Florida State University, better known as FSU, is the state’s oldest continuous higher education establishment. Founded in 1852, the school is notorious for its athletics as well as its “party school” reputation for active student social life.
However, Florida State University has an impressively selective admissions process, and the school demands much from its students. Rigorous academics are only one aspect of FSU that has earned it a “Doctoral University” classification from the Carnegie Commission.
If you’re hoping to join the upcoming freshman class and spend your college career in Tallahassee, you need to know what the competition is like. You will need to understand the Florida State University acceptance rate and what that means for your chances of gaining entry to this prestigious school.
What Is the FSU Acceptance Rate?
One of the first questions many students likely ask is, “How hard is it to get into FSU?” To illustrate, the university received applications from 63,691 students for the class of 2025. Florida State University accepted just 20,668 of those applications.
This means the most recent FSU acceptance rate is just 32% overall. This is down from the Florida State acceptance rate of the previous year, which was 37%. For the class of 2026, the university received a record-breaking number of first-year admissions applications.
It also reported that FSU admitted its most academically accomplished class ever when it announced in February that it had admitted more than 17,000 students as part of its priority admissions round.
More than 5,000 students who applied for priority admissions were deferred to the regular decision round. When all was said and done, FSU received more than 74,000 first-year applications for 2022, which is another record-breaking number.
Florida State University Acceptance Rate: How Hard Is It to Get into FSU?
FSU is undoubtedly one of the most popular universities in the country. In fact, since 2016, the school has seen an astonishing 157% increase in applications!
Florida State University is ranked as a Top 20 public university; however, as the number of first-year admissions applications continues to increase, that also means that the FSU acceptance rate continues to decline.
What does this mean for you if you hope to become part of the Seminole student body? It means you’ll have to bring more than your “A game” if you’re going to catch the attention of the admissions counselors who make the big admissions decisions.
What’s the Average Profile of Students Accepted to Florida State University?
If you look at statistics that pertain to things other than the Florida State University acceptance rate, a more in-depth picture of the caliber of its students is revealed.
The school reports that:
- The top three study areas for students admitted for the fall term of 2022 were biological science, engineering, and business.
- The middle 50% of students had core weighted GPAs that ranged from 4.3 to 4.6.
- Admitted students have taken an average of nine dual-enrollment, IB, AP, or AICE courses during their high school careers.
- The middle 50% of admitted students had ACT composite scores between 29 and 32.
- They also had an average SAT score of 1300 to 1430.
- 79% of students admitted to FSU had all As and Bs during high school.
Almost 50% of the university’s class of 2025 graduated in the top decile of their high school classes, and more than 80% of them were in the top 25% of their classes.
In addition, just over 3,700 FSU students are first-generation college students—and almost 2,000 hail from rural communities. These numbers reflect the university’s commitment to expanding access to its educational programs to more Florida students.
The Florida State Acceptance Rate: What Does FSU Look For?
Since FSU is an enormous school with a proud national reputation, it takes a holistic approach to admissions. The admissions team considers many things when choosing the students it will invite to join its student body. What does FSU look for in applicants?
A holistic approach to admissions typically means that the admissions staff considers things like:
- Class rank
- The rigor of high school courses
- State residency
- Extracurricular activities
- Leadership opportunities
- Answers to essays and personal statements
- SAT and/or ACT scores
A holistic approach also means that while all of these factors (and more) are considered, there is no single factor that ever guarantees admission.
When it comes to FSU acceptance rates, it should be noted that students who are first-generation students, those who come from socioeconomically challenged backgrounds, and those who are particularly driven to succeed have the opportunity to gain special consideration if they participate in the university’s Summer Bridge Program.
Are Some Factors More Important than Others?
Most universities will weigh some factors more heavily than others in their decision-making process for admissions. Florida State University considers the rigor of your courses as the single most important factor — it is labeled “very important” by the university.
Factors that are “important” include state residency, talent, test scores, and GPA. FSU considers the following:
- Volunteer work
- First-generation student status
- Personal character
- Class rank
- Essay answers
- Work experience
- Your geographic location
Factors that the university does not consider in any way include:
- Demonstrated interest
- Legacy status
- Religious affiliation
- Teacher/counselor recommendations
- Racial/ethnic status
Demonstrated interest includes whether you participated in activities like campus visits, tours, meetings with admissions staff, or recruiting events. Legacy status refers to whether your parents or grandparents attended the university. With some schools, that has influence; however, it does not with FSU.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Accepted to FSU
Getting into Florida State University isn’t easy, but if you follow a few key guidelines, you’ll be able to improve your chances of receiving that coveted acceptance letter! FSU admissions are selective, but planning well in advance during high school will help.
Take AP and IB Courses During High School
The rigor of your high school coursework is an important factor to FSU admissions staff, so you want to take challenging courses whenever they are offered. This shows the admissions team that you are ready for college-level courses and that you can succeed in them. In addition, you’ll verify that you don’t shy away from challenges and that you are a go-getter!
Remember that the rigor of your high school courses is the only factor FSU considers to be “very important,” so take every opportunity to take Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses, and similarly challenging classes.
Maintain a High GPA of at Least 3.6
Since the average GPA of the most recent FSU class of admitted students is 3.59, it would be to your advantage to aim for a GPA of at least that, if not higher. This is especially important since the school considers GPA an “important” factor.
FSU uses the Academic Index to streamline its application process, which means it distills each applicant’s academic performance into a single factor. Students with academic performance numbers that fall below a certain point risk being excluded from the list of invitees to the next incoming class.
Start Early on Writing Your Essay Answers
The essay answers you provide on your application to FSU will be one of the main ways the admissions committee can distinguish you from everyone else, so you need to make sure your essays stand out.
Keep in mind that while the essay answers are labeled as “considered” by the admissions team, talent is labeled as “important.” This means you want to use your essays to showcase what makes you unique.
There are three applications you can use to apply to FSU:
- The Common Application
- The Coalition Application
- The FSU Application
Each one gives its own set of essay prompts. The FSU essay is optional, but if you’re serious about attending Florida State University, you’ll want to complete it to have the best chance at admission success.
Regardless of the essay prompts you end up answering, you must answer in your own voice and write with the goal of helping the reader get to know you on a more personal level than what the numbers elsewhere on your application provide.
Get Involved in One or Two Extracurriculars
Don’t waste your time during high school joining as many activities as you can fit into your schedule, thinking that it will impress the FSU admissions team. It won’t.
What will impress them, however, is excelling in one or two activities that are meaningful to you. Since talent is important in the admission decision-making process, highlight activities in which you excel.
Beating the Florida State Acceptance Rate: Do You Have What It Takes?
It’s not easy to get into FSU, but remember that the earlier you begin preparing for your college application journey, the better off you’ll be. Aim for a high GPA and test scores, get involved in extracurriculars, and make sure you do well with a rigorous class schedule to give yourself the best shot at admissions success.