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Press Release for Friday, September 23, 2016

UNF Admits the Smartest Freshman Class in University’s History

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

 Classes at the University of North Florida kicked off late last month as the University welcomed approximately 16,000 students to its nearly 1,400-acre campus, and the numbers are just in: UNF has admitted the smartest incoming freshman class in the University’s history.

About 800 of those students make up one of the most academically talented first-year classes with an estimated high school grade point average of 4.17 and a projected average SAT of 1208. UNF continues to increase the academic quality of its student body and this past year, was the third most selective university in the State University System.

“This year, we received another amazing freshman class,” said UNF President John Delaney. “These are high-achieving, focused students who come to UNF ready and eager to learn.”

Roughly thirty-five percent of this year’s gifted freshmen—more than 280 students—are Presidential Scholars, which are scholarships awarded to recognize incoming freshmen who exhibit particularly outstanding academic achievements. The scholarship ranges from $24,000 at the Diamond tier level to $8,000 at the Silver level. Students must meet minimum test scores and GPA to be eligible for each tier.

Another 9 percent of incoming freshmen have been accepted into the Hicks Honors College, which provides students with a transformative four-year experience. Not only do these students take classes from the University’s most accomplished faculty but also engage in experiential, high-impact learning, living and learning among their peers in a community of academic excellence.

Here are some interesting facts about the freshmen accepted at UNF this fall semester:

• There are approximately 400 additional first-time in-college students in this year's cohort.
• This class includes students from 48 Florida counties, 16 states and 17 nations.
• After Florida, the states with the most new accepted freshmen are Georgia, New York, Virginia, New Jersey and North Carolina.
• This class has 23 international students, with the majority coming from China.
• Fifty-eight percent of the new freshmen class are female, while 42 percent are male.
• More than 120 students—about 16 percent—are the first in their families to attend college.

Not only does UNF have smarter and more incoming freshmen on campus this fall term, but the University also has a higher overall enrollment. This fall, UNF has approximately 16,000 students, compared to 15,882 last fall. About 30 percent of those students are minorities, which represents a 19 percent increase in the past 11 years.

The University also has more students living on campus, more than 3,800 students. Students are encouraged to get involved in campus life. There are 19 Division I athletic programs, 26 fraternities and sororities and more than 200 clubs from which they can choose.

Furthermore, UNF students are also seeing the benefit of small class sizes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1 and the benefit of personalized attention that can’t be found at larger universities. Students also have the chance to participate in transformational learning opportunities or TLOs, which range from undergraduate research projects and internships to study abroad and community projects. As a result, UNF students travel abroad at twice the national average.

“Providing students with transformational experiences and hands-on learning are hallmarks of a UNF education, and there is no question that the level of experience and opportunities afforded to our undergraduate students set us apart from other schools, said Delaney.

Additionally, UNF tops the schools in the State University System when it comes to graduates being gainfully employed in Florida. Some of the most popular majors among students are psychology, communication, management, criminal justice, health science and elementary education.

Being recently named “Best Bang for the Buck” among Southeast colleges by Washington Monthly magazine, UNF is committed to affordability by awarding $111 million in financial aid annually to its students.

“We’re dedicated to providing our students with a world-class education at an affordable price,” Delaney said.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.