When you say top colleges in Florida what comes to mind?
Florida, Florida State, Miami, UCF?
You can add FAU to the list. The university has developed a strategy to put them in that tier.
"I'm after the very best students, not just in Florida, but in the country," said John W. Kelly, Ph.D.
Dr. Kelly took over as president several years ago. His first goal was to raise admission standards.
"When I came here, the minimum to get into FAU was a 3.0. First year we raised that to 3.3. This past year we raised that to 3.6," said Kelly.
Kelly said graduation rates have also gone up. Next on his list: attract the top talent.
"When those people come here, they're a magnet," said Kelly.
Last year Dr. Phillip Boiselle, former Harvard Medical School Associated Dean, took over as head of FAU's medical school.
Along with increasing FAU's academic profile, there's the desire to increase its athletic footprint. Enter new head football coach Lane Kiffin.
"We went after the very best talent we could find in the country and we've been really successful in bringing that talent to Florida Atlantic University," said Kelly.
It's not about being a UCF, UF, or FSU. It's about making FAU mean something special in Florida and nationwide.
"I think most importantly, they see that we're building something and they want to be a part of building something," Kelly said.