BY SABRINA WONG
The status which would determine many seniors’ futures was updated around 6 p.m. on February 8, as the admission results from the University of Florida (UF) were released.
UF is located in Gainesville, Florida and is consistently ranked among America’s top universities. It was founded over 160 years ago and has a current acceptance rate of about 42 percent. The school continues to be very well-known to students at CCHS, as well as those in other Florida high schools.
Many students had been waiting for the night of UF decisions to arrive since the minute they submitted their application in October or November of 2018. While seniors from all across the nation felt anxious checking their status on the university’s website, the results led to a multitude of opinions among applicants.
Some left the status page that evening with a smile on their face after receiving the news that they were fully accepted into UF. One student at CCHS, Kristina Smith, is extremely involved in school with both academics and extracurriculars.
“I feel very fortunate that my hard work for the last four years was recognized.”
She has taken nine Advanced Placement (AP) classes throughout the course of high school and is also a member of various clubs. Aside from being the drum major of the Sound of Pride (SOP) and the vice president of administration for National Honor Society (NHS), Smith also takes part in Girl Scouts and teaches Sunday school.
“I feel very fortunate that my hard work for the last four years was recognized and that one of my available options is to attend a top 10 public university,” Smith said.
Others were also accepted, but only into the Pathway to Campus Enrollment (PaCE) program. PaCE, which was launched in the spring of 2015, is UF Online. Students who are only accepted into this program must take virtual classes before transitioning to classes at the actual campus the following year.
Due to the university having a limited amount of physical space to accommodate everyone who qualifies, PaCE still allows freshmen to begin their UF degree— just online. The program gives students the opportunity to have a flexible schedule since they will be focusing on studies whenever and wherever they wish to do so.
Florida resident PaCE students also receive a 25 percent reduction in tuition and the majority of regular student fees are not mandatory for them to pay. In addition, they will still be learning from faculty who teach on-campus students and earning the same degree as those who attend classes on the UF campus.
“You should keep your mind open when admissions come out and try to move on to the next step of your lives as smoothly as possible.”
“I am just really glad I still have the opportunity to attend UF,” senior Aaron Blanco said. “I’m still allowed to live on campus and do everything else a normal student can do, so it’s not so bad, and I’m actually really excited for it.”
Continuing along the acceptance pathway, some seniors were given notice that they must enroll in the summer term before moving into the fall term. This means that they will begin taking classes prior to the start of a normal school year.
“At the beginning of the year, I was so excited to apply and eventually get accepted into UF,” senior Kevyn Huynh said. “However, I soon realized that getting into UF wasn’t a make it or break it moment. A certain school should never be your everything or your reason to succeed; you can obtain that education anywhere. You should keep your mind open when admissions come out and try to move on to the next step of your lives as smoothly as possible.”
Despite the positive status updates for some CCHS students, even several of the seniors most predicted to be accepted were declined from UF. Hannah Ferguson, the president of Student Government Association (SGA), received feedback stating that the university is unable to offer her a spot in the incoming freshman class.
“I know they over-enrolled last year, so their acceptance pool was bound to be smaller.”
“I know they over-enrolled last year, so their acceptance pool was bound to be smaller,” Ferguson said. “Since top state universities like UF and Florida State University (FSU) receive a lot of Broward kids, it makes sense that they need to limit the amount of students they accept into their university.”
Besides being the top representative for SGA, Ferguson had a super score of 1410 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and is additionally in four AP courses at CCHS. She is also an active participant in multiple extracurricular activities, with some including NHS, National English Honor Society (NEHS) and varsity lacrosse.
“Of course they will all swear that they don’t go by quotas, but I believe they are trying to diversify their admissions pool more by accepting students that may not necessarily be the most qualified in terms of academics,” Ferguson said.
Following the night of February 8, it becomes clear how one quick refresh on a page can completely determine how one’s life after high school will play out. From the range of acceptances to declines, CCHS students have formed their own opinions on how they feel about this year’s UF admissions.
Photo by Kayla Florenco