5 Best Florida Community Colleges with Student Housing


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With the rising cost of higher education, Gen Z students are looking for alternatives to the traditional four-year college education. One trend that caught our attention is the rise of community colleges that offer on-campus housing. Options vary from on-campus dormitories to partnerships with nearby housing facilities.

Considering the escalating cost of four-year colleges and the scarcity of affordable housing, Online Schools Guide believes that dorms at community colleges are a smart choice. We understand that you’re seeking a fulfilling and affordable education. That’s why we’re showcasing some of these two-year schools that boast amenities similar to four-year colleges. Our team was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant student life at these schools, which include dorms, dining halls, and sports teams, all without the hefty price tag of a traditional four-year school. In fact, choosing a community college with on-campus housing can save you thousands of dollars in housing costs alone. Additionally, most of them offer at least one applied bachelor’s degree program, a topic we’ll delve into in a future post.

List of Two-Year Colleges in Florida with Campus Housing

The availability of housing can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the community college. It’s best to directly contact the community colleges you’re interested in to inquire about their housing options.

1. College of the Florida Keys

College of the Florida Keys

The College of the Florida Keys is the southernmost college in the continental US. It also boasts an oceanfront main campus in Key West, two satellite locations in the Middle and Upper Keys, and a virtual platform to deliver online instruction. CFK offers bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, certificates, non-credit courses, and workforce training. Programs cover various disciplines, including marine science, diving, marine engineering, renewable energy, business, hospitality, culinary, nursing, construction technologies, and public safety.

Location: Key West, Florida

Website: CFK

Housing: Lagoon Landing student living facility is a haven of comfort and luxury. It offers fully furnished four—and five-bedroom apartment units with resort-style amenities. Each student has a spacious bedroom accompanied by two suite-style shared bathrooms in each unit. Cost includes rent, utilities, and internet and is around $1,000 a month. The property is surrounded by gorgeous waterfront views, allowing you to witness Key West’s breathtaking sunrises and sunsets!

Meals: CFK’s Campus Café serves a variety of healthy and delicious meals and snacks made from fresh ingredients. Semester meal plans range from $1,150 to $2,500, so you never have to compromise on your nutrition.

On Campus Degree Pick: CFK’s Lockwood School of Diving is a pioneer in diving science and technology education with one of the most extensive facilities in the US. The school’s unique AAS in Diving Business Technology is an excellent degree for a career in the diving industry. Additionally, it includes the Diving Medical Technician and Professional Diver certificates that students can stack to complete the AAS. And any student can earn one of the 41 Optional Diving Industry Certifications.

Online Degrees: The school offers an Associate in Arts (AA) online degree and an RN to BSN online.

Tuition Cost:

Degree TypeFlorida In State TuitionOut of State Tuition
Associate per credit hour$109.22$438.73
Bachelor’s per credit hour$128.50$592.60

College of the Florida Keys Video Tour:

2. Indian River State College

Indian River State College (IRSC) offers more than 100 programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees, technical certificates, applied technology diplomas, and career training programs. This wide variety of options ensures that every student can find a program that aligns with their interests and career goals. To complement their academic studies, students also complete opportunities like internships, capstone projects, and service learning, further enhancing their learning experience. 

Location: Fort Pierce, Florida

Website: Indian River State CollegeCollege For Today’s Students

Housing: River Hammock is Indian River State College’s student residence complex located on IRSC Main Campus. Open only to students enrolled at IRSC, The River Hammock offers convenience and the comfort all at a price you can easily afford. A monthly charge includes utilities and WiFi internet service. Apartments feature a central living area, dining room and kitchen. Four individual bedrooms with two full baths assure your privacy and an environment conducive to studying. A complete kitchen appliance package, central heat and air conditioning, and cable TV are a few of the many amenities you will find at The River Hammock. Rent starts around $500 a month.

Meals: Kobelgard Student Union is a staple of Indian River State College dining. It offers a variety of homestyle dining favorites at Main Plate, grilled delights at J. Clark’s Grille, and fresh made sandwiches and flatbread pizzas at Market Street Deli.

On Campus Degree Pick: Our pick for an in-demand career is an AA in Biology. Grads can then go on to earn a bachelor’s degree at IRSC or another Florida state school. And for one of your classes, try astronomy at the school’s state-of-the-art Hallstrom Planetarium.

