No. The only UCF course you will take during the spring semester is the SMART Start course. You are required to maintain enrollment and complete courses toward your A.A. degree at Valencia at the same time as you are enrolled in SMART Start. You will be expected to earn your A.A. degree from Valencia in accordance with your future term schedule.
Upon satisfactory completion of SMART Start, you may enroll in additional courses at UCF.

Yes. All new UCF students are required to complete orientation. UCF’s orientation program is different from the SMART Start program, and you will be unable to register for future terms until orientation is completed. You will receive further communication regarding orientation during the spring term.

The one-credit SMART Start course will be taught online. It builds on major and transfer readiness, which is the foundation for a successful transition to UCF. Major and transfer readiness is achieved through academic and career coaching, skills assessments, completion of pre-requisites, and the development of academic journeys for your intended major. The course will also provide resources to support your transition from Valencia to UCF and help acclimate you to a new academic environment and community.

The cost of the one-credit course ($212.28) fee will be waived if you participate in SMART Start. You will be required to pay the standard $30 application fee to apply to UCF. You will also be required to pay a standard fee of $35 for your UCF Orientation session during your first semester and $25 plus tax for the online e-book for the course that will be required.

Students participating in the SMART Start Program should not update school information with the Florida Department of Education. The Florida Department of Education should be updated to include UCF once the student plans to only attend UCF.

Students participating in the SMART Start Program should not update the FAFSA to include UCF, as students will receive their financial aid from Valencia College during their time in the program. The FAFSA should be updated to include UCF’s School Code, once the student plans to only attend UCF.

  • A student is considered “major ready” when they have identified and selected an educational pathway that aligns with their personal interests, career goals, and aptitude, and is following their educational plan.
  • The “major ready” student knows the academic and program admission requirements for their intended major and has completed the Common Program Pre-requisites (CPP) for that major.
  • Upon transfer, the student is prepared to begin courses in the major at the junior level along with native FTIC students.
  • A student is “transfer ready: when they have completed all components of major readiness to include knowledge of requirements regarding math pathways, foreign language, certifications, and testing requirements.
  • The “transfer ready” student has identified internships, study abroad, research, and other high-impact practices that enhance both their major readiness and transfer success – the specific resources and tools to support their ongoing educational success.

You will need a computer, reliable internet, webcam, and microphone.

The online information session is on December 6, 2023, at 6pm. It is required for all admitted SMART Start students. The session will provide important details about the program. If you do not attend, you will not be permitted to participate in SMART Start and your application for admission to UCF for Spring 2024 will be canceled.

You will be notified of your admission decision by December 6th if you apply and submit all required materials by the November 27th application completion deadline.

The $500 incentive will be awarded after satisfactory completion of the one-credit SMART Start course at UCF. It can be used to cover future costs at UCF, such as tuition, fees, or books. The incentive will be made available after your A.A. degree is awarded from Valencia.

Please contact a UCF Success Coach at or 407-823-4547 with any additional questions about the SMART Start Program.

As a Valencia College student who has expressed interest in the DirectConnect to UCF pathway, we know that you are making progress toward your A.A. degree and preparing to transfer to UCF. The SMART Start program can help make the transition to UCF smoother and set you up for success in your chosen degree before you actually begin taking major-related courses.

As a SMART Start student, you will not be eligible for financial aid at UCF until after the requirements of the program have been satisfied. If you are receiving financial aid at Valencia College, you should continue to follow the policies and procedures of Valencia College’s Financial Aid Services.

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