In December of 2011, the Daytona News-Journal reported that while the tuition and fees in Florida are generally lower than other states, it is still nothing to sneeze at.
The average tuition and fees for the University of Florida for the 2011-2012 school year was about $5,700 for undergraduate residents. When books, housing, food, and normal living expenses were calculated in, however, this number rose to almost $19,800.
This is a hefty chunk of change for a college student. Many attend school full-time, leaving them little opportunity to work so they can pay for their degree while they learn.
Attracting Students vs. Keeping Them Enrolled
A report from Complete College America states that many Florida colleges may be better at attracting students than keeping them. An average of 35.6% of students seeking their bachelor’s degree is able to graduate on time, or within 4 years.
The percentage almost doubles for students graduating with their bachelor’s degree after 8 years, boasting 69.3%. However, this leaves a little more than 30 percent of students who drop out, forfeiting their education.
Even those who are able to complete their college education often end up with a large amount of debt. In fact, the Project on Student Debt states that the average debt per student attending a public or private 4 year college in Florida is roughly $21, 184.
If you are considering attending college in Florida, and don’t wish to be saddled with heavy student debt or become another drop out statistic, it is essential for you to take the time and see what scholarships are available to you.
Scholarships do not have to be repaid, and if you are eligible for these awards, you can greatly reduce the cost of your education.
Florida Scholarship Opportunities
Finding the right scholarship for you can be difficult. To ease some of the burden, consider the following list of some of the best scholarships available to Florida students.
- Florida Dental Assisting Scholarship – Are you planning on earning your degree to become a dental assistant? You may be able to take advantage of the Florida Dental Assisting Scholarship. This scholarship is available to students enrolled in a Florida Board of Dentistry approved school, have completed at least one grading period, have financial need, and have at least a 2.5 grade point average. Visit foundation website
- PMI Central Florida Scholarship – If you are interested in obtaining a degree that could place you in a project management career, this scholarship can provide you with up to $1,000 for your Florida tuition costs. Students must Central Florida residents and enrolled in or planning to enroll in an accredited college. Visit their website for more details
- Central Florida Orchid Society Scholarship - This scholarship offers up to $3,000 to students enrolled in an accredited college. Students must be pursuing a degree in Horticultural Production, Botany, Horticultural Sciences, Entomology, Landscaping, Plant Science, or other Agricultural and Life Sciences. Scholarship awards are only available to full time students. Visit scholarship page
- Florida Bright Futures Scholarship – High school seniors who have at least a 3.0 grade point average and have completed a certain number of hours of community service may be eligible for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Student can earn up to $76 per credit hour with the scholarship, and must complete a Federal Application For Student Aid, or FAFSA to be eligible. Click here to apply
- NTA Florida Scholarship – Undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in travel and tourism or hospitality may be able to earn money toward their degree. Students must be residents of Florida and enrolled in an accredited four year college. Students entering their second year must about to complete at least 30 credit hours by the end of term, 60 credit hours by the end of the term when entering their third year of education, and 90 credit hours by the end of the term when entering their senior year. See current available scholarships
- Ethics in Business Scholarship - Are you interested in pursuing a career in business? If so, you might want to take a look at the Ethics in Business Scholarship, available to students who are attempting to earn their business or business-related degree. You must attend an accredited two or four year community college, eligible private colleges, or eligible university. Awards for this scholarship vary, as they depend on the amount of funds private and state contributors can match. View program details
If you are interested in attending college in Florida, don’t become another drop out statistic. Make sure you have pursued the right scholarships that will help you fund your education and live your dreams.