Fsu Essay Prompt For 2015

The Admissions Process

Please encourage your students to get a head start in the admission process by checking out various college websites, visiting different schools, attending college fairs, and planning ahead.

If your students are applying to Florida State University, we recommend that they apply as soon as the senior year begins by:

  • Reviewing freshman admission requirements.
  • Creating the Self-reported Student Academic Record (SSAR). To learn about SSAR, click here.
  • Applying online through either our institutional application or The Coalition application. The undergraduate application is available in August.
  • Submitting the following items on the Application Status Check.
    • Self-report all ACT and/or SAT test scores. Please let your students know that we will not penalize for multiple tests.
    • Link the SSAR by copying the 32-character code from their SSAR account.
    • Choose one of five essay questions and upload their essay.
    • Upload one resume.
  • Applying for financial aid by submitting the FAFSA, available in October.

If you are in Florida, remind your students to have their parents complete the Florida residency form so that they may qualify for in-state tuition. Please also let them know that the statement does not need to be completed prior to an admission decision; however, it must be on file before the first day of classes. It will have no bearing on our admission decision.

In addition to your students applying for admission to the University, they should be aware that some academic programs have different deadlines and require supporting information and/or auditions. Have your students visit the academic department website if majoring in dance, film (animation or production), music, or theatre.

Please note that letters of recommendation are not required and will not be used in the decision-making process.


All information necessary to make an admission decision must be received by the published deadlines. There are two deadlines and corresponding notification dates for freshmen who apply for either the summer or fall term. The University does not accept freshman applications for the spring term.

Applications And All Supporting Documents Received By:Decision Available Online:
November 1, 2017January 25, 2018
February 7, 2018March 29, 2018

The University always reserves the right to close freshman admission earlier if warranted by enrollment limitations and the number and quality of applications. We strongly encourage your students to complete their files by our first notification period, so they can receive all of our communications in a timely manner. Housing and financial aid are first come, first served.

Once an application has been submitted, your students will be able to monitor their progress through the Application Status Check, which is available to applicants 24/7. Applicants may check on the current status of their application. To access the Status Check, students will go to https://admissions.fsu.edu/statuscheck/ and log in with the ID and password they created at the time of application. Because the University receives thousands of applications each year, please remind them that it takes time for files to be updated, especially around deadlines.

Many of our communications are sent to them electronically, so when speaking to your students, please remind them to make sure that we always have their most up-to-date email address. As they begin the application process, it may be a good idea for them to create an email address exclusively for the college admission process. To ensure receipt of our emails, they should include admissions@fsu.edu in their address book.

ACT/SAT Information

We require freshman applicants to submit at least one ACT and/or SAT test score to be considered for admission. Florida State does not require the optional ACT writing score or the optional SAT essay. We encourage applicants to take both the ACT and SAT, and to attempt each exam more than one time to earn the highest possible score.

New for 2018 applicants, FSU is allowing students to self-report their SAT and/or ACT scores. After submitting their application, students will submit their self-reported scores on the Application Status Check. Official score reports are no longer required for the admissions review process. If admitted, students will be required to submit official score reports prior to enrollment at FSU, so that their self-reported scores may be verified.

When evaluating students for admission, we use the highest earned ACT and SAT sub scores to calculate the ACT composite and/or SAT total (a process known as "super scoring").

The December SAT and February ACT are the latest tests that we will use in the admission process for applicants applying for the summer or fall term. Students submitting the February ACT must have at least one test scores on file by the February 7 deadline.

Both ACT and the College Board now offer test preparation programs. ACT has partnered with Kaplan Test Prep and will offer an ACT preparation program at no cost to low-income students and to all students at a significantly lower cost than traditional prep programs. The College Board has partnered with the Khan Academy and offers free, personalized SAT practice based on the student's PSAT/SAT test results students and to all students at a significantly lower cost than traditional prep programs.

Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success

A pathway to making smart college choices

Florida State University is a member of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, a consortium of 90+ public and private universities in the U.S. that have come together to offer a new college planning and application platform. The Coalition platform will allow high school students to set up an account and begin learning about the application and the financial aid process as early as the ninth grade. The platform includes three main features: a Virtual Locker where the student can collect and store information that maybe useful when they apply to college; a Collaboration Platform where teachers, counselors, employers, and mentors who are supporting the student's college search can offer feedback; and finally, an Application Portal where the student can select information from their virtual locker that they would like to include with their application to Coalition member universities.

