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With its ranking as the second-largest populated school in the country, UCF has high school seniors scrambling for a spot on the admissions list.

The competition has steadily increased as those admitted to UCF for their freshman year continue to crank out impressive ACT and SAT scores.

For the fall of 2015, the preliminary scores for incoming freshmen had an average SAT score of 1261, ACT score of 27.6 and an average GPA of 3.97. Compared to previous classes — with SAT scores of 1256, average ACT at 27.4 and a cumulative GPA of 3.9 — it is clear that the stakes are higher.

However, the requirements for admission and acceptance rates remain the same, according to UCF Admissions. When UCF first opened in 1963 the acceptance rate was around the 50 percent mark. Today, it has wavered by only a slight breeze, knocking the peg down to an acceptance rate of 46 percent.

“The quality of students choosing to enroll at UCF is increasing,” said UCF spokeswoman Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala. “It is only more competitive to gain admission to UCF than in previous years due to increasing quality and demand.”

Hanna Jaddi, a sophomore psychology major, is one of those who ranked high in her senior year of high school. She was part of the top 10 percent of her graduating class, granting her automatic acceptance to UCF.

“Had I not been a Top 10 Knight, I would have been a wreck. I would have been extremely nervous and went crazy when I got accepted,” Jaddi said. “To be honest, my SAT scores were not that high, so I’m pretty lucky to have graduated in the top 10 percent because I don’t know if I would be here today had I not.”

The program aims to recognize high school seniors at the top 10 percent of their graduating class or earn pristine marks on ACT and SAT tests. To gain automatic admission, they must earn a minimum SAT score of 1010 (Critical Reading and Math) or 1500 (Critical Reading, Math and Writing), or an ACT score of 21 (Writing).

UCF also has DirectConnect programs that grant automatic admission to students who graduate from area 2-year colleges.

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Tiffani Daniel is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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