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University Of South Florida Sees Strong Fall Enrollment, Record Freshman Class

Bull statues on USF Tampa campus
Enrollment at the University of South Florida was down slightly in the fall 2020 semester, but the quality and diversity of incoming freshmen showed gains.

While the number of students enrolled at USF is down slightly in Fall 2020 compared to a year earlier, it's a record freshman class in terms of their academic credentials.

Despite offering a combination of online and in-person classes this fall, the University of South Florida is seeing strong enrollment.

USF officials say 50,830 students are enrolled for this semester, down 97 students, or 0.2%, from last fall.

Combined, the campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee had the highest summer enrollment in USF's history with 33,326 students, up 1,914 students, or 6.1%, from summer 2019.

In May, USF President Steven Currall said the university was tracking ahead of a year earlier in terms of students submitting deposits, a signal of their intention to enroll.

“It's a fascinating, somewhat unpredictable environment,” he said during an appearance on Tampa Mayor Jane Castor's Facebook Live interview series.

University officials said it's USF's most academically accomplished incoming freshman class - as well as a diverse one.

Freshmen enrollment

  • Hispanic freshmen up almost 18% from fall 2019
  • Asian freshmen up 8.8%
  • International freshmen up 5.5%
  • Black freshmen up 1.3%

The incoming freshman class had an average SAT score of 1,312, up from 1,286 last year; and an average high school GPA of 4.18, up from 4.13 in fall 2019.

"USF's national reputation for meaningful research, academic excellence and student success continues to attract exceptionally talented students," Currall said. "This is a challenging time, but USF is working hard to provide our students with a transformative educational experience that addresses current needs and helps our students achieve their academic and career goals."

The fall data is as of Aug. 28, the end of the first week of classes and the deadline to drop and add courses. The summer data is what USF calls the preliminary benchmark.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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