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How to Write the University of Florida Essays 2022-2023
The University of Florida has four supplemental essay prompts for all students, three of which are optional. You will have the chance to share your most meaningful extracurricular, and if applicable, address family obligations or extenuating circumstances that impacted your high school experience and share about college preparatory programs you’ve participated in.
Honors students will also have the opportunity to answer one supplemental essay prompt about their interest in the college’s honors program and how they plan to maximize its resources.
Since the University of Florida receives thousands of applications from academically strong students, your essays are your opportunity to stand out. In this post, we’ll discuss how to craft an engaging response to each prompt.
Read this UF essay example to inspire your own writing.
University of Florida Short Answers
Prompt 1: 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 words, required)
Prompt 2: Do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities? If so, please describe. (250 words, optional)
Prompt 3: Have you participated in or been assisted in your college preparation and search by programs outside of the classroom, such as Educational Talent Search, Take Stock in Children, Upward Bound, Boys and Girls Club, etc.? Please provide the name of the program, details/benefits of your involvement, and how long your experiences continued. (250 words, optional)
Prompt 4: Is there any additional information or extenuating circumstances the Admissions Committee should know when reviewing your application? (250 words, optional)
Why is applying for the UF Honors Program important to you? Which aspects of the program’s three pillars of opportunity, community, and challenge pique your interests? How would you engage with the program to exemplify these pillars yourself? How does the program factor into your long-term goals? Please use a maximum of 400 words in your essay for full consideration. (150-400 words)
All Applicants, Prompt 1
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 words).
This prompt is a variation of the Extracurricular Activity essay archetype since it’s asking you to write about a meaningful commitment you had outside of the classroom.
First, you’ll need to narrow down your list of extracurricular activities to just one to write about. It’s important to choose an activity that you’re passionate about, you have been involved in for a while, and has helped to shape you into the person you are today.
Here are some ideas of the types of topics you can write about:
- Activities where you’ve shown significant commitment
- Clubs or groups that you’ve created, or where you’ve had a leadership role
- Activities that have helped to shape a personal aspect of your life
- Experiences that relate to your future goals
- Unique extracurriculars that require an explanation
Once you’ve chosen a topic, think about the following questions before you begin writing:
- What is the strongest emotion you feel about this activity?
- What do you think about when you participate in the activity?
- Has the activity helped you strengthen or develop any personality traits?
- Are there any specific skills you’ve developed from participating in this activity?
- How does this activity impact the rest of your life?
When you’re writing your essay, here are some mistakes to avoid:
Choosing the wrong activity. Please don’t choose an extracurricular to write about because you think it sounds impressive, or even because you’re skilled at it. This essay is a chance to write about an extracurricular that is meaningful to you, so it’s important to select an activity that you’re passionate about!
Writing a shallow response. It’s not effective to give a detailed history of your participation or tell an enticing story about the extracurricular you’ve chosen if you forget to explain how the activity has changed you. It’s crucial to explain your personal development from participating in the activity.
Listing your accomplishments. Instead of listing your accomplishments, provide a unique perspective by sharing how the activity impacts your current life and your aspirations for the future.
Here’s an example of an excellent response to this prompt from Sara, a prospective entrepreneurship major:
“During my sophomore year, I started creating charcuterie boards for parties, events, and other occasions for my friends and family. I loved finding the perfect assortment of crackers, fruit, cheeses, and jams to arrange into beautiful boards, but more importantly, I enjoyed networking with people at each event I worked.
After a few months, I began to receive so many referrals that I decided to start a small business. Managing my schoolwork, sports schedule, leadership roles, and my small business required me to develop excellent time management skills. I also learned about the financial aspects of running a business—from how to manage cash flow, balance costs, and pay taxes—and how to leverage social media, paid ads, and other marketing channels to promote my business.
Prior to my sophomore year, I had aspirations of becoming a doctor. However, after starting my charcuterie business, I realized my interests in finance, marketing, and business lent themselves to a future in entrepreneurship. I’m grateful for the opportunities my business has given me, and I’m excited to watch my business, and other businesses I start, grow in the future!”
All Applicants, Prompt 2
Do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities if so, please describe. (250 words, optional).
These next questions for all applicants are only required if you answer “Yes” in the Common App under the “Important Questions” Section. If they don’t apply to you, you can respond “No” and will not need to respond.
