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PRESS RELEASE: Board of Governors announces university performance funds

TAMPA— The Board of Governors approved a plan on Thursday to divide up $560 million in performance funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The money will be reinvested in university initiatives that improve performance on the 10 metrics in the Board’s performance funding model, which include graduation and retention rates and average cost to the student. The Board’s model, implemented in 2014, has yielded huge successes for the State University System, including a 9.5% five-year increase in graduation rates and an average cost to the student of less than $10,000 for a bachelor’s degree once financial aid is included.

“Each year, we’re seeing our System’s average score rise higher than the year before,” said Ned Lautenbach, Board of Governors chair. “Those scores are very meaningful because they translate into a better quality, lower cost education to our students, and they help us achieve our overall goal of an increase in student success.”

Other takeaways include:

• All universities in the model earned 10 points on the cost-to-the-student metric, due in large part to recent investments by elected leaders in Bright Futures and the Florida Student Assistance Grant. The average cost per student for a bachelor’s degree is $9,400, representing a 31% year-over-year decrease.
• Eight universities received 10 points on the graduation rates metric, either through excellence or improvement points. The State University System’s four-year graduation rate is now 53%, surpassing the 2025 Strategic Plan Goal of 50%.
• Performance on the System’s Academic Progress Rate topped 86% in 2017-18, the highest since the metric was first tracked in 2011-12. Success on this outcome, a leading indicator of graduation rates, bodes well for the System’s continued improvement in this area.
• Roughly 80% of students who completed a bachelor’s degree in 2017-18 did so without taking excess credit hours. All institutions in the System improved their performance on this metric.
• The three highest scoring universities, respectively, were University of Florida, University of West Florida, and University of South Florida.
• University of West Florida earned the maximum number of improvement points in four categories: Percent of bachelor’s degree graduates employed or continuing their education after graduation, the net tuition and fees per 120 credit hours, four-year graduation rates, and academic progress rates.
• Florida State University has the highest four-year graduation rate in the System, at 71.5 percent.

“These gains are a unified effort, starting with Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature and including the Board of Governors, the boards of trustees, presidents, administrators, faculty and students,” said Syd Kitson, vice chair of the Board. “We are all focused on the same goals, and we are determined to surpass every milestone on the road to student success.

Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 345,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the system’s chief executive. For more, visit,,or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.