FAU Students Participate in Rally Urging Higher Education Investment by Lawmakers
BOCA RATON, Fla. (January 14, 2013) – Student Government leaders at Florida Atlantic University have kicked off an e-mail writing campaign to support the State University System’s Aim Higher initiative. The Aim Higher initiative is a student-led campaign focused on uniting students and community leaders in supporting more funding for higher education and raising awareness of the universities’ strong returns on public investments.
Throughout the week, students at FAU and at all state university campuses across Florida will be writing e-mails urging lawmakers to invest in higher education. Student Government leaders will then deliver the e-mails to state lawmakers in February.
“It is so important that Florida Atlantic University’s wonderful students offer their opinions to the state legislature regarding funding for their education,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “I’m proud that FAU students are banding together to both raise awareness about this important initiative and support higher education as a whole.”
FAU students also will participate in the annual “Blue Out in the Burrow” on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m., as the FAU men’s basketball team faces the University of North Texas in the FAU Arena, Boca Raton campus. At this game, FAU will demonstrate support for the Aim Higher initiative by holding signs stating, “We Aim Higher, Invest in our Future.”
“It is imperative that FAU students spread their excitement for their University all across the state,” said Robert Huffman, president of Student Government at FAU. “As the legislative session approaches, we have the opportunity to share our personal experiences and the benefits of attending FAU to our state legislators. The impact of our collective voice is astronomical because we are the future of this great state.”
Although tuition at Florida’s public universities remains among the lowest in the country, students and their families have faced double-digit tuition increases in recent years as universities have coped with severe state budget cuts. Funding to the State University System has been cut nearly 40 percent during the past five years.
A state investment of $118 million would generate the revenue of a 15 percent tuition increase across the State University System this year. With that kind of investment, state university presidents have said they would be able to continue providing a quality education without raising tuition by one penny.
State funding, which once covered about three-fourths of the cost of a student’s higher education, now pays for less than half at most state universities. Florida’s public universities have a strong track record of spending tax and tuition dollars efficiently. As state funding has shrunk and enrollment has risen, universities have saved millions of dollars through cost-cutting efforts and the elimination or consolidation of academic programs.
-FAU-Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.