2021 Orlando Magazine College Guide

Presented by Addition Financial.

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Orlando Magazine’s 2022 College Guide, presented by Addition Financial, can be found below. Peruse Central Florida’s unique array of colleges and universities.

Florida Polytechnic University

Florida PolyFlorida Poly 2

4700 RESEARCH WAY, LAKELAND, FL 33805 | 863-583-9050 | FLORIDAPOLY.EDU

QUICK FACTS All degrees are 100% STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Only 22% of graduates have student debt, which averages LESS THAN $13,000 (national average is $29,000). The library is home to an all-digital collection of more 150,000 FULL-TEXT E-BOOKS. FLORIDA POLYCON, an all-inclusive celebration of geek culture, is held annually at the University. The stunning Innovation, Science, and Technology Building was designed by famed Spanish architect DR. SANTIAGO CALATRAVA.

Bold Positioning

With a growing national reputation as an exceptional educational institution, Florida Poly debuted as the #1 public regional college in the South in 2022 in annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The publication also ranked Florida Poly the #26 public undergraduate engineering college in the nation among universities without the doctorate. Florida Poly is the only member of the State University System of Florida dedicated exclusively to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). With more than 1,500 students, Florida Poly offers a unique environment where students work closely with faculty in a hands-on approach to learning. The University is selective with average SATs of 1310 and ACTs of 29.4, and 80% of eligible freshmen earn Bright Futures scholarships. The visually striking main academic centerpiece is a 162,000-square-foot building that is a moveable and functional work of art. Its louvered roof system moves throughout the day to provide passive lighting to the second-floor atrium while curved metal pergolas ring the exterior to shade its outer terrace and walkways. The building has won more than 23 global awards and was recently named among the most breathtaking buildings in the world. Florida Poly holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and its computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).


The University offers 32 programs of study, all focused on high- tech disciplines. Small class sizes and a project-based curriculum position Florida Poly to provide industry-aligned programs in fast-growing areas like autonomous vehicles, machine intelligence, cybersecurity, logistics and supply chain management, engineering physics, and renewable energy. The University continues growing by expanding its programs and concentrations to progressively build a prominent presence with high-paying industries in the region, as well as continuing construction of another iconic building, the Applied Research Center (ARC). The ARC will feature 90,000+ square feet of space to house research and teaching laboratories, student design spaces, conference rooms, and faculty offices. A dedicated section of the center will assist with commercialization of innovation and applied research and send new inventions into the marketplace.


Creating strong partnerships with companies throughout Florida is another key to providing industry-aligned majors and fueling the state’s economy. That’s why the University constantly adds to the many internships already available to students to further enhance their world-class STEM education. Robust growth around the Florida Poly campus is also critical to bringing the University’s vision to life. Today’s problems are complex and multi-dimensional, and economies grow best when they bring government, industry, and academia together to commercialize innovation. Planned research partnerships will be the catalyst for bringing financial and facility capital to the area and will feature new academic buildings on campus. In 2021, Florida Poly entered into a public-private partnership with a Fortune 500 company to expand its operations onto the University campus. Florida Poly’s Advanced Mobility Institute also looks forward to the completion of SunTrax, a large-scale, cutting-edge facility dedicated to the research, development, and testing of emerging transportation technologies in safe and controlled environments. SunTrax is a partnership with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and includes a 2.25- mile oval track near Florida Poly’s campus. It adds to Florida Poly’s focus on the rapidly evolving field of autonomous and connected vehicles. Its place as a leader in this area was demonstrated at the national level when Dr. Randy K. Avent, Florida Poly’s president, testified before a Senate committee on autonomous vehicles. Florida Polytechnic University has positioned itself to provide a world-class STEM education in a way that not only prepares students to productively enter the workforce, but also provides them with lifetime employable skills that have an immeasurable impact on the local and state economies.

Rollins College

Rollins 2 Rollins

1000 HOLT AVENUE, WINTER PARK, FL 32789 | 407-646-2000 | ROLLINS.EDU

Rollins SidebarAt Rollins, we’re top ranked, but you’re No. 1. For more than 25 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Rollins among the top two regional universities in the South. Our sun- soaked lakeside campus was named the No. 1 most beautiful in the nation, and our Crummer Graduate School of Business has been ranked the No. 1 MBA program in Florida. But the No. 1 we’re most proud of is the one that applies to you. Thanks to an average class size of just 17 students and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, you get the personalized attention you expect from one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.

