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State University System Performance Funding Drives Student Success

TALLAHASSEE — The Board of Governors approved a plan on Wednesday to allocate $560 million in performance funds for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Universities will reinvest the money into initiatives designed to enhance their performance on the ten metrics in the Board’s performance-based funding model.  The model, which includes metrics that measure performance on retention rates, graduation rates, degrees, employment, and the average cost to the student, was implemented in 2014 and has yielded vast successes for the State University System.  Highlights include a 14.5% increase in 4-year graduation rates since the model’s inception and, for the third year in a row, the average cost of a bachelor’s degree decreased, and all twelve institutions are less than $10,000 when factoring in financial aid.

“The continued rise in scores across the System is extremely exciting as it translates into a better quality, lower-cost education to our students,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of Florida. “These improvements show that from the members of the Board to university leadership to faculty, staff, and students – we are all working towards one goal – student success.”

Other highlights include:

  • The System continues to produce more bachelor’s degrees in programs of strategic emphasis (STEM, Health, Education, Global, and Workforce Gaps).  Ten institutions are at or above the strategic plan goal, and the other two are very close. Two institutions (UWF and USF) have improved on this metric every year for the last five years.
  • The System average for the metric that measures median wages of bachelor’s graduates who are employed full-time one year after graduation now exceeds $40,000.  Median wages for graduates are $40,000 or higher at ten institutions.  Graduates from Florida Poly and the University of Florida earned the highest median wages in 2018-19, earning $56,300 and $48,500, respectively.
  • The System continues to make significant strides on four-year graduation rates. Nine institutions improved on this metric in 2021, with FAMU, FAU, FGCU, and FIU having the largest year-over-year growth.  FSU leads the System with a 73.8% four-year graduation rate.
  • The three highest-scoring institutions in the System were FIU, USF, and FAU.
  • The University of South Florida has been in the top three since the inception of the model.
  • Florida International University has the highest score ever achieved in performance-based funding history.
  • Florida Poly earned a perfect score in 8 metrics in their first year in the model.

“We are grateful for the leadership and partnership of Governor Ron DeSantis, President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls, and the Florida Legislature as we continue to propel Florida’s public universities upward, said Brian Lamb, vice-chair of the Board. “I’d like to congratulate the universities on their continued strong performance on these essential benchmarks. The State University System plays a critical role in the national and global competitiveness of the State of Florida.


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 420,000 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.