Florida Institute of Technology - Anyone have any Experience or Insight?

My daughter has been accepted to Florida Institute of Technology and is trying to make her final decision. She was offered a very generous merit scholarship which carries into a 5 year masters program.
Background & interests: 4.3 GPA, 31 ACT, 4’s & 5’s on her APs, great extra-curriculars, she earned college credits through the Virginia Aerospace Technology Scholars in which she attended a week program collaborating with NASA. She loves science - considering a career in aerospace, marine biology (PADI dive certified at 13), or environmental science. She is not interested in sororities or big sports. She’s a nerd, but a rather hip out-doorsy nerd.
We visited the campus together - nice laid back vibe, excellent visits with a professor and a grad student, friendly students, nice facilities (super great freshmen dorms),15 minute bike ride to the beach (!), Melbourne is a safe little beach town, 30 mins to Cape Canaveral with great intern opportunities.
D is trying to decide between state flagships and FIT. The only con I see at this point for her is that she won’t be getting as rounded a liberal arts college experience - they cover the humanities but pretty quickly get into core studies. On the other hand, students get in-depth with their majors and have hands-on science opportunities as undergrads.
Anyone out there have any scoop?

Correction Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) - on-line class & summer program with NASA

A family friend attends FIT from out of state and seems to be having a good experience. He enjoys the outdoors and seems to like the school and the area. I’d describe him as an outdoorsy nerd and he seems to be finding plenty to do and enjoying his first year classes.
My D is at Illinois Institute of Technology and has a scholarship that covers a co-terminal master’s degree as well. It’s a great option. She had AP/dual enrollment credit for literally all of her general requirements and it has allowed her to concentrate on what she wants to study. That wouldn’t have worked at all for me or for our second D, but it has been fine for her. Tech schools like FIT have smaller percentage of women. Your D should think through the dynamics of that and make sure she’s comfortable with it. It would be nice if these schools suddenly were 50-50 but they aren’t now and that changes slowly. My D is in an engineering major that is about 50-50 men and women, but in spite of that, she’s had many classes where she is one of a very few women. Often 20% or less.
FIT, like IIT also has a large international student population. My D enjoys that and has had many friends from all over the world, and has enjoyed getting to know more of their cultures. IIT has a day where the various international student clubs prepare food from their cultures and everyone can sample. D looks forward to that every semester.
Good luck with your D’s decision.

My daughter attends Florida Tech, and it is as described above. There aren’t many humanities offered, but there is a very active theater group and an orchestra/pep band for those who want to continue music (and lots of engineers have an interest in music, so the groups are pretty good). The weather is perfect. There are almost 3x as many guys as girls, but you kind of get used to it. You first notice it as there are 3x as many male RA’s, only one apartment per floor in the freshmen village is for females, etc. My daughter is in a sorority (there are only 3 and they are small) and plays on a sports team so she has a lot of interaction with other females, but she is usually the only girl on any group project in her engineering classes. She’s bossy so it works for her. Because there are fewer females, there are plenty of opportunities for them. The woman who was president of D’s sorority was also president of the mechanical engineering society, and was on the jet car team. Underachiever!

There are a lot of aerospace companies in the area for internships (it takes more than 30 minutes to get to Cape Canaveral). It is really fun to watch the space launches, which happen fairly often. The town is nice, big enough for a mall and lots of restaurants, the beach is very family oriented (not like Daytona), and it is (affectionately) called Melboring by the students. It is close enough to Orlando to use the airport and go to the concerts and theme parks. Also close enough to Fort Lauderdale and Miami to do things there.

I’d say the biggest disadvantage is the lack of humanities and art classes, but that doesn’t bother my daughter at all. She took the minimum for ABET requirements, and doesn’t miss non-STEM classes at all. The school does have an excellent psychology department (forensic, autism, biology) and a business school so those classes are available if your daughter has time for electives.

