Fla. House Plans 8-Percent Tuition Hike

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Pitting the chamber against the wishes of Gov. Rick Scott, the House Appropriations Committee has approved a spending plan that calls for an 8-percent college tuition increase, continuing an effort to shift more of the cost in higher education to students instead of taxpayers.

A day after Scott said he wanted lawmakers to hold the line on tuition; the panel approved a budget that relies on an 8 percent base increase for university students to balance the higher education budget, which already will see cuts as lawmakers try to fill a budget gap shortfall of deeper than $1.5 billion.

The state’s 11 public universities would be allowed to raise tuition by an additional 7 percent on top of that base increase, a system known as differential tuition, under the proposal. Last year, universities raised tuition 8 percent at the direction of the Legislature, and the schools tacked on the full 7 percent differential hike for a 15 percent increase. Tuition has gone up every year for the past six years in Florida.

For universities, the proposed tuition increase would amount to $54 million in new incoming money; state college students would pay additional $73 million under the 8 percent tuition hike.

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott said he opposes any increase in student tuition.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”


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