Pathway to Campus Enrollment
In 2015, UF launched a new enrollment program called PaCE, Pathway to Campus Enrollment. PaCE is a program designed to meet the exploding demand of qualified freshman applicants to UF. The latest figures from 2020 report an astounding 49,401 applicants for about 14,ooo slots. When your public university is ranked #7 nationally and located in sunny Florida, you can understand the overwhelming appeal!
With this new program design, students that apply to UF and get accepted to the PaCE program begin their freshman year online before transitioning to campus. A student accepted to this program determines their own pace — thus the name. They can take their online classes in Gainesville, their home, or anywhere they can access UF online. The transition to residential status at UF requires a minimum enrollment in their online program of two semesters.
Initially, some students (and, to be honest, their parents) might be disappointed in not being offered an on-campus admission. But, if going to UF is your student’s first choice, then this may be a perfect alternative. If your student wants the expansive Gator experience, they can move to Gainesville and participate in many of the student activities and programs by paying for an optional user fee package.
Options and Opportunities
PaCE students pay the standard UF Online tuition and fees while enrolled in UF Online classes and the standard campus tuition and fees rates when enrolled in campus classes. They are not required to pay the majority of student fees and they may not live on campus until they have transitioned.
But HaveUHeard there are some great off-campus housing alternatives for PaCE students? If your student checks the box on their UF application to show they are interested in the PaCE program, be sure to also fill out the Freshman Contingency Addendum when signing the housing contract. At the same time, we recommend reserving your room at either Windsor Hall or Ivy House (using the same addendum) if your student envisions a campus lifestyle even with a PaCe acceptance. Both of these residences are considered off-campus Luxury Residence Halls, designed for UF students but not affiliated with UF. The preference of many PaCE and Innovation Academy students keep these two alternative dorms in high demand.
Know the Ins and Outs
Since UF acceptance is announced in February, you will have practically guaranteed yourself one of these sought-after residence halls by reserving your room ahead of time. If your student is not accepted, you have one week to cancel the room and any pre-paid deposits will be refunded — PROVIDED you have signed the Freshman Contingency and provide proof of non-acceptance.
Caveat: If your student gets accepted but chooses to attend another school, they WILL be responsible for the housing payments outlined in the contract. So — and here’s a big so — if UF is not your student’s first choice (including acceptance into the PaCE program) and/or they do not intend to move to Gainesville, do not reserve a room ahead of time. In all candor, there are plenty of UF students — regular program first year students included — that opt to live in an off-campus apartments. If your student is accepted by PaCE and opts to live in Gainesville, you’ll have varied housing options to pursue…just not on campus.
For the class of 2024, the University of Florida accepted 3719 students into its PaCE program. That’s a lot of good Gator company! So don’t hastily rule out this program, provided it offers your student’s major. If you think about the direction online college instruction is going, this opportunity follows a similar path and provides it under the highly-coveted UF umbrella. Consider paying the optional user fee package if your student wants to live in Gainesville. They can be fully immersed in the many student activities and surrounding Gainesville life that residential students experience.
And they’ll be a bona fide and lifelong member of the Gator Nation!
Click to learn more about PaCE.
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