or financial aid programs specifically for students from low-income families.

Many small colleges also have partnerships with local businesses or organizations that provide students with internship and job opportunities while they are in school, which can help reduce the overall cost of attendance.

Small Colleges in Florida: Your Options

Now that we’ve explored some of the benefits of attending a small college in Florida let’s take a look at some of the institutions you might consider:

Eckerd College

Eckerd College is located in St. Petersburg, FL and offers undergraduate degrees in fields such as environmental studies, marine science, and international relations. With just over 2,000 students enrolled, Eckerd offers plenty of opportunities for personalized attention from faculty members.

The college is also known for its focus on experiential learning, offering internships and research opportunities both on-campus and off.

Flagler College

Flagler College is located in St. Augustine, FL and has an enrollment of just over 2,500 students. The college offers undergraduate degrees in fields such as business administration, communication studies, and psychology.

Flagler’s campus is situated within walking distance of historic downtown St. Augustine, making it an ideal location for students interested in urban environments and cultural exploration.

New College of Florida

New College of Florida is a public liberal arts college located in Sarasota, FL. With fewer than 900 students enrolled, the college offers a highly personalized environment where faculty members work closely with undergraduates to provide research and internship opportunities.

New College is known for its rigorous academic program and has produced numerous Rhodes Scholars over the years.

Rollins College

Rollins College is located in Winter Park, FL and has an enrollment of just over 3,000 students. The college offers undergraduate degrees in fields such as environmental studies, international business, and music performance.

With a focus on experiential learning and small class sizes, Rollins provides an ideal environment for students who want to take an active role in their education. The campus is also home to numerous clubs and organizations that help foster a tight-knit community among students.

Final Thoughts

Attending a small college in Florida can be an excellent option for students looking for a personalized educational experience that focuses on undergraduate education. While these schools may not offer the same resources or prestige as larger universities, they make up for it with close-knit communities, high-quality instruction, and unique academic programs.

If you’re considering attending a small college in Florida but unsure where to start your search or how to apply, don’t hesitate to reach out to admissions counselors or current students at the institutions you’re considering. These resources can provide valuable insights into what life is like on campus and help you make an informed decision about where to pursue your academic goals.


What are some benefits of attending a small college in Florida?

Attending a small college in Florida means smaller class sizes, more personalized attention from professors, and a tight-knit community.

How many small colleges are there in Florida?

There are dozens of small colleges in Florida with various specialties and programs to suit each student’s needs.

What is the selection process for small colleges in Florida?

Each small college has its own selection process, but typically involves submitting transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Are small colleges less affordable than larger universities?

Not necessarily. Many small colleges offer generous financial aid packages and scholarships to offset tuition costs for students.

What kinds of academic programs do small colleges in Florida offer?

Small colleges in Florida offer a wide range of academic programs, from liberal arts to specialized fields like marine biology and hospitality management.

Are athletics important at small colleges in Florida?

Athletics can be important at some small colleges in Florida, but not necessarily all. It ultimately depends on the school’s culture and priorities.

How do I know if a small college is the right choice for me?

Consider your academic interests, personal goals, and what kind of environment you thrive in when researching potential schools. Visit campuses and talk to current students to get a feel for whether a school is the right fit for you.

Can I pursue graduate studies after attending a small college in Florida?

Yes! Many students who attend a small college go on to pursue advanced degrees at graduate schools across the country or within their alma mater’s network.

What makes the experience at a small college different than that of a larger university?

The intimate community of a small college allows for more individualized attention from professors, stronger relationships with classmates and faculty members, and a greater sense of belonging.

Are there any notable small colleges in Florida?

Absolutely! Some noteworthy small colleges in Florida include New College of Florida, Eckerd College, Flagler College, and Rollins College.

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