Online Degrees: IRSC offers select degree programs and technical certificates entirely online. Options include four online associate degrees and fifteen online bachelor’s degrees.

Tuition Cost:

Degree TypeFlorida In State TuitionOut of State Tuition
Associate per credit hour$103.83$390.49
Bachelor’s per credit hour$117.10$400.00

Indian River State College Video Tour:

3. College of Central Florida – Ocala

The College of Central Florida in Ocala is a comprehensive public college offering associate and bachelor’s degrees, as well as certificate programs, to students from the region and beyond. The college provides diverse educational opportunities in various fields, including arts, sciences, business, and health sciences.

Location: Ocala, Florida

Website: College of Central Florida

Housing: College Square Student Apartments at the Ocala Campus is the affiliated housing nearby. Monthly rent ranges from $480 to $530, depending on the length of the lease you sign. Apartments have a bedroom with a full size bed, dresser, nightstand, desk with chair, closet, telephone and cable hook-ups. Apartments also have fully furnished common areas with a dining table and four chairs, a range oven, microwave, refrigerator with ice maker, and dishwasher. The living room has two sofas, two end tables, and a coffee table.

Meals: No meal plans are available. However, the Patriot Cafe has a dining area and serves breakfast, lunch, and snacks. All menu items are freshly prepared on a daily basis. Cliff’s Cyber Cafe also is a great spot on campus for a quick bite to eat or a hot cup of coffee.

On Campus Degree Picks: The AS in Equine Studies and Agribusiness and the BAS in Business and Organizational Management Agribusiness and Equine Studies specializations all offer classes at Vintage Farm. The 103 acre farm provides an experiential agricultural education with hands-on training.

Online Degrees: Fully online degrees include an Associate in Arts (Transfer Degree), Associate in Science in Business Administration, Associate in Science in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Tuition Cost:

Degree TypeFlorida In State TuitionOut of State Tuition
Associate per credit hour$120.41$445.41
Bachelor’s per credit hour$136.41$598.41

4. Hillsborough Community College

Founded in 1968, Hillsborough Community College is the fifth largest community college in Florida’s State College System. The school serves more than 43,000 students each year at its five campuses, three centers and online platform. HCC offers more than 200 academic options, including associate degrees, college credit certificates, postsecondary adult vocational certificates, advanced technical diplomas, certificates, and also continuing education. 

Location: Tampa, Florida

Website: Hillsborough Community College

Housing: On-Campus Housing is available at Hawk’s Landing. To learn more about available floorplans and rates, and to reserve your space, visit Hawks Landing.  The lease for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in a four bed, four bath student apartment currently costs $700 per month. You will be required to sign a one-year lease contract. Rent is paid on a monthly basis.

Meals: Bistro 118 on the Dale Mabry Campus is a fine dining restaurant run by the school’s Culinary, Hospitality, Restaurant, and Dietetic Management students. Other dining options include J. Clark’s Grille, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and Subway.

On Campus Degree Pick: The AS degree in Opticianry is a 72 credit degree program that is also offered in a hybrid online. Online students must have a mentor who is a Licensed Optician, Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. And they must have access to a facility with Dispensing, Lab Manufacturing, and Contact Lenses & Refraction.

Online Degrees: HCC offers twenty-nine online programs including Opticianry.

Tuition Cost:

Degree TypeFlorida In State TuitionOut of State Tuition
Associate per credit hour$108.83$390.49
Bachelor’s per credit hour$117.10$400.00

Hillsborough Community College Video Tour:

5. Florida SouthWestern State College

FSC, or Florida SouthWestern State College, offers a wide range of certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs to over 22,000 students annually. The college emphasizes affordability, accessibility, and student success, with a focus on providing quality education and career pathways for its diverse student body.

Location: Tampa area, Florida

Website: Florida SouthWestern State College

Housing: LightHouse Commons on the FSW Lee Campus in Fort Myers, is the first student housing and learning community at the school. The suite-style residence blends value with modern luxury. Pricing starts at $2,498 per semester and includes utilities, high-speed internet, an onsite fitness facility, and 24 hour staff.

