Recently visited campus with DS19. We are in search of a “financial safety” and it appears that Tampa would fulfill that role. DS loves campuses that are in cities, but self-contained, as well as medium schools the size of UTampa. There aren’t many of those out there! So we wanted to love our visit, but admittedly, had some concerns. We were aware of two bright kids from hs class of 2014 that transferred from
Tampa after their first year there. We were aware that incoming stats seemed low. This visit did nothing to make us feel like a higher stats kid would be happy here.
At the Info Session before the tour, we had the impression that the Admissions officer wanted to be anywhere else. He did not come off as at all professional. And in telling us about the number and types of clubs available at Tampa, he let us know there was even a “Tanning Club”. Again, I wouldn’t call that a selling point for a serious education.
The tour guides (there were two), looked like they had rolled out of bed and been told to show up to give a tour. One had eyes that were so bloodshot that my DS asked me if he was high? Fortunately, we were placed in the other group. Our guide was not particularly articulate and made no conversation with any of the kids in our group during the whole tour. She did however, converse with the other current student who was on the tour with us. This is probably the 30th college tour I’ve done since this is our youngest child, and all I kept thinking was “Is this the best student that UT has to offer to represent?” And bc I have two kids in college, I think I generally tend to be sympathetic toward the guides. Btw, the tour guide ALSO referenced the Tanning Club.
The tour itself was fine. Zero mention of anything even semi-related to DS’ course interests…complete emphasis seemed to be on Business with a couple passing references to science, especially Marine Bio. The facilities and the amenities here were amazing. Cannot complain from that perspective. Safety was mentioned multiple times, and I wouldn’t have had any concerns from that angle. On the tour, we stopped by the pool, where I suppose the Tanning Club meets, and were told about how kids like to study there. I understand they were trying to sell the FL experience, but it really came off like they aren’t into serious education.
Learned that only freshman are guaranteed housing, and most upperclassman live off campus. There is apparently an apt style dorm where some upperclassmen live, but it seems to be sophomores only, and not all are lucky enough to live there. These apts were referenced both on the tour and in the admission session as being extremely luxurious…as this seems to be a selling point to them. After talking to a few students, they mostly drive in from other parts of the city…they aren’t near campus. And we did indeed see students flowing in and out of commuter lots. So I question how much of a campus community feel there can be when students are living far off campus after their first year.
So, lovely facilities all around, great location, food we tried for lunch on campus was really good (and there was a lot of food to choose from!), but not the school for DS. I wouldn’t describe him as a big intellectual, but he is looking for a little more of an intellectual vibe than we got from UTampa. He would likely be happier at USF (also in Tampa) from that perspective.