Excitement buzzed in the air as seniors from West Orange High school in Orlando poured into the bus to return from their debate tournament in February 2016. That night, many would learn if they had been admitted as freshmen to UF. As the students took their seats and prepared for the long, exhausting ride home, they pulled out their phones in anticipation, ready to check their UF admission status. Among them sat Madison Lange.

She had fallen in love with the University of Florida after visiting earlier that year. Her nerves bubbled up inside her as she, too, reached for her phone and logged into her account. Cheers erupted throughout the bus as students received their acceptance. Immediately they began discussing their dorm room decor and making plans for the next year.

But Madison just sat there.

Her acceptance letter looked different. Her acceptance letter said that she had been admitted as a PaCE student.

“What does this mean?” she thought as she tried to hide her disappointment. Upon arriving home, she began to do some research. After all, she had so many questions flooding her mind. “Would she make any friends if she wasn’t living in a dorm or taking classes on the campus? What even was PaCE?” she thought.

She learned that PaCE, UF’s Pathway to Campus Enrollment, provides a means to offer admission to even more qualified students. Through PaCE, she would complete at least 15 credit hours online. After earning a total of 60 credits and meeting her selected major requirements, she had a guaranteed place on the UF residential campus in her desired PaCE major. She learned that she could live in Gainesville if she wanted to and get access to the rec center and other on-campus resources through an additional fee package.

Madison knew she wanted to go to UF, so she decided to accept UF’s offer.

Now in her second year, she says she does not regret her decision.

“I love UF so much, and I’ve had so many opportunities here as a PaCE student. This is definitely the place I was supposed to end up,” she affirms.

As Madison pursues her degree in public relations, she is highly involved on campus with the Florida Cicerones, Gatorship, Women’s Student Association, an on-campus job, and she will be a 2018 Preview Staffer. She attributes her involvement to PaCE, saying, “had I not been in PaCE I would not have been pushed to go to meetings for different things. I made all the friends I have now through my involvement.”

PaCE has given Madison the flexibility to involve herself on campus and learn at her own pace (pun intended). She has been able to plan her schedule to suit her needs and to pause lecture videos to make sure she didn’t miss anything. She believes PaCE has been a great fit for her because “it has given [her] the flexibility to explore more internships opportunities” and pushed her to “be more involved than [she] would have been.”

Feeling apprehensive about PaCE?

Take it from Madison who believes PaCE students are no different than other admitted UF students. “PaCE is not stopping you from doing anything that you want to do,” she says.

Learn more about PaCE.