Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

The main campus of Florida Atlantic University is located in Boca Raton, Florida; there are five other locations in Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Harbor Branch, and Jupiter, Florida. Learn about the school's financial aid and student life, and get the pros and cons of studying at FAU.

Is Florida Atlantic University the School for You?

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) offers more than 170 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs through 10 different colleges. The main Boca Raton campus is located between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and FAU's other campuses are also located in the Gold and Treasure Coast regions of Florida. Weigh the pros and cons to find out if FAU is the right school for you.

Pros

  • High number of academic programs
  • Student debt following graduation is $8,073 lower than the national average
  • Accepts dual and AP credits
  • Offers employment, placement, academic, and career counseling services
  • Diverse student body

Cons

  • Total annual cost of attendance for in-state students was $2,678 higher than the national average for 4-year public colleges
  • Room and board costs are $1,625 higher than the national average for 4-year schools
  • Acceptance rate is 38.8 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Graduation rate is 23 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 20:1, which is higher than average
  • High number of TAs teaching classes

Rankings & School Analysis

FAU has a wide variety of academic programs to choose from, more than 80 of which are available at the bachelor's level. If you have AP credit or dual enrollment credit for college courses taken while in high school, FAU may accept your alternative credits to give you a head start on your major's requirements. FAU also offers more than 70 master's and 20 doctoral programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 79% of first-time freshmen returned for their sophomore year in 2011, but the graduation rate was lower than the national average. Only 17% of full-time students who began studies in 2005 graduated by 2009, which is significantly lower than the national average of 40%.

The student-faculty ratio, reported as 20:1 by the NCES in 2011, is higher than the national average of 16:1. Furthermore, as is the case at many high-activity research universities, graduate teaching assistants teach a significant number of FAU classes. Graduate students made up 39% of the instructional faculty in 2011, according to the NCES. The NCES estimates that the annual cost of attendance for a full-time Florida resident was $19,814 during 2011-12, while out-of-state students paid $31,322. These estimates are higher than average for 4-year public universities, but your total cost of attendance can vary depending on your living arrangements. Despite this, students who graduated in 2011 had an average student debt of $18,578, which was lower than the national average of $26,660.

Financial aid was offered to 79% of undergraduates in 2011, according to the College Board, and the average financial aid package for freshmen was $9,954. The College Board also reports that only 11% of students had their full financial need met through student aid in 2011.

Both the NCES and the College Board group all of FAU's campuses together when publishing statistics on retention, tuition, faculty, and graduation, but it's important to note that not all programs are available at all campuses. While Boca Raton is the main campus, other campuses have some unique programs or options. The Dania Beach location specializes in programs in the Department of Ocean Engineering, for instance, while the Davie campus caters to nontraditional students and focuses on offering upper level courses in the undergraduate programs that are most in demand. The Fort Lauderdale site concentrates on programs in the College for Design and Social Inquiry. Both the John D. MacArthur campus in Jupiter and the Treasure Coast campus in Port St. Lucie offer upper level and graduate classes. St. Lucie County is the home of FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which specializes in marine science, and Jupiter is home to the Honors College.

Getting In & Financial Aid

You can apply for admission online, and there is a $30 application fee. The average GPA for incoming freshmen in 2012 ranged from 3.35-3.95. The middle 50% of incoming students had an ACT composite score ranging from 23-27, and the total SAT scores for the middle 50% ranged from 1560-1770. Some majors and colleges have additional requirements. FAU has rolling admissions, and notification of acceptance is usually about 6-8 weeks after the school receives your completed application.

You can apply for financial aid by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the deadline for which is usually March 1. Many different scholarships are available for new and returning students. Some scholarships are awarded to new students by the admissions office, and the deadline for these is usually January 15.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2011) May 1***
Financial Aid Priority Application Deadline (2012) March 1****
Rolling Notification of Acceptances Begins (2011) October 1****
Application Fee (2011) $30**
Acceptance Rate (2011) 35%**
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2011-12) $19,814 (in-state), $31,322 (out-of-state)**
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $9,954 (first-year students)****
Percent of Students with Full Need Met (2011) 11%****
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $18,587***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 7.6%**

Life at Florida Atlantic University

The main campus in Boca Raton offers seven options for campus housing and multiple university dining options. The student body is diverse, with 46% of students classified as international or a minority by the university. The campus offers a recreation and fitness center, an arena, tennis courts, an aquatic center, and a movie complex with four theaters. Boca Raton is a small town; however, its downtown area offers plenty of activity for residents, including musical events, Broadway revues, and festivals.

While FAU is largely a commuter campus, according to the College Board, and not every location has campus housing, you should check with the location that you plan to attend. The Jupiter campus, for instance, has two residence halls, and FAU hosts a web page for off campus rental housing.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small town**
Student Population (2011) 29,246 (24,571 undergraduates)**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 43% to 57%**
% of Full Time Students (2011) 62%**
% of In-state Students (2010) 85%**
% of International Students (2010) 7%**
Retention Rate (2011) 79% (full-time students)**
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living on Campus 6% of all students (69% of first-year students)****
Number of Libraries 1*
Extracurricular Activities More than 300 student organizations*
Noteworthy Most diverse of Florida's state universities*

Article Sources: *Florida Atlantic University, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***U.S. News & World Report, ****The College Board.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Florida Atlantic University, Office of Admissions, 777 Glades Road - SU 80, P.O. Box 3091, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
  • Phone: (561) 297-3040