The street on which Van Dien grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey, Van Dien Avenue, was named after his great-great-great-grandfather. When Van Dien was older, his family moved to Florida, where he enrolled at the St. Petersburg campus of the Admiral Farragut Academy, graduating 3rd in command. While in the Florida prep school, Van Dien was often referred to as "Ken doll" due to his good looks, and got into many fights for that reason. Even some writers later described him as a "perfect life-sized Ken doll. " After high school, Van Dien attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.