Mission• Aim Higher Florida hopes to unite all students and community leaders in Florida to raise awareness on the significant impact of increasing funding for Higher Education. Aim Higher Florida believes increasing resources for Higher Education has a high Return on Investment, will improve the workforce in Florida, will improve the economic climate in Florida, and ultimately secure Florida’s Future as a place where a thriving and diverse economy can flourish.
Who We Are• Created by students, Aim Higher focuses on informing students and the citizens of Florida about the importance of investing in Higher Education• A coalition of student leaders and Universities who believe that Florida’s economic success and future begins with a thriving Higher Education system and educated electorate• Well-rounded individuals with degrees from publicly funded Higher Education institutions are crucial to keeping Florida and America competitive in a changing market while also attracting the best jobs and employers to our great state
Current Issues We Face• Florida is ranked 50th in per capita state and local expenditures for Higher Education• As the national average of citizens with college degrees increased from 2009-2010, Florida saw a decrease of about 19,000 Floridians with a college degree (Source: Sun-sentinel.com)• Since 2008, state spending on education has decreased by 24% and is now at 2003 levels• The unemployment rates of adults of 25 years and over show a 10% unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma and no college compared to 4.4% for those with a University degree (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics. June Unemployment, July 6th 2012)
United States Unemployment Rate of Adults of 25 Years & Over by Educational Attainment (Seasonally Adjusted) 15.0% 14.2% 13.0% 12.6% Jun-11 Jun-12 11.0% 10.0% 9.0% 8.4% 8.4% 7.5% 7.0% 5.0% 4.4% 4.1% 3.0% Less than a High High School Graduate Some College or University Graduate School Diploma no College Associate DegreeSource: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, June Employment Situation, July 6, 2012.
Goals• Goal #1: Raise Awareness about the Importance of Investing in Higher Education• Goal #2: Encourage the Florida State Legislature to Invest in Higher Education and Prioritize Higher Education in the State budget for subsequent years
Moving Forward• Since Florida wants to create a knowledge based economy, it depends on higher educated human resources• Higher Education must be viewed as an investment, not a general expenditure• Additional investments to higher education will lead to high investment returns for our economy• Labor is the key factor in production, and that investments in labor creates human capital that generates income and production over a lifetime, significantly beyond the initial investment to educate the labor force
Moving Forward• We already see the high return on investment in higher education through the difference between the average earnings over a lifetime of those with a four year college degree compared to those without a college degree• We also see the benefits of investment in higher education by noting that the unemployment rate of bachelor or higher graduates is systematically about half of those with only a high school degree or less
Conclusion• The Higher Education environment in the State of Florida is on a downward trend• We need to change our view on education as an investment not a general expenditure, in order to compete on a national and global arena• Aim Higher comes into play by raising awareness of the need to invest in higher education and invest in Florida’s future