Colleges in South Florida have long been a sought-after destination for prospective college students whether in state or out of state. Schools in South Florida have national championships in a variety of collegiate athletics, a high level of academic excellence with certain programs native to the region, and the weather typically stays sunny. Students looking to go to college in South Florida will have options from large universities, as well as smaller private schools and specialized institutions.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida's main campus in Tampa Bay has an undergraduate class of 30,000 and a postgraduate class of 9,000 students. Students' ethnicity is predominately white, with 63 percent; African American students comprise 12 percent of those enrolled; and just more than 15 percent of the campus is of Hispanic heritage. The University of South Florida -- home of the USF Bulls -- offers schools in art, art history, music, architecture, theatre and dance. USF has a 47.5 percent applicant admittance, and its incoming freshman's average SAT score was 1520 as of 2010.

University of Miami

Established in 1925, The University of Miami is a private institution in Coral Gables, Fla. The university has 10,000 undergraduate students and 5,000 postgraduates. The school -- which enrolls 44.4 percent of applicants -- reports 1790 as students' average SAT score. The Hurricanes have won five national championships in football, and four national championships in their men's baseball program. In addition, U.S. News magazine named the University of Miami No. 47 on the 2011 list of America's Best Colleges.

Florida International University

Touted as the 15th largest university in the United States, FIU in Miami has nearly 40,000 students attending courses on campus. U.S. News magazine named the college "the most selective" university in Florida in 2011; FIU admits just 35 percent of its applicants each semester. Incoming freshman have average SAT scores that range from 1530 to 1800. Sixty-four percent of Florida International's students are Hispanic. Caucasian students comprise 15 percent of the student population and African American students make up 12 percent of those enrolled. Florida International also has campuses in Europe and Asia.

Florida Atlantic University

Located in Boca Raton, Fla., FAU serves 22,000 undergraduates and 5,000 postgraduates. Florida Atlantic's curricula comprise 145 programs including business, design, education, engineering and medicine. Most FAU students study business, nursing and education. In 2008, U.S. News magazine classified Florida Atlantic University as a "second-tier" university in its "Best Colleges" issue, which ranks schools by four tier classes (with first being the best). All schools receive a rank based on several factors, such as graduation rates, strength of staff, location and academic offerings. As of 2009, admission requirements of FAU drastically increased, with the average incoming freshman needing a 3.5 grade point average in high school or a 1690 SAT score to be seriously considered.