The University of Florida is one of the best bargains in higher education. Tuition is just $6,310 a year, and more than 90% of undergraduates get state or other grants. Those numbers pay real dividends, as well: Almost 30% of students come from low income families, but more than 85% graduate, 7 percentage points more than is typical for schools with similar student bodies.
Despite the low net cost, students get access to some of the world’s top professors in fields such as biotechnology, gerontology, and astronomy. (UF has produced eight astronauts.)
Sports and Greek life are the biggest players on the campus social scene. The Gators, of course, are one of the strongest college sports franchises in the country. (The football team routinely wins a bowl berth, and the gymnastics and track teams recently won national championships.) The annual Gator Growl, meanwhile, is the nation’s largest student-run pep rally and features nationally known entertainers.