This question is similar to the Additional Information section listed in the Common App. Explain what the employment/obligation entailed and why you had to take it on, as well as the results of you taking on said extra responsibility.
Some potential obligations involve working to contribute financially to your family, taking care of an ill relative, or babysitting younger siblings.
“For a period, my single mother was let go when the insurance company she worked at was struggling financially and going through a period of transition. As a result, we both had to take on additional jobs to make ends meet, so I briefly left the Robotics Team throughout the second semester and summer following junior year. Instead, I worked at a local grocery store after school and on the weekends, learning how to work efficiently under pressure while supporting my family.”
All Applicants, Prompt 3
Have you participated in or been assisted in your college preparation and search by programs outside of the classroom, such as educational talent search, take stock in children, upward bound, boys and girls club, etc. please provide the name of the program, details/benefits of your involvement, and how long your experiences continued. (250 words, optional).
This prompt is straightforward and simple. It requires you to list your involvement in programs that have helped you with your college search (outside of school), and it also asks you to list the details and benefits of your involvement in the program(s).
Here’s a sample response:
“During my junior and senior years of high school, I participated in the Take Stock in Children Program. While I was involved in the program, I was paired with a volunteer mentor and received frequent college readiness coaching. My mentor, James, was an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. Before participating in the Take Stock in Children program, I wasn’t interested in attending college, and I was planning to work at my local grocery store after high school to support my hobby, music production. James helped me understand the importance of college and he encouraged me to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Florida. I am grateful for how my involvement with Take Stock in Children has impacted my future education and aspirations.”
This student does a great job at answering the prompt. He lists the program name (Take Stock in Children) and the duration (junior and senior year) that he participated in the program. He also includes the details of his involvement (volunteer mentor and college readiness coaching) and most importantly, the benefits of their involvement (how his relationship with James inspired him to apply for college as a music major).
All Applicants, Prompt 4
Is there any additional information or extenuating circumstances the admissions committee should know when reviewing your application (250 words, optional).
This also resembles the Additional Information section listed in the Common App. This is essentially your shot to either explain a lapse in your performance somewhere or to introduce something new about yourself that isn’t evident elsewhere in your application.
You may elaborate further upon an extracurricular activity you feel isn’t clearly explained throughout your application (For example, say you were a Head Designer for your town’s Environmental and Aesthetic Initiative, and admissions officers may not know what that is). You could also talk about a personal story or history that has affected you greatly. You may even discuss a previously unmentioned extracurricular activity that says a lot about you.
This is a wonderfully free space for you to dive into whichever information you feel will give the admissions team the most complete version of your identity. If you don’t think this space is necessary for you, that’s fine too! Just leave it blank.
Honors Program Applicants
why is applying for the uf honors program important to you which aspects of the program’s three pillars of opportunity, community, and challenge pique your interests how would you engage with the program to exemplify these pillars yourself how does the program factor into your long-term goals please use a maximum of 400 words in your essay for full consideration. (150-400 words).
The Honors Program offers many unique opportunities to its students, including honors-specific course selections and their respective professors, smaller class sizes, sponsorship for study abroad programs, undergraduate research, unique internship programs, and specialized advising.
This wealth of opportunity is abundantly available to Honors College students, but the University of Florida is looking for students who will actually push themselves to engage with said opportunities.
This essay is looking for elements of not only a “ Why this College? ” essay, but also a “Why this Program?” essay. Of course, you should incorporate concrete examples of what UF has to offer here, but notice how they ask you to engage with their core values in chasing after your goals.
Remember, this prompt is asking four key questions, so you have a lot to cover in only 400 words. Write concisely and try to tie related ideas together.
We recommend starting off with a brief introduction stating what drew you to apply—i.e., why the Honors Program is important to you. Perhaps you felt unchallenged academically in your high school, so you would like a more rigorous education, or you cherished your close academic relationships with your high school teachers and you would like to pursue meaningful relationships with your new professors as well. In a sentence or two, make a careful distinction in explaining why you are aiming for honors instead of just matriculating as a “regular” Gator.
Avoid saying or implying that you’re applying for the impressiveness or prestige of being in an honors program.
Next, dive into the program’s three pillars. The Honors Program offers an array of opportunities, each of which may be viewed as contributing to values of opportunity, community, and challenge. For example, study abroad program sponsorships foster a greater sense of global community, while rigorous course selections and research are both opportunities and challenges.
