The University of Florida is one of the best bargains in higher education — and that’s why it lands in the top 5 most affordable schools on this year’s Money list. Tuition comes out to about $6,400 a year for Floridians, and 84% of undergraduates get some type of scholarship or grant aid. The estimated net price of a UF degree is just over $85,000 (not factoring in federal or state aid), which is significantly less than the average of all the colleges in our 2023-2024 ratings.

Sports and Greek life are the biggest players on the campus social scene, as the Gators are one of the strongest college sports franchises in the country with widespread athletic success. The men’s golf team won the Division I NCAA championship earlier this year, as did the men’s outdoor track and field team. UF is home to The Swamp, which regularly packs in over 80,000 football fans for games covered by The Independent Florida Alligator, the nation's largest student-run newspaper. Just make sure to wear your orange and blue.

UF's 2,000-acre campus features live alligators, a 157-foot carillon tower, a butterfly rainforest and a gigantic rock affectionately nicknamed "the Potato." The Gatorade is free-flowing (the famous sports drink was invented there in 1965, after all). Plus, it's all located in the vibrant college town of Gainesville, home to eclectic pizza restaurant Satchel's and The Fest, an annual music festival that takes over the city every October. Not even the frequent afternoon thunderstorms can dampen Gators' spirit.