After a two year Covid-induced college tour sabbatical, I’m finally back on the road. And so yesterday, while on route to a secret, undisclosed, Smoky Mountain hideaway, I had a chance to first tour FSU and then visit with Julie Rubin, the Associate Director of Admissions (see our lovely picture at the bottom).
It was an excellent visit!
Note to all college-bound teens (and the parents who love them) – FSU is most definitely ascending! I’ve been all around the country, visited colleges, large and small, private and public. And, after hundreds of these visits you get a vibe – you can intuit when a school is about to become the next up and coming hot spot. FSU has that vibe.
The numbers support this upward trend. In fact, since joining the Common App circa 2018, the number of FSU applicants has soared – up by 157%!! Not surprisingly, admissions standards and selectivity have similarly risen. It’s not easy to get into FSU. (MORE ON WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO ABOUT THAT IN A MIN). But first, a quick word about the rich academic life and diverse co-curricular opportunities (beyond top tier athletics) that are increasingly part of the FSU community appeal. FSU is investing both in campus life (e.g., a new student union) and in academic diversity and expansion (e.g., a nationally recognized forensics program, state-of-the-art nursing and public health programs, hospitality, film, meteorology and a new, expanded business school is planned). If you want to do something, chances are you can learn how to at FSU. Furthermore, FSU’s global network of engaged alum and supporters, offers students research and employment opportunities while on campus as well as upon graduation.
That said, FSU still definitely likes to have its fun, especially on Fall Saturdays! I have never before attended a college tour that essentially began on the ground floor of the school’s famed football stadium. This one did. And after the information session, the student ambassador-led tour started with a stroll by the baseball field, the tennis courts, the circus tent (!), and the volleyball facility. Perhaps 20 minutes into the tour I heard the first discussion of academic life on campus.
With all of the exciting academic opportunities and community engagement, FSU remains a true value in terms of tuition and return on investment. And should be top of mind for many students. The challenge, of course, is getting admitted. To that point, this is not your father’s (or mother’s) FSU. It’s really competitive (really really).
So, at the end of my visit I sat down with Julie Rubin, Associate Director of Admissions. Here are a few interesting notes Ms. Rubin shared with me that might help you/your student in your admissions effort.
Side Note to my rising seniors: we’ll continue discussing this information (and more tips from the trenches) during next week’s class – and throughout the summer/fall application season.
First, FSU has created a new ‘Early Action’ application category AND DEADLINE for in-state applicants. To be considered for early action, students must submit their application by October 15! If you’re a Florida applicant, I highly, highly suggest you do so! Notifications for early applicants will take place on December 15. Further, the application process officially begins AUG 1. You can begin submitting your application in just 3 weeks. FSU admissions counselors will begin reviewing those applications upon receipt, though no decisions will be made until December 15.
Also of note, FSU neither considers nor tracks “demonstrated interest” as a factor in their holistic process, and the rationale is quite straightforward: it’s not easy to get to Tallahassee. With Miami-Dade and Broward representing the two largest counties in their applicant pool, and with access to higher ed an important priority at FSU, why penalize those students who may not be able to visit? Hey students, this means your essay really counts at FSU!
In addition, Rubin also shared with me some insights on investments that the school is making in specific programs, thereby creating opportunities for applicants in those areas. I’m looking forward to sharing these insights with my students when I meet with them privately.
Finally, a quick reminder that FSU offers both merit and need-based financial incentives to both in-state and out-of-state students. In fact, there are some very interesting ways that FSU helps off-set cost for out of state students, which I’d be happy to discuss privately.
Regardless, I strongly encourage you to take your college-bound teen on a college visit. There is no better way to learn about a school, and perhaps to motivate your student to start “acting like an applicant”. For rising seniors, the “season” has already begun. We’re just a mere few weeks from being able to hit submit!! Many of my students are already on their way to completing their applications, including crafting some of the most compelling personal statements I’ve ever read.
For more information about admissions and financial aid, download my Ultimate College Application Guide.