Write with enthusiasm, curiosity, and energy to convey your genuine excitement about each aspect of this program. You also need to explain how engaging with the pillar you chose will play into your long-term goals. For example, a prospective engineer may write about how challenging themselves through the mandatory Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering thesis project (which requires completion of a written thesis and research) will make them a better writer and analytical thinker, spark their innate curiosity, and make them a more resilient and focused engineer.
Here are some suggestions for exploring the UF Honors Program’s core values throughout your essay.
Opportunity: Quite literally every offering under this program, from course selection to mentorship to internships, is an opportunity, so we recommend focusing on how you will use it to achieve your goals.
Here’s an essay excerpt from Sophia, a prospective doctor who hopes to join UF’s summer study abroad program in Merida, Mexico:
Sample Essay: “While shadowing a doctor in high school, I quickly realized two things. The first, just how many patients spoke Spanish. The second, just how few doctors were bilingual. The disheartening language barrier I witnessed day after day made it clear that I won’t be able to help every individual who walks into my office one day if I can’t communicate with them. At the University of Florida, I will have the opportunity to learn beyond the confines of the campus walls by studying abroad in Merida, Mexico.
There is no better way to establish bilingual fluency than to immerse myself in the Spanish language culture by living with a family in Merida. This unique opportunity will allow me to build upon the mechanical grammar and semantics I studied in high school by developing a rich, well-rounded, cultural understanding of the people who might one day be my patients. After taking advantage of the opportunity to immerse myself in the Mexican culture, I will be well equipped to return to my community in Florida and open a clinic that offers equal access to native English and Spanish speakers.
The title of “Doctor” is not earned for a love of math and science. It entails a love of people, and with it, a willingness to connect and communicate with them in a way that allows them to open up and receive the quality care they deserve.”
This essay works for a few reasons. Sophia highlights a past experience that reveals the roots of her motivation to learn Spanish and a simultaneous passion for her career path paired with a desire to succeed. She exemplifies why the UF study-abroad program appeals to her since it offers a unique opportunity to live with a host family.
Community: Community is a wide-spanning term, and you can build it almost anywhere within the honors program, especially considering its small class sizes, mentorship opportunities, student organizations, and study abroad programs.
Consider this sample from John, an applicant planning to join the PRISM Honors Student Magazine:
Sample Essay: “ I will never forget my first interview. My hands were shaking so bad I could barely write down quotes. My bobbing knee kept thumping against the table. I was so preoccupied with preparing my next question I forget to listen to what my interviewee had to say. Suffice to say, I went back to the editor of our school newspaper empty handed.
I expected to be fired—I wouldn’t blame them. Here was a freshman too shy and anxious to conduct a simple interview. Instead, the scary senior editor told me not to worry and meet him tomorrow after school. To my surprise, rather than being chastised, I gained a mentor. Over the course of multiple after-school meetings, my mentor helped me relax and get comfortable interviewing. He invited other students in the club who were struggling to learn from him as well. He helped us talk and listen to others, not just during a formal interview, but during our free time as well. I became a part of the newspaper community thanks to my mentor.
As a journalism major and PRISM contributor, I hope to find that same sense of community, surrounded by a like-minded group of individuals. I know we’ll be a mixed bag of writers, editors, planners, and visual artists, but we’ll be unified by a common desire to create a fantastic magazine. This desire to create quality and to collaborate creatively will push and enhance my skills in written and verbal communication, making me a stronger and more empathetic journalist and community member.”
John’s essay works because he is able to tie past experiences into his future aspirations at UF and beyond. The common thread of journalism both in high school and on campus shows his dedicated to this community. By sharing his perception of the word “community”, he proves he knows what it takes to be an engaged member of the UF Honors community.
Challenge: Surprise, surprise! Being an honors student will challenge you and hold you up to high academic and personal standards. Here, you will have to develop a strong work ethic, time management skills, and even interpersonal skills as you engage with your professors and peers. Write with specificity about how you expect to be challenged in your own way and where it will take you.
Let’s look at the example of Maria, a first-generation college student:
Sample Essay: “S-A-T. Sat. The boy sat in a chair. These letters never meant anything more to me than the composite parts that made up a rudimentary word every kindergartner learns. My parents taught me what they knew, and the combination of S, A, and T made the word sat. However, I’m alone in that sentiment.
