With initial application deadlines quickly approaching, Florida State University is making it easier for Seminole hopefuls to apply to the university by implementing new features to assist in their higher education endeavors.
FSU will now waive the $30 application fee for prospective students who self-report their financial need. Previously, students were required to go through their guidance counselor to request and submit a fee-waiver application that had to be mailed or faxed to the university.
“We have a responsibility to increase access for first-generation and underrepresented students in our university community,” said Hege Ferguson, FSU’s director of admissions. “We feel obligated to remove as many barriers as possible to the admissions process, which reduces anxiety and increases participation.”
Ferguson said the changes were prompted by conversations with students and college counselors who talked about the complicated processes of tracking down forms and signatures, as well as the stigma associated with students who had to seek out the additional help.
Florida State is also reducing financial strain and deadline pressures by allowing prospective students to initially self-report their SAT and/or ACT scores. FSU is the only public university in the state to offer this option. Students and families were having to pay additional fees to the testing companies to have score reports sent to the university to meet application deadlines. Now, they only have to send their official test scores once they are admitted and before they enroll.
“As a public university, we need to be very cognizant about the cost of applying and going to college,” Ferguson said. “Some families may not be able to afford the $30 application fee or the cost of sending all their test scores to Florida State. Now, those extra costs are no longer barriers.”
In addition, Florida State is increasing access by participating in the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, a national group of prestigious institutions nationwide that has created a new way to prepare for the college application process. Through the coalition, students can build a profile that allows them to start thinking about and preparing for their college career as early as the ninth grade. They can store essays, school projects and other potential application material in a digital locker at no cost to the student. The locker is sharable to allow parents, teachers and mentors to access the student’s work and provide feedback.
Prospective students can choose to apply to any of the participating 134 postsecondary schools, both public and private from across the country. The group shares a common goal of providing pathways for students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
“FSU is serious about access and service,” Ferguson said. “Our partnership with the coalition and the changes to our application process are evidence of this. We are constantly on the lookout for new and creative ways to meet our enrollment goals.”
The application deadline is Nov. 1 for an early admission decision by Jan. 25. For more information on the freshman admissions process, visit http://admissions.fsu.edu/freshman/.