The University of Central Florida—Orlando, FL
Big but unified
What it Feels Like to Go Here
The University of Central Florida stands as the only college within an hour of Disney World. And if being surrounded by theme parks and nightlife isn’t exciting enough, UCF ranks as the second largest college campus in the United States. It’s pretty much impossible to get bored. With over 60,000 students, the campus is incredibly diverse. Don’t let the crowds scare you, though, because the atmosphere is friendly and inviting. Whether you’d rather stay in or go out, hit the books or get involved, there’s truly something for everyone at UCF.
UCF alumni really bring the star power. Aspiring actors can look to graduates like Cheryl Hines of Curb Your Enthusiasm for inspiration, and does Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 ring a bell? Because he graduated from here too. It’s not surprising if UCF students also go on to become special assistants to the President, like Pulitzer Prize-winner John Bersia. Ericka Dunlap, AKA Miss America 2004, carries the legacy of the UCF Knights. Even former Florida senator Lee Constantine bled black and gold.
Where We Hang
From Universal Studios to Wet ‘n Wild, Florida kids can relive their high school grad bash between exams as often as they’d like. Hate rollercoasters? When UCF students aren’t snagging discount tickets for amusement parks tourists love, they have a million other ways to fill their free time. A day doesn’t go by without some kind of campus event, from chill, substance-free weekly parties hosted by thePoint After Dark to Light Up UCF, the huge annual carnival complete with a Ferris wheel.
Anyone dying to escape the bustle of Orlando can take a short drive to the cutesy shops of nearby Winter Park or poke at tapioca pearls with a straw at one of the many boba tea joints that ring around campus. Prime study spots include the Student Union, known as the “Heart of Campus,” and the grass beside the famous Reflection Pond. The pond isn’t just for show, though. Students jump in every Homecoming during Spirit Splash, a free-for-all bid for limited edition rubber ducks. Seriously.
1. How much are students partying?
“I mean, we’re not known as a party school…I just think we know how to have fun. We also know how to be serious,” senior Priyanka Chandra said.
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“If you walk through the student section at a football game wearing green and gold, you are going to get booed at,” junior Eliana Benevento said.
3. How much sex are students having?
“It really depends on the person,” sophomore Brandon Briggs said. “Basically, it’s not secretive. We all know what goes on.”
4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?
“Join as many clubs and meet as many people as you can,” freshman Ann Dang said. “It’s hard to meet someone in a big lecture hall.”
5. What brought you to UCF?
“Definitely the art program, which is right next to Disney, after all,” freshman Nancy Nguyen said.
“I think UCF does a very good job of making you feel like you’re home even though it’s its own little city in a way, which is a very difficult thing to do. I’ve been in the LEAD Scholars Academy, I’ve been in Sangam, I’ve part of various non-profits within campus, clubs, etc, and each one has made me feel like I’m part of the UCF family…I never feel lost or one of the many.”—Priyanka Chandra, Integrated Business major, Class of 2017
“Everyone can find their niche here because the school is so big and there’s so many opportunities for academics.”—Daniel Kleiman, Class of 2017
“There’s a sense of togetherness…we’re able to have these discussions and have these different cultures come together…and be one student body.”—Brandon Briggs, Political Science major, Class of 2019
“As soon as I got here, it was open arms with professors, and actually, one of my first professors is my mentor to this day…It’s an open campus and it’s a learning environment that’s like no other.”—Elizabeth Santiago, Class of 2017
“Everybody here is really nice…I feel like people don’t assume things here because everyone is so different. It’s not easy to categorize people at UCF.”—Ann Dang, Computer Science major, Class of 2020
Top 3 Majors
- Hospitality Management
Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations
UCF homecoming welcomes any Knight wanting to get in on planning one of the university’s biggest traditions. Whether you volunteer or apply for a position on the executive board, “it’s just a really awesome opportunity to give back to the school,” junior Eliana Benevento, director of the 2016 Homecoming’s Knights Got Talent event, said. “UCF Homecoming has definitely been the best experience I’ve had while at UCF.”
Always looking for committee members, UCF’s Campus Activities Board runs all things entertainment on campus. “From concerts to comedy shows at the Arena to pool parties…anything like that, CAB is in charge of,” junior Nicole Stannard, executive director of CAB, said. “Last fall, we put on a concert and T-Pain was the headliner, so we actually got to meet him backstage, and it was pretty fun just being able to talk to him and take pictures because he’s actually a really cool guy.” If you want to be in-the-know of all the rad activities on campus, then join CAB.
Every year, thousands of college kids across the country come together for Miracle Network Dance Marathon to get down for 24 hours straight, all for a good cause of course. Knight-Thon, UCF’s chapter of Dance Marathon (and eighth largest in the country) raised a cool $1 million last year for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Knight-Thon goes beyond a sleepless dance party. Children of families treated at Arnold Palmer get some time in the spotlight at the Miracle Child Talent Show. “My favorite part is seeing the miracle kids do their talents on stage…it shows you a different aspect of their lives other than their illness,” senior Brandon Kraut, executive director of the agency, said. Students wanting to help UCF top that number this spring can apply for one of many leadership positions, volunteer as a dancer or even enter a Knight-Thon mentorship program.
The average high school GPA of students accepted into UCF is a 4.0, but unlike so many other schools in the nation, the UCF admissions process doesn’t require recommendations or essays. Yes. You read that right. No. College. Essay. However, there is still the option to submit one if you’d like, and writing the essay can only help you. Besides, you’re probably using the same essay for all your other schools…just don’t forget to proof read and change the university names.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Total Cost on Campus: $17,317 in-state, $22,504 out-of-state
Undergrads Enrolled: 54,513
Grads Enrolled: 8,031
Total Enrolled: 63,002
Acceptance percentage: 49%
Percent Admitted Who Enroll: 38%
Percentage of Male Students: 42%
Percentage of Female Students: 58%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 70%
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 48% (freshmen)
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 45%