GRAND Report: Florida State Univ.
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Just before COVID-19 happened, I had the chance to escape the few cold days in Georgia to travel to the Sunshine State. While in Florida, I visited 5 institutions, one of them being Florida State University. I’ve had several students apply to FSU over the years, and everyone I knew who had any affiliation was proud to be Noles. Keep reading the GRAND report to see if FSU could be your GRAND fit school.
FSU is in Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida. Tallahassee has the benefits of a major city, but with a smaller population than other Florida cities, like Miami and Jacksonville. Tallahassee is also home to Florida Agriculture Mechanical University (FAMU), and FSU shares some programming with FAMU. 41,000 students call FSU home, and 32,000 students study at the undergraduate level. 85% of students come from the state, and FSU has a substantial Hispanic/Latinx population (22%).
FSU allows students to apply on the Common App, the Coalition App, or the FSU Application. To apply, students need to self-report SAT/ACT scores, complete the SSAR, submit one essay, and upload a copy of their resume. Specific majors, like Dance, Film, Music, and Art, have supplemental requirements, so reach out to those departments directly. The application opens in August, and students should apply by the priority deadline in November. Finally, decisions are released in January. For Fall 2019, FSU admitted 37% of applicants. The mid 50% of admitted students had a 4.0-4.5 recalculated GPA and a 27-31 ACT/1240-1360 SAT. Additionally, students may be offered admission to the summer term, or through one of the Seminole Pathways.
Despite the large student body, FSU maintains a student to faculty ratio of 25:1, and 74% of classes have fewer than 30 students. Students can choose from almost 200 undergraduate degrees, and their major comparison tool is beneficial, even if your student isn’t planning to apply to FSU. Regardless of major, all students must complete several courses through the core curriculum. These include writing-intensives, ethics, diversity, oral communication, project-based learning, among others. The goal of this curriculum is to ensure students are ready for the 21st Century by engaging critically and thrive intellectually in whatever field they pursue. FSU believes their most robust programs are Criminology, Fine Arts, Accounting & Risk Management, and Biochemistry. Additionally, FSU has distinctive programs in Cyber Criminology (Computer Science), Engineering (joint with FAMU), Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences, Product Development, and Visual Disabilities.
Athletics are a huge part of campus life, and school spirit runs high. FSU is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and has 20 NCAA D1 teams. Students flock to football, baseball, and beach volleyball. Greek Life is prevalent, with 19% of men and 24% of women joining an organization. The Garnet & Gold Scholar Society is a sought out membership program for students, intending to recognize engaged and well-rounded members of campus. Students must meet specific criteria for three of the following categories: International, Internship, Leadership, Research, and Service. One more off-the-wall way for students to be involved in campus life is through the circus. Any student can participate, and FSU is one of only 2 colleges with a collegiate circus program. If none of those tickle your fancy, check out the full list of 800+ campus organizations.
FSU’s campus is rather compact. Spanning 450 acres, you can get between any two points in under 10 minutes. For those extra humid days, students can ride on one of the many campus busses. First-year students are not required to live on campus, and housing is first-come, first-served. However, there are a lot of apartment complexes, so it will be easy to find a place to live. Most upperclassmen live off-campus.
FSU lives out its core values: Transformative Daring, Inspired Excellence, Dynamic Inclusiveness, Responsible Stewardship, and Engaged Community. There is an emphasis on entrepreneurship, interdisciplinarity, creative activity, and service. Students are organized, proactive, dedicated to school/academics, and involved in campus life. To learn more, schedule a visit, or take a virtual tour.
FSU is a bargain for Florida residents, and still affordable for out-of-state students. For Fall 2020-Spring 2021, Florida residents pay $23,136, and out-of-state residents $37,582, a year. 59% of students receive need-based aid, and the average award is $16,004. Merit scholarships are awarded based on GPA and test scores, and the criteria change each year. Awards range from $2,400-20,00/year, and out-of-state students can receive an out-of-state tuition waiver. Additionally, students who participate in the First Year Abroad program in Valencia, Florence, London, or Panama will be eligible for in-state tuition for their remaining 3 years.
FSU students are typically happy with their choice: 93% return for their Sophomore year. They also can obtain their degree in a timely fashion: 62.6% in 4 years and 80.2% in 6 years, well above the national averages for a public college.