All my classmates grew up meeting their parents’ friends from college, wearing the parents’ alma mater sweatshirts, and being told they will one day have to take the SAT. As the daughter of two high-school graduates, I never shared these experiences. Just because I faced these disadvantages, does not mean I let it hold me back. While my classmates relied on their parents to tell them what extracurriculars to take and which SAT tutor to hire, I scoured the Internet each night finding free practice tests, informational blog posts, and descriptive YouTube videos that guided me through this complicated process.
I know I will again be in the minority at the University of Florida as a first-generation student, but again I will not let this set-back influence my potential for success. The Honors First Generation organization will provide me with mentorship my freshman year to make the transition to college more feasible. I hope to get involved with this organization as an upperclassman and give back to my fellow first-generation students as a leader and mentor. It might take a little more initiative on my part, but I refuse to let my past disadvantage my future.”
Maria’s essay works because she exemplifies the values of the University of Florida’s Honors Program. Her story shows how she overcomes a challenge rather than letting it get the best of her. She goes on to explain how she will overcome the challenges she will face at UF as well to show she has the grit and resilience to handle the problems she will encounter.
At the end of this essay, admissions officers should be able to see you as someone who embodies the values of the University of Florida’s Honors Program. Do your research and write about the aspects of their programs which interest you the most so that your genuine enthusiasm will shine through. Write with specificity and care, tailoring your goals to the opportunities you will find as a UF Honors Student. And remember—be as specific as possible, as the prompt requires.
Where to Get Your University of Florida Essays Edited
Do you want feedback on your University of Florida essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!
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Please review the following tips to ensure your application is competitive.
- Consider registering for an Honors course during your first year. Non-Honors students can register for an Honors course on a space-available basis starting the third day of each semester by completing this form via their UF G Suite account . Requests to register must be submitted by 4:00pm ET on the last day of drop/add. Students who have taken an Honors course tend to be well-informed about the program and write more specifically and genuinely about why they want to be part of it.
- Demonstrate an interest in fully participating in the program . It is often obvious when a student is solely interested in one particular benefit of the program such as early registration. Likewise, demonstrate an interest in academic engagement in general.
- A nswer all aspects of each prompt . This is the first question reviewers ask themselves - did the essay address each component of the prompt? No matter how well-written an essay may be, if the applicant does not address all of the prompt, they will not be recommended for admission.
- Write cleanly and professionally. Consider how humor or sarcasm might be interpreted. This should go without saying, but do not share your stereotypes about Honors students or express anger over not being admitted previously if applicable. Proofread. Perfect grammar is not expected, but neither are typos.
- Apply to Honors
- Visit Honors
- Give to Honors
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How to write the university of florida essays: the easy-breezy guide.
Apply to the University of Florida with powerful essays. Apply to college with your admissions advantage by enrolling in one of our college application boot camps .
Does your college fantasy include reading outside in the sunshine underneath a palm tree? What about sipping 100% all-natural orange juice on your way to math class? Okay, I might be pushing the Florida stereotype a little hard here.
In all seriousness, if you are craving some sunshine and an incredible academic environment, the University of Florida might be the place for you.
The University of Florida has an acceptance rate of 38%.
While not located directly adjacent to the ocean, Gainesville is a close enough drive to the beach that you can flip through a good chunk of your psych flashcards on the way there (in the passenger seat, of course).
According to their website , the University of Florida is ranked as one of the top ten public colleges in the United States. Their student body is made up of students from the United States and all over the world.
What are the University of Florida essay requirements?
Prospective students must apply for admission via the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application. Personal essays are limited to 2,500 characters, and there are five options to choose from. To learn more about writing the Coalition essays, check out our guide here .
In addition to the personal essay, the University of Florida requires that you answer five short-answer questions.
These responses can be no longer than 950 characters. With this limitation, it’s especially important for you to carefully craft your responses and make every word count.
List and describe your community service activities. Please include your role in the activity and level of responsibility. List and describe each job you’ve had, including dates of employment, job titles and hours worked each week. Do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities? Please describe. List any programs or activities that helped you prepare for higher education, such as University Outreach, Talent Search, Upward Bound, etc. Is there any other information for the Admissions Committee to consider when your application is reviewed?
These questions are fairly straightforward but also incredibly important, as they allow the admissions committee to gain a deeper understanding of your day-to-day life and journey to college.
While few of these questions may not apply to you, you should still read each of the following paragraphs carefully in order to get the most out of your answers.
List and describe your community service activities. Please include your role in the activity and level of responsibility.
