OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Education System

Florida College System

What is the purpose of the Florida College System?

The purpose of the Florida College System is to respond to community needs for postsecondary academic and career education and provide associate and bachelor degrees that will best meet the state's employment needs.

What institutions does the system include?

The Florida College System includes 28 institutions and 72 campuses throughout the state. The system comprises public postsecondary educational institutions that grant two- and four-year academic degrees as provided by law.

What types of instructional programs are offered by the Florida College System?

Florida College System institutions provide

What types of instructional programs are offered by the Florida College System in partnership with public school districts?

In partnership with public school districts, Florida College System institutions provide
  • collegiate high school programs, which offer options for public school students to complete a portion or all of a certificate or degree program; and
  • dual enrollment, which allows high school students to enroll in a course and receive both high school and college credit.

What is the governance structure for the Florida College System?

The Florida College System is governed by the State Board of Education. Each institution within the Florida College System is governed by a local board of trustees as provided in s. 1001.64, Florida Statutes.

Boards of trustees are responsible for cost-effective policies; the implementation and maintenance of high-quality education programs; performance measurement; and adherence to state policy, budgeting, and education standards. Each board of trustees is authorized to adopt rules, procedures, and policies, consistent with law and rules of the State Board of Education.

How many students were served by the Florida College System?

Florida College System institutions served an estimated 729,140 students in Fiscal Year 2018-19.

Who is served by Florida College System institutions?

Florida College System institutions have an open door admissions policy that guarantees admission to an associate degree program to anyone with a standard high school diploma or its equivalent.

How many degrees/ certificates do Florida colleges award?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, Florida colleges awarded 115,143 degrees and certificates.
Degrees/Certificates Awarded in Fiscal Year 2018-19 
Program Number Awarded
Associate in Arts Degree  59,261
Associate in Science Degree  15,178
Bachelor's Degree  9,122
Certificate of Professional Prep  81
Educator Preparation Institute 611
Career and Technical and College Credit Certificates  40,012
Source:  Florida Department of Education.

What types of support services do the colleges provide to ensure student success?

Student support programs include common placement testing, academic advising and counseling, career counseling, disabled student services, financial aid assistance, student records and registration, student health services, and extracurricular organizations and activities.

Complete Florida Plus Program. Section 1006.735, Florida Statutes, establishes the Complete Florida Plus Program at the University of West Florida. The purpose of this initiative is to recruit, recover, and retain the state's adult learners and assist them in completing an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree that is aligned to high-wage, high-skill workforce needs.  Complete Florida offers more than 90 online degree and certificate programs at colleges and universities across the state in areas such as special education, workforce management, criminal justice, cyber security, and nursing.

How much is tuition at Florida colleges?

College Credit Programs.  For the 2020-21 academic year, s. 1009.23, Florida Statutes, authorizes Florida colleges to charge a standard resident tuition of $71.98 per credit hour for advanced and professional, postsecondary vocational, developmental education, and educator preparation institute programs, and $91.79 per credit hour for bachelor's degree programs.


The colleges are authorized to charge non-residents $215.94 per credit hour tuition for advanced and professional, postsecondary vocational, developmental education, and educator preparation institute programs. For bachelor's degree programs, s. 1009.23, Florida Statutes, limits the sum of the tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour to no more than 85% of the sum of the tuition and the out-of-state fee at the state university nearest the community college.


$10,000 Bachelor's Degree.  Section 1009.26, Florida Statutes, provides for $10,000 Bachelor's Degrees at Florida College System institutions. The law authorizes the waiver of Florida College System tuition and fees for the purpose of offering baccalaureate degrees for state residents for which the cost for the degree program does not exceed $10,000.

Workforce Education Programs.Section 1009.22, Florida Statutes, authorizes Florida colleges to charge a standard resident tuition of $2.33 per contact hour and nonresident tuition of $6.99 per contact hour for programs leading to a career certificate or an applied technology diploma. Also, colleges are authorized to charge block tuition of $45 per half year or $30 per term for adult education programs.

What other fees are colleges authorized to charge students?

Section 1009.23, Florida Statutes, authorizes Florida colleges to establish a separate fee for activity and service, capital improvement, financial aid, technology, and distance learning for college credit programs. There are limits for these fees, as described below.
  • Activity and service fees may not exceed 10% of the tuition fee.
  • Capital improvement fees may not exceed 20% of tuition for resident students or 20% of the sum of tuition and out-of-state fees for nonresident students, and may not increase more than $2 per credit hour over the prior year.
  • Financial aid fees may not exceed 5% of the total student tuition or out-of-state fees collected.  An additional 2% may be collected if the amount generated by the total financial aid fee is less than $500,000.
  • Technology fees may not exceed 5% of tuition per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for resident students and may not exceed 5% of tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for nonresident students.
  • Distance learning fees may not exceed the additional costs of the services provided which are attributable to the development and delivery of the distance learning course.
Each college board of trustees is also authorized to establish fee schedules for
  • application fees;
  • diploma replacement fees;
  • duplicating, photocopying, binding, or microfilming fees;
  • facilities and equipment use or damage fees and fines;
  • graduation fees;
  • identification access card fees;
  • laboratory fees (excluding distance learning courses);
  • late registration and payment fees;
  • library fees and fines;
  • parking fees and fines;
  • standardized testing fees;
  • transcript fees; and
  • transient student fees.
Section 1009.22, Florida Statutes, authorizes Florida colleges to establish a separate fee for capital improvement, financial aid, and technology for career and technical certificate programs.

What type of statewide information is available on student outcomes?

The Department of Education and Department of Economic Opportunity provide information on post-graduation employment outcomes for Florida college graduates.
Associate in Arts performance measures and standards may be found in the department's Long Range Program Plan. In addition, the Florida College System provides several reports on transparency and accountability.

How are these activities funded?

Florida colleges receive funding from state appropriations, student tuition and fees, and federal funds.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
FLORIDA COLLEGES, DIVISION OF
PROGRAM: FLORIDA COLLEGES
1,277,942,716
.00
TOTAL
1,277,942,716
.00

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

Review of the Capital Outlay Facilities Space of Florida's State University System, Report 20-SUSFACI, February 2020
Review of the Capital Outlay Facilities Space of Florida's College System, Report 20-FCSFACI, June 2020
Florida College System Industry Certifications, Report 19-10, October 2019
School District Postsecondary Industry Certifications, Report 19-09, October 2019
Approximately 42% of Nursing Programs Had Licensure Exam Passage Rates Below the Required Legislative Standard in 2016, Report 17-07, June 2017

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Florida College System Strategic Plan, 2018-2020
The Auditor General reports on community college operations are available on its website.
Websites of Interest
Florida College System
Florida College System Publications
Florida's PK-20 Education Information Portal
Association of Florida Colleges
Department of Economic Opportunity, Economic Security Reports
Florida Shines
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 1001, 1004, and 1009, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Office of the Chancellor, Division of Florida Colleges, 850-245-0407, email:  FCSInfo@fldoe.org

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