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Traditional/Commuter college


Traditional/Commuter college

I decided to look back on the history of enrollment at FAU. FAU has not always been really a true "commuter" campus.

The last of the "original" dorms was completed in 1969, the dorm that was just recently torn down. The enrollment in 1969-70 was 5057. The capacity of the dorms at that time was aprox 1000. I don't know the exact number, it maybe and probably was more. That is 20% of the enrollment. The enrollment was around 7000 when I was there making the % around 14%. Boca wasn't nearly as expensive as it is now and many students that didn't want to live in the dorms could find inexpensive apartments near the campus and there were many that did that. Dorm life wasn't the easiest, just the cheapest. Its been a long time but there used to be or may its still there, apartments just down the street from the campus that ATO all moved in to making it somewhat of an un-official frat house.

As the 80's came around and freshman were admitted, no more dorms were built for a while and enrollment took off. I don't know if the demand for student housing was down but the university didn't keep up with the pace of enrollment growth.

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Traditional/Commuter college

this will all change soon...Brogan said they are adding alot more dorms...the stadium presentation had the figures...all in all a good thing for athletic events...
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Traditional/Commuter college

Florida_Owl said

this will all change soon…Brogan said they are adding alot more dorms…the stadium presentation had the figures…all in all a good thing for athletic events…


FAU no longer wants to be associated with the word "commuter" whatsoever. Sure, we're "increasing access to higher education" and all that nonsense, but ideally we want nearly everybody to live on campus and enjoy it.

Sidestepping the whole issue of cost and construction of actual housing, FAU has this "commuter school" reputation which has very little meaning (UCF has 10% living on campus, but it's not a commuter school?) yet it's still commonly thrown around to describe us. And high school freshman are deterred by that because it seems contradictory to the "true college experience" they're looking for.

So FAU has to ask itself: "How do we shed the term 'commuter school' altogether?"

Adding on-campus housing is a no-brainer, but getting people to stay in that housing year after year is another. Why do people move off-campus? More freedom for a slightly higher cost. That's what it boils down to. On-campus you can't really choose your roomates, you can't have pets, 'quiet hours', lack of kitchens in the dorms, etc


the Village Apartments are… functional, but starting to show their age.

Fortunately, the Innovation Village will hopefully bring in all this private housing and it will give students a comparable experience to living off-campus. And if you think about it, FAU is in a really good place to keep people here – living in Boca is expensive! If it was much cheaper to live on campus, people would live here even if they didn't really care for it.

The harder problem to tackle is removing the usage of "commuter school" from the vocabulary of the public, especially the media. It seems like every time we accomplish something, the story reads like this:

"Florida Atlantic University recieved state approal to develop a medical program for its commuter campus in Boca Raton."


"Florida Atlantic University … [achievement] … very impressive for a commuter school."

As if we were little children who just learned to ride a bicycle. Awww, yay, clap for FAU.

Come on.

The Post and Sun-Sentinel are both guilty of this. And I have a feeling like, even if we have 5000 people on campus and nobody attends FAU who lives further than 30 minutes away, they're STILL going to call us a 'commuter school.'

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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