The first short-answer question asks you to list your community service activities, including your roles and level of responsibility. Let’s first clarify what constitutes as community service.
- Of course, volunteering for an organization such as the American Red Cross or the Boys and Girls Club certainly is community service.
- However, community service is also any time you willfully volunteer your time or resources in order to do good for the public.
- If you have used your skill sets to help an organization in your community, be it a business or community outreach nonprofit, it is community service.
- You might have built an app for a local environmental protection group.
- You might have used your skills in photography to help document some events for a brochure for a nonprofit organization. These types of activities are community service.
- Have you ever helped to organize a Thanksgiving canned food drive at your school?
- Have you collected clothing donations at your church or other religious institution?
- Do you volunteer to help your dad out at work, where he cares for elderly patients?
- Have you volunteered to tutor the neighbor’s children in Mandarin?
All of the above examples would be appropriate to list.
There is one caveat:
- Perhaps you volunteered at Goodwill in order to meet the requirements of a court order to have a crime expunged from your record.
- While that’s a good outcome for you, it is not an appropriate example for this short-answer question.
Next, you should list your role and level of responsibility.
This provides more context about how you interact during your volunteer work.
- This doesn’t mean that your role as an entry level volunteer is “useless.”
Admissions officers know that volunteers at all levels are important to the success and mission of any organization or cause.
When listing your role, try to be specific. Instead of listing “volunteer,” try a title similar to one of the following:
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Front Desk Volunteer
- Research Assistant
- Community Relations Volunteer
- Bookshop Assistant
- Food Donation Manager
- Social Media Manager
- Graphics Consultant
These examples are much more specific than “volunteer” and can give the committee a hint to the type of work you were doing in your position.
The term “level” refers to whether you had any standing in the hierarchy of the organization.
- For example, “manager” and “assistant” are terms that indicate level.
In this prompt, the University of Florida specifically uses the term “list” and “describe” in the directions.
This is important because it means you should do both (albeit briefly). For example, your response might start with:
- Social Media Coordinator, Asheville Arts Foundation: shared articles about new exhibits, posted Facebook event pages, and created graphics to promote those events.
The above example is brief, descriptive, and follows the directions. It may be true that you have more community service activities to list than the character count allows.
As such, you should only write about the experiences that you have participated in the longest, are most invested in, and demonstrate your uniqueness.
List and describe each job you’ve had, including dates of employment, job titles and hours worked each week.
The work experience section has very similar requirements to the community service short response. You might be thinking, “Hey! This sounds just like a resume.” It is similar to writing a resume, except you don’t have to mess with pesky formatting.
Beyond listing and describing your work experience, you should also mention how many hours you work a week, how long you have been with a company, and your job title.
Check out this example:
- January 2018-Present, Chic-Fil-A, Team Member: Work 15 hours a week running the cash register, refilling customer drinks, and assisting drive-thru.
If you only have one job to list, you have room to be a bit more descriptive. If you have had multiple jobs, you will need to be consistently brief.
When listing your jobs, consider whether it is appropriate to list every job.
- Perhaps you worked for three days at Urban Outfitters and then quit because you found out you couldn’t take off during Spring Break.
- This is not an appropriate job to list because, to the admissions committee, it would appear that you are not committed.
To streamline your response, list your work experience starting with the most recent. If you still work in a position, you can note “present” for the end date.
If you simply haven’t had any work experiences, enter “Not Applicable.”
By taking the time to write “Not Applicable,” the committee understands that you are not refusing to answer the question but that it does not apply to you.
Do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities? Please describe.
In the third question, you should list any work or home obligations that have interfered with your ability to participate in extracurricular activities . If you have a list of activities that is a mile long, type in “Not Applicable” and move on to the next question.
However, not everyone is able to participate in extracurricular activities. The following list includes obligations that may have interfered with your participation:
- Helping parents to run a family restaurant
- Working full-time to be able to afford bills
- Having a young baby to care for at home
- Caring for younger siblings
- No or limited access to transportation
- No or limited access to funds to pay for the extras associated with extracurricular activities, such as cleats for soccer or canvas for the art club
- Caring for disabled or elderly parents/family members
Don’t be hesitant to list this information.
There is no shame in needing to put family obligations above extracurricular activities. However, admissions can’t read your mind, and it is important that you describe these obligations so that they can have a broader context when considering your application.
For this section, you are asked to describe the obligation. Be cautious here.
