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PRESS RELEASE

September 2, 2003

Alia Faraj
(850) 488-5394

Frances Marine
(850) 245-0413

Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne Announce Growing Number of Minorities Attending Florida's Universities
Nearly half of additional freshmen are African American or Hispanic

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne today announced enrollment figures for Florida's eleven state universities. Minority enrollment continues to rise, with African American and Hispanic students making up 48.2 percent of the growth in freshman enrollment over last year. Minorities make up 34.3 percent of overall enrollment — including undergraduate and graduate programs — compared with 32.2 percent in 1998.

"Our One Florida initiative promised increased diversity without the use of racial preferences," said Governor Bush. "The historic number of minority students attending our state universities is a testament to that promise."

Among freshmen, 37.3 percent are minority students, compared with 35.6 percent in 1998. There are 1,716 more freshmen in 2003 than in 2002, 827 or 48.2 percent of whom are African American or Hispanic. At the University of Florida, minority enrollment among freshmen increased from 25.9 percent in 1998 to 30.5 in 2003. For the first time since tracking these figures began, the percent of minority freshman enrollment has topped 37 percent of the entering class of the State University System.

"With added emphasis on college preparation through aggressive outreach such as the College Board Partnership, we are ensuring more minority students are ready to pursue post secondary education," said Commissioner Horne. "Our efforts, paired with those of our 11 state universities, are paying off."

Minority enrollment among graduate students is also on the rise. This year, minorities comprise 23.8 percent of new graduate students, compared with 20.7 percent in 1998. In addition, minorities make up 33.9 percent of new law students, compared with 24.3 percent in 1998.

The leader in increasing overall minority enrollment is Florida Atlantic University, where minorities comprise 34.6 percent this year, compared with 27.1 percent in 1998.

For more information on university enrollment for Fall 2003, please visit www.fldoe.org.