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Keeping FGCU a close-knit community is a better option

Florida Gulf Coast University has no doubt come a long way since the birth of Dunk City. Since the men’s basketball team made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the possibilities have seemed endless for FGCU.

As a student who has lived in the Fort Myers area since middle school, I have seen firsthand how far FGCU has come over the years. But with the recent boost in applications, it appears that FGCU is destined for big things. However, that growth may soon come to a temporary halt as the University has recently announced its decision to reduce enrollment due to a lack of available space.

While the school’s rise in admissions undeniably adds the potential for opportunities as well as a raise in revenue, it’s all too obvious that these changes are happening too fast for the school to keep up with.

David W. Martin, the certified public accountant and auditor general for the state of Florida, stated in the University’s audited financial statements from late June 2013 that FGCU grew 4.7 percent in this fiscal year, while its liabilities grew to 31.1 percent.

This just shows how the University’s growth cannot keep up with its debt. It only makes sense that the school would want to start cutting back.

The fact that FGCU already sits at around 15,000 students (which is closing in on the 20,000 student cap for enrollment) proves that change is needed. Reducing enrollment would mean more selectivity in the students who are allowed in, which would improve the standard of students.

A reduced enrollment could allow FGCU to keep its close-knit community by staying small.

I know from my own experience the whole reason I chose to attend this University was because it had a smaller campus.

Coming from a smaller, private high school I know how people assumed I was sheltered away from the real world. People thought I wasn’t going to succeed in college having lived those four years in such a secluded environment.

Going to a smaller high school challenged me not only academically, but personally as well. I was held to a higher academic standard all while being able to maintain my values and not lose my identity in a mass of students. This is the main reason I wanted to apply to a smaller college like FGCU.

I know I was right in my decision because I experience those same things here. Another reason why remaining a smaller school is favorable for FGCU is because it allows students to have more one on one time with their professors.

Students are a name, not a number.

I experience this when I sit in my classes that range from 20-50 students, rather than 200 students. I am more productive and accomplish more in a smaller classroom where I don’t feel as overwhelmed.

In bigger schools, it is easier for students to lose themselves and feel unimportant among so many other people. Here at FGCU, every student counts. I don’t believe I would have experienced this attending a bigger school.

Even though I favor FGCU staying a small school, it is undeniable that growth is inevitable in the future. It has already come so far from what it used to be, and it will be interesting to see how far it will continue to grow in future years, but only once the University is ready.

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