Allowing tuition raises will not resolve budget issues
The House approved a measure Tuesday that would allow universities that meet certain requirements to raise tuition with no limits. Currently, only University of Florida and Florida State University meet at least the minimum 11 of 14 requirements necessary to qualify.
The Florida Senate has already approved the measure, but the bill still needs to be approved by both full chambers and signed off by Gov. Rick Scott, who has adamantly opposed tuition increases.
The bill, which allows for what senators are calling "market-rate tuition," attempts to keep Florida universities competitive with other big-name research universities. However, the ability to raise tuition above the yearly maximum of 15 percent will not only weed out the less competitive students, but also those with fewer economic means.
One of the requirements that could qualify universities to be exempt from the 15 percent rule includes having an incoming freshman class with an average GPA of 3.8, according to the Miami Herald, but it doesn't matter how impressive a student's GPA is if they cannot afford to attend school.
As early as 2009, USF Provost Ralph Wilcox told The Oracle, "We're becoming more private in a sense, and private universities rely more on, and I hate to use this term, but they rely more on their clients, their customers - their students." While it appears that state-funded universities are moving toward privatization, what distinguishes them from private Florida universities such as University of Tampa is the fact that they are accessible to students across the state.
It is possible that if UF and FSU are granted special access to more income based on 14 seemingly arbitrary requirements, USF, which already meets seven on the requirements, as well as other Florida universities may strive to achieve the same expectations - leaving fewer options for those who wish to earn a degree with limited fiscal or educational means.
USF, known for being a commuter school, serves many students in the area who may be balancing their education with other full-time responsibilities.
Raising the tuition may sound like a temporary solution for universities facing large budget cuts in the midst of a recession, but it is not solving the underlying issue of statewide budget cuts to universities. The bill may be another attempt by the Senate to raise tuition to compensate for state cuts under the guise of encouraging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) universities to compete.
Tuition raises of any amount will only place a bandage on rising costs for universities and could perhaps prompt legislators to provide less funding if they believe universities could make up the difference with tuition.
State universities are designed to be affordable for in-state citizens. No matter how prestigious universities strive to be, their goal should be to serve and educate in-state students who currently face dismal job prospects. Raising tuition will not raise the number of jobs available for Florida citizens in STEM or any other fields. Before education becomes privatized, Florida legislators need to step up and solve underlying issues like employment rates and leave market-rate tuition to private schools.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Despite losing record, Bulls sets sights on conference title
- Z Baked provides warm cookies on demand
- Addicted to Apple: a dire diagnosis for millennials
- USF partners with World Health Organization
- Speaker sees astronomy through historical lens
- Bulls aim to bounce back on homestand
- USF Oliver Gallery gets ‘Down and Dirty’
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
- Grandparents, Keep Your Meds Up and Away From Young Children
- As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients...
- 4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier
- Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women
- If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching
- Common-Sense Strategies From a Natural Marketing Guru
- 10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls
- Stay Cool for Next to Nothing: Power Down the AC on...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections
- The Power of Peer Support: Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" Hits Campuses
- Cengage Learning and Flashnotes.com Form Strategic Partnership