FSU Board of Trustees approves $2.172 billion operating budget 

Architectural shots of campus

The Florida State University Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the university operating budget for the new fiscal year.

The 2021-2022 operating budget of $2.172 billion increased by $317 million over last year, largely due to federal stimulus funds allocated to lessen the economic impact of COVID-19 and state funding for significant capital projects.

The new budget also takes into account anticipated growth in enrollment of first-time-in-college students, which is reflected in both revenues and expenses. It is the first time in the university’s history the budget will exceed $2 billion.

“This budget will allow Florida State University to return to pre-pandemic campus operations in August and continue our upward climb as one of the best public universities in the nation by investing in our students,” said FSU President John Thrasher.

Federal stimulus funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF) will provide an additional $49.4 million in student financial aid, as well as $60 million to the university to compensate for costs associated with the pandemic, such as COVID-19 testing, vaccination efforts and remote learning, and for lost revenue in housing, athletics and other areas.

The 2021-2022 Annual Capital Outlay Budget of $287.2 million includes $23 million for the new Interdisciplinary Research Commercialization Building, which will break ground later this summer, as well as funding for ongoing projects such as the Oglesby Student Union expansion, which is scheduled to be completed later this year.

The budget includes nearly $17.5 million in new state funding, including $10 million in recurring funds from the state to support the Florida Institute for Child Welfare as it executes legislative mandates passed by the Florida Legislature in 2020 and 2021. There is no new discretionary funding.

The university’s operating budget injects an estimated $14 billion into the local and state economy, according to the FSU Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis. That estimate includes $4.1 billion in direct revenue or sales and $98 million in spending by non-resident students, as well as $8.89 billion in lifetime earnings by the most recent (FY18-19) FSU graduates, based on the latest draft of the center’s annual report.

While Florida State’s impact on the local and state economy is significant, the institution remains one of the top five most efficient universities in the country, according to data from U.S. News & World Report.

“We do more with less than any other university in the nation,” said Kyle Clark, vice president for Finance and Administration. “We will continue to streamline processes and build upon operational efficiencies and direct those savings into areas that support our strategic plan.”