Florida State University will accept both its institutional online application and the Coalition application for 2018 admission.

Must students use the Coalition application to apply to Florida State University?

Does the Coalition application cost any additional money?

Are there any differences between the Coalition application and FSU's institutional application?

What sections of the Coalition application does FSU require?

No. The Coalition application is one of two ways students may apply to Florida State. Students may also apply through the institutional application located on our website. We have no preference for which application a student chooses to submit.

Florida State University's freshman application fee is $30. The Coalition application carries an additional $5 processing fee. If a student qualifies for a CollegeBoard, ACT, or NACAC fee waiver, the entire amount, including the processing fee, is waived.

While the visual presentation of the two applications is different, the information gathered on the Coalition application is identical to the information gathered on FSU's institutional application.

Students completing the Coalition application are required to complete the following sections: Contact Information, Demographic Information, Citizenship Information, College Information, High School Information, Personal Information, Family Information, and Financial Aid.


University Admission Scholarships

University Freshman Scholarship
Accepted freshmen will be automatically consider for our University Freshman scholarship. A separate application is not required. Scholarships are competitive and awarded based on academic merit (combination of cumulative grade point average AND test scores). The award is $9,600 distributed over four years. Students admitted in December will have priority consideration. Scholarship recipients must take a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher at Florida State.

Presidential Scholar Scholarship
Accepted freshmen that have received the University Freshman Scholarship are eligible to apply for the Presidential Scholar Scholarship. The scholarship application deadline is February 14th, 2018. Students selected for the Presidential Scholars award will receive the $9,600 University Freshman Scholarship plus a separate $9,600 Presidential Scholarship, both distributed over four years. An additional $12,000 will be granted for educational enrichment opportunities. The total value of this scholarship is $31,200 over four years. Out-of-state applicants will also receive a full out-of-state tuition waiver. Detailed information about this scholarship can be found at http://presidentialscholars.fsu.edu/.

Benacquisto Scholarship(formerly Florida Incentive Scholarship Program)
This prestigious scholarship is available to National Merit Finalists that are Florida residents graduating with a Florida standard high school diploma or the equivalent. This award equals the institutional cost of attendance (minus the sum of Bright Futures and the National Merit scholarship). The total value of this scholarship is over $80,000 over four years and guarantees admission into FSU's University Honors Program. Scholarship recipients must take a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher at Florida State.

National Merit Finalist Scholarship
This scholarship is available to non-Florida residents listing FSU as their first choice with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The award includes a waiver of the out-of-state portion of the tuition cost, the $9,600 University Freshman Scholarship and the national merit scholarship. The total value of this scholarship is over $69,000 over four years and guarantees admission into FSU's University Honors Program. Scholarship recipients must take a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher at Florida State.

Tuition Reduction Scholarships

Accepted out-of-state freshmen will be automatically considered for Out-of-State Waivers/Scholarships. A separate application is not required. Waivers/Scholarships are competitive and awarded based on academic merit (combination of academic weighted grade point average AND test scores).

  • Full Out-of-State Tuition Waiver
    Awarded to a limited number of non-Florida freshmen based on academic merit. The total amount of this award is a 100% reduction (waiver) of the out-of-state portion of tuition, valued at approximately $481 per semester hour ($14,444 based on 30 semester hours for the academic year). The waiver amount is only applied toward tuition and does not include other fees, nor does it apply toward study-abroad programs.
  • Partial Out-of-State Tuition Waiver
    Awarded to a limited number of non-Florida freshmen based on academic merit or special talent. The total amount of this award is a 50% reduction (waiver) of the out-of-state portion of tuition, valued at approximately $241 per semester hour ($7,222 based on 30 semester hours for the academic year). The waiver amount is only applied toward tuition and does not include other fees, nor does it apply toward study-abroad programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Scholarships/Financial Assistance

To ensure the greatest likelihood of receiving financial support to attend Florida State University, your students should apply early for admission and financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid awards assistance each year to eligible students in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. Additionally, Florida State has resources that can help your students find private sources of aid to attend college. In order to apply for need-based financial aid, applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year. To begin researching scholarships, your students might start in their own school or community library. They should also check out local civic organizations and businesses to see if they currently offer any scholarships. Beyond the local level, they can search through several Internet scholarship search programs.