Rollins is built on a human scale. Here, you’ll find no overflowing auditoriums, boring lectures, or uninspired professors. At Rollins, our intimate and personalized learning environment is designed to maximize engagement. It’s about application over memorization, mentoring over lecturing, and hands-on research over data downloading. Our students are mentored and challenged by expert faculty every day, helping them develop their personal and professional passions and reach their life and career goals.

Rollins is a future-proof education. At a time when the careers of tomorrow have yet to be invented, our innovative, interdisciplinary education equips you with the expertise to succeed as the world evolves. Along the way, you’ll develop an array of 21st- century skills—from creative problem solving and critical thinking to collaborative teamwork and clear communication—that are not only in demand among today’s top employers, but are also immune to the fast-paced fluctuations of our ever-evolving world.

Rollins is an education for the real world. Rollins is among the nation’s best at empowering our students to put their ideas to work in the world. Our students develop a competitive advantage in the job market through top internships in Orlando and beyond, and get a head-start on grad school by collaborating on original research with their professors. In fact, at Rollins, opportunities to hone academic learning in the real world are virtually limitless.

Rollins is globally engaged. At Rollins, you’ll make an impact around the globe. After all, more than 70 percent of students study abroad. From semester and summer-long programs to faculty-led field studies, you’ll explore the world and test your ability to make it better.

Rollins is an engine of opportunity. Everyone from respected publications to former university presidents rates Rollins a top value among the nation’s best colleges, and Money.com recently named Rollins one of the nation’s best colleges for scholarships. Nearly 95 percent of Rollins students receive financial aid, and each year our students have access to more than $80 million in state, federal, and institutional resources. Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your cost of attendance at rollins.college/calculator.

Rollins offers three paths to a transformative education. Rollins’ traditional full-time undergraduate day programs in the College of Liberal Arts combine top-ranked academics, a personalized approach to learning, and a vibrant student experience on one of America’s top college campuses. Rollins’ Hamilton Holt School offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs designed to fit the busy lives of nontraditional students. Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business offers three unique and highly ranked MBA programs as well as the first accredited Executive DBA in Florida. Find your path at rollins.edu.


Stetson University

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Stetson University, Where Community Matters

Founded in 1883, Stetson University is a highly ranked, private, comprehensive, residential university that offers a rich array of undergraduate programs in science, health, business and music, as well as both traditional liberal arts and professional/pre- professional academic and graduate programs.

Stetson’s mission is to provide a creative community where learning and values meet while also helping students go beyond expectations in life, careers and graduate study. The university is known as the place for students who want to make personal connections with their faculty and fellow students, and for its strong sense of community. Also, this is a place where hammocking is a real thing in iconic Palm Court.

Student Life

Stetson is home to more than 140 student organizations and special-interest groups. With an active student government and Greek life, Stetson also hosts scholastic and honorary societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Psi. In fact, Stetson was Florida’s first Phi Beta Kappa institution.

The university takes its commitment to the local community seriously, and for five consecutive years Stetson was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Its Bonner Scholars program provides scholarships to approximately 60 undergraduate students actively engaged in community service.

In athletics, as a member of the NCAA Division I Atlantic Sun Conference, Pioneer Football League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Stetson fields 18 intercollegiate sports. In addition, Stetson offers a vibrant intercollegiate Club Sports program and a campus-based intramural program.


As an institution that values the residential experience, Stetson provides a wide range of housing options on campus — from traditional residence halls to living/learning catalyst housing, single suites and apartment-style living. This includes housing grouped around specific themes, academic learning communities, Greek life and even pet-friendly housing.

Historic Campuses, Innovative Learning

The university has two historic campuses. The main undergraduate campus is in DeLand, which has been named one of the best downtowns in the United States (2017). The DeLand location is perfectly positioned between Daytona Beach and Orlando with easy access to both. This campus includes the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration and the School of Music. Stetson’s second campus in Gulfport, near St. Petersburg, houses the College of Law, which historically ranks first or second nationally in Trial Advocacy. A satellite law center is in Tampa.

