Wondering how to get into the University of Florida? Read on!
At Transizion, we’re devoted to guiding students through the college application process. We research a wide range of schools and give you the highlights so that you can devote more time and energy to living your best life and crafting an extraordinary application.
This post will tell you everything you need to know before you apply to the University of Florida. We’ll cover academics, campus life, and what the University of Florida is looking for. By the end, you’ll know whether or not this school merits a place on your list and what it takes to get in.
About the University of Florida
“The welfare of the state depends upon the morals of its citizens.”
- UF motto
The University of Florida is a public research university that’s been in its current Gainesville location since 1906. Widely considered to be one of the best public universities in the United States, UF educates over fifty thousand students each year. UF also has the top-ranked online program for undergraduate students.
Academics at the University of Florida
The University of Florida is divided into sixteen different colleges:
- College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
- College of the Arts
- Warrington College of Business
- College of Dentistry
- College of Design, Construction and Planning
- College of Education
- Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
- College of Health and Human Performance
- College of Journalism and Communications
- Levin College of Law
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- College of Medicine
- College of Nursing
- College of Pharmacy
- College of Public Health and Health Professions
- College of Veterinary Medicine
The University of Florida offers over one hundred options for undergraduate majors. The full list, from A to Zoology, can be found here. This list also includes the minors and certificates on offer.
UF Campus and Student Life
There are nearly forty thousand undergraduate students at the University of Florida. The campus is huge – over two thousand acres! Add in the fantastic college town of Gainesville and eight nearby state parks, and students have a whole world of possibilities to explore.
UF events include beach volleyball, pickleball tournaments, river kayaking, mountain biking, and canoeing by moonlight on Lake Wauberg. With over one thousand student organizations, Gators never lack for interesting things to do.
The campus has 26 residence halls, mostly red brick buildings surrounded by green trees. There are also Living Learning Communities devoted to Engineering, Social Justice, the Arts, ROTC, and more; there are 16 LLC options in total.
The Independent Florida Alligator is the largest student-run newspaper in the United States, and it’s run independently by the student body, meaning that it operates with zero oversight from the university administration. There’s also a monthly parody called The Really Independent Florida Crocodile.
Is it Hard to Get into the University of Florida?
UF isn’t a crazy reach school with admission rates in the single digits, but it’s also not an easy school to get into.
The admittance rate has been steadily declining for years. A decade ago, students had about a fifty-fifty chance of getting in. Recently, though, the admittance rate dropped below thirty percent; it was 29% this past year, and we may not see it rise above thirty again.
So… what do you need to do to be that one in three?
GPA and Test Scores
If you’re aiming for the University of Florida, you’ll want to maintain a GPA of 4.5 or higher.
You’ll want to take as many challenging classes as you can handle without overwhelm or a dip in your GPA. Advanced Placement classes show colleges that you’re truly interested in and dedicated to your field of interest. If you already know (or at least have an inkling of) what you want to study in college, it’s best to choose AP classes in those subjects. If you’re not sure yet what you want to study, take the AP classes that you think you have the best chance of acing.
You’ll also want to score above 1400 on the SAT and/or above 32 on the ACT.
The middle 50% of students who were accepted to UF this past year had a weighted GPA between 4.4 and 4.6, an SAT score between 1330 and 1470, and an ACT composite score between 30 and 34. Take these exams as early as possible, giving yourself plenty of time to study and take the test again if your first attempt doesn’t result in a satisfactory score.
What Does the University of Florida Look for?
The University of Florida requires a record of good conduct along with a satisfactory academic record and satisfactory scores on achievement or aptitude tests (the ACT or SAT).
Minimum requirements include the following coursework:
- English (with substantial writing) 4 years
- Mathematics (Algebra 1, Formal Geometry, Algebra 2) 4 years
- Natural Sciences (two units must include laboratory) 3 years
- Social Sciences 3 years
- Foreign Language (must be sequential) 2 years
In addition to GPA and test scores, UF considers:
- Extracurricular Activities: Consistent involvement throughout high school that demonstrates a student’s interests and passions, as well as how applicants contributed to their school, community and/or family.