The admissions committee doesn’t need to know the entire backstory that led up to an obligation. Instead, briefly discuss the obligation(s), how you are involved, and why this prevents you from participating in extracurricular activities.
Preparing for Higher Education
List any programs or activities that helped you prepare for higher education, such as University Outreach, Talent Search, Upward Bound, etc.
There are a variety of organizations that help students to attain their dreams of higher education.
- If you participated in groups such as Advance via Individual Determination (AVID), Upward Bound, Talent Search, University Outreach, or any others, you should list them.
Sometimes, universities reserve spots or give preference to students who have participated in these programs. Colleges also like to see that you have been planning ahead for college.
Although it’s not stated explicitly, if you have enough room, briefly describe in what way you worked with the organization. This information will be helpful to admissions, especially if you participated in a program for multiple years.
- From 6th-12th grade, I participated in the AVID program during the school day. While I had to give up an extracurricular class, it was worth it because by participating in the program, I learned…
It’s important to be honest on your application. If you’ve heard that a program exists in your school but you didn’t participate, you should not list it.
If the question does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable.”
Other Considerations for the Committee
Is there any other information for the Admissions Committee to consider when your application is reviewed?
In the final section, you are provided the opportunity to add additional comments that you believe admissions should consider with your application. This is a chance to provide background information on anything that might look “off” on your application.
- For example, perhaps you attended four different high schools because your parents serve in the military.
- If that information did not appear anywhere else in your application, it would be appropriate to list that here.
- If you sustained a serious injury while playing sports and missed 40 consecutive school days, list that information in this section.
- You should explain to admissions that you were participating in physical therapy and on bed rest during this time.
If there is space, it wouldn’t hurt to mention that you Skyped into class and submitted work digitally in order to stay up-to-date with your schoolwork.
Another appropriate example would be if you had to take a class online because it was not offered at your school.
- Some schools do not have enough students demonstrate interest in AP courses, such as Computer Science A or the Physics C courses.
- If you took the initiative to be the only person in the school taking such a course through an online program, that deserves to be highlighted to the admissions committee.
As with all other responses above, simply list “Not Applicable” if you have nothing to write in a section.
Conclusion: Writing the University of Florida Essays
While responding to the above questions, remember that you are limited in your character count.
Since these are short-answer questions, the admissions committee does not want to know why you volunteer with Meals on Wheels or what you get out of the experience. Instead, focus briefly on what you do for the organization.
Overall, you should only elaborate when absolutely necessary. It’s important to show the committee that you can explicitly follow directions. While there is so much more you might have to say, save it for the personal essay! Remember, you can read more about how to write that essay here .
As with any writing, be sure to proofread and have another person review your work. You want to put your best foot forward on every application.
Short-answer responses are just as important to review as your personal essay.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 3 writing tips for the university of florida essay prompts.
Are you applying to the University of Florida? You'll need to answer some essay prompts as part of your application. Read this guide to learn what the University of Florida essay prompts are, what admissions officers are looking for in your response, what you should include and avoid in your answers, and what strong UF college essay examples look like.
What Are the University of Florida Essays?
The University of Florida accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application, and applicants must answer one of the Common Application prompts.
As part of your application, you'll also need to answer an additional UF-specific essay prompt, and you'll have the option of answering three additional essay prompts. Your answer to each prompt can be up to 250 words. Here's the prompt:
- 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
We'll go over how to best answer this supplement question in the next section.
The UF Essay Prompt, Analyzed
In this section, we explain what the prompt is asking for, why UF is interested in this information, what information you should include (and what information to avoid), and what a strong example answer could look like.
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.
What the prompt is asking for: A description of the one extracurricular you feel is most important to you.
Why UF is interested: Students who are dedicated to something show they are passionate, interested in learning, and have a strong work ethic. These are all characteristics colleges want their students to have, so having something you're committed to is a major boost to your application. Seeing what you choose also gives UF a better sense of who you are and what you value.
Potential topics to discuss: What the extracurricular, is how long you've involved with it, how much time per week/month/etc. you dedicate to it, what activities your involvement includes, why you consider it meaningful.
Topics to avoid: Listing multiple activities or simply describing the extracurricular without explaining why it's important to you.
