About University of South Florida

Is the University of South Florida the School for You?

The University of South Florida is a public research university located in Tampa, on the west coast of Florida. USF offers 237 programs of study, and students can choose from associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs within 13 colleges. Weigh the facts below to find out if USF is the school for you.


  • Graduation rate is 12 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Student debt following graduation is $4,876 lower than the national average
  • Accepts dual and AP credits


  • Acceptance rate is 27.5 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is 27:1, which is higher than the national average

Rankings & School Analysis

In addition to its main campus in Tampa, USF has locations in St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Sarasota - Manatee. Roughly 88% of full-time students return to USF after their first year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and the university had an overall graduation rate of 52% among students who entered the university in Fall 2005, higher than the national average of 40%. However, the school accepted only 38% of applicants for the Fall 2011 semester, much lower than the national acceptance rate of 65.5%.

If you're a Florida resident, you can expect to pay roughly $20,390 a year, the total cost of attendance for 2012-2013. This rate includes all school and living expenses, including books and supplies. As an in-state student, you'll be paying slightly above the national average of $17,860. Non-residents can expect to pay $30,320, which is on par with the typical cost of public universities for out-of-state students. Additionally, USF students typically graduate with $21,784 in debt, nearly $5,000 less than the national average. Though overall student debt is lower, 9.8% of USF students defaulted on their student loans within three years of graduation, NCES reports.

With 29,975 undergraduates and 9,621 graduate students, the University of South Florida is one of the largest public schools in the country. You'll be able to choose from 89 undergraduate majors in traditional liberal arts, scientific and technical disciplines. The school has a 27:1 student-faculty ratio, much higher than the national average of 16:1, so some of your classes may be relatively large.

Getting In & Financial Aid at USF

You will need to complete the school's application and submit a $30 fee, a high school transcript and standardized test scores. The percentage of students submitting SAT (54%) and ACT (46%) scores is roughly equal. You can apply as early as the beginning of your senior year of high school and you'll be notified on a rolling basis after you submit your materials. If you're interested in financial aid, you'll need to submit your application by early January for scholarships and March 1 for all other aid. The final deadline for applications is April 15.

Roughly 31% of admitted students choose to attend USF. The university reports that the middle 50% of admitted freshman in Fall 2011 had SAT scores between 1620 and 1910 and ACT scores between 24 and 28. According to figures from College Board, USF provided financial aid to 80% of qualifying freshman and met approximately half of all undergraduates' financial need. You'll be able to apply for scholarships in academics, athletics, music and other areas by filling out a questionnaire on the school's website and finding scholarships that match your background and talents. If you are entering a graduate program, you may be eligible for fellowships and research or teaching assistantships.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) April 15**
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013-2014) March 1**
Admission Notification Date (2012-2013) Rolling basis**
Application Fee (2011-2012) $30*
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 38%*
All Tuition and Living Expenses (2011-2012) $20,590 for residents, $29,780 for non-residents*
Average Financial Aid Package (2011-2012) $10,471***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $21,784***
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 9.8%*

Student Life at USF

Roughly 56% of USF students are female and 89% are Florida residents, with 6% of students coming from other countries. You'll be among a diverse undergraduate student body, with the largest racial/ethnic groups being White (58%), Hispanic/Latino (18%) and Black or African-American (12%). You're required to live on campus during your freshman year, and you can choose between coed, women-only, theme, family and fraternity/sorority housing. USF attendees with children can take advantage of on-campus day care services and evening courses.

If you're looking to get involved on campus, USF boasts more than 400 student organizations, including 46 Greek chapters, 17 NCAA athletic teams and 30 intramural sport options. You'll also have access to several art galleries, the university's Botanical Gardens and hundreds of annual campus events.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Large city*
Student Population (2011) 29,975 undergraduates, 9,621 graduate students*
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 44% to 56%*
% of Full Time Students (2011) 77%*
% of In-state Students (2011) 89%*
% of International Students (2011) 6%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 88% for full-time students and 68% for part-time students*
Campus Housing Available Yes*
% of Students Living on Campus 16%***
Number of Libraries 3**
Extracurricular Activities More than 400 student organizations**

Article Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **University of South Florida, ***U.S. News & World Report, ****College Board

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036, Tampa, FL 33620
  • Phone: (813) 974-3350