FAU vs. FIU: Which Florida College Is Right for You?

The FAU vs. FIU debate comes down to what you need for academic and professional success. Learn more about these two Florida schools.
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Thomas Broderick is a freelance writer and the owner of Broderick Writer LLC. He creates study guides, informational websites, and blog posts for clients in the education field. Thomas is also a published author of over 20 short stories and a member ...
Published on October 4, 2023
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  • FIU and FAU charge near-identical tuition to in-state degree-seekers.
  • These schools offer many opportunities to get involved outside of class.
  • Consider FIU if you want to major in psychology or in the social sciences.
  • Most FAU vs. FIU football and men's basketball games end in an FAU victory.

President Biden's Investing in America program set aside over $800 million for Florida's semiconductor, biomanufacturing, and electric vehicle sectors. Many new jobs in these and other industries require a college education. Fortunately, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University offer many majors aligning with in-demand jobs.

These great Florida colleges offer in-state students the most affordable tuition rate. However, deciding between FIU vs. FAU requires comparing these schools' academic offerings with your academic and career goals.

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FAU vs. FIU: 3 Key Differences

Comparing location, cost, and campus culture can make deciding between FAU vs. FIU much easier. Research both schools' websites to uncover more differences between these great schools.

1. Location

Situated next to Boca Raton Airport, FAU features an 850-acre main campus. Student housing accommodates over 4,000 degree-seekers in traditional dorms or apartment-style living. You can choose from 16 dining options and use on-campus wellness facilities.

The FIU Miami-Dade County campus offers students a suburban environment with many green spaces. First-year students live in six residence halls, including one reserved for degree-seekers in the competitive Honors College.

2. Cost

Analyzing FIU vs. FAU tuition and fees reveals a similar cost of attendance (COA) for in-state degree-seekers. These figures fall well below the $15,543 the typical Florida resident paid to attend a public four-year school in the 2020-2021 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, keep in mind that the COA in the table below reflects out-of-pocket expenses after merit scholarships and other financial aid.

Ways to further reduce COA besides scholarships and grants include on-campus work-study programs. You can also live with roommates to lower your housing costs.

Cost Comparison: FAU vs. FIU
School Avg. Net Cost (2022)
Florida Atlantic University $9,711
Florida International University $9,881
Source: NCES

3. Culture

FIU offers a thriving Greek life with 29 fraternities and sororities. The university publishes an annual conduct report to help prospective pledges choose the right one. Other ways to enhance your time at FIU include signing up for one of the many theater, visual arts, and music clubs.

FAU students choose from seven fraternities and sororities. You can learn more about them during fall semester open house events. You can also join one of the many student-registered organizations, such as intramural sports.

Is FAU or FIU Right for You?

You should consider many factors when comparing FIU vs. FAU, such as student body size. The larger the school, the more networking opportunities, while fewer learners promote a personalized learning environment. FIU's student body is about 60% larger than FAU's.

Financial aid packages should also affect your decision. You can use the FAU Scholarship Universe portal to research the latest institutional scholarships. FIU's merit scholarships require only one application, and some awards cover full tuition.

Compare rents in the surrounding area if you plan to live off campus. FIU's location near downtown Miami means you can expect to pay more rent than FAU degree-seekers in Boca Raton. Fortunately, the FIU Off-Campus Housing Website lets you explore options at different prices.

Frequently Asked Questions About FAU vs. FIU

What's the most popular major at FAU?

With 491 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2022, biological sciences ranked as FAU's most popular major. Over 300 graduates earned a bachelor's in business administration that same year. Other popular majors included finance and speech communication.

What's the most popular major at FIU?

In 2022, 1,694 FIU undergraduates earned a bachelor's in psychology, making it the most popular major that year. Biology came in second with nearly 900 bachelor's degrees awarded. About 600 students graduated with an interdisciplinary studies degree, meaning you should consider FIU if you want to custom-tailor your education.

Does FAU or FIU have better sports teams?

From 2002-2022, FAU dominated FIU in football, winning 16 of 21 matches. Their latest game ended with FAU winning 52-7. FIU proved more competitive against FAU in men's basketball, winning 18 of 39 games from 2003-2023.

Intramural sports give you more opportunities to participate in the FAU vs. FIU sports rivalry. Check out each school's student life website for more information.

Is FAU or FIU harder to get into?

In 2022, FAU admitted 81% of applicants, while FIU admitted 64%. You can increase your competitiveness at both schools in many ways, such as taking honors and AP classes in high school. You can also ask someone else to critique your admissions essay.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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