Founded in 1991, Florida Gulf Coast University, also known as FGCU, is a coeducational public University located in the South Fort Myers area of Lee County, Florida. FGCU is a member of the State University System of Florida. The main campus is spread across an area of more than 750 acres in Southwest Florida. The university states that it was built on support for providing higher learning opportunities in Southwest Florida. The community residents took the initiative to create a state university in this part of Florida, and their requests were swiftly supported by the elected officials at the local and state levels. Today, with a dramatically increasing rate of admissions and student applications, the Florida Gulf Coast University stands as one of the fast growing universities in United States.
Florida Gulf Coast University is accredited though the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The University also has regional and discipline-based accreditations by associations such as AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational programs; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Social Work Education; and Council on Social Work Education.
Florida Gulf Coast University awards associate’s, bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degrees in diverse areas of study. The University offers graduate degrees in diverse areas of study such as accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. Graduate degrees are awarded in accounting and taxation, computer information systems and business administration. FGCU Honors is a dynamic program that provides students an array of unique opportunities to maximize their University experience.
The Student Support Services is a Federal TRIO Program, which provides an educational opportunity outreach program tailored to encourage and support college students in areas where they need help. It provides excellent opportunities for academic development, helps students with basic college requirements, and serves to encourage students for a successful completion of their post-secondary education.
Research also forms an integral part of the University. Some of the important research institutes include the Lucas Center for Real Estate, Coastal Watershed Institute, Florida Institute of Government, the Biotechnology Research Group, FGCU Center for Leadership and Innovation, Center for Positive Aging, Center for Environmental & Sustainability Education, Whitaker Center for Science, Mathematics, & Technology Education, and Institute for Youth and Justice Studies.
Schools and Colleges:
Florida Gulf Coast University is composed by the following academic schools and colleges: College of Arts and Sciences; College of Health Professions; College of Professional Studies; College of Education; U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering; and Lutgert College of Business.
Florida Gulf Coast University offers online education programs for students who are unable to attend regular college due to various reasons. Through its online undergraduate and graduate degrees, FGCU removes all barriers of time and geographic locations from providing quality education. The online degree programs are all well accredited by renowned associations. Some of the courses offered online are Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences; MBA (Master’s in Business Administration); MPA (Master’s in Public Administration); and Master’s in Health Science.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Freshmen students seeking admission to Florida Gulf Coast University must be graduates of a Florida public or regionally-accredited high school or its equivalent. Applicants must send the completed application form along with all the official transcripts. They are also required to take either ACT or SAT entrance test. Transfer students can also easily get admitted to the University through a simple application process. The application deadlines for the U.S. students are:
- First week of February (Summer)
- First week of May (Fall)
- Mid of November (Spring)
International students receive a warm welcome at the University and the community. International students must complete all the admission criteria set by the University. Apart from taking SAT or ACT test, students whose native language is not English must appear for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.
Florida Gulf Coast University offers a variety of financial aid programs to the deserving candidates. All students seeking financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FGCU provides financial aid in the form of grant, scholarships, student loans and work-study programs. The grants include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National SMART Grant Program, TEACH Grant Program, Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG), First Generation Matching Grant (FGMG), and FGCU Undergraduate Grant.
Florida Gulf Coast University also offers various types of FGCU Scholarships & Tuition Waivers; Florida Bright Futures Scholarships; and FGCU Foundation Scholarships. Some of the specific scholarships offered at FGCU include American Business Women’s Association Scholarships; The Big Sun Scholarship; College Fund of Pinellas County; Dish Systems Scholarships; Florida Stormwater Association; College Scholarships; College Success Foundation; and Online Master’s Degree Scholarship.
Loans are the form of financial assistance that must be returned with interest. The different types of loans offered at FGCU are Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. The University also has a Federal Work-Study (FWS) program that provides part-time jobs for the undergraduates and graduate students.
