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Monday, May 27, 2024

UF may have to admit fewer transfer students next fall to meet the Florida Board of Governors' newly imposed enrollment limits.

The board, the State University System's highest governing body, e-mailed state university presidents on Wednesday with recommendations for fall's enrollment numbers.

According to the board's calculations based on available state funding, UF's total enrollment should be 44,848 students by August.

On the first day of classes this year, 50,576 students were enrolled.

UF Provost Janie Fouke said freshman and graduate admissions offers have already been made, and there's no way to take those invitations back.

That leaves transfer student admissions as the only area from which UF can potentially trim down.

But that doesn't mean UF will bend to the board's wishes.

"It's hard to fathom how that could be done at this point in the cycle," Fouke said.

Board spokesman Bill Edmonds said none of the universities should have problems reducing their enrollment numbers by August.

Edmonds said the universities have known about the impending enrollment slashes for almost a month.

At its January meeting, the board told universities to adjust their admissions policies however they saw fit to bring their enrollment in line with state budget cuts.

The State University System has absorbed about $157 million worth of budget cuts this academic year.

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"In January, you have not committed yourself very deeply on admissions, so I would think that UF has the flexibility to do what needs to be done," Edmonds said.

He said the enrollment levels sent out to each university in the e-mail were "soft numbers."

The board would come back with more definite targets after the state Legislature finalizes its budget, he said.

The Legislature will meet in March for its regular session.

Edmonds said he expects the universities to do everything they can to meet the target enrollment the board set, but he understands it's a work in progress.

"We can do this over time if need be," he said.

"If they can't get there right away, we'll just have to make it a goal that they get there as soon as possible within reason."

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