To Expand Access, UF Prepares to Roll Out a No-Fall-Semester Option

The following news came across our desks at International College Counselors this morning. Like you, we are working on finding out what this means for the class of 2012.

The University of Florida is planning to grow by enrolling 2,000 students in a spring and summer cohort. The students will be considered full-fledged undergraduates, but they will be allowed to live and take classes on the campus only during the spring and summer.

Those students could still participate in on-campus activities in the fall like getting football tickets, and would be able to enroll in fall online courses if they wanted to move more quickly through school. There is also the option to study abroad, work, or do internships away from campus in the fall.

Currently, the university plans to enroll the first spring-summer students in January 2013.

Applicants will be able to apply for both regular fall admission and the spring-summer option. Students will only be offered spring-summer admission if they have expressed interest in it. While university officials plan to eventually serve 2,000 students with the new schedule, they hope to enroll between 500 and 1,000 in the first year, depending on the mix of freshmen and transfer students.

Florida state universities have been struggling with public demand that doesn’t often align with public support. The budget passed in Florida earlier this month reduced appropriations for the University of Florida by about $54-million, and this is following years of deep cuts.

The University of Florida had received 29,000 applications for 6,400 slots in next year’s freshman class. The university has already increased the number of freshmen it admits in the spring to 400, from about 100 less than five years ago. It also brings in about 1,000 transfer students in the spring.

This month, lawmakers changed the rules for Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship to allow students to use it in the summer, but only if they opt for Florida’s spring-summer schedule. The elimination of the year-round federal Pell Grant isn’t a problem because students can use the grant in the summer as long as they have aid money left.

Read the full article here.


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