An Emphasis on Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is when classroom learning comes to life in “real world” experiences. Stetson’s broad experiential learning opportunities include the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) grants, where students complete a summer research project while receiving a stipend. In the College of Arts and Sciences, students complete an undergraduate research project prior to graduation, while students in the School of Music must complete a series of public performances. In the School of Business Administration, students must participate in two experiential learning experiences to graduate, such as internships, study abroad/away, and on-campus leadership and engagement.

Old and New

While Stetson is Florida’s oldest private university, the university is not only about its heritage. Stetson recently completed a renovation/expansion of its hub Carlton Union Building and opened the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center. This fall, Stetson completed the renovation of its Sage Hall Science Center and is constructing the adjacent Cici and Hyatt Brown Hall for Health and Innovation, slated to open in fall 2022.

Experience Stetson

Now is an excellent time to Experience Stetson for yourself and discover if this is the right place for you. The university’s admission team has open house events scheduled in the months ahead: Oct. 27, Nov. 20 and Dec. 14. Scan the QR code to sign up and become a Hatter!

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Beacon College



Founded in 1989 by a group of forward-thinking parents and advocates, Beacon College is America’s first accredited institution of higher education to award competitive bachelor degrees in the arts, sciences, business, and technology in an environment created specifically to help students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and autistic spectrum disorders thrive and navigate successful futures.

With small class sizes that cater to personalized attention from a dedicated faculty and trained learning specialists who provide individualized academic mentoring, the Beacon experience promotes critical thinking and problem-solving while serving each student’s learning style and unique learning needs. Recently, Beacon has garnered significant national recognition: No. 1 national rankings in both the respected Peterson’s Guide “20 Great Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities” and BestValueSchools.com’s “20 Best Value Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities.”

In the last two years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the best regional colleges in the South and Beacon ranked No. 4 in Best Choice Schools analytical survey of “The 20 Most Affordable Colleges with High Four-year Graduation Rates.”

These exceptional and favorable rankings are underscored by Beacon’s performance in critical undergraduate student outcomes, led by its four-year graduation of nearly 70% (far exceeding the national averages for all American college students (57%) and undergraduates with learning disabilities (28%).

However, colleges today ultimately are judged on whether graduates find good jobs. On that measure, 83.5% of Beacon alumni over the past decade have landed their first careers or enrolled in graduate school at a competitive university within six months of graduation. With students who learn differently comprising more than 17% of America’s undergraduate population — and
climbing, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics — Beacon College is uniquely poised to help neurodiverse students successfully begin a journey of worthy work and a life of true independence.

Seminole State College

Seminole State

100 WELDON BOULEVARD, SANFORD, FL 32773  | 407.708.2050 | SEM.ST/GONOW

Whether you’re taking the next step following high school, looking to advance a career, upgrading a skill, or simply taking time to learn a new subject, Seminole State College helps students take control of their future. Recognized by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges, Seminole State is a national leader in academic programs. With more than 200 degrees, programs, and certificates from hospitality and tourism management to nursing and health services, engineering and industrial technology, mechatronics and robotics, and many more including bachelor’s in high-demand, high-growth fields Seminole State’s programs are designed for those who want immediate employment in fast-growing job fields and careers. Flexibility and affordability are hallmarks of Seminole State. Our tuition is about half what you’d pay at a state university. Financial aid and scholarships make us even more affordable and each year, we award more than $1 million in institutional scholarships and more than $30 million in financial aid.

Seminole State has smaller classes averaging 20 students and for those who prefer remote learning, we provide flexibility with online, remote and hybrid class options. With over 50 clubs and organizations, student government, leadership and career development, intramural and recreational sports, volunteer opportunities, and arts, music and theater events, students have no shortage of ways to connect and bond with their peers
at Seminole State.

Students who experience Seminole State College receive an affordable, quality education that propels them into a world of opportunities. It’s a place where learning is about helping individuals prepare for careers — and lives — that enhance the educational, economic, and cultural vitality of Central Florida and the world.


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