- The quality of thought in the admission essay.
- The potential and desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment.
UF uses a holistic review process, and no one single factor determines an admissions decision.
What Should You Do in High School?
Yes, you’ll need to excel in challenging classes and do well on your exams. But as UF is quick to remind potential applicants, “Few students are admitted purely on academic merit.” The university website explains, “UF’s comprehensive holistic application review also considers personal essays, academic awards, extracurricular activities, family background and home community.”
Here are some things that you can do now to increase your chances of being accepted.
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Pursue Your Passions
Passion projects and unique skills will help you to stand out amongst thousands of applications. Seek out meaningful volunteer work or internships in fields that interest you. These passions will be extremely important when it comes time to write your college essays – and they’re important for personal development as well.
If you’ve yet to find something that you care deeply about, try coming at it from a different angle. What are you good at? What could you do that would be most helpful to your community? Colleges want to see that you work well with others, so consider joining some local charity groups and finding a cause that you enjoy devoting a portion of each week to.
Serve Your Community
More than anything, colleges are looking for applicants that will be valuable additions to their communities. They want students who work well with others, think creatively and show leadership potential. You can join clubs dedicated to community service, spearhead your own projects, or volunteer with a local nonprofit.
Write Outstanding Essays
Essays are your chance to distinguish yourself from a stack of similar candidates.
Writing outstanding college essays starts long before you put pen to paper or pull out your laptop. It starts with rich life experiences, with struggle and perseverance that give you something worth writing about. This is one reason that extracurriculars are so vital.
Depending on how many colleges you plan to apply to, you may need to write ten to twenty supplemental essays by the time you’re through. If you leave this to the last minute, it can be an overwhelming prospect. These essays are far too important to be rushed, so start early. Many colleges release their essay prompts each summer.
Despite what they’re called, college essays are often limited to a single paragraph. You won’t have much room to answer, so keep your response clear and concise. Your answers should be genuine, highlighting your unique voice and personality, while still having flawless spelling and grammar. Ask people you trust to proofread your essays.
Common App Essay Prompts
The University of Florida uses the Common App. Applicants will need to answer the following essay prompts for 2022-2023.
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
- Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
- Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
- Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Begin brainstorming early, and try not to repeat yourself. Each response should highlight a different aspect of your personality and life experiences so that together, your responses give a complete picture of who you are as a person and what you can contribute to the UF.
UF Supplemental Essays
For 2022-2023, UF requires an additional essay of 250 words.
Please provide more details on your most meaningful commitment outside of the classroom while in high school and explain why it was meaningful. This could be related to an extracurricular activity, work, volunteering, an academic activity, family responsibility, or any other non-classroom activity.
Your response to this prompt should illuminate your worldview and give a sense of purpose. In addition to describing your most meaningful commitment in a way that makes the activity come alive for your reader, dive deep into why it means so much to you.
What gives your life meaning? How has this commitment shaped you as a person and propelled you closer to your goals? Your response to this question and to the common app questions should demonstrate maturity, dependability, and commitment to personal growth.
Remember, admissions boards are always wondering how prospective students will fit into their communities. Your responses to essay questions should reveal how your values align with theirs and what unique qualities and skills you’ll bring to the UF community.
Should You Apply Early to the University of Florida?
The University of Florida discontinued its Early Decision program in 2007. This decision was intended to foster more economic diversity among their students, as Early Decision programs may pressure students into accepting an offer of admission before they have the chance to evaluate financial aid offers from other universities.
UF now has a single application deadline of November first.
Final Thoughts: How to Get Into the University of Florida
With an admittance rate of less than thirty percent, you’ll need to stand apart from the crowd if you want to attend the University of Florida. If you want to be a Gator, we recommend that you take challenging coursework, maintain a GPA of 4.5 or higher, score well on the SAT, and pursue passion projects outside of school. If you need help with any part of the preparation or application process, Transizion is here for you.