Skip to main content

Housing & Schools

Tampa is ranked one of “America’s 50 Best Cities” and scores in the top 20 for “Most livable cities in America.” Tampa Bay has a rebounding housing market that is the most affordable among comparable metro areas, as well as plenty of school choices from kindergarten through graduate programs.

Housing Highlights

CityAverage Apartment RentHome Prices
Tampa MSA
Phoenix, AZ
Charlotte, NC
Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Philadelphia, PA
Denver, CO
New York, NY (Manhattan)


Whether traditional classes, a magnet program, or a private school is right for your child, Tampa Bay has the options to fit your needs. When it comes to how we stack up against students across the country, we rank among the best of them.

The school system led the state of Florida in National Merit Semifinalists, with 60 students earning the honor. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests 4th and 8th graders in reading and science, and our students scored the highest in reading and in the top three in math, among all of the 22 districts tested. AP exam participation has increased more than 100 percent over the past six years, and the number of students earning mid-to-high scores (3, 4 and 5) has also risen.

The variety and quality of magnet and choice attractor programs add to Tampa Bay’s reputation. From magnet programs like International Baccalaureate (IB) and Maritime and Marine Environmental Science Honors Academy to choice attractor programs in aerospace engineering, pharmacy, and visual and performing arts, students are able to follow a track of interest in preparation for their futures. Magnet Schools of America recently recognized 22 local magnet schools as Magnet Schools of Excellence or Magnet Schools of Distinction. Tampa Bay region also offers a variety of private schools for students of all ages, including religious-affiliated, preparatory, Montessori, and independent schools.

Higher Education

Tampa Bay is home to nearly 80 colleges, universities and technical schools, training the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow.

The University of South Florida is one of the largest universities in the nation and ranks in the top 50 public universities in both the Times Higher Education World Survey and the Academy Ranking for World Universities. It’s also one of the most globally diverse, with more than 4,000 international students and 200 research scholars from 138 different countries. Our area also has the University of Tampa, named one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes. Nearly a quarter of its graduate students come from nations outside the United States, encouraging opportunities for diverse cultural and educational exchange. US News & World Report’s Best Online Programs edition recognized Saint Leo University for continuing education programs serving adult learners and veterans making significant contributions to the local workforce. Tampa Bay is home to the following higher education institutions, among others:

  • Saint Leo University
  • Eckerd College
  • Hillsborough Community College
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Pasco-Hernando State College
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Tampa