Sharon Kim

Pictured above is the FSU dorms taken during the SHS Junior class college tour.

Aanya Shah, Reporter

Many seniors at Seminole High School (SHS) apply to Florida universities for their top programs. These schools, particularly Florida State University (FSU) and University of Florida (UF) are becoming highly selective and it is a tremendous accomplishment to get accepted. For juniors and sophomores who aim to be accepted to these competitive schools, learning about the things other students did to get accepted can be very helpful. Outside of GPA and test scores, extracurriculars such as sports and academic clubs can play a key role in college applications. By learning which extracurriculars seniors did over their high school career, underclassmen can learn about interesting clubs that also help with college applications. 


When senior Sanjana Chittlur received the email that she was accepted into UF, she was overjoyed to be accepted to such a prestigious school. She moved from Canada in junior year, and as a result was not able to enroll in the IB Program, which she was a part of in Canada. Instead, she took many Advanced Placement classes and is currently taking seven in her senior year. These AP classes helped her stand out to colleges. Her essay shined through and Chittlur, who placed more emphasis on it, is glad she did. As such, Chittlur says that if she had to give any advice, she would tell underclassmen to focus on their essay and writing skills.


IB senior Rishabh Mehta was accepted into UF. He says that UF is a great school for his future major in business, allowing him to connect with many professionals during his undergraduate years. Mehta is also involved in many activities within and outside of school, and made sure to write an impactful essay. “When I applied, I made sure to list all my extracurriculars. Whether it was outside volunteering or being in clubs within the school, I made sure everything was there and connected to my overall application,” states Mehta.


Florida schools, particularly UF, are particularly selective regarding test scores. The average SAT for applicants is between 1300 and 1470. This means that most strong applicants have an SAT score above 1470. While this is incredibly competitive, students should not be discouraged. Many applicants accepted into UF who do not have strong test scores are able to secure a spot through extracurriculars.


One Health Academy senior states, “I didn’t get a high SAT or ACT score, but I was able to make up for it through my volunteer work at a hospital. I also was a part of band for four years, which showed my commitment to voluntary activities.” 


He says that while applying without strong test scores made his application seem weaker at first, they are not everything, and there are many other factors that are considered equally.


IB junior Aryan Save is already taking measures to improve his college application and follow in Chittlur’s footsteps to get into UF. He is in research programs, Mu Alpha Theta, and in taekwondo. He is also in a volunteer program to show colleges he is well-rounded. 


Contrarily, another IB junior, Srieehari Muthu spends his time keeping his test scores up. He takes SAT and ACT practice tests regularly to make sure he is in the range to get accepted into his top Florida schools.


UF Alumni and SHS teacher Nicole Derosa says she is impressed with the amount of acceptances for UF and FSU she has seen at SHS. She says that as a Senior IB English teacher, she has seen people firsthand apply for college and work hard to gain admission to their top colleges. 


“I am so happy for everyone who got in and seeing the joy on students’ faces is unmatched,” she says. 


Regardless of UF and FSU, any college acceptance is a big deal that should be celebrated. All students are unique, and different students match to different colleges. As such, being admitted to any college is a great achievement, and all ‘Noles seniors should be proud of their achievements!