TAMPA – Another year, another record-breaking freshman class for the University of South Florida.
Its incoming students boast the strongest academics and most diversity in school history, officials said Tuesday.
It's also the biggest group of students the USF System has ever seen, numbering more than 50,000 enrollments between the main campus in Tampa and regional institutions USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee.
In Tampa, the average high school GPA for incoming students has risen to 4.12 (last year, first-time-in-college students averaged 4.08). More than 50 percent of incoming students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
Paul Dosal, vice president for student affairs and student success, said in a statement that USF has relied on careful planning of its enrollments.
"As an institution, we value diversity and promote a teaching and learning environment that reflects the state, national, and global markets in which our students will one day compete," he said.
Across the system, USF students hail from every Florida county, every U.S. state and more than 145 countries. International student enrollment jumped 8 percent this year. And new students also bring more racial diversity. Compared to 2016, black students grew 12.5 percent, Hispanic students grew 6.2 percent, Asian students grew 1 percent and multiracial students grew 3 percent.
"We are proud to be considered a top choice among diverse and academically talented students from across the nation and around the world," Ralph Wilcox, provost and executive vice president for the system, said in a news release.
USF Tampa now enrolls 43,542 students, both undergraduates and graduates.