U of Miami or U of Tampa?

Wanted to get other parents’ thoughts. Our daughter was accepted into U of Miami and U of Tampa, however Miami comes with some caveats:

University of Miami:

  • Spring '24 start
  • Zero merit
  • No guaranteed housing
  • 80k+ tuition, room&board, fees
  • No guarantee that any classes she takes in fall will transfer to UM

With no guaranteed housing, we have to have off-campus housing lined up in case on-campus doesn’t work out. And once a student is off-campus, they cannot have on-campus housing for the rest of their time at UM. Additionally, off-campus housing, close to school, runs about $2500 per person in rent alone.

On the other hand, University of Tampa:

  • Fall '23 start
  • Most likely to get on-campus housing (although not guaranteed)
  • With merit, cost comes to $30k

My question is, do you think the prestige of U of Miami outweighs all the challenges it presents, in comparison to U of Tampa?

Take U Tampa over UMiami with that scenario.

Are there any acceptances with first year housing?


Agree with @Pathnottaken - given just the information you laid out, UTampa. You don’t outline anything related to which program the DD is looking at nor how they have liked or not liked the visits to those campuses. If you’re thinking most likely scenario at UM replace the University Room&Board $ with what you think off-campus housing will cost for the full annual picture to compare to UTampa.

In terms of classes she could take in the fall for transfer I would work with UM to clarify that. They should be able to give you a listing of classes at various community colleges that will transfer in - usually going to be the Gen-Ed’s (basic English, Math, Social Science, etc).

If money is no issue for you (a rarity) then send the kid wherever they want to go.

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She was accepted to the business schools at both universities. While Miami is her dream school, she still liked Tampa. I’ve reached out to the school to get a list of core classes for a first semester freshman, and will work with whatever institution she takes classes at. The money is of course a consideration, but lower on the list of concerns than the possibility of off-campus housing and a spring start. I think for a new freshman, being off campus and starting in the spring just doesnt provide that essential freshman year experience. That being said, the idea of saving $200k over the course of her 4 years is certainly appealing.

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If Miami is her dream school, perhaps she can take CC classes until spring to knock out some GEs. My friends daughter graduated from there (now at med school) and absolutely loved it. Also, they made the NCAA bracket. :slight_smile:

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What makes UofM her dream school? What is UofT lacking on that front? Is it prestige? Is it the type of business classes or the recruitment differences?

It may be that UofM expects some students to either not show up or to leave after one semester. Maybe find out the possibility of getting into the dorm spring semester. Also, find out how many students start in the spring. Is it a handful or a bigger group?

If money is not an issue, then I would let her decide with your guidance. Ultimately, she has to decide if the negatives (later start, not in the dorm) outweighs the positives of U Miami.

Good luck!

I think you’re understating the cost difference - not that $200K doesn’t give pause in any case.

You say UTampa is $30K/year
UMiami is ~$60K (no R&B). Add in your $2,500/month ($30K/year) Room and ~$12K/year food.

Difference is probably closer to $300K over the 4 years. In for a penny…

As someone who went to school for business I will say that at an undergrad level most programs are going to be about the same unless you’re going to T-25 schools - and even then it comes down to the connections you make at the school and the connections the school has with employers.

So if you take on the extra $$ it’s largely because of the environment that DD prefers. Not suggesting it’s good or bad - a kid that enjoys their environment is going to excel more than the kid that hates being where they are.



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No not worth it but if money is no object and you are willing to take out 80x4 = 320K in loans this what you would pay monthly in loans and interest total at 6.8% not including any increases to interest rates over half a million dollars with interest :flushed:

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My husband is on faculty at U Miami - med school not business. Overcrowding is a major issue and it isn’t just housing. It is classes too. They have even let students take time abroad earlier in the program to handle this issue. Yes they are building more housing but right now it is a bit of a crap shoot for anyone to get it. Even those that start in the fall are not really guaranteed anymore. They are on waitlists if anything is turned in late. We know that many students that start at the school have had to transfer away due to housing issues. It’s a real problem here right now. It’s a wonderful school and you can get a great education there but right now growing pains is a real problem and it isn’t going to be solved tomorrow. COVID stalled many of the plans the school had to fix things. Stating that if your DD really wants to be here and is willing to look for off campus housing outside of coral gables. Let’s say south miami (only one area south) then there are pockets of student housing and musician housing that is more affordable. They use the Metro (walkable for most in that area) to get to campus (it’s a stop) and save dollars that way. That does mean that they are commuters - which brings the question does someone want a campus experience or a commuter college. As for the spring start - over the past couple years there has been a large number of spring acceptances and many have chosen to attend. From what we know it is very rare they have the opportunity to live on campus. So that remains a real issue.

U of Tampa may not have the name recognition in the same way as U Miami but students tend to like it. I have been there but do not know the housing situation in the same way.

My two college age students both chose not to attend U Miami and housing was one of the reasons they made that decisions. Yes, we can laugh that if they didn’t match with a dorm they could have lived in our house and yes tuition was free but the schools simply wasn’t right for them. One is at Emory and the other at Case Western. At least for the first two years for both housing was guaranteed. My son is a third year now and did get on campus housing for this year and is this able to remain in place for next. It’s something that is important to him. My daughter is a first year and is going to be doing housing selection in the last group for CWRU. She is comfortable with this last pick though - she knows she gets it. After that we shall see what happens but there are many options in cleveland and they are affordable and walkable to campus.

None of this holds at UM. Being a dream school
Is important too. She needs to sit down and decide what is it about Miami that she loves and can those needs be met at Tampa. She also needs to be shown the financials and how that will impact th future. What is it that she wants to do? Yes it’s the b school but outcomes is important too. Where does she want to work? Making connections is something that makes a difference. It’s a who do you know world. From that perspective which school would get her there.

There is one thing I am not sure about. Most schools allow a gap year. U Miami has given a GAP semester. I don’t know if a person chose to let’s say take another GAP semester if a fall start the year after would be an option that could help with the housing question. If yes, then is there an internship that could happen at that time that would get your DD ahead in the experience category?


based on what you have stated cost-wise alone, i would choose tampa. both schools are beautiful (and given what is going on right now with florida’s higher education system, luckily both schools are private); however, i really do believe that if she wants that first-year experience that i think is imperative to her overall college experience, starting in the fall and living on-campus would be the best option for her.

miami’s sticker price is just shy away from $90k/year. not only that, but just in one year (fall 22-fall 23) they increased the sticker price by ~$10K. that’s something you also need to think about. i agree with everything @ArrBee said (and she undoubtedly knows more about the institution than i do). have her really sit down and weigh the pros and cons of attending her dream school (miami) over a school that isn’t necessarily her “dream” but that she still thoroughly liked (tampa).

Do you have a third choice ? Miami, late start and full pay is so not worth it.

Tampa……ehhh…not impressed, don’t hear good from the locals I call in. That said my daughter has a friend in dance who loves. They use a lot of adjuncts. And on the parent Tampa meeting I sat in on for my daughter - I didn’t get it. They had parents speak. They raced about the school yet none had success finding a job. I just think it’s got little in the way of reputation, etc.

I’d find another - hopefully she has one. If not there’s still time. Many solid b schools still taking apps.


There’s such a HUGE discrepancy between both! U Tampa is nice but the students who attend aren’t anywhere near UMiami’s caliber. And UMiami’s offer has such strings attached that it’s almost impossible to accept.
Are those the only two acceptances?