FAU welcomes largest freshman class in history

This fall semester saw around 4,350 first-year students enroll at the university.


Courtesy of FAU

Students walking outside the Campus Recreation Center or entering Diversity Way.

Melanie Gomez, Staff Writer

FAU began the Fall 2022 semester by welcoming the largest freshman class in the university’s history with an estimated 4,350 first-year students, according to Maura Flaschner, the executive director of undergraduate admissions. Despite the past two school years of pandemic-related restrictions, the record-breaking undergraduate admission numbers is the strongest in the school’s history, surpassing last year’s numbers.

This contrasts with the nationwide drop in college enrollment, which declined by 5% at public colleges and universities during the Spring 2022 semester.

Larry Faerman, the vice president of student affairs, is proud of what the university accomplished in admission numbers in its six-decade long history. 

“The reputation of the institution is expanding, which is a great testament to the great work students are doing, the great work that our administrators are doing, and the great work that our faculty is doing,” said Faerman.

According to Flaschner, FAU received the highest volume of applications this past year. For the 2022-23 school year, undergraduate admissions had an estimated 35,000 applications, an increase of 3,000 from last year. In addition, there was a rise in both in-state and out-of-state applications.

Flaschner said the university’s freshman class is not only the biggest, but also performs the best academically.

“The past few or so years have been very similar, but this year is on a higher average [academic] performance,” Flaschner said.

Flaschner said new students have maintained a strong academic profile for the last three years and this is reflected in the students’ averages in test scores and GPAs. This year, the academic average was a record-breaking high with an average high school GPA of 3.8. Test score averages remained consistent with the past few years with a SAT score average of 1160 and an ACT score of 24.

Courtesy of Taylor Haywood

Among the freshman class is Taylor Haywood, a psychology major. Haywood chose FAU mainly for its location and price.

“I had some other school options in mind, but they were relatively closer to home and I wanted to venture out on my own in a new area,” said Haywood.

Haywood is hoping to participate in student activities and make plenty of friends in her first year and is honored to be part of the largest freshman class in FAU history.As a long-term goal, she intends on graduating with a degree in psychology and perhaps pursuing a masters after graduation.

“I think FAU will help me achieve this [goal] because they have good programs and have been very accommodating thus far,” said Haywood.

Courtesy of Darian Pisano

Darian Pisano is another first-year student that also chose FAU for its location by the water and its academic credibility. It was one of Pisano’s top choices, and she was excited to attend FAU because the close distance to the beach appealed to her along with being relatively close to home.

“I’m from Gainesville, Florida. It’s only a four-hour drive so I can still be close to my family while still having the feeling of being away from school,” said Pisano. 

Currently, Pisano doesn’t have plans to get directly involved with any of the student activities for her first semester and is undecided for her. While she is unsure at the moment, she says she is certain she will discover her path at FAU.

“This year is more of trying to figure out how life goes then from there, I’ll eventually find extracurriculars,” said Pisano.

FAU continues to strive for greatness in academics and attendance, but according to Faerman, the institution’s success is greatly impacted by the new and current students and their long-term success during and after their time at the university.

“The successes of our students once they leave is one of the greatest accomplishments that the university can share,” said Faerman.

With the arrival of the new students, the university has a lot of plans for student-related activities. According to Donald Van Pelt, the director of student activities, there are plenty of ways the university recommends new students to get involved. 

“Whether it’s through a sports club, a multicultural club, a spiritual club, fraternity or sorority, we want students to feel connected to the university and feel like they belong here at FAU,” said Van Pelt.

Melanie Gomez is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories email her at [email protected].