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VA-Approved Public Universities in Florida

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Featured GI Bill®-Approved Florida Schools: Public Universities

Florida is a fantastic place to live, especially for those with military affiliations. The Sunshine State is an extremely military-friendly state that has an abundance of resources for active duty and veterans. In addition to being well-known for sunny weather, gorgeous beaches, and no state income tax, Florida universities and colleges not only are GI-Bill® approved, but also offer an exceptional education.

University vs. College

The words “university” and “college” are often used interchangeably. There are some notable differences though. A college would typically offer undergraduate degrees including an associate or a bachelor’s. The size of the student body in a college is usually significantly smaller than that of a university. Traditionally, a university is a much larger institution that offers a variety of degrees: undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral/professional. Within a university one would find a variety of colleges that offer specific areas of study: i.e., College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, etc.

Public vs Private

A public school is a college or university funded primarily by the state government. A private school is a college or university that often (but not always) operates as a nonprofit educational organization. Private schools do not receive their primary funding from a state government. Public colleges and universities are generally larger than private schools.  Public schools will likely have a larger selection of majors and also larger classes than a private school. Private schools usually have a smaller selection of majors but may offer more specialized academic programs. Private schools may have religious affiliations; public schools are always secular.

There are 12 State of Florida public universities, two state colleges, and twenty-six state community colleges. It is of the utmost importance that our service members, past and present, are assisted in every way available to encourage matriculation and foster educational success. These 4 Featured Florida Public Universities all offer exceptional educational enticements to military and veteran students.

University of Central Florida

Once known as a small commuter university, UCF has grown along with the burgeoning metropolis of the greater Orlando area. UCF is renowned for its Online Programs, currently offering over 100 programs including bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate’s, and a wide variety of certificates.

The University of Central Florida and its Online Programs get top accolades for being exceptionally military-friendly and offers as many enticements to military and veteran students as available. UCF is a proud participant in the following programs:

Yellow Ribbon Program

✓YES

Approved for Tuition Assistance

✓YES

Offers College Credit for Military Experience

✓YES

Awards Credit for CLEP Exam

✓YES

Awards Credit for DSST Exam

✓YES

UCF Online

UCF Campus

University of South Florida

Based in Tampa, Florida, USF has strong ties to the military community. Tampa is home to MacDill Air Force base, which houses two major units of the US Air Force in addition to several major tenant units including United States Central Command, United States Special Operations Command, and United States Marine Forces Command Central. The Tampa metro area also has a few Coast Guard stations, including Air Station Clearwater.  Along with UCF, USF gets top accolades for being exceptionally military-friendly and offers as many enticements to military and veteran students as available. USF is a proud participant in the following programs:

Yellow Ribbon Program

✓YES

Approved for Tuition Assistance

✓YES

Offers College Credit for Military Experience

✓YES

Awards Credit for CLEP Exam

✓YES

Awards Credit for DSST Exam

✓YES

 

University of West Florida

UWF is located in Pensacola. Pensacola is known as the Cradle of Naval Aviation, is home to several Navy military bases, and houses the world renowned Blue Angels. In addition, the Pensacola metro area has 4 other military bases. The University of West Florida offers more than 55 undergraduate degree programs, 32 master’s degrees, one specialist degree, and three doctoral degree programs. UWF also gets top accolades for being exceptionally military-friendly and offers as many enticements as available to military and veteran students. UWF is a proud participant in the following programs:

Yellow Ribbon Program

✓YES

Approved for Tuition Assistance

✓YES

Offers College Credit for Military Experience

✓YES

Awards Credit for CLEP Exam

✓YES

Awards Credit for DSST Exam

✓YES

 

Florida State University

Founded in 1851, FSU offers more than 300 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. FSU gets top accolades for being exceptionally military-friendly and offers many enticements to military and veteran students. FSU is a proud participant in the following programs:

Yellow Ribbon Program

✓YES

Approved for Tuition Assistance

✓YES

Offers College Credit for Military Experience

✓YES

Awards Credit for CLEP Exam

✓YES

Awards Credit for DSST Exam

✗NO

 

Honorable mention:

Florida A&M

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is a premier historically black university located in Florida’s state capital. Founded in 1887, FAMU offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Although FAMU does not participate in the Yellow Ribbon program it does offer many other enticements to military and veterans. It is also important to note that FAMU is the only HBCU public university in the state of Florida.

Yellow Ribbon Program

✗NO

Approved for Tuition Assistance

✓YES

Offers College Credit for Military Experience

✓YES

Awards Credit for CLEP Exam

✓YES

Awards Credit for DSST Exam

✓YES

 

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About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.