Good Southern FL schools?

<p>We're traveling to visit family over spring break in Southern FL (near Orlando) & I'm trying figure in the best way to work in some college visits for HS junior son.</p>

<p>I heard (here!) that U of Miami was great & gave excellent aid but it's 4 hrs away. We could do it (8 hrs on the road during a 4 day vacation) but I wondered if there might be any other (lesser-known?) schools in S. FL that someone could recommend? Feeling guilty that we aren't devoting a whole week to visiting w/son (family visit important) but trying to make the best of it.</p>

<p>Btw, son is interested in computer science...</p>

<p>Thanks much for any thoughts! </p>

<p>PS I heard elsewhere here that some schools in FL were "unchallenging" so didn't want to make the mistake of checking out the wrong one...</p>

<p>Orlando is in Central Florida, not South Florida. I would consider visiting University of Florida in Gainesville, about 2.5 hours north of Orlando. UCF in in Orlando though I'm not sure what their computer science program is like. Rollins in Orlando is nice. USF is in Tampa.</p>

<p>Good small LAC's= Rollins College (15 minutes) and Stetson University (30 minutes). UCF is right there, USF is about an hour. UF is about 2 hours, UM is 3 1/2 hours.</p>

<p>I don't know if their strengths lie in computer science.</p>

<p>My son is considering the University of Tampa. It's a small private school (about 5,500 students). Don't know anything about their computer science program but it is a beautiful school.</p>

<p>I was looking at Tampa on paper. It has a very small endowment of just about 24 million. Does that concern you, momsworried? It is a rolling admissions school, BTW, for those interested. Thinking about it, the size of that endowment really concerns me.</p>

<p>We just attended an accepted student seminar on Saturday and were very impressed. My husband and son have already visited the campus and we are going back over Easter weekend. Over 80% of the campus buildings are less than 10 years old including the residence halls. A local Tampa businessman, John H. Sykes donated 38 million dollars to the Business College. There is a brand new state-of-the-art business building bearing his name. The Vaughn Center, a dorm and multi-pupose facility, is just 6 years old. The Stadium Center, which opened in the fall 2007 is a new residence hall and fitness center. Another 100million dollar project is going to be announced in the fall. I am not sure about that 24 million dollar endowment. Where did you find that out? UT has a beautiful campus and is really connected to the city for the arts and business internships. It has a personal, private school feel and at 5,500 students is a great size. Rolling admissions is a plus and if you are a good student, they are generous with their scholarships.</p>

<p>I look up the college endowments on USNEWS's online site. (The paid one that you can subscribe to for $15/year). Thank you for describing the campus. It sounds great!</p>

<p>I went to Rollins and loved's on a lake and the campus is beautiful.</p>

<p>The University of Central Florida does not have a great reputation overall, but its Computer Science/Electrical Engineering program is perhaps the highlight of the entire university. It's programming teams place among the best in the nation in competitions from time to time and the school is definitely up and coming with the local entertainment and defense simulation industries feeding lots of growth.
College in Orlando isn't for everyone but you should definitely check it out while you are there. They give full rides to merit scholars and generous merit money to others as well and the Burnett Honors College is a way to get a smaller school feel at what is the 5th or 6th largest university in the US.
University</a> of Central Florida | (407) 823-2000</p>

<p>Northeastmom--I was actually describing the campus from my H and S point of view. I can't wait to get there and see for myself. Pictures in brochures can be deceiving so I will be cautiously optimistic.</p>

<p>Oh, I did not even pick up on the fact that you have not visited yet. I have heard from another poster that toured that it is a lovely campus, and it does offer some nice merit aid. The only things that bother me from what I have read is that endowment and the retention rate. It looks like nearly 25% leave after freshman year.</p>

<p>I did ask about the retention rate. Since 70% of the students are OOS, many decide it is just too far from home and transfer closer.</p>

<p>This probably accounts for some of the low retention rate, but the airport is nearby, and the weather is beautiful. I think that there are probably other reasons for the low retention rate.</p>

<p>You are probably correct. Not sure how I can find that out. Any suggestions?</p>

<p>Well there are lots of schools that I have come across with equally low retention rates, not that helps. I am going to send a PM to you.</p>

<p>Great, great ideas, thanks so much!</p>

<p>I was feeling really guilty not seeing more schools on spring break---this is a wonderful assist! Will show all to son & check out the websites.</p>

<p>That tip about the school w/the great comp sci program is one of those things I never would known, otherwise. Appreciate!</p>

<p>momsworried and others,
My niece began her college career at U. Tampa and transferred out after a year.
I recall some of the issues being that there really isn't a lot going on on campus, there were lots of kids who left on the weekends (commuter school?), etc. She will be graduating from UF this year. Yes, the U. of Tampa is a beautiful looking school, but when she got there, it just didn't turn out to be what she was looking for.</p>

<p>momof3sons--wondered what UF was? (sorry if it's obvious & I missed it).</p>

<p>UCF is definitely growing in popularity. Some departments are well known, like MT and entertainment. I don't know about CS. I hear great things about the dorms.
Stetson and Rollins are private, close by.</p>

<p>UF is flagship, in Gainesville. FL State is in Tampa.</p>