Student Financial Aid Details
Students at Florida Gulf Coast University enjoy a vibrant life on and off the campus. The various campus activities and event presents an opportunity to get involved and experience University life at its best. There are several student clubs and organizations on the campus. Students can either be a part of an existing club or join a new one. Some of the on campus student clubs include Gender Equality Organization, A Step Above Perfection (ASAP), Accounting Society, Active Ghost Investigators (AGI), Florida Engineering Society, Gulf Coast House of Prayer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and Student Physical Therapy Association.
FGCU also has a strong Greek presence on the campus. There are more than 15 registered fraternities and sororities that are governed by National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Panhellenic Council, and Interfraternity Council. Some of the Greek organizations present on the campus include Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Delta, Sigma Iota Alpha, and Zeta Phi Beta. The Student Government Association (SGA) and other leadership organizations on the campus works to improve the student life and solve the issues related to it.
Media and Publications:
The Eagle News is the official newspaper of the University. It is published every week informing students of the latest University news.
WGCU-FM is the radio station of the University. Being an NPR member, it broadcasts news, talk shows and jazz. WGCU is the university’s television station, in operation since 1996.
Florida Gulf Coast University has a well-stocked library housing a collection of books, journals, and resources relating to the University curriculum. There are study areas within the library for the students to spend time with books. The library also organizes various workshops from time to time. Students can also take a break and grab a cup of coffee at the Starbucks located in the library.
FGCU offers on-campus housing options to the students in a wide variety of community living experiences. Students can choose to stay in suite-style residence halls, apartments, and the off-campus apartment complexes. The housing options are divided into three types: South Village, North Lake Village, and the West Lake Village. All the housing options are well furnished and equipped with modern amenities for the convenience of the students.
The on-campus living is enhanced by the various residence life programs designed to help students meet new people and develop life-long friendships. There are also numerous recreation centers in the residence halls. Some of the recreation facilities include pool tables, ping-pong table, large-screen television, play-station, well-equipped kitchen, beach volleyball court, indoor swimming pool, lakefront beach recreation and a picnic area.
Florida Gulf Coast University also offers several dining options located on the campus for students, faculty members and staff. The Eagle Café, located in Howard Hall is the perfect place for the students to enjoy a quick break. The Subway, Taco Bell and C Store are also located within the campus. Students can enjoy fresh food at Einstein Bros Bagels, located in the Student Union. The Link, located between Lutgert and Holmes Hall serves delicious Pura Vida Coffee. Other dining outlets include the Fresh Food Company in South Village; the Perch and Jamba Juice in the Student Union; and the Starbucks Coffee in the Library.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
FGCU’s athletic department fields men’s and women’s teams in a wide range of varsity sports such as golf, basketball, tennis, cross country, volleyball, soccer, baseball, and diving. The athletic teams are nicknamed as the Eagles. The mascot is Azul, the Eagle. The colors are Cobalt Blue and Emerald Green, and Old Gold. FGCU sports teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, the Atlantic Sun Conference, and the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association. The sports facilities at Florida Gulf Coast University include Alico arena, aquatics center, outdoor sports complex, soccer complex, softball complex, Swanson stadium, and a tennis complex.
The Intramural Sports program at FGCU aims to provide the students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to partake in fun recreational sports. The intramural sports program promotes sportsmanship and social growth of the community through various individual and team sports such as co-ed flag-football, kickball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, flag-football, dodgeball, softball, and more.
FGCU graduates have gone on to earn name and reputation in diverse fields and professions. Some of the notable alumni are Don Carman, retired Major League Baseball pitcher for Philadelphia Phillies; Courtney Jolly, a proficient monster truck driver; Matt Caldwell, member of the Florida State House of Representatives; and Derek Lamely, eminent golfer on the PGA Tour.
Additional School Information
U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida Gulf Coast University as first-tier among Regional Universities in the South. The Princeton Review also includes the University among its 301 business schools in the country.
Florida Gulf Coast University. 2011.
Wallace, Roberts, Todd. Florida Gulf Coast University: Comprehensive Master Plan: Executive Summary. Wallace, Roberts & Todd, 1995. Print.