TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2021) – High-achieving high school graduates from across the United States and around the world increasingly select the University of South Florida (USF) as their preferred destination.
The class of 2025 features the largest, most academically accomplished and diverse cohort in USF history. The group of 6,392 first-year students includes record increases in out-of-state and international students. The class includes 763 first-year students on the USF St. Petersburg campus, a jump of 83% from 418 students last year.
The average high school GPA for first-year USF students in the fall intake is 4.18, with an average SAT score of 1297. The class also includes a record 62 new National Merit Scholars, up from a previous record of 35 in 2020, and, for the first time, five National Merit Scholars will call the USF St. Petersburg campus their home. USF has also seen tremendous growth in the Judy Genshaft Honors College. Located on all three campuses, the college experienced an 8% growth in enrollment and has seen increases in average GPA and test scores, placing them in the top 3% in the nation.
Consistent with USF’s deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, USF took several strategic steps this year to increase the number of students of color. As a result, the university-wide incoming class is the most diverse to date, with an increase of 16% in Black students, 3% in Hispanic students, 14% in Asian students and 17% more students who self-identify as two races or more, compared to last year. The USF St. Petersburg campus has seen significant growth in diversity from the previous year, which includes an increase of 30 black students, 81 Hispanic students, 33 Asian students and 28 students who self-identify as two races or more.
USF’s demographic profile distinguishes it as more diverse than the other two preeminent universities in Florida and most institutions in the Association of American Universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition as a leader in student success, including graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher-income students.
“The University of South Florida is proud of the size, quality and diversity of our first-year students,” USF President Rhea Law said. “It shows that more and more students are able to benefit from USF’s outstanding commitment to supporting our students as they pursue their academic and career goals.”
The demand for student housing has increased with new and returning students, resulting in residence halls at near full capacity.New and returning students are also taking advantage of courses offered across all three campuses that has led to an increase in student credit hours at both the USF Sarasota-Manatee and USF St. Petersburg campuses.
“Despite the challenges of the past year, I am pleased that USF continues to be a preferred destination for the most academically talented students from across the Tampa Bay region, the state of Florida, the nation, and from around the globe,” USF Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph C. Wilcox said. “Our student population is representative of the communities we serve with first-year students joining us from 52 counties in Florida, 44 states and 86 countries.”
USF Health’s Morsani College of Medicine also welcomed its most competitive and diverse group of students in the college’s history with a median MCAT score of 517, placing the 2021 class in the 94th percentile. Groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine make up 20% of this year’s incoming class, including 12% Black students, including 11 males.
As of the deadline to drop/add courses for the fall semester, total university enrollment stands at approximately 50,000 students.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.