The FAQ pages are designed to answer general questions IA students may have about the IA program. If students have specific questions that are not answered on the FAQ pages or if you have additional questions, please e-mail the Innovation Academy using our contact us page.
Many answers to university policies and procedural questions can also be found on the Ask UF website. For questions not specific to the Innovation Academy, students should contact respective departments directly. For example, additional housing questions should be directed to the Department of Housing and Residence Education.
Returning IA students (students who have completed at least one on-campus semester at UF) are eligible to enroll in a larger selection of online courses. The list of IA online courses will be available during advance registration with other UF courses on the UF Registrar Schedule of Courses under Fall – Innovation Academy.
Transfer students are accepted to the University of Florida by the particular college and for the particular major they select on their application, so transfer students can not change their majors and must complete their degree program for their chosen major. (This condition applies to all UF transfer students).
Any financial aid managed by UF’s Student Financial Affairs Office (including scholarships and grants) will have the necessary adjustments made for distribution to accommodate full time enrollment in the spring and summer semesters. We encourage IA students to contact the Student Financial Affairs office at (352) 392-1275 with any questions or concerns.
IA students must meet the same financial aid deadlines as non-IA students, despite their spring-summer academic calendar. This means that IA students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by UF’s March 15th on-time deadline for priority consideration of UF financial aid funds.
IA students with a Florida Pre-Paid Plan may make full use of the plan during any semester (including the pre-enrollment fall) at any state institution covered under the terms of the pre-paid contract. Innovation Academy students can use their pre-paid plan to pay for spring and summer semester enrollment in the Innovation Academy. They can also use their pre-paid plan to pay for courses taken at other eligible institutions during fall semester when they are not enrolled at UF. However, before enrolling in fall semester coursework at another institution, we recommend that you consult with your UF academic advisor and a UF financial aid advisor.
Yes. Innovation Academy students at the University of Florida who quality for Bright Futures are the only group of students in the state who are able to use Florida Bright Futures funding during the summer semester. Students should be aware that Bright Futures is only available to recipients for two academic semesters per year, which is the same for all students in the state of Florida.
Innovation Academy students should NOT use their Bright Futures award to pay for fall semester courses. If a student uses their Bright Futures award in the fall at any institution, the funds will not be available for use during the summer semester. Bright Futures has a two-semester per year limit, which is the same for all students in the state of Florida.
IA students that pursue fall coursework at another college or university should be careful about accepting financial aid (i.e. Federal Pell Grant, Stafford Loans, or Bright Futures); accepting financial aid may reduce eligibility for financial aid in the summer. IA students need to speak with a financial aid advisor before finalizing any such plans.
The Innovation Academy (IA) is a multidisciplinary undergraduate program that infuses an innovation minor focused on providing students with experience and skills for the twenty-first century. Additionally, IA provides students with an intellectual and social community within the larger context of UF and their academic majors. The academy operates on a spring-summer enrollment schedule, and the IA students are encouraged to devote the fall semester to research, internships, co-op, service learning, community service, study abroad, UF online courses, and other opportunities. IA facilitates participation in focused, small-scale interactions and small group experiences that explore the dimensions of innovation, creativity, and the entrepreneurial mindset. Such experiences include seminars, guest lectures, workshops, programs, and more. The academy facilitates the opportunity to create a small college experience coupled with resources available in a large research university. Cohort-based minor course registration, program residence halls, and small group experiences add to the sense of a small college environment.
One of the strongest competitive qualities we possess as Americans is our ability to innovate and craft creative solutions to complex problems. The Innovation Academy aims to facilitate innovative student thinking, creativity, and the creation of student partnerships with start-up businesses and other entrepreneurs. The goal of the IA is to prepare students for the challenges of living and working in the twenty-first century economy, in a future where the United States continues to hold its competitive advantages in terms of science, education, art, medicine, and business solutions for a global marketplace. Moreover, the IA follows a spring-summer enrollment calendar that will allow the University of Florida to enroll more students without negatively impacting class size, student/faculty ratio or limiting the availability of student resources.
IA student admission is handled the same as any other potential first-year University of Florida student. The UF Office of Admissions follows the same holistic review process. Students must meet the same rigorous standards for admission to both IA and the fall/spring program. The Innovation Academy seeks to admit a highly motivated and academically superior incoming class. Students will have the opportunity to express their interest in the Innovation Academy on the UF undergraduate admission application. Students are only considered for admission to IA if they indicate an interest on their application form and have chosen a major supported by the IA spring-summer schedule. Additionally, a separate essay is required as part of the admissions process. IA admission decisions are released during the same notification process for all first-year students. More admission information can be found on the Admission to IA page.
Pre-enrollment is the time between an IA student’s acceptance into UF and their first spring term of enrollment on UF campus, most typically the fall semester directly following high school graduation. Students have several options available to them, should they wish to jump-start their academic career during the pre-enrollment fall semester, including:
- Enroll in a Fall Connection package consisting of up to 12 credits of online UF courses to jump start their academic career.
- Attend a Florida community or state college. We recommend that students develop an academic plan at Preview Orientation with an academic advisor before enrolling at any institution to make sure courses are applicable to their major. Students must send their official transcripts to UF at the completion of the fall term to ensure the credits taken at the other institution are reflected on their UF transcript.
- Experiential pursuits, such as employment or an internship, to gain perspective on business environments, as well as enhance and develop transferable skills useful for future internships and work experiences.
More information is available on our Pre-Enrollment webpage.
If a student withdraws from the Innovation Academy, they may have to withdraw from the University. Innovation Academy is not a “starting place” for students to gain admission to UF and then opt out. It is designed to be a cohort experience with its own academic structure, calendar, and integrity. If a student is not seeking this kind of educational experience, then they should not accept admission to the Innovation Academy.
Innovation Academy students partake in a two-part comprehensive orientation program coordinated by New Student and Family Programs. First, IA students who have confirmed their intent to enroll, are invited to participated in a two-day overnight orientation program (Preview) with several sessions to choose from, held May-August. Second, IA students participate in an online extended orientation module (Gateways) covering: campus resources, academic exploration, online course management, and extended course selection preparation beginning in September. Once completed, students will work with their college advisor in early December to develop a schedule and register for Spring classes.
Incoming IA students register for Fall Connection courses and prepare an outline for their spring schedule with an academic advisor during Preview held in May-August. During early December, incoming IA students will have the option of working with their college advisor at a distance or in person to finalize their spring schedule and register for courses.
Yes. Attendance at Launch into IA is mandatory for all incoming first-year IA students. Colleges will be notified of all IA students who do not attend.
Dress for Launch into IA is business casual. This is the first time you are in the company of your cohort and representatives from your college. Its your chance to make a good first impression.
The Family and Friends reception held immediately after Launch into IA is open to family and friends of incoming IA students. This event provides family and friends the opportunity to interact with the University of Florida faculty and staff while the students attend a college information session.