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PRESS RELEASE

June 9, 2004

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush Applauds Florida Universities for Minority Graduation

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush today applauded Florida's state universities for their top rankings in graduating minority students with bachelor's degrees. According to the most recent Black Issues in Higher Education, seven Florida state universities ranked in the top 100 producers of bachelor's degrees conferred on minority students.

"Florida's universities are committed to excellence and diversity, and I applaud our students for their continued hard work and achievement," Governor Bush said. "We continue to make great strides at leveling the playing field and providing all students with the opportunity and tools to be successful in college. Our race neutral approach to college admissions is increasing minority enrollment in our state universities. As a result more students are earning valuable degrees that will make them very competitive in Florida's growing economy."

Florida International University (FIU) led the way, ranking third nationally in the production of all minority bachelor's degree holders. Six other Florida public universities ranked in the top one hundred, including the University of Florida (UF) (19th), the University of Central Florida (UCF) (27th), Florida State University (FSU) (31st), Florida A&M University (FAMU) (32nd), the University of South Florida (USF) (37th) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) (43rd).

"Governor Bush's One Florida initiative has increased diversity in our university system and today we are seeing the benefits," Education Commissioner Jim Horne said. "Additionally, our unique partnership with the College Board is increasing minority enrollment in Advance Placement courses and seeing more minority students taking the PSAT, preparing students better for college. This progress is impressive, and we should all applaud the commitment of our universities and our students."

FAMU took the top ranking in graduating African American baccalaureate degree holders. Also ranking in the Top 100 were: FSU (10th), FIU (20th), FAU (23rd), UF (34th), USF (36th) and UCF (44th).

FIU also ranked number one in the production of Hispanic baccalaureate degree holders. Five additional universities ranked in the Top 50, UF (14th), USF (33rd), FSU (37th), and FAU (43rd).

For more information on Florida's progress in education please visit, www.myflorida.com.