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Higher Ed: Non-Profits, For-Profits and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Pressure Valve

Private, non-profits ease demand on state schools
but face FRAG cuts.

Rollins College
Rollins College in Winter Park, like other private, non-profits, gets $2,149 for each Florida resident it enrolls. The Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) has been cut from a high of $3,000 in 2007-08. [Photo: Rollins College]

Florida is home to 30 private, non-profit higher education institutions based here and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools, the primary accrediting agency for the southeastern United States. Some 150,000 students are enrolled in the institutions, which range from research powerhouse University of Miami to liberal arts showcases Flagler, Rollins and Eckerd to fast-growing Nova Southeastern, the Ringling School of Art and Design and the state's private historically black colleges.

Florida Resident Access Grants
> 35,529 students attending private colleges next year will receive a $2,149 tuition grant from the state.
> 5,462 newly eligible recipients at Keiser University will receive a $803 grant as the school transitions to a non-profit.
These colleges award more than half of the professional degrees in the state, as well as 40% of the master's degrees. One in three of their students receives a federal Pell Grant that offers low-income student assistance. Nearly half of their Florida resident enrollees are minorities.

For the past quarter-century, Florida taxpayers have helped fund students in the independent universities' bachelor's degree programs via Florida Resident Access Grants, known as FRAG. The idea is to ease demand on public colleges and universities — ultimately avoiding the necessity to fund another big state school — by helping some students attend in-state private schools. The Florida Legislature maintained the grant this year despite the state's budget woes, although lawmakers reduced it from $2,425 a student per year last year to $2,149 in the coming academic year.

Private, Non-Profit Colleges & Universities - The Top 5, Ranked by Enrollment
Rank Institution Main Campus Location Enrollment
Fall 2010
1
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale 29,000
2
University of Miami
Coral Gables 15,657
3
Keiser University
Fort Lauderdale 11,791
4
Barry University
Miami Shores 8,995
5 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne 8,985

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Florida's Private, Non-Profit Colleges & Universities - 2011

Florida Colleges

The full list of 46 Private, Non-Profit Colleges & Universities in Florida is available for download in Excel format. The list includes additional data not published in Florida Trend -- including locations, tuition, phone, fax, website, full school address and more. Cost: $39

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Keiser Goes Non-Profit

Keiser University
[Photo: Keiser University]

In 1977, mother and son Evelyn and Arthur Keiser founded a for-profit career college in a storefront near Fort Lauderdale to cater to students seeking careers in healthcare. Over time, the Keiser School morphed into an Institute of Technology, then Keiser College, and finally, Keiser University, along the way earning SACS accreditation in 1991 and offering bachelor's and master's degrees.

Today, Keiser offers everything from a doctorate in educational leadership to an associate degree in golf management on 14 Florida campuses and sites in Shanghai and Moldova. Its biggest impact on the state's private college community may have come earlier this year, however, when the Keiser family transitioned the company to a non-profit.

Belinda Keiser, vice chancellor of community relations and student advancement and the wife of CEO Arthur Keiser and former chair of Workforce Florida, positions the change as "our way of continuing the school after the family is gone."

Scott A. Cihak
Belinda Keiser

The move also eliminates the company's tax burden. More important to the other non-profits, it makes Keiser's Florida students eligible for Florida Resident Access Grants — diluting the pool of FRAG funds available to students at the other schools. Lawmakers agreed to bring the university's students under the grant in phases, adding a $4-million line item for Keiser in this year's state budget.

Non-profit status also deflects ongoing federal and state scrutiny of for-profit schools. The U.S. Department of Education is threatening to restrict federal dollars to for-profits, which rely on federal grants and student loans for up to 90% of revenue. At Keiser, it's 75%.

Full Sail University
Full Sail University, an entertainment media school [Photo: Full Sail University]

For-Profit Colleges & Universities - The Top 5, Ranked by Enrollment
Rank Institution Main Campus Location Enrollment
Fall 2010
1
University of Phoenix Orlando 21,600
2
Everest University Tampa 10,924
3
Full Sail University Winter Park 5,476
4
DeVry University Orlando 4,514
5 Rasmussen College Holiday 3,982

» GET THE FULL LIST:
Florida's For-Profit Colleges & Universities

Florida Colleges

The full list of 18 For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Florida is available for download in Excel format. The list includes additional data not published in Florida Trend -- including locations, tuition, phone, fax, website, full school address and more. Cost: $19

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Historically Black Colleges

Sharper Focus

Florida A&M has record enrollment just as it's forced to cut its budget and many programs.

James Ammons
A&M President James Ammons announced plans this year to reorganize two colleges and cut 157 positions and 24 academic programs.
[Photo: Florida A&M University]

This year, the University of Florida's prestigious M.D.-Ph.D. Scholars program accepted Brittney Newby, the first African-American woman to receive the fully paid fellowship.

UF College of Medicine officials credit Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University with preparing Newby well. The state's public historically black university "is a resource for excellent students, particularly underrepresented minorities," says Donna Parker, a pediatrics professor and assistant dean for minority affairs at UF's medical school.

The National Academy of Sciences reports that FAMU is among the best universities in the nation at readying African-Americans for science careers. The academy ranked FAMU

No. 1 among U.S. undergraduate universities for sending black graduates on to doctorates in natural sciences and engineering. The top 10 were all historically black universities; the only other Florida school in the top 25 was UF.

The statistics underscore the assertion by the black colleges and universities that their institutions remain relevant. But even as FAMU sees its highest enrollment in history, the school is having to deal with both $45 million in budget cuts in the past three years and its own well-documented legacy of financial mismanagement.

President James H. Ammons is trying to restructure the school to focus on its areas of strength, including science, technology and mathematics. In April, he announced a plan to reorganize two colleges, reduce staff by 157 and cut 24 academic programs, including a master's in journalism; bachelor's in jazz studies; bachelor's in landscape design; teaching degrees with specialization in art and business; master's of education with specializations in English, social sciences and other disciplines; a master's in school psychology; and a bachelor's in Spanish and French.

While the plan has caused anxiety on the red-brick campus of FAMU in Tallahassee, Ammons believes the university can't fulfill its historic mission without it. From science to environmental studies, "African-Americans are seriously under-represented," Ammons says. "With signature programs, we can help change that. But we really have to focus our efforts and focus our resources."

Florida's Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Public
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee
Enrollment: 13,274
Tuition/fees: $3,760
Private
Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach
Enrollment: 3,577
Tuition/fees: $13,990
Edward Waters College, Jacksonville
Enrollment: 769
Tuition/fees: $10,470
Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens
Enrollment: 1,980
Tuition/fees: $16,104

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Florida Colleges & Universities - 2011

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