Cost of Attendance
Freshmen Cost of Attendance
Did you know that USF offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the country? It’s true! We have been nationally recognized for our affordability and value by many outside organizations, including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees are based on a number of factors, including residency and the type of housing chosen. However, even if you live out of state, our costs often competitive with the in-state rates at your local university.
Cost of Attendance
Your award letter will list the average cost of attendance to attend USF for one academic year. The total amount of aid you receive during the academic year – including scholarships, grants, loans and work-study, cannot exceed your total cost of attendance. To arrive at your estimated cost of attendance, the Office of Financial Aid calculates your expected fees for tuition, housing and meal plans, and includes the cost-of-living expenses for our local area. All figures change slightly every year.
What Does Cost of Attendance Include?
Your cost of attendance includes more than tuition: It also takes into account your basic living expenses, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as a “student budget.” The cost of attendance is made up of two different types of costs: direct and indirect.
- Direct costs: Items that will appear on your OASIS account, such as tuition, fees and your housing and meal plan (also called room and board). You will have estimated costs whether you live on-campus, off-campus in an apartment or with your parents.
- Indirect costs: Items that will not appear on your bill but are estimated costs associated with going to college and should be included in your budget, such as books, transportation and personal expenses.
When comparing financial aid packages from other schools, it’s important to focus on your unmet cost (or “bottom line”)—not just the sticker price or the amount of financial aid you were awarded.
Use our cost calculator to help estimate your college expenses.
Ways to Save
You can believe us when we say that we strive to make the USF experience as affordable as possible for students and their families.
Learn more about the types of aid available and how to apply below or visit USF’s Office of Financial Aid for more information
Types of Aid
Financial aid is funding that helps you pay for college. There are many options available to you, including:
- Grants: Money provided to students by the federal or state government or institution that is need based (you are not responsible for paying back).
- Scholarships: Money provided to students based on academic performance or talent (e.g., athletics, music, etc.).
- Loans: Money borrowed by you and/or your parents that must be paid back with interest. Loans may be awarded to you regardless of financial need.
- Work Study: Need-based employment. Money is received bimonthly based upon hours worked in an on-campus job.
Also, be sure to check with your employer (or your parents’) to see if they offer a tuition-reimbursement program.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows you to be automatically considered for federal, state and university financial aid programs. Don't delay – to be considered for the most types of aid possible, be sure to submit your FAFSA by the Jan. 1 priority deadline.
There are many scholarship opportunities available to students at USF. To start, every student who submits a complete admissions application by the priority deadline is automatically considered for merit-based Admissions Scholarships. There are also various awards offered by the USF Foundation, which are privately funded and require a separate application.
On and Off-Campus Jobs
Working while you study can be a great way to help reduce your tuition bill. As a large metropolitan university, USF offers many employment options for students, including:
- Federal Work-Study Jobs: FWS provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Only students who receive FWS awards as part of a financial aid package are eligible to apply for FWS jobs.
- On-Campus Employment: Part-time student employment at USF is open to everyone who wants to apply.
- Off-Campus Employment: Many employers post jobs through our Handshake portal and there are countless area businesses who are seeking good student workers.
The Work at USF website offers more information about types of student employment and how to successfully prepare for the job search.