Florida universities receive $645 million in performance-based funding; FIU, FSU, and UF lead in metrics

by | Jun 28, 2024

The State University System of Florida Board of Governors allocated $645 million in performance-based funding for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The State University System of Florida Board of Governors established its performance-based funding model for the 2024-25 fiscal year on Thursday, allocating $645 million based on metrics including graduation rates, retention rates, employment outcomes, and median wages of graduates.

The model, in place since 2014, aims to reward universities for their performance and drive continuous improvement across the state’s higher education system.

Florida International University (FIU) led the performance metrics with the highest score for the second consecutive year, securing $70.5 million in total funding. Florida State University (FSU) and the University of South Florida (USF) tied for the third-highest scores, with FSU receiving $107.9 million and USF obtaining $84.6 million.

The University of Florida (UF), also among the top performers, was allocated $132.3 million. These universities will receive full funding allocations, reflecting their consistent excellence and strategic planning.

In contrast, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) scored below the 70-point threshold, with a score of 63, requiring the submission of a student success plan to regain full funding eligibility. FGCU will initially receive $7.6 million out of the potential $15.3 million allocation. The institution must implement a comprehensive plan and demonstrate improvement to access the remaining funds.

“We really, across the institution, implemented continuous improvement framework,” said FGCU President Aysegul Timur. “With that, of course, it requires a lot of data-driven approaches and predictive analytics. I’m very proud to say that we have already implemented a student success improvement plan, and I can assure you we are not going to be having the same conversation next year. We are already seeing improvements in many of our metrics.”

Several universities were noted to have shown improvements compared to the year prior, with Florida Atlantic University (FAU), New College of Florida, and the University of West Florida (UWF) were recognized for their progress. FAU, with an improved score of 84, was allocated $44.6 million. New College of Florida increased its score to 71 and received $9.5 million. UWF also saw an improvement, scoring 84 and receiving $23.6 million.

Several universities, however, have been placed on the watchlist due to declining scores. Florida A&M University (FAMU), Florida Polytechnic University (FL Poly), the University of Central Florida (UCF), and the University of North Florida (UNF) must avoid further declines to prevent submitting a student success plan next year. FAMU’s score dropped from 78 to 72, FL Poly’s score fell to 74, UCF’s score is now 85, and UNF’s score is 76. These institutions face the challenge of implementing strategies to enhance performance metrics and avoid financial penalties.

The performance-based funding model evaluates universities based on ten metrics, each worth ten points, with Metric 9 — Three-Year Graduation Rate for Florida College System Associate in Arts Transfer Student — divided into two five-point sub-metrics. The metrics include the percent of bachelor’s graduates employed or continuing education, median wages of graduates, net tuition and fees per 120 credit hours, four-year graduation rates, academic progress rates, bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis, and university access rates.

This year, a minor adjustment was made to Metric 2, Median Wages of Bachelor’s Graduates Employed Full-time One Year After Graduation, raising the threshold for median wages to $43,200 to align with revised strategic goals. Since the model’s inception, the average cost to students has decreased by 92 percent due to financial aid programs like Bright Futures and Pell grants. Metrics related to graduation and retention rates have shown improvements, which board members contend elucidate the effectiveness of the model in driving positive outcomes.


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