More students are enrolling in Florida’s youngest public university than ever before.
Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland received 31% more freshman applications this year than at this time last year and the school is only two-thirds done with its 2020 recruitment cycle.
The school has a 44% increase in out-of-state applications.
Even better news for the school, higher education enrollment overall has been declining for eight consecutive years. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 231,000 fewer students are enrolling in colleges and universities.
“This is great news, especially in light of the national data,” said Ben Matthew Corpus, associate vice provost for enrollment management. “As students learn about Florida Poly, they see a place where they can connect and engage in a state-of-the-art public university. We’re a small, selective, and an intensely relevant institution where students aren’t just a number.”
Florida Poly also saw an uptick in academic gains. The average SAT score for admitted freshman is up 30 points to 1,334. ACT scores are up a point and a half from 29 to 30.5 and the average GPA of entering freshman rose from 4.2 to 4.35.
Corpus attributes the surge in student applications to new outreach efforts to increase awareness of the school throughout the state and nation.
Some of those efforts include new digital and teacher-centered strategies to connect with high schools, a new full-time recruiter in the northeast U.S. region, a new campus visit program to showcase the school’s amenities and new academic programs and targeted scholarships for STEM programs.
“We won’t know if these additional applicants will all enroll until the fall, but it is definitely a very positive sign that the team’s hard work is paying off,” Corpus said. Transfer applications are also up 13%, as well as their quality. Average transfer GPAs are up from a 3.0 to a 3.4.
Florida Poly’s recently attained ABET accreditation, may be boosting the school’s attractiveness to prospective students. The school has also added new programs of study including as Environmental Engineering, Engineering Physics, Engineering Mathematics and new concentrations in aerospace, digital design, and mathematics of medicine and biology. The University is also building an Applied Research Center, an 85,000-square-foot cutting-edge facility focused on research and innovation and scheduled to open in 2021.
“Florida Poly’s programs put students directly on the path to making an impact on the economy and society, where students know they’ll be highly competitive and employable well into the future,” said Terry Parker, Florida Poly executive vice president and provost.
“Students and families recognize that to stay career relevant as creative innovators, a degree from a selective STEM university is really the best choice.”