As reported for the Odyssey, found here:
With summer upon us, the University of Florida will soon be filled with the eager fresh faces of a new incoming class.
Amongst those newcomers will be Dhara Patel, of Plant City High School, a young woman whose GPA is even greater than the list of extracurricular activities on her resume.
Patel has achieved a 10.03, through the completion of 17 AP courses as well as time spent at Hillsborough Community College. She will be graduating in the spring with her high-school diploma and her associates degree.
“I spent a lot of time making sure my applications were good for every single school I applied to, especially UF,” Patel said. “I knew at the back of my mind that that was where I was going to go.”
Aside from earning a record-breaking GPA in Hillsborough County, Patel spent her time filling leadership positions in clubs such as FBLA and Civinettes.
“I went on a couple tours of colleges and at UF the counselor asked how many of us were in National Honor Society, everyone raised their hand,” Patel said. “Then she said, see we get billions of people in NHS, but how many of you are in leadership positions in NHS? I directed my application that way, to have things to set me apart from the crowd.”
About 30,000 students applied to the University of Florida this year and 12,000 are typically admitted. What is changing is the number of incoming applications, according to UF spokesman Steve Orlando.
Ranked number 49 on the list of US Best Colleges (National Universities), UF’s acceptance rate has decreased to 44.1% over the years.
This means that obtaining admission into the state’s top public university has become increasingly competitive and continues to grow more difficult with every passing year. The incoming freshman class holds an average GPA of 4.4, an average SAT score of 1960 and an average ACT score of 30, according to Orlando.
The incoming freshman population will be full of high-school valedictorians, community leaders and all-around notable students.
However, this means that even academically-talented students were turned away.
“With the athletics being as successful as ever and the academics becoming more and more prominent, I felt like more students were trying to go to Florida than ever before,” said UF student Max Sommer, who was accepted in 2011. “It made the selection process very competitive.”
For future UF applicants, Orlando suggests to strive for activities that not only show you to be well rounded but display involvement and leadership. He believes that GPA isn’t just about high numbers, but the actual academic rigor of the courses you are taking.
“Normally you would look to see who won the science fair, but we look to see if the student won a patent,” Orlando said. “Normally you would look to see who was in the marching band, but we look to see who won a medal or competition.”