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Second guessing UF

FLnative28FLnative28 Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
edited April 2012 in University of Florida
I hate to say this and if I thought for a second my son would ever see this I wouldn't even write it...... but I have to express my disappointment so far in UF. My son applied to all the usual FL schools...UCF, USF, FSU and of course UF. He also applied to Ohio State and UNC Chapel Hill. He was accepted into all of them. He applied to all the honors & scholars programs at each school (didn't apply to UNC's yet) and was accepted to all of them, except UF. He has received telephone calls from EVERY school, except UF. He has received scholarship money from every school, except UF. Ohio State has offered twice to fly him and a parent out (including lodging) to visit the school and Scholars program. He has received letters from the PoliSci department heads (even a phone call from two of them) but he has received nothing from UF other than the admission letter. There is no doubt UF is ranked as the best public school in Florida, but it's not better than Ohio State or Chapel Hill who both seem a heck of a lot more interested in him. I'm really starting to feel like perhaps my son's choice (and ours as a family) is a mistake. I've paid the admission fee for UF but he hasn't officially turned the others down yet. I'm wondering if he should reconsider? I really hope this doesn't come off sounding like a rant but as a parent I'm feeling frustrated with the school. I guess I feel like I want a school to want him as much as he wants it instead of acting as though they're doing him a favor by letting him in. I'm just wondering if any other parents are feeling the same way? :(
Post edited by FLnative28 on

Replies to: Second guessing UF

  • IBMom2IBMom2 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    It is frustrating. I have a son who is currently attending UF. I am not at all impressed. My daughter was accepted also, but we are considering schools that wooed her. It is important that my daughter receive merit aid and she got that aplenty from her choice.
    UF is not the end all, be all. Especially, if the tuition increases go to market rate. That will start with this Fall's incoming Freshmen. Just be careful how you approach it, but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone :)
  • Gibbs23Gibbs23 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I have one daughter in her third year at UF, and although UF didn't pursue her, her experience has been pretty amazing. The financial aid office went above and beyond in helping provide close to a 100% funding package. She loves almost all her instructors, and most know her by sight and first name. She also works on campus and sees them outside of class. (Not a work-study position, but a job she found on her own.) Extracurricular activities abound and she is happy with her choice, as am I.

    My second daughter applied to UF with similar credentials, but wasn't accepted. Still not sure why. She lives in Gainesville and works now, but will attend the local CC this fall for her AA.

    I know a lot of kids attending UF and their parents. Most are happy, some aren't. A good friend's academically and athletically talented son transferred to Jacksonville University after the first year because he didn't like the environment on campus. He felt people weren't friendly, but that hasn't been my daughters' experiences. He is very happy at his new school and I think it fits what he wants in a college experience.

    So, if you aren't too far from Gainesville, why don't you and your son take another trip and hang out in the Union or the International Center in the HUB. If he starts at UF and later decides to transfer, he should be okay if he takes first year courses that would transfer well.

    Good luck!
  • nyrocksnyrocks Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Wow, I could have wrote this post. As you can tell we are from New York, but my daughter has wanted to go to UF for years. She got into all her other schools, again, with scholarship money from all and nothing from Florida. We went to an admitted students gathering and found out that absolutely no one in the room got scholarship money while they did get from the likes of Duke, Notre Dame and Chapel Hill to name a few. When they spoke about scholarships and financial aide they went through it so fast and basically refused to take questions. It all seemed awfully snobbish and I'm not sure if I will let my daughter attend if she doesn't get something to bring the cost down. Yes, academically it is a good school but there are many good schools who all gave my daughter money.
  • FLnative28FLnative28 Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    IBMOM2 - thank you for posting. I am glad I'm not alone ! :) My son is set on it so I guess it will be UF. Though for me the shine is off a bit and I'm not as enamored as I once was. You said your son currently attends there? Would you mind sharing why you're not happy with it? How about the housing, any suggestions? I truly hope my son loves it and we are making the right decision.

