Many real estate buyers pick Central Florida destinations because they are close to Disney and the other major theme parks, championship golf courses, top leisure amenities and the area’s many other attractions.
But the region that includes Orlando, Davenport, Kissimmee, Four Corners, ChampionsGate and Haines City, has another top-class benefit that is really important for many – amazing higher education programs.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) and its 12 colleges provide opportunities to more than 60,000 students from all 50 states and 152 countries.
UCF is the nation’s second-largest university and it offers 210 degree programs. It’s been named a top up-and-coming national university by US News & World Report, a best-value university by The Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s, and one of the nation’s most affordable colleges by Forbes.
Youngsters attending one of Florida’s four state colleges can follow the award-winning DirectConnect programme to UCF, which aims to ensure they graduate successfully from college, transfer to UCF and successfully complete their degree.
The scheme focuses on individual attention and clear academic goals. Graduation rates at DirectConnect’s two-year colleges have climbed when others in similar establishments have fallen and once at UCF, 71% finish a bachelor degree.
Studies show that while more than 80% of the 1.5 million students who enter community colleges every year nationwide say they want a bachelor’s degree, just 17% reach that goal within six years, states a report in the Politico website.
DirectConnect was selected by Excelencia in Education as America’s top program for increasing academic opportunities and success for Latino students at the associate level.
Since the program’s launch in 2006, about 36,000 students have come to UCF through DirectConnect. In 2013-14, half of the 6,100 intake were minorities, pushing the enrollment ration up from 31% a decade ago to 43% in 2013.
Garrett Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of top Central Florida developer and agent, Feltrim Group, says many families move to the region because of its excellent educational choice at all levels. For instance, I’ve seen a big increase in Chinese children attending a school in the area where I live.
“Finding the right university, college or school is vitally important and can be especially tough for minorities, so it’s pleasing to hear of the excellent work being done through DirectConnect.
“Universities, colleges and schools in this country are of such a high standard that many international real estate buyers move here to give their children the advantage of a US-education.”
The Windermere area, where the Team Feltrim is based, has an excellent selection of elementary schools and Sunset Park Elementary, Windermere Elementary and Keenes Crossing are all A-rated.
In addition, private school, Windermere Preparatory, has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top private schools in the country.
Last year, Orlando led metro areas with affordable housing near good elementary schools, according to research from RealtyTrac. The US data specialist examined school test scores for nearly 25,000 elementary schools in more than 7,500 US ZIP codes, along with home price affordability.