USF scholarships, student loans and grants

How to save on tuition and more at the University of South Florida.

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As a state school, the University of South Florida (USF) costs a fraction of what you might pay at some private universities — especially if you’re a Florida resident. But it doesn’t always have enough funding to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Because of this, you may want to apply to some of its scholarship programs before taking on any federal or private student debt.

How much does it cost to go to USF?

Cost of attending USFAnnual cost
Tuition and fees
  • In-state: $6,410
  • Out-of-state: $17,324
Room and board$11,610
Books and supplies$1,200
Other expenses$4,100
Total cost for the 2018-2019 academic year
  • In-state: $23,320
  • Out-of-state: $34,234

As you can see, attending USF costs more than just tuition. Students also need to factor in housing, a meal plan and books and school supplies.

How much debt do USF students graduate with?

The USF Class of 2016 graduated with an average student debt load of $21,860, according to the Department of Education. That’s more than $15,000 below the national average of around $37,000 for that year. You can cut down your student debt load even further by applying for scholarships, grants and work-study programs before turning to student loans.

Does USF offer a tuition payment plan?

It does’t. However, students who live in on-campus housing can choose to make monthly rent payments rather than covering the cost up front.

USF scholarships and grants

USF offers a handful of grants and scholarships to students. Its grants are generally based on financial need, while scholarships go to students with outstanding academic, talent or athletic capabilities.

USF Green to Gold Grant

This need-based grant offers a full ride to full-time Florida residents whose parents don’t have enough income or assets to contribute to your educational expenses. It works in combination with a Federal Pell Grant to cover the total cost of attendance — not just tuition. Recipients can renew the USF Green to Gold Grant for up to four years.

USF Grant

This need-based grant is open to more students than the Green to Gold Grant. You don’t have to be a Florida resident, and graduate students are also eligible. USF prioritizes students with the lowest expected family contribution when distributing this grant — not all students are guaranteed to have their needs met.

First Generation Matching Grant (FGMG)

This grant matches funding that first-generation college students receive from the State of Florida. It’s a need-based grant — you also must be eligible for a federal Pell Grant. And it’s only available to Florida residents whose parents never completed an undergraduate degree. How much you receive depends on the size of your Florida state grants.

USF scholarships

In addition to grants, USF offers several need- and merit-based scholarships funded by USF or USF Foundation donors. Each has its own specific requirements and can range from as little as $250 all the way up to the full cost of attendance.

You can learn about your USF-funded scholarship options by logging in to your student account and filling out a short questionnaire. Or apply to one of the following USF Foundation-funded scholarships. Typically, the deadline for applications is in January or February.

Are there other scholarships and grants available?

There are. In addition to USF scholarships and grants, students can also apply to federal and state programs. State programs like the Bright Futures Scholarship are generally only available to Florida residents — out-of-state students might be able to find funding from their home state instead. You can apply for federal grants by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

University of Florida scholarships

Student loans to pay for USF

Can’t stretch your grants, scholarships and work-study to cover the full cost of attendance? You might want to consider taking out a student loan. USF advises students to first apply for federal loans by completing the FAFSA.

If you’ve reached your federal limit or otherwise can’t qualify for enough federal funding, consider taking out a private student loan.

Compare private student loan providers

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Bottom line

USF offers a variety of need-based grants and merit-based scholarships to help you foot the bill for its cost of attendance. But being a state school, it doesn’t always have the funds to cover everyone’s needs.

If you’re still short on funds, check out our guide to paying for college to explore other options available.

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