University of Florida ranks 1st in the state and 16th among all public universities nationwide. Recognized as one of the Public Ivies and a member of the Association of American Universities, the school is ranked 57th among the world’s top 500 universities.
Although the university claims to be founded in 1853, the campus that exists today in Gainesville was actually founded in 1905. The Buckman Act created the current University of Florida by removing funding for existing educational institutions, including the University of Florida at Lake City, the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School at St. Petersburg and the South Florida Military College at Bartow. The first classes began on September 26, 1906, on the new campus that was built in Gainesville. The alligator was chosen as the universities mascot in 1911. The Buckman Act also established the University of Florida as the only public school in Florida for white males. Enrollment for females began in 1947 and the enrollment for African-American students began in 1958.
University of Florida is divided into 16 colleges, which offer 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate degrees, including the only dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine programs offered publicly in the state. The acceptance rate at the school has gone downward as a result of the applicants becoming more competitive. In 2005, the average incoming freshman had a grade-point average of 3.9, a score of 1340 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and an American College Test score of 29. Undergraduate tuition for Florida residents is around $120 per credit-hour, while it is $520 per credit-hour for out-of-state students, with a typical accumulation of 30 credits per year. The Freshman Class of 2005 ranked number one in the nation in terms of National Merit enrollment, enrolling more National Merit Scholars than any other university. A full tuition academic scholarship is awarded to all National Merit Scholars admitted to university. The University of Florida is also home to an Honors College that offers many honors courses to students who obtained high scores on their “SAT” and “ACT” tests. The Honors program lasts for a student’s first two years, but Honors program services and courses remain available to upperclassmen. The university also was 13th among all universities public and private in the number of U.S. Patents awarded in 2000.
Florida dedicates about $44 million per year to its sports teams and facilities. This could be due to having swept, For the sixth time, the overall men’s and women’s Southeastern Conference All-Sports Trophy in 2002 as well as ranking among the nation’s top 10 athletic departments for 19 straight years. The football team won a national championship in 1996 and the men’s basketball team won their first national championship this year. The Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is a great place to catch a Florida Gaters football game if you live in Florida. This school is among the top in the nation academically as well as athletically, therefore being a smart choice for any high-school graduate.