GAINESVILLE, Fla. -

The University of Florida has admitted nearly 13,000 high school students into the class of 2018.

Associate Provost Zina Evans tells The Gainesville Sun that 44 percent of the students who applied were admitted. That means that 16,000 students who applied were not accepted.

In 1994, nearly 68 percent of students who applied were admitted. Evans says that while the number of applicants has risen, the number of spots available has remained mostly the same.

University spokesman Steve Orlando says applicants are evaluated on the strength of their essays, the rigor of their coursework, test scores and their volunteer and extracurricular activities.

For the first time, all incoming freshmen will be required to carry health insurance. An estimated 20 percent of UF students have no health insurance.