Pros and Cons of University of South Florida

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Team College Learners

Finding the best answers on whether University of San Francisco pros and cons doesn’t always come up easily. Also, finding the best information on pros and cons of UCF, interesting facts about USF & USF student life doesn’t always come up easy either. However, the article below brings the best answers and best information to all these.

University of San Francisco Pros and Cons

“The University of South Florida has a lot to offer the prospective student. The city is loaded with exciting things to do that will fill up your free time, and it also has numerous colleges that offer the best in academics and extracurricular activities.”

This excerpt from the USF website sums up everything you need to know about this college: it’s about having fun and providing excellent education. We can’t wait for you to join us!

The University of South Florida (USF) at Tampa is the flagship campus of the University of South Florida System. Learn about its financial aid and student life, and get the pros and cons of studying at USF.

Pros and Cons of Starting at a Community College | USF Admissions

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

University of San Francisco Rankings & School Analysis

University of South Florida has a lot going for it. In addition to its main campus in Tampa, USF has locations in St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Sarasota – Manatee, making this university a great option for students who would like to enjoy the beaches of the Sunshine State along with their higher education. 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%, so students interested in applying should be sure they meet all requirements before submitting their application.

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%*

USF Student Life

Hey, you! Yes, you. I don’t know you yet, but I bet we’d get along just fine.

I want to invite you to come be my roommate here at USF—in [city]. We have a beautiful campus and the best programs, like communication sciences and disorders, business management and entrepreneurship, criminology and international studies. You’ll also find a diverse student body here: 56% of our students are female and 89% are Florida residents like you. We’ve got 6% of students coming from other countries, so if you want exposure to different cultures, we’ve got that too. The largest racial/ethnic groups are White (58%), Hispanic/Latino (18%) and Black or African-American (12%).

You’re required to live on campus during your freshman year, so why not make it fun? We’ve got coed housing, women-only housing, theme housing (such as a dance house or an honors house), family housing for students with kids and fraternity/sorority housing. Oh yeah—day care services are available on campus if you do have kids. And if you don’t have kids but still need some help juggling work with school, we offer evening courses too.

We can’t

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 SettingLarge 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 AvailableYes*
% of Students Living on Campus16%***
Number of Libraries3**
Extracurricular ActivitiesMore 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

Pros and Cons of Starting at a Community College

Even if a diploma from a powerhouse university is your lifelong goal, you’re wise to consider the benefits of beginning your bachelor’s degree at a community college. Sometimes called city college or junior college, community college is a phenomenal launching pad: 49 percent of students at universities begin at a two-year school. Offering accessible education to all and the promise of an associate degree in as little as four semesters, a community college can be a smart option. Conversely, starting your college life at a two-year school can pose a few challenges. Let’s consider both — the upsides and the downsides of community college — and how you can leverage a two-year program into your lifelong goal: a university bachelor’s degree. Here are the pros and cons of starting at a community college to help you make the best choice for you.

University of South Florida Pros

  • The price is right. Average annual tuition is $3,570 versus $9,970 for a four-year, in-state, public college.
  • It could even be free. In 17 states, community college can be free. In 17 states, community college can be tuition-free.
  • Financial aid applies. Maintain basic eligibility and credit hours to qualify for programs like Pell Grants.
  • The 529 can be tapped. Tax-free savings plans can be used for community college, even for part-time students.
  • Staying put has its perks. Living with family slashes housing and food costs (and makes laundry easier).  
  • Acceptance is open-access. Anyone who applies to an open-access community college is welcome to enroll. 
  • The SAT is non-compulsory. No standardized test score is required: Placement testing is a possibility, however.
  • Admission is year-round. A gap due to limited funds or a missed deadline won’t derail a whole academic year. 
  • Choosing a major is less stressful. Sample a variety of subjects without pressure to land on a choice before you’re ready.
  • Classes are smaller. Students tend to ask more questions and receive more personalized attention. 
  • Prerequisites can be knocked out. Pass core STEM or business courses; they’re often weed-out classes on larger campuses.
  • Scheduling is flexible. Night, online, and weekend classes allow for a balanced work, family, and school life.
  • It offers a second chance. A two-year degree can be the ticket to your top-choice university, even one that rejected you senior year.
  • Competence does improve. Gain two years of progress in study skills, credit hours, and maturity.
  • ESOL students reap benefits. English language classes and 2+2 transition programs offer a pipeline to nearby universities for international students.
  • University admission can be a little easier. Acceptance is assured for students graduating from schools with a transfer agreement, such as the FUSE program, a pathway to USF via eight Florida community colleges.

University of South Florida Cons

  • It’s common to overcommit. Loading up on a hodgepodge of 100-level courses can be inefficient and expensive.
  • Course selection can be uninspiring. Community colleges keep the curriculum practical and limited for a narrow list of majors.
  • Credit hours could be unusable. Check university articulation agreements for courses with transferrable credits.
  • Some people look down on it. Practice not apologizing for making the wise choice to start a degree at a two-year school
  • Instagram envy can happen. When friends at university post snaps partying at a faraway football game, it can sting.
  • Social life can be challenging.. The average age of a community college student is 28so making friends can be tricky.
  • Classmates might be unmotivated. Not every student is university-bound; many may not be ready for the rigors of college.
  • It feels temporary. To get a bachelor’s degree in most states, moving on to a four-year college is usually an inevitability
  • Part-time can take forever. Progress can be slow for the 63 percent of community college students who attend part-time
  • It’s not all frats and Final Four. Athletics and Greek life may not be offered; commuting makes returning to campus for evening events much less likely.
  • Living on campus is not the norm. Fewer than 30 percent of community colleges offer on-campus housing.
  • Instructors are often part-time. More than half of students at two-year schools are taught by adjuncts, not full professors.
  • It can be harder to go the distance. Only 33 percent of students transfer to a four-year school (but those who do tend to overachieve).
University of South Florida (USF): Rankings, Fees, Courses, Admission 2021,  Eligibility & Scholarships

Tips for a Smooth Transition from Community College to University

When you make the leap from community college to university, you can stick the landing if you follow a few simple steps:

How to Concentrate in Class
  • Embrace the here-and-now. Don’t postpone your enthusiasm for school until you get to a “real” college; community college is real college. Study hard, make friends, and pursue the opportunities for leadership a smaller campus provides. You’ll find community college is a great proving ground and a wonderful way to ease into the life of a college student.
  • Finish your AA first. Completing your community college program prepares you to finish your university bachelor’s degree on time and guarantees admission to partner universities like USF.
  • Get to know your advisors. They can help you plan for your transition and make good course selections to optimize credit transfer.
  • Apply early to a transfer partnership. When you fill out your community college application, select a regional pipeline program like FUSE (which offers orientation, outreach activities, and a game plan for graduation from USF).
  • Secure financial aid. There are scholarships specifically for transfer students, plus grants, loans, and work programs.
  • Don’t skip orientation. Even though you will have two years of community college under your belt, you will acclimate to your new university campus more easily if you participate in the welcoming ceremony and tour.
  • Get involved right away. Claim your new campus as your own and join clubs, activities, study groups, and academic societies with “native” students (they will have no idea you just arrived, unless you tell them).

If you’re interested in starting your degree at a community college with an eye to transferring to USF, the USF Office of Admissions is ready to discuss the many benefits of the FUSE program. Contact us online, or reach us by phone at 813-974-3350.

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