Below are other avenues they can consider when researching scholarship opportunities.

  • Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC Scholarships
    The military offers various scholarship programs for students who are interested in attending college and serving their country through the Armed Forces. For more information, please call the Air Force (850.644.3461), the Army (850.644.1016), or the Navy (850.599.3989) for details.
  • Athletic Scholarships
    Available to men and women who represent the University in intercollegiate sporting events. It is highly recommended that the student's high school coach contact the Athletic Department at Florida State.
  • Florida State Service Scholar Program
    Renewable scholarships for entering freshman and returning students who have a distinguished record of community involvement and a desire to continue to learn through service. Refer to the Center for Leadership and Social Change website for more information.
  • Talent Scholarships
    Offered in the areas of Music, Dance, and Theatre to both freshmen and transfers. Consideration for these awards is based upon auditions. Additional information can be obtained directly from the individual academic departments.
  • Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF)
    The Southern Scholarship Foundation was established to provide outstanding students needing financial assistance with an opportunity to obtain a college education. The Foundation provides rent-free housing to deserving students in a cooperative living environment. The SSF currently operates 14 scholarship houses at Florida State University. Additional information can be obtained from the SSF, 322 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304, or by calling 850.222.3833.
  • Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship Program
    The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program for Florida residents is the umbrella program for all state-funded scholarships based on academic achievement in high school. Applications and information regarding eligibility and renewal criteria for the various programs can be obtained from any Florida high school guidance office or by contacting the Florida Department of Education at 1.888.827.2004.
  • Other Scholarships
    The Florida State University Office of Financial Aid website contains information on various other types of scholarships.

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid at Florida State exists to assist students with securing federal, state, and institutional financial aid to achieve their degree. Each year, they award and administer more than 350 million dollars in financial aid to eligible students. Students receive aid in the form of scholarships, grants, work study, and loans - funds that help them to focus on their education and complete their degree.

Here are some hints to make the financial aid process go smoothly for your students:

Apply early for:

  • Financial Aid - The FAFSA for the 2018-2019 academic year will become available on October 1, 2017. (Summer applicants must submit a FAFSA for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.) The FAFSA is available online. The institution code for Florida State University is 001489. Review the FAFSA Changes Fact Sheet for more information.
  • Admission - Once the Office of Financial Aid has received financial aid data from the federal government, they can make an award — unless your student hasn't been admitted to the University.

The FAFSA is available online. The institution code for Florida State University is 001489.

Keep up with the paperwork! Once the FAFSA is processed by the government, your students will be sent a document called a Student Aid Report (SAR). It's important that they check their SAR for accuracy, because that's the data Florida State will use in determining their eligibility for need-based aid.

Much like our discussion of basic costs, it is important to compare financial aid packages very carefully. Remind your students and their parents to not be fooled by the package offering the most overall dollars. Instead, they should figure out their total out-of-pocket cost, including future loan repayments.

View Costs in Table Format

Undergraduate Costs 2016-2017

Estimated costs cover two semesters
(15 hours per semester)


Florida Residents

Non-Florida Residents


$ 6,516
$ 21,683


$ 6,620
$ 6,620

Food (Meal Plan)2

$ 3,998
$ 3,998


$ 1,000
$ 1,000


$ 18,134
$ 33,301

Health Insurance3

$ 2,344
$ 2,344


$ 20,478
$ 35,645

1 Click here for rental rates by residence hall.

2 Click here for the various meal plan options and the associated costs.

3FSU has a mandatory health insurance policy for new students admitted to the University. The cost represents the annual individual premium for domestic students. (The premium for international students is $2,361.) Costs of meeting this requirement will be included in financial aid considerations. Students who currently have health insurance may show proof of comparable coverage and may not be required to purchase the University policy. Refer to http://healthcenter.fsu.edu/insurance/ for additional information.

Division of Undergraduate Studies

Most of your students will begin their academic careers within the Division of Undergraduate Studies. All of the various offices within this Division, from Honors to CARE, work to assist your students with their academic careers, ensuring that they develop sound academic preparation for their major field of study.

