Whether you are just starting high school or getting ready to begin your senior year, there are plenty of things that you can begin now to prepare for the UF application. Starting preparations early can help ensure that students do not stress about the application process when their senior year arrives. The process begins with the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, shortened to the Coalition App, which is UF’s admissions application for undergraduate students.

In 2017, UF joined the Coalition Application, which was created to improve the college application process and serves more than 140 member colleges. In the Coalition App, you can input all your information into one application and send it to multiple schools instead of having to fill out the same information repeatedly into separate applications.

Once logged into the Coalition website, your biggest portion of the application is creating your profile. The profile contains your personal and contact information, along with family history. In the profile, you can input your extracurricular activities, community service and employment. It’s also the place to document your leadership roles and accomplishments.

As part of the Coalition website, there is a checklist of sections you need to complete. This helpful checklist indicates which sections you have completed and which areas are still in progress.

The Coalition Application also contains a “locker,” where you can upload documents, music, videos, awards, letters of recommendation, and more that you think represent you and your high school experience. UF does not look at or pull information from the locker, but it can serve as a great resource and reference point to make sure you don’t forget to include any accomplishments on the UF application.

For those seniors who are about to start the application process, you can start writing your essays now! They are posted on the Coalition website and on the UF admissions website, and the prompts are as follows:

  1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  2. Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  3. Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  4. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  5. Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

A tip for the essay is to keep it personalized and tailored to YOU! If you decide to write an essay about how your mom is your inspiration, keep her description of her accomplishments minimal. We want to read about your accomplishments, and how she influenced you in your decisions. You are limited to 2,500 characters. Try to keep your essay around 500 words.

Also, use this time to set alarms for important deadlines. UF is unforgiving when it comes to late materials and, if materials come in late, your application will be reviewed last, after those that were submitted on time.

Freshman Application Deadline: November 1.

Student Self-Reported Academic Record Deadline: December 1.

SAT/ACT Score Deadline: December 15.

Write these dates in your agenda or calendar. These deadlines are firm, and it can be much more difficult to be accepted if your application is delayed in the review process due to late materials.

It is NEVER too early to start thinking about your future. Start planning now.