Florida A&M University Launches New Effort to Recruit and Retain Top Students

famu-logoFlorida A&M University, the historically Black educational institution in Tallahassee, announced that it is committing $5 million to a new program to support scholarships for student retention and recruitment. The FAMU Foundation Board of Directors approved the initiative to help the university increase its graduation rate, enhance academic programs, and recruit top talent. Most of the funds will be earmarked for student scholarships, but $600,000 has been set aside for faculty support initiatives.

larry_robinsonfamu990_0915In announcing the program Larry Robinson, president of Florida A&M University, said that “this initiative represents a collaborative partnership that increases the possibilities for student success at the University by strengthening opportunities for talented students, and those who need financial support to complete their studies and receive their diplomas.”

Hosetta Coleman, vice chair of the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors, added that “we want to make sure all of our students – when they graduate – have the potential to become a CEO, and we want to support the top-notch talent that develops the scholars we are bringing in.”


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  1. While I believe FAMU should be applauded for its efforts to increase retention and graduation rates for students, I wonder what has precipitated the initiative that will take place. Data has already shown financial affordability as a factor for many students to be able to stay and complete their degree, but I wonder are there other factors that were part of the student persistence and completion puzzle which have been a continuous problem for the university. Providing money to award scholarships for those students in need is commendable and I believe most institutions whether they are HBCUs or not, should make the effort to increase financial assistance, especially for those first generation and low income students. It is important to examine strategies and efforts besides ‘recruiting top students’. Top students will always be recruited by many institutions because it makes their retention and graduation data look good. It is those students who need the support and conditions to succeed that can elevate an institution’s stature because their efforts reflect data collection and research-based practices to help students succeed. There is always room for both efforts which can help both types of students.

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