Jacksonville, FL – June 12, 2024 – Governor Ron DeSantis’ recently signed ‘Focus on Florida’s Future’ Budget for the Fiscal Year 2024-2025. The comprehensive state budget, totaling $116.5 billion, includes pivotal support for several key initiatives at Edward Waters University (EWU), reinforcing the university’s commitment to academic excellence and student success.

The budget, reflecting a decrease in overall state spending from the previous year, features the Governor’s line-item vetoes amounting to $949,611,399. Despite these reductions, EWU has been fortunate to secure substantial funding for several of its critical projects, amounting to a total of $12,433,026. This represents the highest ever single year state legislative allocation to EWU in its history.

Key allocations include $6,429,526 for Access, Retention, and Graduation focused programs to enhance student retention and access for underserved communities, $1,000,000 for the Edward Waters Criminal Justice Institute to prepare students for careers in criminal justice and forensic science, $3,500 per student through the Edward Waters Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) program to alleviate financial burdens, and a $5,000,000 allocation to improve campus security infrastructure in wake of the tragic racially motivated shooting that took the lives of citizens in the New Town community in the shadow of the Edward Waters campus last August.

“We are profoundly grateful to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their unwavering support and recognition of the vital role Edward Waters University plays in the higher education landscape. These funds will significantly bolster our efforts to provide exceptional educational opportunities, support student retention, and enhance campus safety,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., President and CEO of Edward Waters University. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to our distinguished alumna, Senator Tracie Davis, for her unwavering advocacy and leadership in championing this cause. Additionally, I would like to express our deep appreciation to the entire Jacksonville delegation for their steadfast support in securing this vital investment for our university’s future.”

The allocations in this year’s budget will allow Edward Waters University to continue its mission of fostering intellectual, personal, and professional growth in our students, preparing them to be influential leaders in their communities and beyond.

About Edward Waters University

Edward Waters University (EWU), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and a member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban institution of higher education, which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWU was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of higher learning. It is the first private and independent institution of higher education in the State of Florida. For more information, visit www.ew.edu.