Florida State University's Panama City campus opened its doors Saturday to usher in a major change coming this fall. The college gave prospective students a peek at what it has to offer to the first ever freshman class. It was also a reminder the campus is here stay and is opening new doors.
Imagine working on class assignments with a view of Saint Andrew Bay right through the window. That's the reality for 200 incoming freshmen.
"Our main campus is looking at this as an alternative for students that want to be a Seminole," said Associate Dean Dr. Steve Leach.
In August, the Panama City campus will welcome a freshmen class for the first time.
"Students that apply to main campus that are very strong students but just simply because they can only admit a certain number don't make the cut," said Leach.
There's another option for those wanting to join the 'Nole Nation. However, for some, the smaller campus might just be a first choice.
"It's not this big, giant campus where you can get lost in. It's very close knit," said high school senior Stephanie Gipson.
The smaller campus is one of the main selling points for this location.
"Some people don't feel comfortable walking around a campus that has 40,000 students on it. They would rather be in an environment where they actually know most of the people they walk past by name," said Leach.
Interested students had a chance to meet faculty members and speak with many who one day may be their professors.
"The faculty is super friendly, and it's great," said Katie O'Connor, a FSU PC junior.
O'Conner transferred to the campus from Gulf Coast State College but would have loved to start as a freshman.
"We have exactly the same course designations that main campus does and the degree says exactly the same thing," said Leach.
The college will accept freshman applications until July 29th. Admission requirements are similar to those at the main campus, such as ACT and SAT scores. Also, freshmen who enroll in the Fall will get a $400 grant to spend on books.