Reassessing the One Florida Plan Ten Years After Its Enactment

It has been a decade since the enactment of Jeb Bush’s One Florida plan. Under the new system, students graduating in the top 20 percent of their high school class were ensured a place at a state university. But these students would have to compete for places at state university campuses, and race could not be considered by admissions officials.

Initially, black enrollments plummeted at the most selective campus of the University of Florida at Gainesville. In 2000 blacks were nearly 12 percent of the freshman class. In 2001, after the One Florida plan went into effect, blacks made up just over 7 percent of first-year students. Now, black enrollments have rebounded with African Americans making up about 10 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Systemwide, the black percentage of all students has declined from 14 percent in 2000 to 13.6 percent today. And a large percentage of all black students in the state system are enrolled at historically black Florida A&M University.

So after a decade of the One Florida plan that had the stated goal of increasing minority participation in the state’s higher education system, the promise of greater opportunity for Florida’s African Americans has gone unfulfilled.