Florida Poly’s incoming class grows despite unprecedented times

Aug 17, 2020
residence hall move-in

Move-in team members assist students in moving their belongings into the residence halls at Florida Polytechnic University on Aug. 17. The University will begin its seventh academic year on Thursday, Aug. 20, with an increase in new students, in spite of the recruitment challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University is ready to begin the new academic year with gains in both quantity and quality of its incoming class, despite unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19 and the economic downturn.

Close to 500 new students are joining Florida Poly as classes start this week, for an expected total enrollment of about 1,400. Last academic year, the incoming class was comprised of 415 students and total enrollment was around 1,330.

“Our initial plan was to bring in 500 new students by 2022, but the great work the team put in far exceeded that goal and we landed 516 deposits for fall 2020,” said Dr. Ben Matthew Corpus, associate vice provost of admissions and financial aid. “Given the current situation, some students could not travel to Florida and so the new student headcount will come in right under 500.”

The increase in new students is the result of creative and deliberate recruitment efforts the University put in place during the entire fall 2020 enrollment cycle. This includes a dramatic shift in strategy due to the difficulties presented by COVID-19.

“When the pandemic hit in late February, we pivoted and redesigned recruitment in ways to fit the moment, and we had to keep making adjustments each week throughout the spring and into the summer,” Corpus said. “Nothing was normal, but we listened, evolved, and we were relentlessly creative.”

In addition to the increase in new students, Corpus pointed out that the quality of the incoming class is strong. The average high school GPA is up to 4.25 from 4.0 last year, and board test scores are up as well. The average ACT score is now 30, up from 28, and the average SAT score for fall entering students is up more than 40 points to 1327.

“From all of the applicants, we make sure to only select students who we know are prepared to learn and excel in Florida Poly’s rigorous STEM environment,” Corpus said. “We use a holistic admissions process to assess their academic preparation, including high school courses and calculus skills, as well as their performance on standardized tests, letters of reference, and co-curricular, work, and volunteer experiences.” 

The diversity of the incoming class continues to flourish as well with increases in Hispanic/Latinx and female students. Black/African American students remains approximately equal to last year. 

Ahead of the University’s seventh academic year, Florida Poly also saw enrollment deposit increases in the following student categories:

  • First-time-in-college students are up 29%.
  • Transfer students are up 29%.
  • Graduate students are up 118%.

Applications for the fall 2021 incoming class are now open. Students are encouraged to apply early given the number of competitive applications in the past two years.


Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications