UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA-TAMPA, FL
Diverse and close-knit
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO GO HERE
Forget ever feeling stuck in a small town—the gorgeous city of Tampa offers a warm and open campus only 30 minutes from Florida’s most popular beaches. People come from 58 different countries and all walks of life to attend this enormous school. While the size seems overwhelming, students never feel like just another number. Professors and faculty members take the time to learn all 200 of their students’ names because they care. Students in Living and Learning Communities become forever families. And although USF may focus on your academic future, their main focus stays on taking care of their students. Around exam week, Student Government brings in puppies to keep the stress from getting you down. Most importantly, your peers stand out as the kindest and coolest kids around who will welcome you with open arms and help you carve your unique path through college.
USF boasts diversity all across the board when it comes to alumni. The Tampa sun helped tan USF’s first students and one of the world’s first supermodels, Lauren Hutton. Florida heat keeps their athletes working hard. From Sam Barrington to Mike Jenkins to Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP), USF has graduated its fair share of pro football players. On the business side of the athletic industry, USF graduated Tony La Russa, who’s managed numerous baseball teams and earned three World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. Of course, USF alumni have achieved fame in other ways. YouTube personality and video blogger Philip DeFranco ranks as the most current star from USF. If you haven’t heard of him, what kind of YouTube channels do you even follow?
WHERE WE HANG
You can find the Marshall Student Center jam packed 24/7 with students doing everything from hitting the books to goofing off with friends, but you need to travel off-campus to find the real hotspots. Perhaps the holy mecca of eateries, Koizi offers all-you-can-eat sushi and endless hibachi. “Our whole group would go at least once a week whether it was before a football game or after a failed test to drown our sorrows in sushi and fried rice,” sophomore Alexa Bianco said. For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, head over to dine-in movie theatre Studio Movie Grill. Perfect for dates or huge groups, you can order delicious grill food and take in the newest feature without emptying your wallet for popcorn.
Speaking of empty wallets, why not invest your precious entertainment savings on an annual Busch Gardens pass? Students get an incredible discount at this epic zoo-turned-theme park walking distance from campus. For the days when roller coasters make your stomach turn in a not so good way, kick back and relax at Clearwater Beach.
1. How much are students partying?
“Probably less than the average ‘Party School.’ We are known more for academics. However, many freshmen check out the fraternity parties at least once,” sophomore Carly Quinn said. “Most USF students will head to Ybor City if they want to party or go clubbing. It’s pretty much the central location for the USF party scene.”
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“As far as getting in actual trouble, probably cheating. If a professor finds out that you plagiarized or cheated on an exam there are serious consequences. It’s hard to get in trouble with your peers though, most of the students here are kind and respectful of everyone,” junior Kristen Ewing said.
3. How much sex are students having?
“As someone who lived on campus both as a resident and resident assistant, people are having a lot of sex at USF but tend to be safe about it for the most part,” graduate Zach Lowie said. “I haven’t heard about too many friends having issues related to that, and I know the health center offers free STD testing for students once a year, as well as free contraception they can get every day if they’d like.”
4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?
“I would tell incoming freshman to join a Living Learning Community in the dorms. Joining the Business LLC or Engineering LLC makes it so much easier to meet people who are going to be taking the same classes and makes it easier to meet new friends,” sophomore Garrett Measures said. “I joined the Engineering one and it was awesome.”
5. What’s the best thing about your campus?
“My favorite thing is without a doubt the people. They’re all so outgoing and open. You can pretty much make friends within the first five minutes of stepping on campus,” sophomore McKenzie Greenhouse said.
“People are so friendly and willing to help, and whenever events happen that bring people together, you always end up making a new friend. For example, USF created the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes thing that has now spread to a lot of other places, and it’s a marathon where guys walk a mile in heels to help spread awareness for consent. The turn out from the student body to see these big macho guys walk around campus in heels is really amazing.” – Samara Schwartz, junior
“My favorite thing about USF is how diverse it is. There’s literally something for everybody and there are so many opportunities to get involved with something that you actually care about…My roommate was able to be in dance pieces and coordinate concerts with her club while I was attending seminars with the FBI and earned a certificate in national security.” – Kayla Hackmann, recent graduate
“USF had a different atmosphere that I didn’t feel at any other school, and the diversity around campus really makes it easy to feel like you have a place somewhere. I was terrified to come out again in college but I haven’t met one person who was shitty about it.” – USF sophomore
“The Bulls Business Community and Business Honors program were the reason I chose to attend and highlight of my college experience. Their slogan ‘big university, small community’ is true at USF and why I felt the fit was right for me. I also think there is something to be said for forging a new path. At a relatively young university, I was building tradition and being part of something new throughout many of my experiences with clubs, sporting events, volunteering and other activities.” – Michael Friedman, recent graduate
“My favorite thing about attending USF would have to be the POD life. Living in a pod is like having a family away from home, they were my best friends and my support system. Everyone was always there for each other and we always made sure we all spent time together, whether it was movie nights or game nights or going out to Beef’s. It was literally the best thing ever.” – Alexa Bianco, sophomore
TOP 3 MAJORS
3. Registered Nursing
TOP 3 MOST POPULAR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
1. Greek Life
Wherever you roam on campus, you’ll see Greek letters. “I think my favorite experience was going through sorority recruitment. I got to meet so many wonderful people and I got to know more about myself going through it,” sophomore Jennifer Jambe said. Some people turn up their noses at the idea of Greek life, but even non-Greek students at USF speak positively about campus chapters. “The frats are huge about community service and fundraising at USF. They always are outside our student center either pie-facing each other for children with cancer or with puppies to raise money for the humane society. They aren’t the typical frat guys that just party and act douchey,” sophomore McKenzie Greenhouse said.
2. P.R.I.D.E Alliance.
With over 40 years of activity, USF’s P.R.I.D.E Alliance lays claim to the oldest continuously funded gay student organization in Florida. “It’s a very safe place where member can be who they are without feeling judged or scared and people understand the struggles that others are facing,” junior and current P.R.I.D.E treasurer Dahlya Katz said. “I think the best part has been getting to know the people involved in the organization and feeling accepted.” The club has many events both large and small in order to educate and celebrate LGBTQAA+ matters. Sophomore Isabella Armas joined in order to become more active in her community. “The best part has been the little events they’ve had. I remember in one we fake-married people to celebrate marriage equality and someone actually ended up proposing to their girlfriend which was amazing.”
3. Student Government
“The one element that sets Student Government at the University of South Florida apart from the rest is our inclusivity and access. Other Universities across the country have party systems or groups that hold electoral power and provide a limited stream of access to representation,” senior and Student Body Vice President Alec Waid said. “Here at USF, any student who wishes to have their voice heard or wants to run for elected office has just as great of a chance as the next.” The job certainly raises its challenges but senior Chief of Staff Naomi Adeyefa knows that being a part of SG presents a rewarding experience which only connects its students to the university more. “The best part of my experience, so far, is all of the growth and learning that I’ve been exposed to in this role and as a student leader,” Adeyefa said.
The University of South Florida looks closely at your testing scores and has its GPA requirements (50 percent of freshman admitted had GPA’s between 3.81 and 4.40, yikes!). Luckily, they make admission decisions on a rolling basis—so the earlier you apply, the better. The admissions website strongly recommends taking AP courses as your test scores help determine your college readiness. However, grades alone won’t snag you an acceptance letter, so students recommend completing the optional essay to showcase your personality. Keep in mind that the business, nursing and engineering majors fill up fast, so be sure to stand out when applying to these intended majors by including your sparkling resume and brag-worthy letters of recommendation.
Location: Tampa, FL
Tuition & Fees: $6,410
Total Cost on Campus: $23,494
Undergrads Enrolled: 36,108
Grads Enrolled: 9,889
Total Enrolled: 48,793
Acceptance percentage: 47.5%
Percent Admitted Who Enroll: 31.3%
Percentage of Male Students: 44.1%
Percentage of Female Students: 55.9%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 95%
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 40%
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 49%