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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Obama proposes tying public university federal aid to performance by 2015

UF’s funding could be impacted by President Barack Obama’s new federal aid proposition.

On a bus tour last week, the president proposed a plan to use a new ratings system to determine how much federal aid to dole out to public universities based on factors including tuition, graduation rates, average student loan debt and the average earnings of graduates.

The system would also offer “bonuses” relative to the amount of graduates with Federal Pell Grants. Obama said he’d like to see the rating system in place by 2015.

Although some universities and legislators are concerned about the effect the changes could have on their funding, UF spokesman Steve Orlando said he isn’t worried.

“It’s certainly very early in the process, but positioned as we are right now, we have a very strong track record in those areas,” he said.

For instance, the average student loan debt nationally is more than $26,000, while the average UF graduate’s is about $19,000, said Orlando.

Some UF students, like Cory Kennedy, an 18-year-old theater freshman, support the rating system because of the potential for extra financial aid.

“For UF students in particular, it could be an incentive,” she said. “It’s more affordable for students in the area.”

A version of this story ran on page 4 on 8/26/2013 under the headline "Obama proposes changes to university ratings system"

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