Campus Life

New Student and Family Resources


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus is committed to providing all incoming students the resources to be successful as they enter the university setting. We strive to provide excellent student experiences and knowledge about the University of South Florida (USF) by way of intentional and specific Orientation programming for first year students, transfer students, and their families.


New Student and Family Experience

The USF new student and family experience office cultivates community and fosters a sense of belonging to aid a student’s transition into our community. As students navigate their academic, social, institutional, and emotional adjustment to college, staff and student leaders, on all three campuses, are available to provide care, support, and guidance. Through institutional, community, and individualized offerings, students establish a connection to USF, participate in shared USF traditions, identify a support network, gain an understanding of tools and resources, and receive support to remove barriers to ensure their continued enrollment. Our units also provide families support throughout their student’s time at USF. Staff are available to answer family questions, connect families to valuable resources, and provide individualized support so families can help their student navigate their transition into our community and progress towards their degree.

Friends & Family Weekend

Registration opens September 7!
We are proud to announce the return of on-campus Family & Friends Weekend, November 5 – 7, 2021! Our One-USF Team invites you to reconnect with your student, meet other Bull families & friends, and interact with University faculty and staff while making new memories during USF Homecoming. In addition to attending engaging programs and activities just for USF families, you’ll have the opportunity to explore popular attractions throughout Tampa Bay and Sarasota and register for exclusive add-on experiences at discounted rates—including the USF Homecoming football game!

Why Participate in Family & Friends Weekend?
Each year, we host Family & Friends Weekend midway through the fall semester. It is the time when families may want to connect with key campus departments to get the support their student needs. USF family members consistently share that Family & Friends Weekend is the perfect time to re-connect with their students and get a feel for how they are doing. We also know it's a time family members like to explore where your student calls home, meet other families, and get a feel for how other families are supporting their student. 

Let us know you're planning to attend!
We'd love to know if you're planning to join us so we can create the most incrediBULL weekend for our guests. Complete this interest form to receive an early-Bull email with more details leading up to registration opening.

Family & Friends Weekend is open to families, friends, and USF students who attend any of our three campus locations. There will be events hosted on all three USF campuses, as well as opportunities to explore the surrounding Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota areas. However, please note that the vast majority of events will be hosted on the USF Tampa campus throughout the weekend, with the Marshall Student Center being a central location. A map and event locations will be provided for family members who register for the weekend.

All family members and friends of USF students are invited to participate in the weekend. Registration is required to participate in the official weekend activities, including your USF student. Online registration will be open September 7-October 1. Once online registration has closed, family members will be able to register on-site if space and merchandise is available.

Important Considerations for Family & Friends Weekend
We are thrilled that your family is excited about Family & Friends Weekend! The University of South Florida continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All of our latest return-to-campus guidance can be found here. Please note that as we plan to ensure a memorable weekend, final event details are subject to change. Registered participants will receive final schedule and details one week prior to Family & Friends Weekend.

Discuss Your Plans with Your Student
We are thrilled that you and your student are excited about Family & Friends Weekend. Please know that your student will likely still have class responsibilities, exams, and study groups during the weekend. Some students also have organization commitments based on it being Homecoming Weekend. We have plenty of events taking place for families during those times! We encourage you and your student to discuss their academic schedule according to their syllabi and any organization commitments prior to booking to ensure you have a positive experience during the weekend. Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds for these conflicts.

Arrival Information
We encourage guests to arrive on Thursday evening or Friday morning in order to take full advantage of the events being offered.  We have several events on Friday afternoon - Saturday evening with Sunday open for families to navigate quality time with their student and safe travels home.

Travel, Accommodations, and Meals
Guests participating in the weekend are responsible for coordinating their meals, travel, and accommodations. For a local hotel guides near all three campuses, please click here. 

Cheer on the Bulls at the USF Football Game!
A link will be provided to registered guest to purchase tickets at a discounted rate, which will also include a free ticket to the men's soccer game on November 5! Please note: students receive free admission to the student section. If you would like your student to be seated with you, a ticket will need to be purchased for your student.

Family of the Year
Each year we recognize an outstanding family during the weekend. USF Family of the Year Nominations open August 2 and are due September 17! Click here to learn more. 

Refund Policy
We aim to provide the best experience for our students and family members participating in our programs. Family members may receive a 50% partial refund prior to September 17, 2021. No refunds will be given after that date to ensure the quality of programming offered during Family & Friends Weekend. For assistance, feel free to contact us.

Campus Life & Experiences

The Sarasota-Manatee campus provides additional campus life experiences for our students to get to know one another, feel connected to our community, and learn more about what makes the Sarasota-Manatee campus so special.

USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus
The Department of Student Support provides programs and services to students enrolled on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, and their families.

Department of Student Support
Phone: (941) 359-4330

For more information about the New Student & Family experience on the USF Tampa campus and USF St. Petersburg campus, please so below.

USF Tampa Campus
The offices of New Student Connections and Parent and Family Engagement provide programs and services to students enrolled on the Tampa campus, and their families.

New Student Connections
Phone: (813) 974-2896

Parent and Family Engagement
Phone: (813) 974-2896

USF St. Petersburg Campus
The COMPASS Student Experience office provides programs and services to students enrolled on the St. Petersburg campus, and their families.

COMPASS Student Experience
Phone: (727) 873-4003

Has your student encountered a challenge and do they need help navigating a USF process, policy, or procedure? Is your student struggling and you need to connect them to support they need? Fill out our Family Coaching Form so you can receive direct follow-up from your family coach.

This form will be reviewed by the Department of Student Support within 1-2 business days and you can expect to receive outreach via email or phone within 3 business days.