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USF college students set to return — with global flair

A USF dorm. Students will be returning this week.
A USF dorm. Students will be returning this week.
Courtesy photo
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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As September approaches, so do students coming back to the campuses of the University of South Florida. And with them comes money and regional economic impact.

How much impact? A 2020 USF study claims more than $6 billion in impact, or the equivalent of hosting as many as 15 Super Bowls in one year.

Last year, USF had 36,948 undergrads and 9,546 graduate students. 

USF officials say residence halls are expected to be at "full capacity for the fall semester, with thousands of students and their families traveling to campus to move in this week."

The estimate is approximately 7,400 students are expected to live on campus: Nearly 6,500 in Tampa and more than 900 in St. Petersburg. University officials say they estimate 10,000 people, including students and family members, will be on the USF-Tampa campus on Thursday to help with move-ins.

Student residents on the Tampa campus come from 47 states and 75 countries, according to Althea Johnson, USF director of media relations. On the St. Petersburg campus, student residents represent 33 states and territories, as well as seven countries.

The students live in 33 residence halls on both campuses. There are also 19 "Living Learning Communities," which USF officials say are residential communities designed to provide a cohort experience with peers who share similar academic, career and co-curricular interests. 

On the Sarasota-Manatee campus, USF's on-campus housing capacity will grow next year as the campus opens its first-ever residence hall and student center, according to a Tuesday news release. Construction is ongoing for the project that will house as many as 200 students, USF officials say, and is expected to be completed for the fall 2024 semester.

USF officials say the campuses have a $6 billion impact on the regional economies, with more than $3 billion coming from direct spending on wages and other spending. More than $600 million goes into local, state and federal tax coffers.

USF employs about 15,000 people, according to its 2022-2023 USF Factbook.



Jim Stinson

Jim Stinson is the Business Observer's Tampa Bay business reporter and editor, having previously written about business and policy in Washington, D.C.; Rochester, New York; Gary, Indiana; and Daytona Beach. He attended Boston University for business and Indiana University for journalism.

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