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Florida State University

the basics
Location
PO Box 3062400
Tallahassee FL 32306
Undergrad Enrollment
31,500
Type
Public
Setting
Suburban
In-State Tuition
$ 4,000
Out-of-State Tuition
$ 18,450
Room & Board
$ 4,800
5 reasons it’s cool
  • Think you’re the next Coppola or Kubrick? FSU’s School of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts is consistently rated among the best in the nation.
  • Seminoles football sends students on the warpath—especially when it comes time to battle the Gators!
  • High-tech amenities saturate the campus: Round-the-clock computer labs and eight campus libraries serve every research need.
  • Campus life is decidedly laid-back.
  • The student body generates legendary amounts of school spirit.

Books, beer, and bowl bids

From Silver Screen to Specimen Slide

FSU’s standout School of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts has won accolades for its excellent faculty and state-of-the-art amenities. As you might expect, gaining entrance to the program is highly competitive. But film isn’t the only thing that FSU does well: Its programs in English, engineering, and fine arts put in strong showings year in and year out. The sciences have also been coming on of late, biology being especially well regarded. But as a large state school, FSU presents the typical large-state-school pitfalls. The student-to-faculty ratio is an impersonal 22:1, and many courses are of the big-lecture variety. Professors labor under the often-competing obligations of teaching and research, and the administration confronts students with a bureaucracy some describe as Byzantine. All of these factors may leave a lone ’Nole feeling lost in the shuffle. The onus is on the students to find their place and strike a balance between studying and partying.

Chopping Mad

The “war chant” and accompanying “tomahawk chop” may have been popularized by the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Chiefs, but their origins are pure FSU. Meant to demoralize visitors and spur the home team on to victory, the chop and chant have been criticized by some Native American groups. Still, the Seminole Tribe of Florida supports the university, and FSU’s Seminole tradition remains strong.

You Can’t Fall off the Floor

At FSU, partying is a serious pursuit. The school is a perennial contender in Playboy’s party school rundown, and campus shindigs tend to be Greek dominated and football oriented. Seminoles consecrate home games with beer kegs in defiance of the campus’s official dry status. Such conspicuous displays of consumption aside, the sun-kissed students are a self-professed laid-back and conservative bunch, which is perhaps a reflection of the fact that 93 percent are Florida-grown. Two-thirds of the student population is white, with blacks and Latinos comprising the two most represented minorities. A small miscellany of international students round out the figures. Campus amenities vary, and seasoned ’Noles advise incoming freshmen to stick to dorms on the campus’s east side and avoid Dorman, Deviney, Smith, Kellum, and Salley Halls. The pricey meal plan is mandatory for students living in residence halls.

A Seminole Influence

Situated on the outskirts of Tallahassee, less than an hour from the Gulf Coast, FSU offers a small-town pace with big-city resources. Students find such living generally agreeable but are often eager to go off the reservation, enjoying spring break capitals such as Panama City or celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans. But Seminole fever infects students and townies alike, and relations between FSU and its host city are generally friendly. Although the student body is large, the campus is a compact 451 acres. There is a dearth of parking options, and the residence halls vary in quality. These hassles are offset by the palpable school spirit pervading the student body, largely a result of the shared passion for football and its attendant festivities.