On February 16, regular admission decisions for Florida State University were released. This year, Florida State received 71,788 applications, 8,106 of which were given early action acceptances. An additional 8,959 applicants were granted regular decision acceptances.
For the first time, Florida State offered an early action option for students, with an application deadline of October 15. This was partly due to the overwhelming volume of applications this past year. As a result, the university had more time to thoroughly review and process a record number of applications. Early action was only an option for in-state students.
With only 17,066 total admissions out of nearly 72,000 applications, Florida State’s acceptance rate fell to just 24 percent.
What makes a student stand out?
This year, Florida State’s admissions office took a holistic approach when selecting its incoming class. Not only did they focus on academic performance, expressed through a student’s high school GPA and standardized test (SAT and ACT) scores, but students were also expected to engage outside of the classroom. Additionally, applicants expressed their personality and character through their personal statements and resumes.
That is not to say academic achievement was not imperative. The average GPA of accepted students was between 4.3 and 4.6. Furthermore, the average SAT scores for those accepted ranged between 1310 and 1430, while the average ACT was between 29 and 32. Of those admitted, 88 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Extracurriculars such as sports and leadership positions in clubs also increased the likelihood of applicants being admitted.
Is it becoming unrealistic to expect admission to a public university in Florida?
Over the past few years, Florida State University and other public universities in Florida have experienced a remarkable drop in acceptance rates, and this is not expected to slow down in the coming years.
In 2016, Florida State had an acceptance rate of 58 percent, but admissions are now far more competitive. There are many factors contributing to this trend, including the volume of applicants, administrative changes, and higher demand for undergraduate education.
The University of Florida had a 30 percent acceptance rate in 2022, and this year’s decisions will be released on February 24. Like Florida State, the University of Florida’s acceptance rate is expected to continue trending down in this admission cycle. Above-average grades and test scores are no longer the only factors that will ensure admission to highly-ranked public universities in Florida.
Florida acceptance trends mirror California’s
Florida is not the only state in which public universities has become increasingly difficult to get into. In recent years, California has also experienced a drastic decrease in acceptance rates to universities such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Irvine.
Researchers have determined that this drop in acceptance rates is due to increased accessibility and convenience of applying, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many high school students to defer a year or two before applying to college. The increasing value of a university education also plays a role. All of these factors are likely impacting trends in Florida as well.