How USF Is Driving Latino Student Success

Last updated: Oct 31, 2019

Starting college is incredibly important, and more Latinos than ever before are enrolling in our nation’s universities.

However, finishing college is just as important. Despite many years of increasing enrollment, there is still a wide gap between the number of Latinos and white students who go on to complete a bachelor’s degree.

The good news? According to a recent report by The Education Trust, USF Tampa was ranked fourth in the nation overall and the number one public university for eliminating the completion gap between Latino and white students!

How Does USF Ensure Latino Student Success?

It’s actually very simple. We believe:

  • All students, regardless of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, can and will succeed if given the opportunity to do so

  • Student success is everyone’s responsibility, from professors to advisors to dining hall staff

To support these beliefs, USF began implementing a variety of student success initiatives in 2009, including support programs and policy changes. Most recently, we began analyzing student data to find and help students in danger of dropping out. The results?


  • Latino students posted a three-point improvement in the achievement gap in the 2017-18 academic year

  • USF Tampa’s six-year graduation rate for all students jumped from 47 percent in 2009 to 70 percent in 2018

With hard work and a laser focus on supporting at-risk students, we have successfully closed the graduation rate gap by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

USF students showing Bulls Pride!Why Is This Important?

Increasing Latino employment success relies heavily on increasing the number of students who finish college. Simply attending college does not provide the benefits of completing a degree. Bachelor’s degree holders earn, on average, nearly $25,000 more annually than non-degree holders. They are also two times less likely to be unemployed and are more likely to vote and volunteer.

Nationally, just 17.8 percent of Latino adults, ages 25-34, hold a bachelor’s degree compared to 43.7 percent of young, white adults. Improving college completion rates for Latino students can go a long way toward fixing this inequality, and USF is proud to be leading the charge toward this goal.

USF Is Advancing Student Success for All Students

Our most recent recognition focused on initiatives that drive Latino student success, but USF has been recognized nationally for other student success initiatives.

  • The Education Trust ranked the university as one of the nation’s top performers in black student success (No. 6) and among students who receive Pell Grants (No. 5)

 
  • Ruffalo Noel Levitz granted USF Tampa its “Retention Excellence Award” 
 
  • Eduventures bestowed its “2016 Innovation Award” on USF Tampa
 
  • The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems named USF a national mentor university for Black and Latino student success and the Center for American Progress for “promoting access and success for all” students

Interested in continuing YOUR success story at USF? Contact us today online or by phone at (813) 974-3350 to learn more!