At the turn of the millennium, the University of Florida welcomed 63% of Gator applicants to Gainesville and functioned as a fairly accessible and highly affordable option for residents of the Sunshine State. However, by 2022, while still extremely affordable, the task of becoming a Gator has become far more difficult. They now receive over 50,000 applications and accept fewer than 30% of those who apply. Incoming freshmen now possess mid-50% weighted GPAs of 4.4-4.6 and ACT scores of 30-34. Another commonality amongst accepted students is that they write an excellent University of Florida supplemental essay.

 (Want to learn more about How to Get Into UF? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into the University of Florida: Admissions Data and Strategies for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

When applying to an institution like the University of Florida that rejects more than 7 of every 10 applicants, you’ll need to put maximum effort into every area of the application, including the Common App and supplemental essay. Below us the University of Florida’s required supplemental prompt for the 2021-22 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing a winning essay.

University of Florida Supplemental Essays – Question 1 (Required)

Please provide more details on your most meaningful commitment outside of the classroom while in high school and explain why it was meaningful. This could be related to an extracurricular activity, work, volunteering, an academic activity, family responsibility, or any other non-classroom activity. (250 Word Limit)

The University of Florida is not necessarily asking you to write about the activity where you earned the most prestigious awards or held the highest position of leadership. The university is going to see all of your activities in that section of the Common App. As such, you want to ask yourself which of your entries is crying out for more explanation and detail? Which one is closest to your heart and most representative of your unique passions? Pick the option that will allow you to deliver additional detail that may be memorable to the admissions reader. Start this process by asking yourself, “What is the most interesting and consequential moment that I have experienced in one of my extracurricular activities?” If you can identify one clear-cut moment, that is likely the activity worth sharing with the UF admissions staff.

What kind of campus community member will you be?

At the core of this essay prompt, the UF admissions officers are really trying to figure out what you will bring to the Gainesville campus community. Again, what you achieved in a particular extracurricular activity will already be viewable in your Common App Activities Section and the Common App Honors Section, so you don’t want to make that the focus of this essay. Instead, you may want to touch on some of the following areas related to your role as a community member:

  • How you function as a member of a team.
  • Your leadership ability.
  • Your passion, commitment, and drive.
  • A commitment to social justice and equity.
  • How you respond to challenges and obstacles.
  • Illustrate how you have demonstrated maturity and dependability.

How important are the essays at the University of Florida?

The University of Florida lists six factors as being “very important” to the admissions committee. They are: GPA, standardized test scores, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, extracurricular activities, and the rigor of your secondary school record and most relevant to this blog—the application essay. It’s important to keep in mind that UF places both the essays and extracurricular involvement in the top tier of importance. Therefore, this essay is something of a two-for-one. Further, the essay is rated as being of greater importance than class rank, standardized test scores, or your state residency status.

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If you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your main Common App essay and University of Florida supplemental essay, we encourage you to get a quote today.