Meals: There is no meal plan. However, on campus food options include Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and The Pier Eatery.

On Campus Degree Pick: FSW’s in-demand degree pick is an AS in Supply Chain Management (SCM). This program is a combination of on-campus and online for the prerequisite courses. Graduates with an AS in Supply Chain Management (SCM) can then apply for the school’s online BAS in Supervision and Management.

Online Degrees: Courses are available completely online for eight associate degrees and four bachelor’s degrees.

Tuition Cost:

Degree TypeFlorida In State TuitionOut of State Tuition
Associate per credit hour$113.36$432.63
Bachelor’s per credit hour$125.31$795.34

FSW’s Lighthouse Commons Housing Tour

How Many Community Colleges Have Dorms?

While community colleges traditionally don’t offer on-campus housing like traditional universities, there are a growing number of exceptions across the United States that offer dormitories or residential facilities. The American Association of Community Colleges reported in 22.8% of public community colleges ran on-campus housing in 2010. And by 2022, this number increased to 26.6%.

Community Colleges with Dorms

Why Don’t More Community Colleges Have Dorms?

Several factors contribute to why more community colleges don’t have dormitories or residence halls.

Historical Role of Local Focus

Community colleges were originally created to offer accessible education to local residents, especially for those who couldn’t afford or didn’t prefer a four-year residential college. They cater to commuting students who live nearby. Many community college students are part-time and juggle work, family, and other responsibilities, so on-campus housing is not a top priority for them. Because of this local focus, community colleges typically have less demand for on-campus housing compared to universities that attract students from wider geographic areas.

What’s changing? Community colleges are offering increasingly diverse programs and bachelor’s degrees, attracting students from wider geographical areas. This creates a greater demand for housing when commuting distances become too long. Additionally, the increasing cost of traditional colleges attracts more students to schools that offer housing.


Building and maintaining dormitories requires a significant financial investment. Many community colleges have limited budgets and prioritize spending on academic programs, faculty, and facilities directly related to education. Building and managing dormitories also involves compliance with various regulations and accreditation standards, which may pose additional challenges for community colleges.

What’s changing? Many community colleges are forging partnerships with local housing providers. Instead of investing in on-campus dormitories, some may establish partnerships with nearby apartment complexes or housing options to provide off-campus housing for students.

Community colleges across the country are evolving and are exploring or implementing on-campus housing options to meet the needs of their student populations. Campus housing also promotes campus life and attracts students from outside their immediate area.

Cost of Community College Dorms Versus Traditional College Dorms?

The cost of dormitories at community colleges versus traditional four-year colleges and universities can vary significantly. Generally, community college dorms tend to be more affordable than those at traditional colleges and universities.

The cost of dormitory living at traditional colleges and universities can include room and board fees, which often encompass utilities, meal plans, and other amenities. These costs can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars per academic year, depending on the location, amenities, and type of accommodation. But many community colleges now offer a lot of the same amenities as traditional colleges.

For example Snead State Community College and Jacksonville State University are both Alabama state supported schools and in fairly close proximity to each other geographically. But the student who opts to attend Snead State for two years and live on campus can save around $3,323 per semester or $13,292 over the course of two years. That’s not chump change!

SchoolIn State TuitionHousing
Jacksonville State University$5,220 per semester$2,638 per semester
Snead State Community College$2,535 per semester$1,400 per semester
Comparison of a community college versus a four year university housing in Alabama.

What are the Pros of Living in Campus Housing at a Community College?

Living on campus can significantly assist first-year students in transitioning from living at home to living independently. Residing in a residence hall on campus ensures that many essential services are readily available to you, such as cable, internet, and laundry, without the need for additional arrangements. Also, rent, utilities, and internet are included in the price of on-campus housing, so you don’t have to worry about paying separate bills.

Many schools also provide additional amenities such as dining halls, recreation centers, gyms, and community spaces. Living in on-campus housing is like having a VIP pass to campus life, as it allows you to easily access campus activities, amenities, and services, enhancing your overall college experience.

On-campus housing typically offers double rooms, which means having a roommate. However, these living arrangements often lead to lasting friendships that extend beyond your college years. Residence halls are communities where you can meet new friends and share experiences with students who have similar interests and are in the same life stage.

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