How We Make Decisions
Other Admission Factors
In addition to our Academic Success Predictors, GPA and test scores, we consider a number of other factors when evaluating your application for admission.
Strength of Curriculum
Your high school coursework serves to prepare you for the rigors of college courses, particularly at a research institution like USF. We strongly encourage you to challenge yourself by taking coursework at the highest levels in which you can be successful, including Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), AICE and dual enrollment courses. In addition, we expect that you will complete additional academic coursework beyond minimum state requirements, particularly in the areas of math, science and foreign language. We want you to be successful academically once you enroll in college, not just competitive for admission to USF.
One of the most overlooked areas of importance in the admissions process is your grade trend, particularly in the junior and senior years. In fact, we defer many of our applicants for official first semester senior grades so that we can evaluate progress and performance in the senior year. Generally, the higher your grades the better, and we prefer to see more As and Bs than Cs (though a few Cs may be acceptable, particularly in the most challenging of courses). Ds and Fs are cause for concern.
Dual Enrollment Grade Point Average
Taking dual enrollment coursework is a great way for you to get a head start on meeting college graduation requirements while receiving additional consideration in USF's application process. Please know, however, that once you begin enrolling in college courses, you establish a postsecondary record that will follow you forever on official college transcripts. Not only might you lessen your chances to gain admission to USF if your performance in these courses is poor—even in a single dual enrollment course—your grades may affect your chances for admission to graduate, law, medical or professional school in the future! As a rule, therefore, USF requires an applicant to have a minimum postsecondary GPA of 2.50 (unweighted) in dual enrollment courses to be considered for (and maintain) an offer of freshman admission. On the positive side, we provide additional consideration to those applicants with a postsecondary GPA of 3.00 or higher, as they have proven themselves capable of being successful in college-level work.
Personal Statements and Letters of Recommendation
USF does not require this information with your initial application. However, in the event that you are deferred for any reason (including semester grades or new test scores), we encourage you to submit this additional documentation. You should send no more than two letters of recommendation, and the recommendations that mean the most are written by teachers who can best vouch for your potential for academic success in college.
Family educational background, socioeconomic status, status as first-generation-to-college or evidence of a special talent also may be considered in our evaluation process. To ensure that we can consider these factors, you should note this information in the optional information portion of the USF application for admission. NOTE: USF does not provide admission consideration on the basis of race or gender per Florida state law.