State Universities Want Maximum Tuition Increase
Legislative Session Coverage
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Nearly every state university plans to ask the Florida Board of Governors for the maximum tuition increase this year of 15 percent.
The University of Florida sought only a nine percent increase in tuition and the University of South Florida initially wanted a 15 percent increase, but later decided to ask for just an 11 percent increase.
The increase is allowed under the state’s “differential tuition” law, according to the News Service of Florida. Schools across the state said the added dollars would be used to offer more classes.
According to the NSF, Miami-based Florida International University said it would use $13.3 million to hire undergraduate faculty with an eye on increasing graduate rates. The school would also use $12.3 million for financial aid.
The schools also threatened the Board of Governors with potential major consequences if the board doesn’t approve the requests.
“There will be a significant negative impact on availability of required general education course sections, students’ ability to obtain required courses, resulting in inability to continue education, larger class sizes, decreased graduation rates, increased time to degree and excess hours from taking unnecessary courses if required courses are not available,” FAMU wrote, according to the NSF.
Florida Atlantic said it would cut 75 faculty positions, nine advisors, and 500 classes if the money from the tuition increases isn’t approved. Florida State University said there could be a faculty exodus to other states that can offer higher salaries, according to the NSF.
All of the tuition increase plans fly in the face of Governor Rick Scott who has repeatedly said school’s can’t continue to raise tuition. Still, when the legislature and Scott look for areas to cut, education and higher education is often the first area sacrificed.
Until the state can find a way to provide more money to the universities by raising taxes, the schools will continue to have to raise tuition to meet the rising prices of higher education in Florida and across the country.
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