    Gibbs23 - I'm glad your daughter has had such a great experience there. I hope my son's is the same way. We have taken two trips to Gainesville and visited the campus. The first time was on some kind of break and there weren't too many kids around. The second time was about a month ago for the "Afternoon with Honors" program which they invited him to apply for and then didn't admit him (don't even get me started on that). He liked the campus a lot and the kids seemed OK, not over friendly but not unfriendly either, just seemed to be going about their business. We are trying to pick dorms right now, he chooses on Monday. Since your daughter was recently a freshman, any suggestions on the housing front?

    nyrocks - I can understand your position. My son was accepted to both Ohio State and Chapel Hill and even with scholarship money the cost of the out of state tuition is still too much for us. Even with UF giving us nothing it is still the most cost effective option we have. I'm trying very hard to like them at the moment but I'm not having that warm and fuzzy feeling yet. I hope I come around soon, I'm feeling pretty guilty about not liking the school my son (and all my money) will be going to. :(
  • aforautumnaforautumn Registered User Posts: 1,381 Senior Member
    i think that the apprehension being discussed here will dissipate once things have settled and the football season has started.
  • JenaS62JenaS62 Registered User Posts: 360 Member
    I have a son that is a freshman at UF and I can tell you that I am not overly thrilled. It may be the normal huge public university experience but since he is my first in college, I have no point of reference. I can tell you that it's next to impossible to get anyone in the FA office to email or call you back. Way back in his first semester, he was an engineering major with hopes of being accepted into the Biomedical Engineering grad program. An adviser told him that he would have a better chance of being drafted into the NFL than getting into the biomed engineering program!! He's a very serious student and he has a 4.0 GPA. He changed his major right after that. I was very disappointed.

    I hope each and every day that going to UF pays off in the long run as far as employment placement and recruitment opportunities go.

    I have two more sons graduating from high school in June (they are twins). One wants to go to our local community college and the other wants to go away. I took him to see FSU and he loved it and that is where he is going. I hope that it is a better experience than UF but who knows....
  • FLnative28FLnative28 Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    @JenaS62 - Thank you for posting, I appreciate your honesty. I've heard and read that UF is ranked very high for job placement after graduation and I, like you, am hoping that whole Gator Nation network ends up paying off in the end. If it makes you feel better I came across this article in The Wall Street Journal recently....UF is one of the top 10 schools in the country "whose graduates were top-rated by recruiters". I put the link below. He was also admitted into the FSU Honors program and debated for a time between the two and ended up deciding on UF. Who knows if it will be the right fit for him or not, I guess only time will tell. My fingers are crossed though. :)

    Best Colleges & Universities - Ranked by Job Recruiters - WSJ.com
  • JenaS62JenaS62 Registered User Posts: 360 Member
    @FLnative28 - thanks so much for posting that link. I guess that being able to get employment after college is the primary goal so I will keep the faith. As to you and your son - I hope all goes well and that he loves it there. Best of luck to you both. :-)
  • neorobieneorobie Registered User Posts: 561 Member
    I'm not a parent, I'm a kid but.....
    I've been second guessing UF a little after I got in(and so has my mom, she's also annoyed about not receiving anything from UF). UF at my school is nearly everyone's dream school but after we got in, a lot of people are rejecting UF for UCF and USF.

    If you'd ask me last year where I wanted to go, I would've said UF in a heartbeat. But it was pretty well known that you're not going to get any merit aid from UF. At least there's bright futures.

    But with the news of UF qualifying for tuition raises, and the fact that other in-state schools offered lucrative scholarships, more and more of my peers are turning away from UF.

    When I visited, I loved the campus much more than USF but that doesn't hide the fact that USF is giving me their Presidential Scholarship.

    On top of all that, I was waitlisted at my dream school, UPenn. I may not qualify for in-state financial need but I sure do for out of state. And UF doesn't refund your housing deposit but USF did so USF's deposit was sent in. So in the event that I do get off the wait-list, I could have the housing deposit back..

    But I still have to choose where I will send my admissions deposit.. UF or USF and then if I do decide UF, then I have the housing deposit thing to clear up. :/
  • gator4evergator4ever Registered User Posts: 553 Member
    I appreciate this post as well. I have been a Gator since 1976 when I started as a freshman. I graduated in 80. I have been bleeding orange and blue ever since.

    Fast forward 31 years. My son was accepted to Ga Tech no scholarship, UM full ride, UCF $12,000 per year. We visited all three campuses including UF. At the end it was UF because as he put it: it felt right. So he has been at UF since last fall no financial aid (only bright futures).

