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University of South Florida ???


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What's with the ads?

#1 teachermom2834

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 06:53 AM

My ds who has been settled on a small in state school just two hours away in a nice small town for a year now happened upon a program of interest at the U of South Florida. Surprisingly, it looks like he is qualified for automatic merit aid putting the cost similar to the in state school and it looks like he is qualified to enter into this program. He has an application in and we are tentatively planning a visit when he is on spring break for his de (but USF is in session). He is intrigued by the sudden excitement of going someplace new and different and far away and I'm pretty sure he will be impressed by the size of the campus and the amenities and the weather when we visit. There is a chance he is overwhelmed by the sheer size but it seems highly likely he will want to attend.

Any thoughts on the school? I am being supportive but I'll admit I feel thrown. He was all set to attend a school that was very comfortable to us in size, location, and familiarity. Now he has totally switched gears and looking at a huge school in an urban area that is a couple states away and we have zero familiarity with. Not that those are reasons to stand in his way but I will admit it is uncomfortable.

My initial research reveals that it seems to be a better school than I initially would have assumed and I am becoming more comfortable the more I learn. I would really like to hear any thoughts or experiences any one here has.

Thank you!
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#2 LAR

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:37 AM

We live less than an hour north of USF and it is becoming the go-to-school among our homeschool and public school friends. We know of four homeschooled seniors who were accepted under early admission this year. All four are DE at St Pete College (SPC) and anticipate all credits being accepted. Three of the four scored above minimum SAT requirements while one scored below but pulled in As at SPC. We’ve been on campus several times. We’ve attended plays and ballet performances which were very well done. We’ve interacted with students after a performance of the Nutcracker and dancers were enthusiastic and engaging. Both of our daughters gave presentations to professors in the geology department two years ago as part of USFs Karst Conference and it was an incredible experience. Our youngest is a rock hound and was taken back when one professor took us until his lab so she could hold a stalactite. In addition USF is becoming more successful at obtaining grant money for its programs which is obviously a huge plus for professors and students. In fact, my aunt who is an ICU nurse in PA said a few of the doctors told her that our oldest daughter shouldn’t leave the state for her undergrad but she attend USF as its reputation keeps improving. The school isn’t downtown Tampa but is also definitely not in a rural area. However, we’ve felt comfortable and safe touring the school. I know that if our oldest decides to stay in state that USF will be near the top of her list.
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#3 teachermom2834

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 08:42 AM

We live less than an hour north of USF and it is becoming the go-to-school among our homeschool and public school friends. We know of four homeschooled seniors who were accepted under early admission this year. All four are DE at St Pete College (SPC) and anticipate all credits being accepted. Three of the four scored above minimum SAT requirements while one scored below but pulled in As at SPC. We’ve been on campus several times. We’ve attended plays and ballet performances which were very well done. We’ve interacted with students after a performance of the Nutcracker and dancers were enthusiastic and engaging. Both of our daughters gave presentations to professors in the geology department two years ago as part of USFs Karst Conference and it was an incredible experience. Our youngest is a rock hound and was taken back when one professor took us until his lab so she could hold a stalactite. In addition USF is becoming more successful at obtaining grant money for its programs which is obviously a huge plus for professors and students. In fact, my aunt who is an ICU nurse in PA said a few of the doctors told her that our oldest daughter shouldn’t leave the state for her undergrad but she attend USF as its reputation keeps improving. The school isn’t downtown Tampa but is also definitely not in a rural area. However, we’ve felt comfortable and safe touring the school. I know that if our oldest decides to stay in state that USF will be near the top of her list.


Thank you!!! I sure hope his admission and merit aid come through as we are hoping.

#4 Lanny

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 02:15 PM

DD and I took a Christmas gift to the next door neighbors, 9 days ago.  They had been visiting family in the Orlando/Central Florida area, for 4 weeks, which included 4 or 5 nights on Hilton Head Island SC.  I heard her telling DD something about USF being the #2 school.  I asked my DD, "#2 in what?" She didn't know.  He has a USF ball cap.  I don't know if USF is #2 because of the size of the enrollment, or Womans' Volleyball or some other sport or quality, but if you are interested, I would ask, #2 in what?   (Those neighbors have a grandchild who attends USF)



#5 Sandwalker

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:24 AM

My husband got his Master's at USF. It is a good school academically, very good in some areas. The cost is very low compared to a lot of places. It is more of a commuter college than some others are, and is quite sprawling. He'll ideally use a bicycle or a long board to get around. Mass transit is horrible in Tampa, but there is some bus service near the university, very low cost for students. There are some extremely sketchy areas near the campus, so be careful where if he's living off campus. There is some great housing near the campus, where 4 students have a common living room and kitchen with each having his own bed/bathroom that locks. There may still be a dorm shortage, as I know there was several years back.

As far as the Tampa Bay area goes, it's great. Low cost, great beaches, beautiful weather, good access to the arts, fantastic airport, tons to do. USF plays its football games in the NFL Buccaneer stadium. Tampa also has professional hockey, baseball (though the Rays are debatable pros Lol), soccer, and indoor football. Orlando is an hour+ away.

