Bye Bye Fall Enrollment?

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Freshman Christian Carr entered Florida A&M University in August. He says starting school in the fall has been the norm for his entire life, and he isn’t keen on changing.

“No, I wouldn’t do it,” Carr said. “I like the way the education process works now.”

But the University of Florida, beginning next fall, will encourage freshman like Christian to wait until January. The school will likely offer incentives for waiting.

“It would only affect, right now, the students at the University of Florida, because the University of Florida is the one that has come forth with the proposal,” Board of Governor’s spokesperson Kelly Layman said.

The goal of the change is to better use buildings. FSU will graduate an average of 2,000 students in December, but enroll only 800 in January.

“There’s no reason why we can’t bring in 2,000, if we can limit them to spring and summer,” FSU Provost Larry Abele said. “Because we don’t have the space in the fall. So it’s a very good idea.”

Right now, the state doesn’t allow students to use their Bright Futures Scholarships during the summer, so if the state goes to a summer schedule, at least one law is going to need to be changed.

And if the UF pilot is successful, the state’s biggest schools will likely follow suit. So we asked Christian if there was no other way to get into the school of his choice except for starting in January. Would he feel differently?

“Well, then that’s a whole different story,” Carr said. “If that’s how you wanted to make your move into the university, I think you should take your chance.”

And UF is banking on many more like Christian thinking the same thing.

One problem still to be worked out in a Sping/Summer plan is where the money will come from to pay the professors. The Board of Governor’s will take up the pilot plan in November.

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