Choosing a Major at Florida State University

As you know, studies have found that most college students will change their majors at least once before they graduate. What can you do to help your students identify the majors and career paths that are right for them? Suggest they read "Choosing a Major at Florida State University" and feel free to include this guide in your Career and College Placement Offices. It's filled with helpful websites, exercises, and activities designed to help students identify a major that will meet their career goals.

Students wishing to complete studies in more than one field while at Florida State University have multiple degree program options to choose from.

  • Double Major: Students complete the standard 120 degree hours while studying two majors, for which they receive one bachelor's degree. If the student's primary major requires a minor, their second major instead fulfills this requirement.
  • Dual Degree: Students complete 150 degree hours while studying two majors, for which they receive two bachelor's degrees. Minor requirements are not waived.
  • Combined Degree: Students take some graduate-level courses during their undergraduate career. Their graduate courses are double-counted towards both degrees, thus allowing students to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in less time than it would normally take to complete both programs back-to-back. For more details, refer to The Graduate School.

Degree Programs

Most of our baccalaureate degree programs require 120 semester hours of specific earned credit to graduate. While there are many ways to accumulate the 120 hours, the original concept is still the same...for students to earn 15 semester hours per term, for two terms each year, for a total of four years.

With this goal in mind, we provide our students with all of the necessary resources to graduate on time, including an academic map of their major. The Academic Program Guide provides you and your students with a detailed program description of each degree (including contact information), an eight-semester plan for graduation (the student's academic map), and a link to the degree program's website.

Accelerated Credit

Up to 45 semester hours of credit can be awarded by taking AICE, AP, IB, or CLEP tests and achieving appropriate scores. To receive credit, official test scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Credit will be awarded only once for the same subject, whether from credit by examination, dual enrollment, transfer credit, or FSU course credit. Credit awarded for dual enrollment or transfer courses takes precedence over credit by examination.

Students enrolled in college coursework prior to graduation from high school (dual enrollment) may be awarded college credit. An official college transcript will be required for the posting of credit. We will not post college credit from a high school transcript.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Florida State University's International Programs (FSU IP) is consistently ranked in the top 15 of U.S. universities in the number of students who study abroad. Every year we send approximately 1,600 students across the world to study in our multiple locations.

FSU IP offers two freshman programs, First Year Abroad (FYA) and First Semester Abroad (FSA) that may be of interest to your students. The FYA program allows students to complete the first twelve months of their Florida State careers studying abroad at any of their study centers in London, England; Florence, Italy; Panama City, Republic of Panama; and Valencia, Spain. Upon completion of this year abroad, FYA students who are non-Florida residents for tuition purposes may be assessed in-state tuition rates for the remainder of their first undergraduate degree on the FSU main campus. The FSA program allows our freshman applicants who were offered Spring (January) admission the opportunity to begin their studies in the Fall studying at one of the IP study centers.

Accepted Students

As the counselor of newly admitted Florida State students, we want you to also have the most up-to-date enrollment information so you will know what to expect and how to advise. However, if you have any questions along the way, don't hesitate to contact us. We want you and your students to be as informed as possible.

After admission, it is important to apply for on-campus housing as soon as possible. Historically, we have not had room to house all of our freshmen on campus, so the earlier your students apply, the greater the odds of being able to live on campus in the residence hall of choice. They should not delay submitting the housing contract, even if they are not certain Florida State will be their final choice. If they decide not to enroll, all but $50 of the $225 pre-payment is refundable if they decline admission by May 1.

After your students apply for housing, the next time-sensitive decision involves paying the enrollment deposit. Florida State, as well as most selective schools, requires an enrollment deposit to be paid to the University by May 1 to reserve the student's place in our freshman class. It can be paid at any time prior to May 1, but please remind your students and their parents that it is non-refundable! Since most students are considering many schools, they can wait until May 1 to pay the deposit. If they do not pay the enrollment deposit by May 1, their admission offer will be withdrawn. Your students can pay the admission deposit by accessing the application status feature of their application.

After the deposit has been paid, your students must also sign up for Orientation by May 1. Orientation is a mandatory program for new students designed to familiarize them with our University and our many activities and programs. During Orientation, they will meet with an academic adviser and register for classes. Parents will be invited to participate in a family program which runs concurrently with, but separate from, the student orientation.