Example: "The extracurricular most important to me is my involvement in my high school's Model UN team . I've been involved for four years, since I was a freshman. We meet once a week during the school year to prepare for the four conferences we participate in each year. As a Model UN member, I research different political events and international relations topics, then debate the issues with other team members to build my skills in those areas. Model UN is so important to me because, not only did it solidify my choice to major in International Relations, it strengthened me personally. As a result of my participation, I've improved my debate skills, become a more confident public speaker, and have much more experience finding a compromise even between very different groups."
Tips for the UF Essay Prompt
Follow these three tips when completing the University of Florida supplement essays to make sure your answers are as strong as possible.
#1: Keep Your Answers Concise
You only have 250 words per prompt. That isn't that much! This means your responses need to be brief and to the point if you're trying to fit a lot of information in. You likely have a lot of reasons why a particular extracurricular is the most important to you.
#2: Show Your Strengths
Even though the prompt is short, it’s still an opportunity for you to impress the admissions committee. You can dive into how you've been involved in your extracurricular, as well as any leadership roles you may have had. Try to include themes you've mentioned in other parts of your application , such as your longer essay. For example, if you mentioned that your dream is to be a doctor, try to highlight experiences that reflect that, such as volunteering at a hospital.
#3: Be Honest and Passionate
Sometimes students think they need to tell a story that the admissions committee wants to hear...so they make things up. Do not lie in your college essay—admissions counselors are great at sniffing out fibs!
Instead, lean into the passions and experiences that make you unique . For instance, maybe you made a quilt and entered it in the fair. That's awesome! Just make sure you're explaining why it's meaningful for you! Maybe your grandmother taught you how to quilt and you worked on it together, which taught you the importance passing knowledge down from one generation to the next.
Summary: UF College Essay Examples
There is one main University of Florida essay, and it'll be the Coalition or Common Application (depending on which application you use) prompt of your choice. But there are also additional UF essay prompts to answer. These shorter prompts are a way for the UF admissions committee to learn more about you and have the most accurate look at your application.
Here is where you can discuss extracurricular activities, anything that prevented you from participating in extracurriculars, certain programs you took part in, and anything else you think is important for the people reviewing your application to know. As you answer these UF essay prompts, remember to keep your responses short, don't feel pressured to answer every prompt, and highlight your strengths.
Considering the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship? Our guide to Bright Futures Scholarship programs answers all the questions you're wondering about.
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2022-23 University of Florida Essay Prompt and Tips
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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University of Florida 2022-23 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide
The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Activity
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 words)
What would your life be mundane without? Elaborate on an activity, responsibility, or passion that is meaningful to you. Unlike an activities resume entry, this should be expanded to reflect your priorities, worldview, and sense of purpose. Do you babysit your cousins when your aunt gets called into work? How does it feel to support your family members in this way and what does the phrase, “it takes a village,” mean to you? Do you foster rescue cats until they find their forever homes? What does this hobby mean to you? Maybe you inherited your animal love from your dad who used to work as a farmhand. Use your experiences to tell admissions something about you they wouldn’t already know from your list of extracurriculars. What gives your life meaning? Why do you wake up in the morning? What are you working toward?
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Honors College Essay Tips?
Just as the title says. I heard that current honors students "grade" the incoming freshmen's honors essays, so maybe a few of you have some wisdom to share? It'd be much appreciated!
I'm trying to get in the second time around (laterally), but my morale is pretty low from the first rejection :(
While Honors is great, it matters relatively little. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Everyone earns the same degree.
Exactly, graduating with honors is a completely separate thing from the honors college.
I’m also needing some help! But if you need some guidance, on the UFHonors Instagram they have a reel (like a 2 min vid) about what they want out of essays and it kind of helped me
Why would you want to be in the Honors College?
Edit: I don't understand all the down votes. From my understanding, most people want to be in the Honors College because of perceived prestige, when that is not really the case. The only discernable benefit is the early registration, which I wager is not the driving force behind most peoples drive to apply to the Honors College. More often than not, not being in the Honors College is no big deal (it may even be a benefit in some circumstances).
how do you get in again?? what year are you
There is a 2000 character limit. Just write something about yourself, as the HC will want to know about you. You can view website to find out more tips. You will still be accepted. You probably have another essay you can re-use.
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How to Respond to the Essay Prompts in the University of Florida Freshman Application 2019-20
- 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.
- 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?
- 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)?
- Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
- Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
- Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Note that the “topic of your choice” prompt appears on both apps. That reinforces the fact that the essay topic you choose doesn’t matter: Content is what matters. You can even indicate that you’re responding to the “topic of your choice” prompt and then write an essay that’s actually inspired by one or more of the other prompts. So, “Topic of your choice” provides you with complete freedom in what you write – as long as it’s about YOU!
