Florida A&M University is out of the bottom spot this year, climbing to number eight under Florida’s performance-based funding system.
The program doles out additional funding to schools based upon how they perform in a range of metrics, such as graduation rate, student loan debt, and number of graduates in science and technology-based degree programs.
FAMU’s jump up from the bottom slot means the school will not lose any of its state allocation, and could be in line to get a piece of the $500 million pot of funds dedicated for performance. That amount includes a $275 million put in by universities, and $225 million added by the state.The top eight schools will split the money.
The University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University both earned 84 points—tying for the first place slot, while Florida State University and the University of Florida, both designated as “pre-eminent” under state law, landed at number six and three on the chart.
While there is overlap between the performance-funding system and the state’s “pre-eminent” designation, that title is granted based largely on a university’s research funding and capabilities.
“Total performance funding points are a combination of improvement and excellence, not just excellence,” said Brittany Davis, spokeswoman for the Florida Board of Governors. “In other words, a university could be ‘middle of the pack’ in performance funding, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t perform well. It may just mean that other universities received more improvement points.”
At the bottom of the rankings this year were New College of Florida, The University of West Florida and the University of North Florida.
All three schools scored less than 60 points on a 100-point scale. However, no university is at risk of losing any funding this year. That penalty is reserved for schools with fewer than 50 points. Florida Polytechnic University, the state’s newest public school, is not eligible for performance funds.