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Florida's Top State Schools Decrease in Acceptance Rate

by Fernando Pascual

FSU Stadium (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In recent years college admissions has undergone a profound transformation, leaving students facing challenges in securing a spot at their desired universities. With each passing year, the competition becomes harder, and the barriers to entry seem to rise higher.

In this reality, students across Florida are facing the harsh truth that acceptance into these top institutions many even consider safe schools has become more difficult than ever before. The once-perceived notion of guaranteed acceptance, particularly for in-state students, is now a distant memory.

Take Florida State University, for example. Once renowned for its relatively accessible admissions process, the university has witnessed a dramatic shift in acceptance rates in recent years. Data from reveals a staggering decline in acceptance rates, with 24% of instate applicants being admitted in 2024 compared to 36% just four years ago.

Similarly, the University of Florida has experienced a parallel trend toward heightened selectivity. According to College Essay Guy, the University of Florida saw an 8% decrease in acceptance rates over the past four years, leaving many qualified applicants in a state of confusion and disappointment.

College counselor Alejandro Levy thinks there are a few factors at play as to why it is getting harder.

"I think there are a few major factors. First, students are submitting more college applications on average. Second, more students are applying to college generally. For Florida schools in particular, Bright Futures becomes more attractive as university costs increase across the country and everybody becomes more weary of taking on student loan debt," he said.

Additionally, senior counselor Mrs. Debra Martinez and Mas Program Counselor Robert Lewis echoed the sentiments.

The most important thing for students while choosing a college is finding the right fit. College fit is essential for ensuring a student has a fulfilling and successful college experience, one that aligns with their academic, personal and career goals. Students should think about what they want to achieve during their college years and what they are willing to compromise. To begin with, research is the key. Keeping an open mind and thoroughly researching institutions, visiting, if possible, and asking current students questions," they said.

Students are now left to find ways to differentiate themselves from other applicants in other ways than just academic success and standardized test scores. With these increasing requirements a student's focus should be on increasing service and extracurricular activities to show overall character and success in every aspect of their life. 

Students attending college will continue to increase so a solution to the decreasing acceptance rates is imperative. For many students in Florida, these two public institutions are a dream and a way to leave home at a cheap price.

Hopefully, a solution can be found to offer Floridians this opportunity that older generations have experienced and benefited greatly from. 

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