Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Raising the bar

For the first time in FAU’s history, incoming freshmen have been put on a waiting list.

The admissions office received 13,893 freshman applications for the fall semester. Not only is this a major increase in applications, but the students applying had higher GPAs and SAT scores than in previous years. This prompted FAU to raise academic admission standards, but only for students applying after March 15.

Students who sent their applications in before the priority deadline on Feb. 15 were required to have a minimum 2.6 GPA and a 1450 on the SAT, based on the new 2400 maximum score.

As of March 15, however, the criteria require a 3.5 GPA and a 1600 on the SAT.
“The new admissions guidelines reflect the pool of applicants at present,” says Barbara Pletcher, the admissions director.

The amount of applications the Office of  Admissions has received this month is up 28 percent from the number received in March 2008.

Mary Edmunds, associate director of recruitment staff in the Office of Admissions, believes that the higher quality of students applying shows there is a larger interest in FAU.
“We are up [in the number of applications] in [Florida] counties we’ve never had applications from,” Edmunds explains.

FAU has a booth at what is called a “virtual college fair.” In November, students from 36 states and 13 countries sought out the school’s booth, which can be found at www.collegeweeklive.com.
“FAU is not a fall-back school anymore. It’s a first-choice school,” declares Kathy Czaja, associate director of office operations.

Had they been in place earlier, the standards that began March 15 would have resulted in 70 percent of the students who applied from 2005 to fall 2008 receiving a rejection letter. This is based on the statistics reported by the Office of  Admissions from each of those years.

Even so, the students and the administration see the tougher requirements and interest in FAU as a
step forward.

Senior Kelly Hilterbrick had a 3.0 GPA when she applied to FAU as a transfer student.
“For those [students with a GPA below 3.5], it’s unfortunate. I am having the same problem trying to get into law school,” says Hilterbrick, a pre-law and political science major. “But I see how FAU has progressed over the past few years. It makes sense if your aim is to be at a higher tier.”

Kris Rush, a sociology major, came to FAU with a 2.52 GPA that would now have cost him his admission. At the time, the minimum GPA requirement was lower than today’s prerequisite.
“It’s kind of hard, kind of unfair. It’s not right to set the bar that much higher from the previous year,” explains the senior. “It would have been better if it had been gradual. It ruins hopes of students who wanted to go to school here.”

As for the 150 students put on the waiting list, 50 of them responded to Admissions with requests to keep their names on the list for the fall.
“At first I wasn’t all that impressed with FAU,” says FAU alumnus and current grad student Tayler Mariner, who is studying in the College of Business. “It’s nice to finally be proud of being a student here.”


Waiting List:

This is the first year that FAU has had to place incoming freshmen on a waiting list. Currently, 150 students have been placed on the waiting list, but the admissions office is expecting to add 250 to that list after the last applications are received.


Note: FAU has “rolling admissions,” meaning students who didn’t get into their first-choice schools can apply to FAU during the spring. The cut-off date for admission
is June 1.


Average Admission Criteria:

Year               SAT       GPA
2005-2006    1058        3.4
2006-2007    1052        3.3
2007-2008    1041        3.2
2008-2009    1549         3.1
*2009-2010    1600        3.5

*Requirement as of March 15

Note: The first three SAT scores were based on a scale of 1600. The 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 criteria were based on the current 2400 scale.


What do you think about the new 3.5 GPA requirement for incoming freshmen?

“Keep it the way it is. People lose out on opportunities because they apply themselves differently. They may not be great in high school but flourish in college.”
-Anderson Mabour,
sophomore, chemistry major

“I know the aim is to get students to community colleges. I have no problem with it because a lot of students aren’t ready for a university, scholastically or financially.”
-Rhonda Asarch,
senior, history major

“It raises the standard, and now that I am in, I don’t care. But I guess it’s a good thing. I went to community college, which is like 13th and 14th grade. It helped me get a rhythm going for FAU.”
-Jason Price,
senior, finance major

“The school year needs to be extended to at least 10 months. We need to be able to compete with Germany and Japan. There needs to also be less standardized testing and more emphasis on civics.”
-Joey Betson,
senior,  film and political science double major

“It’s a good thing. FAU is blossoming and being competitive with other schools.”
-Courtney Usry,
freshman, interior design major

“That works for me — I’m already in. I was planning on going to PBCC, but then I was accepted to FAU.”
-Ricardo Gonzalez,
freshman, biology major

“It’s a good thing because the school’s overcrowded.”
-Kyle Suggs,
sophomore, civil engineering major

“That’s cool. Why not? They ought to be able to get a decent GPA. Especially in high school.”
-Justin Buehler,
senior, history major

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