Gianna Cifredo 5 min read Applying to College, College Lists

What Does It Take to Get into the University of Florida?

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The University of Florida accepts 35% of applicants. What does it take to get in?


Located in the college-town of Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is just a quick drive to one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or to Orlando, with plenty of natural springs and state parks close by. It’s one of the few universities with a land, space, and sea grant, giving students unique research opportunities in the sciences. It’s one of the best public educations in the nation, ranking #8 for public institutions in the nation and ranking in the top 35 of universities overall.


With so much going on for it, the University of Florida remains a popular choice for high-achieving students. But with only 35% of applicants being accepted, the University of Florida does not make getting in easy, even for highly qualified students. Keep reading to learn more about the tips that have helped CollegeVine’s students get into the school that’s perfect for them.


Applying to the University of Florida: A Quick Review


Apply to UF using the Coalition Application. We’ve written an extensive guide with everything you need to know about this application, so be sure to check out What Parents & Students Need to Know about the 2018-2019 Coalition Application. The application deadline for freshman is November 1, so be sure to start your application early.


To apply, be sure to send in all of the following (application components):


  • Application and essay
  • Supplemental short responses
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Self-reported student academic record (SSAR)
  • $35 App fee or fee waiver


For international students: Have your credentials verified by a credential evaluation agency. If English is not your first language, then you’ll need to submit IELTS, TOEFL, or MELAB scores in addition to the SAT or ACT.


For homeschooled students: You’re encouraged to take core classes at an accredited institution. You can learn more about homeschool requirements in this UF flyer.


University of Florida Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?


Getting into UF takes hard work—last year only 35% of applicants were admitted. UF received an estimated 40,000 applications last year and admitted 14,000 students. Of those, 6,400 students actually enrolled, making it similarly selective to other top public schools like the University of Texas at Austin.


If you aspire to attend a school like UF, it’s critical to surround yourself with people who have been through the process before. CollegeVine offers mentorship for underclassmen and applications counseling for seniors to help you set yourself apart from the crowd. Even if you don’t choose to work one-on-one with one of CollegeVine’s trained near-peer mentors, connecting with someone who has successfully gained admission to a school like UF can make the difference between rejection and acceptance.

So, How Does One Get Into the University of Florida?


UFl is interested in you as a person, not just your grades or your essays. Use your application to reflect your strengths in these areas.


Academics. UF places a heavy emphasis on your academics when reviewing your application. Make sure to take challenging classes and to do well in them, and prepare for your standardized tests. Last year, the average admitted freshman had a GPA of 4.4, an SAT score of 1360 or ACT score of 30.


On the subject of test scores, UF has minimum test scores for the SAT and ACT. For the SAT, students must have at least a 24 on the SAT Reading and SAT Math, and a 25 on the SAT Writing and Language. For the ACT, students must earn at least a 19 on both the Reading and Math sections.


Extracurriculars. UF doesn’t care what activities you were involved in throughout high school, but they do want to see that you pursued something you were interested in with passion and excellence. This could mean taking a leadership position at your school, starting a new organization or initiative, or being recognized for your talents through awards and recognition. Whatever you do, show why those activities were meaningful to you and how you went above and beyond in following them.


Character. It’s important that you give the UF admissions officers insight into who you are and what your strengths are. Write a compelling essay that focuses on an accomplishment or strength that you are proud of, and make sure to spend time crafting your supplemental short-responses.


Contribution to Community. UF prides itself on its research opportunities and active alumni base. Demonstrate how you will bring a vibrant presence to the campus, lend your strengths to existing programs or share ideas for initiatives you’d like to start while on-campus.


How to Make Your Application Stand Out


Every application is different, but over the years we’ve seen these strategies give our clients applications that are three times more likely to gain favorable admissions results.


Take advantage of the Coalition App’s Locker tool. UF only uses the Coalition App, so why not begin preparing for your application by using the Coalition’s built-in tools? The Locker tool allows you to add important documents and make notes about your involvement starting in 9th grade. If you plan on applying to UF in your senior year, be sure to create a MyCoalition account now so you can begin adding to your Locker, which allows you to make sure that you don’t leave anything out on your application.


Discover what makes you different. Although UF places a heavy emphasis on academics during their application review process, they will still read your entire application. What unique experiences or perspective do you have that you can work into your essay? Show the admissions officers that you are more than your grades and test scores.


Enhance the themes of your completed application. A seasoned admissions counselor will review your entire application in about nine minutes and evaluate it. If you want them to remember something positive about you, then you’ll need to mention it throughout your application, not just once and hope that they remember.


Try this strategy—finish your application at least a week early and leave it alone for a few days. When you return to it, read the whole application in nine minutes. What stood out to you? What wasn’t clear or could be improved on? Then make those improvements.


What If You Get Rejected?


The University of Florida receives applications from more qualified applicants than they can accept. If you find yourself facing a no-thank-you at the end of the admissions process, don’t be too hard on yourself. Bright, motivated, resourceful students will find success, or create it, anywhere they go.


That said, there is an appeals process, but we advise against it. You will be required to provide new information and there are deadlines you need to meet in order for your appeal to be considered. It’s rare for schools, including UF, to reverse a decision, so you may end up doing more work only to receive the same decision.


Transfer is an option; UF has strong partnerships with Santa Fe College and the State College of Florida, especially for degrees in Engineering and Design & Construction. With these programs, there are strict requirements that allow for accelerated transfer.


You can reapply after taking a gap year, but this path is riskier than simply committing to another school and requesting to take a gap year there. To see if a gap year is right for you, visit our posts, What Are the Pros of Taking a Gap Year? and What You Need To Know When Applying to Colleges After a Gap Year.


By far, we recommend looking at another great school and making the most of your time there. Consider applying for schools such as Florida State University, Wake Forest University, or  Texas A&M University. For advice on adjusting to a different college path, check out our post Envisioning a New Future: Preparing for Life at Your Second-Choice (or Third, or Fourth) School.


UF Resources:


Florida Bright Futures Scholarship: What You Need to Apply

How to Write the University of Florida Essays 2017-2018


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

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Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.