University of South Florida


Nursing students at commencement give Go Bulls signal

USF remains a top performer among state universities, leading to benefits for students and faculty

By Adam Freeman, University Communications and Marketing

The University of South Florida continues to be one of the highest performing institutions in the state, according to new data that compares Florida’s public universities in categories such as graduation rates, affordability and salaries after earning a degree.

The data was confirmed today by the Florida Board of Governors as part of the state’s performance-based funding (PBF) model. USF placed in a tie for third among 12 institutions and is the only university to finish in the top four every year since the state implemented PBF in 2014. 

“Our consistent position as a top university in Florida is another indication that USF provides a great return on investment for our students and our state,” USF President Rhea Law said.  “The funding we earn based on performance will support our world-class students, faculty and staff, as we seek to build on our place in the prestigious Association of American Universities, advance toward becoming one of the nation’s top-25 public universities and make an even greater impact in our communities.”  

This year USF achieved the highest score in six of the 11 metrics used to measure performance.  One of those categories is average salary for bachelor’s degree recipients one year after graduation, where USF graduates have seen an 11% increase in the past year and a nearly 19% increase compared to two years ago.  

USF is also a top performer in the percentage of bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis, a category created to help meet the state’s workforce needs that includes fields such as engineering, health care, cybersecurity and teacher preparation. A strong finish shows USF is leading the way in preparing students for success in high-demand career paths, filling the talent pipeline for employers in the Tampa Bay region and helping drive the state’s economy.  

More information on the PBF standings is available here.

In addition, the Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis set aside a $100 million investment in nonrecurring funds for the State University System’s Performance-based Excellence Recognition Program, which was created to recruit and retain top faculty and research talent in the state. Each university’s allocation is determined based on 2024 PBF scores and the number of full-time faculty and researchers employed in programs of strategic emphasis.  This is the first year that USF is eligible to receive these funds, and as a result USF earned an additional $12.7 million for faculty recruitment and retention. More information is available here

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