    After all this time I can tell everyone that UF today is a very different school. The demand on the school for space by incoming freshmen in my opinion has made UF a bit of a snob attitude.

    I dont regret my sons decision he is happy and is doing well. But I fully understand where your concerns are coming from.

    My advice would be if you can afford it and paying the full amount will not put you in a pinch? Go for it. If you dont have the money I would choose UCF as the second choice for in state students.
  • msmom94msmom94 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Wow.. Y'all have given us something to think about.
    My daughter was very excited to be admitted to UF, because we live out of state and had heard it was almost impossible to get in. But the downside is that UF's out of state tuition will take your breath away (which y'all probably already know) and we have not heard a word about scholarship money. No bright futures, since we don't live in FL; no grant, since FAFSA says we can pay; no scholarship offer - not even waiver of out-of-state tuition!
    We visited UF several times and my daughter loved the campus! The students who gave our campus tours (we've been on 2 different ones) were very friendly and welcoming. The problem is it's a huge school and my daughter doesn't know anyone going there. It is about a 7 hr drive from our home, so she'll be too far away to come home for the weekend, for sure. She has been o.k. with that until this week when she started getting cold feet.
    The problem started when we didn't hear anything about scholarship money. Now she feels like UF thinks they're doing her a favor just to let her in, when she has gotten scholarship offers from other schools. I know we probably shouldn't assign personal attributes to an institution, but she is taking this kind of personally.
    She has also had a problem getting UF counselors to answer questions. They claimed that there is no counselor for our state and honestly, were kind of snobby about it. I'm sure she'll work through this and end up being happy with whatever decision she makes. Thanks for all of your posts!
  • msmom94msmom94 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    And FLnative28, Thanks for starting this thread! Just like "nyrocks", I feel like I could have written your post.. I'm praying that my daughter makes a decision that she'll be happy with! I really appreciate you getting this discussion started.. I'm hoping to hear from more parents and students so my daughter will get a better feel for what to expect at UF (or wherever she decides to go).. Best of luck to you and your son!
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,826 Senior Member
    My S is at UF and absolutely loves it! He is a born Gator I think. Nobody called him to make him apply or throw money at him (including full ride at one) as other schools did.
    UF does not give much scholarship money even for NMSF. Their dollars go for FA. They've been cutting back for several years now. No, they don't woo too many students--everyone wants to go there. They have some very exceptional programs which are highly competitive (seems everyone wants to be an engineer these days...) so no, there is no guarantee of getting into some programs.
    UF has the best academic reputation in the state--it's where the recruiters routinely go for job interviews--for some companies it's the only school from which they recruit.
  • Turbo68Turbo68 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    This is such a refreshing thread to read! I'm also from Orlando and UF is the "be all and end all" of schools. It's almost as if people shake their heads in sympathy if you don't get in. Truly ridiculous. But, my son got in and also was accepted into FSU Honors with their University Scholar (? I think? It's $9,600 over four years). Anyway, mainly because of the prestige factor - because he has NO clue what he wants to major in and isn't really a science minded kid, more creative - he chose UF. I will say they have been very responsive and helpful when we've needed anything, but I'm getting VERY cold feet! He's our first child, so we are very new to all of this and I'm completely second-guessing his decision. He LOVED FSU - the campus and the feel - and I'm worried he chose UF for the wrong reason. Anyway, our housing choice date looms and now I must stress about whether or not he will get a decent room, roommate, etc. Maybe by the time my fourth child goes to college I will either be in a home or just not give a crap anymore?!
  • aforautumnaforautumn Registered User Posts: 1,381 Senior Member
    most of the families i know with several kids in college don't care anymore. your son will do fine at either school. they're both incredibly nurturing environments, and there is plenty of opportunity to thrive. unless something goes terribly wrong, you'll quickly forget that there was doubt.

    during the application people, people get way too caught up on what school is what. character, achievement, and learning abilities will do much more for anyone than the difference between UF and FSU.

    that said, I fully expect UF to beat FSU in football this year. once that occurs, you shall be vindicated, and all doubts will have dissipated.
This discussion has been closed.