Honors Program accepting new applicants

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Students at Florida Gulf Coast University do not have to be invited to apply to the Honors Program in order to be considered for acceptance into the program.
Many students believe that they need to receive an invitation via email to begin the application process. This is not necessarily true. Students can apply to the Honors Program without the invitation.
The most common way that students apply to the Honors Program is through this invitation process. Students are invited if they have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. If a student does not receive an invitation to Honors, it is because they do not meet the 3.5 GPA.
What many FGCU students don’t know is that they can still apply to Honors if they fall short on their GPA. They can go to the Honors Program office and pick up an application.
During the Spring 2014 application period, a few hundred students were invited to apply to the Honors Program and only 75 applied. Out of the 75 who applied, only 39 were admitted into Honors and “only a handful of students were ones who walked in to pick up an application,” said Diane Bova, office manager of the Honors Program.
“I think that only five or six of the 39 who were admitted were walk-ins. I think this is because students don’t know that they have the opportunity to apply to Honors without the invitation,” Bova said.
GPA is not the only component that Honors is looking for when admitting students. Interviewers look at the application submitted as well as applicant’s resumé, biographies, professor recommendations, essays and the interview  itself with the Honors staff.
“Basically we want to see if a student is a good fit for Honors; that’s why we look at other things besides their GPA to make the decision,” Bova said.
Students in the past who have not met the minimum GPA have worked closely with Sean Kelly, the previous Honors Program Director, in order to enhance their other requirements. They would work on their writing, their biographies and other components that could make them a potentially competitive applicant.
Students can also apply to the program after high school. They would get an invitation if their GPA was 3.9 or higher, or if their ACT is a 28 or higher. If not, they can also apply without the invitation.
Emmalyn Green, a junior in the Honors Program, applied during Fall 2013 to be admitted into Honors for Spring 2014. She attended information sessions about the Honors Program, which motivated her even more to be a part of the Honors community.
“It made me want to be a part of such an amazing group. The info sessions talked about what Honors was doing, study abroad opportunities, service and the classes,” Green said.
Something unique about her experience when applying to the Honors Program was that her first semester at FGCU was during Summer 2013. The Honors Program evaluated her application using the GPA that accounted for the only two classes she took that summer.
“They don’t look at just your GPA. As freshmen, students won’t have a 3.5, but they still have other qualities that Honors is interested in. They want to find a well-rounded person,” Green said.
“We want students to know about Honors and want to become engaged. Our office is in this secluded hallway, so not many people know what we’re up to unless they have class around here. We want to give students the opportunity to become a part of the Honors community,” Bova said.
The Honors Program office is located in Reed Hall, room 155. The program is accepting applications until Monday, Sept. 29. Applications can be picked up in the office. There will be an informational meeting  11 a.m.-noon Sept. 19 in Sugden Hall room 111.