In addition to writing your personal essay, you’ll be required to respond to five supplementary prompts, each limited to 950 characters:
List and describe your community service activities. Please include your role in the activity and level of responsibility.
List and describe each job you’ve had, including dates of employment, job titles and hours worked each week., do you have any employment or family obligations that limit your participation in extracurricular activities please describe..
- List any programs or activities that helped you prepare for higher education, such as University Outreach, Talent Search, Upward Bound, etc.
Is there any other information for the Admissions Committee to consider when your application is reviewed?
Given those supplementary prompts, if your personal essay focuses on community service or work, be careful to present your story from two different perspectives.
Further, UF’s supplementary community service and work experience prompts pose a potential problem: Both the Common and Coalition Apps have an “Activities” section (it’s titled “Activities/Experiences” in the Coalition App), so you’ll need to make sure that the information is consistently presented in the Activities section and in your responses to these two supplementary prompts. With far more space for your supplementary responses, you’ll be able to elaborate on your community service and work experience.
Assuming that none of the problems discussed above present themselves, here’s how we suggest responding to UF’s supplementary prompts:
Copy the information directly from your detailed activity resume, but include your time commitment in terms of hours/week, weeks/year, and years in school. Here’s an example of one activity:
National Honor Society (Grades 11-12, 2 hours/week, 20 weeks/year) - Secretary (11) - Treasurer & Event Planner (12) * Plan & promote fundraising & community service events * Raise funds to support food banks, delivered free meals to shut-ins & provided fellowship visits to the disabled * Tutor students in math & science every week
Similarly, you can copy information about your work or internship experience directly from your activity résumé. If you don’t have such experience, just type “N/A” for “not applicable.”)
Each of your job entries may look something like this:
Dunkin’ Donuts (Jan-Aug 2019; 10 hrs/wk) - Front Counter Service Worker * Take & fulfill customers’ orders, assuring each customer a prompt, pleasing experience * Frequently take responsibility for closing out register & cleaning at end of shift
For most students, “No” (two characters) will take care of this prompt, but other responses might look like these:
I have a job that requires me to work five days/week from just after school until 9:00 pm.
I drive my little sister home after school and then watch her until my mom gets home at 8:00 pm.
You can use this area or the Common App’s “Additional Information” section to add any other information you believe would be helpful to the admissions committee. Some ideas include:
- Activities from your résumé that could not be adequately described elsewhere on your application
- Additional AP, IB, or AICE exam scores that don’t fit on the Common or Coalition Application.
- Explanation about lower grades – if it’s a legitimate reason, such as a traumatic event in your family.
For students with multiple jobs and/or community service activities, creative abbreviation might well be required to stay within the character limit.
UF warns that no one is a “slam dunk” in admissions. Your presentation on your application is key to your acceptance, and we’re here to assist you with anything that’s application- or essay-related. Contact us today if you need help.
Topics: College Application UF Personal Statement
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As an active member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Secondary School Admission Test Board, Jason Robinovitz is part of a professional network of admission directors, educators, psychologists and other educational consultants. Additionally, Jason is a founding member of the National Test Prep Association, the first non-profit industry group for test prep professional nationwide.
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Privacy | Site by Distill
The University of Florida has four supplemental essay prompts for all students, three of which are optional. You will have the chance to
Consider registering for an Honors course during your first year. Non-Honors students can register for an Honors course on a space-available basis starting the
Yes. Whether you apply through the Common App or Coalition App, you will respond to at least one UF essay prompt. Your UF admissions essay lets the admissions
Applying to an Honors College? Odds are you have to write an honors college essay, so let's practice writing about those today live on the
As such, you should only write about the experiences that you have participated in the longest, are most invested in, and demonstrate your uniqueness. Work
Tips for the UF Essay Prompt · #1: Keep Your Answers Concise · #2: Show Your Strengths · #3: Be Honest and Passionate.
What kind of campus community member will you be? · How you function as a member of a team. · Your leadership ability. · Your passion, commitment
Do you babysit your cousins when your aunt gets called into work? How does it feel to support your family members in this way and what does the phrase, “it
I heard that current honors students "grade" the incoming freshmen's honors ... Hope writing goes well for you!!! ... UF is better than FSU.
Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. Describe a time when you