5 Tips for Newly Admitted Students

Congratulations! You got into UF, and all you have worked for the past 4 years of high school has finally come to fruition! Wait…now what do you do? Here are 5 things you can do while you anxiously await getting to campus:

1. Fill out the FASFA.

Okay, there is a reason this is number one on the list. This is not the most exciting thing to do, but it is SO important! The FASFA determines if you qualify for financial aid or assistance. If you are an in-state student who qualifies for any percentage of Bright Futures, you have to fill out the FASFA to receive the scholarship. On the topic of Bright Futures, make sure you meet all the requirements to qualify. Take the ACT or SAT until you get the score needed for Bright Futures, and seriously, take the time to sit down with your parents or guardian and fill out the FASFA!

2. Apply for CALS scholarships!

I know, I know. You’ve already filled out millions of applications, and you are tired. Speaking from experience, this is one you don’t want to miss. CALS has the largest undergraduate scholarship portfolio at UF, awarding more than $700,000 to students each year. The best part is that CALS scholarships are renewable. As long as you continue to meet the requirements and fill out the annual application, you will continue to receive a scholarship. Scholarships help me afford tuition, books, and rent each semester. It’s not a long application, so take the 20 minutes and apply, you will not regret it!

3. Choose a unique major.

CALS has 22 undergraduate majors to pick from. Find one that interests you! Do not pick a major you *think* a professional school wants to see. I was premed freshman year and chose to major in nutritional sciences because I knew it would help me stand out when I applied to medical school. Now, if you read my bio to the right, you’ll note that I am not premed anymore, which leads me to my next point: IT IS OKAY NOT TO BE PRE-PROFESSIONAL!

There are so many ways to be successful, it doesn’t have to be through a pre-professional major. Don’t get caught up in what you think you should be doing, find something you’re passionate about. If that is a career in medicine, great. If it isn’t, that is great too! Not sure what major is the best fit for you? Sit down and take a few minutes to take our majors quiz, it will help you get an idea of what major will be the best fit for you based on your interests and career goals!

4. Housing, Housing, Housing.

So, you’ve got to have somewhere to live. Go ahead and sign up for the residence halls, even if you decide not to live on campus. Housing agreements get sent out based on the date you sign up, so the earlier, the better! If you’re thinking of living off campus, use Google. Search apartments or houses for rent, decide on your price range, and figure out what you’re looking for. If you can, come to Gainesville and tour a few places, maybe book a campus tour while you visit!

5. Connect with your advisor.

You may think it is too early to reach out to your academic advisor, but I promise it is not. Our advisors love to see newly admitted students taking initiative and connecting with them. CALS has one-on-one advising, meaning you’ll meet with an advisor specific to your major. Reaching out to them early will help you get a plan for what classes to take even before you attend Preview!


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Posted: February 14, 2024

Category: Agriculture, Professional Development, UF/IFAS

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