Higher Education

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University presidents worried about losing top faculty and possible enrollment freezes next year are NOT getting much encouragement from Gov. Jeb Bush.

The governor is telling them to prepare for a tough year. His budget proposal is due out next week.

During yesterday's meeting, the university presidents were told by education lobbyists to expect a five percent funding cut in the coming fiscal years. That's because lawmakers are facing a $1.2 billion budget shortfall.

The presidents are talking about rolling back enrollment to meet the problem. Another possible solution is to raise the bar on the popular Bright Futures scholarships, which are based on high school achievement and NOT on economic factors.

At the University of Florida, about 98 percent of the students have a Bright Futures scholarship, prepaid tuition or both.