University Of South Florida Essay Topic

Competition for space in the freshman class is rigorous. High school GPAs for the middle 50 percent of freshman admitted in Fall 2017 were between 3.9-4.4.

For determining admissibility to USF, we will recalculate your high school GPA based on grades earned in high school only in core academic subject areas, as well as specified AP and IB fine and performing arts courses. USF will add the quality points outlined below for approved AP, IB, AICE, Honors and Dual Enrollment courses provided you earn a "C" or better. 

Course TypeQuality Point
Advanced Placement1.0
International Baccalaureate1.0
Dual Enrollment1.0
AICE1.0
Honors0.5

Taking weighted courses can have a positive impact on your recalculated GPA as long as you are reasonably successful in these advanced-level courses.

Test Score Requirements

USF requires freshman applicants to submit official results of at least one college entrance exam (SAT or ACT). USF does not currently require or consider the optional Essay section of the SAT or the ACT for the admission or scholarship review processes. Likewise, SAT Subject Tests are not considered for admission or placement. USF's code for SAT is 5828 and for ACT is 0761.

In Fall 2017, SAT and ACT scores for admitted freshman were:

SAT: 1220-1350
ACT: 27-30

Superscoring

USF considers your highest submitted section scores across all SAT and ACT test dates. Final admission decisions will be made using only your highest cumulative scores. Each time you submit test scores to USF, we will update your record with any new high scores. We strongly encourage you to submit your scores each time you take the SAT or ACT. Sending your scores each time you take the SAT or ACT can benefit you by allowing us to consider you for all available enrollment-related opportunities.

Concordance and the Redesigned SAT

The Redesigned SAT was launched by the College Board in March 2016. USF will accept both the Original (Pre-March 2016) SAT and the Redesigned (March 2016 and later) SAT for admission for the Spring 2017 semester and later. For admission and scholarship purposes we will concord any Original SAT scores to the Redesigned SAT scale; we will also superscore all administrations of the SAT. If you took the Original SAT and want to understand how your scores will concord to the new scale, please refer to the SAT Score Converter. For more information on the Redesigned SAT, visit the College Board website.

Testing Recommendations

Because the SAT and ACT measure college readiness through different means and formats, we strongly encourage you to take each exam once during the spring of your junior year in high school. You are likely to prefer (and even to perform better) on one test over the other, which would allow you to focus on that test during the fall of your senior year. Except in rare cases, you should not take either test more than three times, as significant improvements on performance are unlikely at that point.

Impactful Personal Essays

Personal essays explain who you are, why you are applying, and what you plan to accomplish with the award. Essays are your chance to convince the panel why you deserve to be a scholarship recipient.

Successful personal statements follow the guidelines below:

Engage: Your essays should reflect YOU. It is important draw your reader into your essay and compel them to feel connected to your story and your future. Writing is a solo act, but the result is intended to be shared.

Envision: Convince the reader you are a perfect fit for what you propose. How does your academic background and professional experience align with the vison and legacy of the award? Why is this opportunity the logical next step toward your goals?

Excel: Write clearly and succinctly to communicate your story. Be proactive and begin researching and writing early to allow time for feedback and essay revisions. Utilize ONS advisors and other resources to polish your writing.

For further assistance, we recommend the following resources:

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