Tuition at USF is approximately $34,000 a year. If each student enrolls in eight classes each year (32 credits worth), then hypothetically each class is worth about $4,250. Naturally, not all of this money goes directly to classes, but a large sum of our tuition does provide for small class sizes and competent instruction. The Foghorn has a few suggestions for how students can make the most of each class and make USF tuition feel a little less pricey.
First: Go to class. Considering how much you pay for each session, whether or not you go to class shouldn’t be debated. Your presence in class does not only allow the professor to put a check mark on his or her attendance sheet, it actually benefits you and the other students. Classes at USF are small enough to allow significant discussion and small group work. If you don’t show up to class then you are diminishing discussion possibilities and missing out on a whole day’s worth of information. Missing class can cause you to fall behind on homework and miss important lectures. Additionally, most professors take attendance and have strict attendance policies. Missing class could cause your professor to drop your grade. Some students intentionally miss class because they do not do the readings or homework. In those cases, just consider how frustrating it is for your classmates to update you on all the things you missed either because you didn’t read or didn’t even show up. You are in college for a reason, so don’t let yourself or your classmates down.
Professors are hired at USF directly to teach students. USF is not a heavy research university, so the main focus of all USF professors is (or at least should be) educating students. If students don’t understand the material covered in class or just want a more in depth analysis, they can visit professors at their office hours. All professors at USF are required to have office hours specifically for helping students. In high school, teachers did not have office hours and visiting them after class might have been considered strange or embarrassing. This is not the case at USF. Students here are heavily encouraged to attend office hours and make the most out of each class and their relationship with professors.
Networking is one of the biggest resources professors offer. Even if you don’t have questions about the material covered in class, go to your professor’s office hours and establish a relationship with him or her. This professor can write you letters of recommendation in the future or be a reference when you apply for jobs or graduate school. Even if you are not particularly good at the subject, showing dedication to learning will most likely still impress your professor. By getting to know your professor, a whole world of opportunities arises. Professors can recommend the best classes, connect you with off-campus internships, and even mentor you as you prepare for graduation and life after USF. The resources USF faculty have to offer are endless. Instead of wasting $4,000 on a class you don’t care about, invest a little more time to maximize the benefits that each class can offer you.
Many members of the Foghorn staff have taken the initiative to connect with professors throughout their years at USF and fully embrace the opportunities this school has to offer. Now, these individuals have internships at organizations they are passionate about and have started to build their careers. None of them could have done this without going to class, establishing relationships with professors, and taking the initiative to capitalize on their education.