Drawbacks: tons of strip clubs and the traffic. Large bugs. Fire ants. And humidity in the long summer if it bothers you.
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#6 teachermom2834

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 11:11 AM

My husband got his Master's at USF. It is a good school academically, very good in some areas. The cost is very low compared to a lot of places. It is more of a commuter college than some others are, and is quite sprawling. He'll ideally use a bicycle or a long board to get around. Mass transit is horrible in Tampa, but there is some bus service near the university, very low cost for students. There are some extremely sketchy areas near the campus, so be careful where if he's living off campus. There is some great housing near the campus, where 4 students have a common living room and kitchen with each having his own bed/bathroom that locks. There may still be a dorm shortage, as I know there was several years back.

As far as the Tampa Bay area goes, it's great. Low cost, great beaches, beautiful weather, good access to the arts, fantastic airport, tons to do. USF plays its football games in the NFL Buccaneer stadium. Tampa also has professional hockey, baseball (though the Rays are debatable pros Lol), soccer, and indoor football. Orlando is an hour+ away.

Drawbacks: tons of strip clubs and the traffic. Large bugs. Fire ants. And humidity in the long summer if it bothers you.


Thank you! I am pretty conflicted about the whole thing but I process my feelings through seeking information so this is very helpful!
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#7 LAR

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:30 PM

I couldn’t agree more about the pluses regarding TB area. We love the state parks, preserves and hiking trails, plus St Pete and Clearwater are an easy drive. We’re heading downtown tonight for Harry Potter in Concert at the Straz - which offers a tremendous lineup of shows. With the arts and sports teams, there’s always something to do.

It’ll definitely be worth your time to schedule a campus tour and explore the area.
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#8 teachermom2834

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:41 PM

I couldn’t agree more about the pluses regarding TB area. We love the state parks, preserves and hiking trails, plus St Pete and Clearwater are an easy drive. We’re heading downtown tonight for Harry Potter in Concert at the Straz - which offers a tremendous lineup of shows. With the arts and sports teams, there’s always something to do.

It’ll definitely be worth your time to schedule a campus tour and explore the area.


Thank you. I do note that no one is telling me all the awful things about the school and area that would make it easier for ds to stay closer to home ;)
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#9 LAR

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 01:57 PM

Lol! Sorry but we moved from Pa to Fl 8 years ago and love it here!

What field of study does your son plan to pursue?

#10 teachermom2834

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 02:26 PM

Lol! Sorry but we moved from Pa to Fl 8 years ago and love it here!

What field of study does your son plan to pursue?


He plans to pursue a business degree (finance or accounting?). He says he wants to go to law school but I honestly don't know that he even knows what is involved with law school or being a lawyer. I hadn't given the law school part much attention because I figured he would likely lose interest or decide it was too hard or not financially sensible or whatever. However, he found that USF has an accelerated BS/JD program with Stetson Law School so he is interested in that possibility.
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#11 SebastianCat

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 03:13 PM

I am a USF grad and am currently working on prereqs for a graduate program there.  I also live in Tampa.  USF has grown tremendously since I was first a student there 25 years ago, and their business school has an excellent reputation.   

 

I agree with everything that has been mentioned about the campus.  It's huge and he will need a bike to get around campus, and a car to get anywhere else not related to school events.   (There is, for example, a bus service from campus to football games, which are about 20-30 minutes away.)  I'd highly recommend living on campus at first if he can.   

 

Tampa is a fantastic place to live.   Beaches are about 30-40 minutes away from campus, Busch Gardens is about 5 minutes away, Orlando is an hour away.   There is something to do here all year long and the weather is fantastic (it's in the 70s today while much of the country is freezing).   He can get away with wearing shorts and t-shirts (quite literally) about 50 weeks per year.


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#12 Scoutermom

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 09:09 AM

My sister worked there for many years and enjoyed her time there. That's all I know. I can ask her more specific questions if you have them.


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#13 Chris in VA

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:31 PM

If he goes there and has the chance to take an elective outside of what he's interested in, and if he has any interest AT ALL in the bible and archeology, have him try a course with Dr. James Strange. He is my husband's mentor, and an excellent scholar and professor who has dug extensively in Israel. His "claim to fame" is his digging in Sepphoris, a town about 3 miles from Nazareth. He is an amazing, amazing man. 


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#14 teachermom2834

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:57 PM

If he goes there and has the chance to take an elective outside of what he's interested in, and if he has any interest AT ALL in the bible and archeology, have him try a course with Dr. James Strange. He is my husband's mentor, and an excellent scholar and professor who has dug extensively in Israel. His "claim to fame" is his digging in Sepphoris, a town about 3 miles from Nazareth. He is an amazing, amazing man.


Wow. That is a great recommendation! Thank you.

#15 Vida Winter

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 03:17 AM

I am also a USF grad -- from the college of engineering, so no input on business. Definitely live on campus, and bike to class. It's a huge campus! I'm sure it has changed quite a bit since I was there.


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