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Thursday, May 23, 2024

This year's class of incoming freshmen at UF survived an application process involving a record number of UF hopefuls, and all of them will find out if they got accepted on Feb. 15.

Zina Evans, director of UF admissions, said the process is grueling for the most recent group of applicants because high school class sizes are at their largest and students are applying to more colleges than ever before.

Evans said students applied to an average of five colleges in past years. Now, most students apply to at least 10, she said.

UF's Office of Admissions has already received about 27,000 applications this year.

That number has been steadily increasing year after year. In 2005, about 21,800 high school students applied to UF.

Evans said she and her staff sort through the applications electronically, which increases efficiency and gives multiple people the ability to review applications at the same time. More than 100 readers, consisting of faculty, staff and guidance counselors, analyze each application, she said.

Applicants can check their admission status online Feb. 15. Only about 10,000 of the applicants will be accepted, Evans said, and she estimated that 6,600 of those would probably enroll.

"Everybody is scared this year," said Brooke Batten, a UF applicant from Hillsborough High School in Tampa. "Nobody knows what to expect anymore."

In past years, students with International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement credits were not as common and had an advantage, Evans said. This year, 82 percent of applicants have taken at least one IB or AP course, she said.

"Year after year, we have seen increases in the quality of the academic pool," she said. "It's quite a talented pool this year"

Current UF students have noticed incoming freshmen getting smarter and smarter.

"I don't know if I would have gotten in this year," said Jaclyn Adkins, a UF marketing junior. "It's gotten so hard. We're lucky we got accepted while we still could."

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This year is also unique because it marks the end of UF's early decision process. In the past, high school students were able to apply and receive notification in December if they committed to UF early.

Now there is one application deadline and notification date.

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