FGCU slows growth rate

Becoming an Eagle just got harder.
Florida Gulf Coast University is slowing its rate of growth in exchange for a more selective approach to its applications. FGCU had about a 4 percent growth rate this past academic term, and it plans on cutting that rate to 2.25 percent. With the most applicants FGCU has ever received and the biggest freshman class it has ever accommodated, FGCU will soon slow down its growth rate and will no longer be one of the fastest growing universities in the state. Originally FGCU had a target growth rate of 5 percent per academic year.
Director of Admissions Marc Laviolette said there were two main factors for this. The first has to do with capacity.
“We’ve been having issues with capacity, and by slowing the growth we can accommodate more of the students,” Laviolette said.
There are plans for future additions and construction to meet the needs of a larger student population, but Laviolette said that he does not know how soon they will be implemented.
Laviolette also said that “with the performance based funding, if we [FGCU] can bring in more qualified freshmen, we will be better off down the road.”
The average 2014 freshman profile had a high school GPA of 3.6, SAT score of 1569, and ACT score of 23.
According to the Board of Trustees’ most recent quarterly briefing, the fall 2014 headcount enrollment was 14,673 on the first day of classes this semester. That is 3 percent more than the first day of classes in fall 2013. Laviolette said that the target number of freshman for fall 2015 is 2,400, which is 150 students less than the target for fall 2014. Freshmen currently make up 29 percent of the student body.
“I think it’s a good thing that it is becoming harder to get into,” said communication major and senior Shelbi Jones. “It makes it more competitive and it allows our school to stay at a certain population.”
While the minimum requirements for an FGCU applicant have not and most likely will not change, FGCU admissions will now be more selective with their acceptances, especially as the number of students who choose to attend the university continues to rise. “We do anticipate it to drop again,” Laviolette said. “But we don’t say we are going to accept a specific percent.”
Because of FGCU’s rolling admissions, along with the influx of recent applicants and the drop in growth rate, applicants are better off getting in their application early.