TAMPA — As the University of South Florida continues its push for preeminence, President Judy Genshaft said the school tallied a record-breaking $458.5 million in research grants and contracts during the 2015-16 academic year.
The amount surpasses last year's record amount by about $18 million.
"Our achievements have not occurred by accident," Genshaft said in her 16th annual fall address, detailing the school's push to join the ranks of other preeminent universities in the state: the University of Florida and Florida State University. She wants USF in that category by 2018.
Helping that effort are fundraising endeavors — more than $939 million has been raised of the school's $1 billion goal — and freshman classes that get stronger by the year. On Wednesday, Genshaft echoed her fall 2015 address in praising this year's incoming freshmen as "the most academically accomplished ever enrolled at USF."
Freshmen scored an average of 1226 on the SAT and 28 on the ACT this year, according to the university, and boasted an average 4.08 GPA. And the 183 students joining the Morsani College of Medicine, out of more than 6,000 applicants, averaged a 34 on the MCAT exam. USF said in a news release that the average is the highest of all Florida universities.