The Lake Wales community has decided to step up and take responsibility for the quality of its schools. Charter schools have been chosen as the vehicle for making that decision a reality. Lake Wales Florida has 4 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 vocational technical school, and 1 senior high school. Vanguard School is a private education facility for children with special learning needs.
In addition, 2 private universities (Warner University and Webber International University) are located in the area, as are local extensions of Polk State College, the University of South Florida and Bethune-Cookman. The main campus of Polk Community College is located 15 miles north of Lakes Wales. Florida Southern College (Lakeland) is a 45 minute drive, and the main campuses of both the University of South Florida (Tampa) and the University of Central Florida (Orlando) can be reached in about 1.5 hours.