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Thursday, February 02, 2023

Fewer minority students were admitted to UF this year

UF undergraduate applications reached a record high this year, but minority applicants saw a dip in admissions.

Minority admissions decreased by 4 percent this past year, according to a report from Charles Murphy, the UF director of freshman and international admissions. This year, minority admissions dropped to 3,330 after increasing in 2018 from 3,614 to 4,129.

The decrease in minority admissions can be attributed to fewer students being admitted into UF as a whole, Murphy said. UF admitted about 750 fewer students into the freshman class this year.

However, other UF admission rates have stayed steady over the past three years, including first-generation students at 19 percent, legacy students at 20 percent and top 10 percent of graduating class at 70 percent.

“For any group, there will be less admitted students because the overall total of admitted students was less,” Murphy said.

Despite the decrease in minority admissions, UF has seen an increase in minority applications in the past five years.

In a presentation to the Board of Trustees at the March 29 meeting, Zina Evans, the vice president for enrollment management, reported a 27 percent increase in minority student applications in the past five years.

Evans could not be reached for comment.

The office of admissions is considering increasing outreach efforts for next year’s admission cycle in hopes of promoting diversity on campus, Murphy said.

These efforts include engaging with prospective students by attending more college fairs, application workshops and visiting high schools across the state and country.

“We play a lead role, but it’s not just admissions’ job,” Murphy said. “It’s really the whole university’s job.”

The office of admissions has also been working with campus partners to increase minority application and admissions rates, including UF Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, the UF Alumni Association and the UF Association of Black Alumni, he said.

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The Alligator reached out to UF Multicultural and Diversity Affairs and were redirected to UF spokesperson Steve Orlando, who could not comment.

Evans will present a more detailed admissions update to the Committee on Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs and Experience at the next Board of Trustees meeting June 6, Murphy said.

Alita Milian, a Hispanic 21-year-old UF biochemistry senior, said UF is not doing enough to promote diversity.

Milian thinks UF administrators should tailor their outreach efforts to people of color so these students don’t feel discouraged from applying, she said.

“Minorities tend to face a lot of challenges in order to get to college because the same opportunities don’t present themselves,” Milian said. “Resumes and applications are lacking compared to counterparts that have more advantages.”

Milian struggled to find Hispanic associations on campus when she transferred to UF her junior year. She said organizations for students of specific backgrounds exist but are only promoted by students within the clubs instead of faculty, and they are difficult to find.

“If the university sees a decrease in these rates, they should take the effort and time to look into why there was a decrease,” Milian said, “not just let it ride.”

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