Thank you, Parentof2014grad & Twoinanddone!
We’re not in Florida and when we mention FIT, folks look confused up here. Fortunately, my daughter’s favorite teacher (female who teaches AP BIO) has a sibling who went there, loved the school & Melbourne & decided to stay,currently works for a nearby aerospace co. This teacher has been very encouraging to her about being open to a path that may suit her best even though different than some of her pure liberal arts oriented friends.
We’ve scheduled a return visit for her to sit in on an Astrobiology class (where else can you do that with a chance of meeting Buzz Aldrin?!), and an environmental science class. They’ve also arranged for her to visit with a current female student majoring in aerospace engineering. We’re kinda feeling the love.

I must have mistakenly set up two log ins – I am MomYote! Sorry about any confusion - I have to correct that

We lived in Florida when she applied, about 2 hours away, and very few neighbors or classmates had heard of it! My dentist was one of the first to recognize it and said “That’s in Melbourne, right?” There are a lot of discussions on whether to call it FIT or FL Tech or Tech because there is (was?) a small vo tech school called Florida tech. I notice that daughter’s team will break the huddle with ‘Tech’ or ‘Go Tech’.

For our family, we’d be more impressed with running into Doug Flutie or Tim Wakefield on campus, and that can easily happen. There are lots of astronauts hanging around.

My brother in Denver mentioned it to a friend who works for Martin Marietta that my mother and I were visiting my daughter and went to a rocket launch, and he immediately knew the school. Engineers know it, and that’s really all that matters.

@twoinanddone When I was student, I asked the president about adding more art programs. He basically said they didn’t believe art programs would be a good value for the students. The salaries for art majors are typically lower than STEM majors.

Maybe the new president will have a different opinion. I think animation or digital art would be good fits at FIT.

I noticed that FIT recently added a department of Human Centered Design, but it’s geared for graduate and ph.D. students. Hopefully they’ll expand on that for undergrads. More colleges (MIT for example) are adding more creativity to their curriculum - STEM to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art & Math) – using both sides of the brain and nurturing creativity fosters better problem solving. Worked for Einstein!
Anyhow, I totally agree that animation & digital art would be a great fit (for FIT) – you inspire me to contact the school before our visit to see if there is anything in the works - will let you know if I get any feedback.

The is a lot of art, music, and theater on campus, it’s just that they are not for-credit courses. The students are creative in many ways with the cement canoe competition, the robotics, there are lots of mechanical engineering vehicles. There is a fabric and textile museum on campus. There is a little artist area about 3-4 miles from campus. If your child was looking to take art history she’s going to be disappointed but there are plenty of ways to be artistic at the school.

But going to a tech school is a different choice. It wouldn’t have been the right school for me, but my daughter was never going to be an art history major. If she would have changed majors from engineering, it would have been to chemistry or math or something else that FIT offers. She’s still an engineer.

I sent an email to FIT’s school of Human Centered Design, Innovation, and Art and immediately got two emails back, one from the program manager and one from the Chair! So nice — both gave positive feedback to my inquiry about undergrad access to arts & creativity to accompany their STEM studies. Sounds very supportive and collaborative - they even encourage & assist undergrads to devise their own projects and write grants to fund them (great experience to learn how that works). Anyhow, I’ve been consistently impressed with how responsive everyone, from various departments at FIT has been. We’re going back for a final visit and I feel really solid that my daughter will have a real feet on the ground opportunity to check everything out. Exciting.

Today on the FB page they had a picture of the design shop, which is used for projects.

The people are all very nice, but I will warn you it is a maze to work through. Everyone has exactly ONE job, and no one can help you change your meal plan or your classes or answer a question about your bill except that ONE person. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked to every single person who works at the school. Admissions does this, financial aid does that, except they don’t do outside scholarships and that person is on vacation. Many of our issues were caused by my daughter having two files, two student numbers, and two names on those files (one her full name, one just half of her first name and last name, yet they couldn’t figure out it was the same person?), so there were a lot of phone calls until I figures out that there were 2 files.

But they are all nice, and try to help. I haven’t had as many issues since the file consolidation. I know it isn’t me because I have another child at another school and there have been no problems at all.