USF now 8th largest US public university
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 01:09
Enrollment at USF has increased across the entire system — an intentional move according to administrators.
According to USF InfoMart, after the drop/add period, the USF System now hosts 47,646 students — making USF the eighth largest public university
in the U.S, Provost Ralph Wilcox said.
He said the Tampa campus, by itself is the 18th largest public university in the country and now enrolls 40,040 students — up 411 heads from last year’s 39,629. The Sarasota-Manatee campus increased by 38 students from last year, now hosting 1,951 students, and the St. Petersburg campus increased by 298 students, to 4,648 students.
“If anyone says, ‘Wow, it feels like there are more students on campus,’ well, there are,” David Henry, director of admissions, said. “Our undergraduate recruitment efforts were certainly stepped up. We needed to enroll a larger first-time-in-college student population.”
USF President Judy Genshaft said the enrollment growth was designed to shape the academic profile of the Tampa campus and to grow the branch campuses.
“The enrollment is high everywhere, although on the Tampa campus we are maintaining around the 40,000 limit because we don’t want to grow more than that,” Genshaft said. “It’s all about our enrollment profile. We have the strongest academic profile class ever on the Tampa campus.”
With 24 National Merit scholars, the largest honors class of 595 students and an average SAT score of 1209 — up four points from last year — the Tampa campus’ academic profile has sloped upward, according to InfoMart.
“We did have a higher acceptance rate for our students this year,” Henry said. “Often times individuals assume that if you are accepting more, the quality isn’t there, but that isn’t the case.”
And though Henry said could not speak about whether enrollment would be capped, Genshaft said administrators hope to keep the Tampa campus
at its current size.
According to a Miami Herald report from the spring semester, when USF had 37,879 students enrolled, it was 34 percent over capacity when using a “classroom space utilization formula.”
But because of scheduling around, University avoided overcrowding.
In a year in which budget cuts trimmed $36.9 million the increased enrollment also brought in new tuition dollars. Within the USF system, the total credit hours students are enrolled in have increased by 1.5 percent.
USF also saw a 21 percent increase in international students — something Wilcox said was “quite intentional,” Henry said 46 percent of USF students are Pell Grant eligible.
“The reality is that we make a conservative effort,” Henry said. “To ensure that the enrollment of the university is at such a point that will lead to the success of our students.”
— Additional reporting by Divya Kumar