Your students' final high school transcripts, official college/university transcript(s) if dual enrolled, and official SAT/ACT exam score reports must be received in our office no later than mid-July (students should refer to their conditions of admission found in the Enrollment Information section of their Application Status Check).

Seminole Pathways Program

Students selected by the Office of Admissions to participate in the Program will be able to join us on the Tallahassee campus after completing one of the four pathways outlined below.

FSU Panama City Summer & Fall Pathway

Students who choose this pathway start their FSU experience in the summer and continue in the fall at our bay-front campus in Panama City, Florida. FSU Panama City offers a personalized education with a 20:1 student/faculty ratio and hands-on learning opportunities. Just 8 miles to the sandy white beaches of the Emerald Coast, FSU Panama City offers students opportunities to work in the Robbins Center's augmented reality lab, earn an Open Water Diver certification, and participate in FSU Panama City's various student organizations. After the fall term, students are welcome to continue their education through graduation in one of FSU Panama City's diverse and growing academic programs or transfer to the FSU Tallahassee campus. More information on this Pathway is available on the FSU Panama City website.

FSU International Programs First Semester Abroad Pathway

Students who choose this pathway start their FSU experience in the summer term by completing an online course offered through International Programs. In addition to successful completion of the online course, they will enroll for the fall term at one of our study abroad centers in London, England; Florence, Italy; Valencia, Spain; or Panama City, Republic of Panama. Following the fall term, they would be eligible to join us in Tallahassee in January. More information on the First Semester Abroad program is available on the International Programs website. (Note: separate fees apply.)

FSU International Programs First Year Abroad Pathway

Students who choose this pathway start their FSU experience in the summer term by completing an online course offered through International Programs. In addition to successful completion of the online course, they will enroll for the fall, spring, and the following summer terms at one of our study abroad centers in London, England; Florence, Italy; Valencia, Spain; or Panama City, Republic of Panama. Following your year abroad, you would be eligible to join us in Tallahassee for the Fall. More information on the First Year Abroad program is available on the International Programs website. (Note: separate fees apply.)

Out-of-state students who successfully complete the First Year Abroad Pathway will have the added benefit of receiving an out-of-state tuition waiver for the remainder of their bachelor's degree on the Tallahassee campus.

Transfer Pathway

Students who choose this pathway start their college career at an accredited college and transfer to Florida State University for the spring term (January). They must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of approved college coursework in the Fall term and earn a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Their coursework must include ENC 1101 (English Composition) and either MAC 1105 (College Algebra), MGF 1106 (Mathematics for Liberal Arts), or MGF 1107 (Topics in Practical Finite Mathematics) depending on math placement and major, unless they have already earned course credit through an accelerated mechanism such as AP, IB, AICE, or dual-enrollment. While students can transfer from any accredited college, we highly recommend that they consider transferring to us from Tallahassee Community College.

This question appears to be more challenging than the previous one, as you have to detail a selfless act of sacrifice while explaining your motivations and avoiding corny wording.


Note that this “greater good” contribution does not limit you to instances in which you interacted with groups of “great” numbers. No matter the scale of your impact, if there existed a beneficiary to your actions, then you can write about it. Remember that “greater good” excludes class assignments or other activities that were required of you.


The key to this essay is making sure your motivations for the contribution are portrayed as personal and unique to you.


Many students will choose to write about a volunteer experience they participated in. If you choose to discuss a community service activity, make sure you differentiate your experience by highlighting your motivations and your emotions during the experience (rather than describing simply the activity you participated in).  


For example, you might choose to write about a mission trip to another country that you took in your sophomore year of high school. However, rather than discussing the trip as a whole, it would be more effective to focus on a particular moment or problem that you encountered during the trip.


For instance, you could elaborate on the experience of visiting one of the children’s homes and the feeling of speaking to his parents directly. Describing a particular moment, as well as the specific emotions you felt and how your perspectives changed because of it, would help the essay stand out in a pile of volunteering essays.

In addition, focus on the process of the contribution and how you felt emotionally throughout the act.


Try to answer the following questions:


  • What would have happened if you did not make that sacrifice/contribution? How would you have felt then?
  • How did the contribution make you feel? How did it make others around you feel? How did it make the beneficiaries feel?
  • What did you learn?


Emphasizing the internal development that occurred during your experience is key to making this essay shine.

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