The University of Central Florida again ranks among the top universities in the state based on performance measures that include graduation rates and graduates’ employment and wages.

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System, is scheduled to discuss the performance funding achievements of the state’s public universities today. UCF earned 39 out of a possible 50 points, making it among the university system’s top three performers. UCF has ranked in the top three among all state universities during all three years that performance-based funding has been awarded.

If the Legislature funds the Board of Governors’ request for performance funding this year, UCF plans to use its share to hire more faculty members.

Last year, UCF earned $21.8 million in performance funding, which it is using to hire new faculty members in high-demand areas from molecular biology to mechanical engineering.

“Our new faculty members will help UCF strengthen academic programs in STEM fields and other strategic areas, and they will help students across our university thrive in the classroom and in research labs,” said UCF President John C. Hitt. “We hope this year’s allotment of performance funding will enable us to create a significant number of new faculty positions.”

UCF also is using last year’s performance funding to pay for two new software programs with national track records of promoting student success. One such program, leveraging predictive analytics, uses student data to identify which students are struggling and likely to leave school. Counselors will reach out to those students to offer them services, from tutoring and counseling to help applying for financial aid.

The performance funding model implemented by the Board of Governors rewards universities based on their performance on 10 metrics critical to students, families and taxpayers — from student retention rates to the cost-per degree awarded.

UCF by the Numbers:

  • The number of UCF students who are employed full-time or continuing their education one year after graduation increased from 70-74 percent.
  • Median wages for recent graduates increased by 4 percent.
  • More students are graduating with bachelor’s degrees in high-wage, high-demand areas, up from 46 to 49 percent.
  • UCF has improved its six-year graduation rate from 67 to 69 percent.
  • Roughly 38 percent of students receive Pell grants, earning UCF the maximum score for the level of access it provides to low-income students.