The moment so many high school seniors have been waiting for has finally come: College application season is upon us!

The University of Florida’s application is now open, and we’ve had a lot of calls from eager students wondering what exactly we’re looking for. Remember, UF has a holistic approach when reviewing applications, so we will look at both your academic and personal achievements. Here are a few ways you can make those achievements stand out.

1. It’s all in the details

We receive a lot of applications every year…over 40,000 of them in fact. With so many students participating in different clubs and organizations, it’s hard for us to know exactly what your involvement means. NHS could mean National Honors Society or North High School, so it’s best to explain that to us. We also want to know what you role was in your activities- were you the president? Social director? Just a dedicated member? All of it is important, and we want to hear about it.

2. Use your essay to show us who you are

Now, we don’t mean how many service hours you have- we’ll see that in your resume. We want to learn about who you are. What are you so passionate about you could spend hours doing? Has there ever been a moment in your life that was so pivotal you remember every little detail about it? Maybe you have a really interesting story that explains why you think or feel the way you do. No matter what you write about, you can’t go wrong as long as you’re telling us about you (emphasis on _you…_your grandfather/teacher/camp counselor might be awesome, but they’re not the ones apply to UF) Just remember, you only have about 550-650 words to do it!

3. Don’t count yourself short

We get calls pretty often from students who are worried they don’t have the “right” involvement, or enough of it for that matter. Good news! There is no such thing as the “right” involvement. We know our students come from many walks of life and we want to not only celebrate that, but also respect it. If your only involvement is working part-time to help your family, that is just as valuable as being the president of three clubs. Our goal in this process is to understand who you are and what makes you, you.

4. Don’t rush

Good news: turning your application in on September 1 has no advantage over turning it in on October 31. We know there is a lot of stress that comes with senior year; don’t add to it by rushing through your application. You may miss an activity that comes up later in the semester or second guess if you put everything down from your list.

The biggest thing to remember during this process is that it doesn’t define who you are or how successful you will be. College is going to be an exciting time of growth and development no matter where you attend.

5. Be accurate

When it comes time to submit your Student Self-Reported Academic Record (SSAR) please be sure to double check everything. We will match your SSAR to your final transcript in the summer and the last thing we want to do is call an incoming student and ask why the two may look a little different.

As always, we’re here for you! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call at 352-392-1365 or send us an email. You can also visit this page to find out who your area representative is.