The University of Florida is starting the first fully online four-year bachelor's degree programs at any public university or college in the state.
WJXT-TV reports UF is starting with seven majors for freshman next summer, including psychology, criminology and business administration. It plans to expand to about 35 majors over the next five years.
"We are targeting first-time college students; high school seniors who are looking at attending a university," said Chandra Mitchell, UF Interim Director of Freshman Admissions. "Also, we have transfer students that will be enrolled in UF Online."
UF Online's tuition is only 75 percent of the price of on-campus. In addition, students are exempt from many on-campus fees, plus they save money by not living on or traveling to campus.
"It's not a back door to the University of Florida. Our requirements for admission are the same as it is for our residential students," Mitchell said. "If a student decides to apply to UF Online and then decides that this is not an ideal situation for them, they will have to apply for admission to the residential program."
The UF Online application is available on the university's website.
The university also opened the Innovation Academy in January for students from 30 majors who minor in innovation. The students take courses in entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership and ethics. There is also an emphasis on project-based work that teaches problem-solving and working with others.
"The Innovation Academy program is for students who are demonstrating a passion for application of their ideas beyond theory and are looking to activate their creativity," Mitchell said.
The students operate on a January-August schedule that allows them to have Fall semester off for rest, jobs or internships. To learn more about the Innovation Academy, visit the academy's website.
The University of Florida will also be represented this Saturday in Jacksonville at the National College Fairs. The free event is at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is open to the public. Parking is also free.