USF tuition to increase by 1.7 percent after BOT vote
The USF Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to adapt USF policies to match state statutes on tuition that would result in a 1.7 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students next year, equal to the rate of inflation specified by the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
In 2007, former Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law a statute that states tuition for resident undergraduate students “shall increase at the beginning of each fall semester at a rate equal to inflation, unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act.”
But since 2007, Florida governors have voted to increase base tuition each year. This year, Gov. Rick Scott, who has been a staunch opponent of tuition increases since the start of the legislative season, vetoed the 3 percent tuition increase written into the state budget by the legislature. Scott also asked all 12 public universities to reject adopting the 1.7 percent increase, but last week, the University of Florida and Florida State University voted to change their policies to reflect the statute.
USF General Counsel Steve Prevaux said the statute applies uniformly across the State University System, and the language of the provision that states that tuition “shall” increase does not give the university authority to act
“There is no authority for the Board or the president to accept a different base tuition than the law provides,” he said. “... There could be potential consequences to
Prevaux said the University of North Florida, the University of West Florida and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University have also adopted measures to match the statute and said he is unaware of any university that has discussed the issue and voted against it.
Two USF trustees voted against the measure because of the accompanying tuition increase.
Trustee Byron Shinn said he didn’t support raising tuition at this time. Trustee Debbie Sembler said she, too, did not feel a tuition increase was warranted.
“My integrity would just say to vote against it,” she said.
Some students, such as Jennifer Valentin, a junior
majoring in English literature, said they felt the resulting tuition increase was inconsistent with the university’s stance on not requesting an increase on tuition differentials, for which each university has the authority to request up to
“Why would (Judy Genshaft) say they weren’t going to raise fees if she couldn’t deliver,” Valentin said. “I mean, say you are going to fight hard or something like that — but don’t promise something and then not deliver because then it’s like, ‘How can we trust you?’”
Perry Mitchell, a PhD candidate in chemistry, said he thought the increase could help USF become more competitive.
“Even after the rate increase, though, we’re still probably going to be the cheapest tuition in the state,” he said.
But trustee Stan Levy said the measure will allow USF to make up some of the revenue it lost from Scott’s 3 percent veto. Since Scott signed a bill in April to grant preeminence to the University of Florida and Florida State University, making them eligible for additional funding to become nationally competitive, Levy said this makes up for the governor not increasing tuition.
“In order for us to stay competitive, hire the best and the brightest professors to take care of our students and to grow our university, I think it’s important that we get our tuition up to national standards,” Levy said.
Trustee Nancy Watkins said though she doesn’t support tuition increases, she doesn’t think the university could legally ignore the statute.
“While the effect of this is a tuition increase, I’m not viewing this as a tuition increase,” she said. “I do not intend to vote to raise tuition, but I intend to vote to bring us in compliance with Florida statutes according to our legal advice.”
— Additional reporting by Roberto Roldan
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Protest met with active counter-demonstration
- Smoke free campus?
- Shared, for a price
- Student letter voices displeasure with planned SDS protest
- USF softball picked to finish second in AAC
- Bulls’ home winning streak to be tested by No. 9 Louisville on Sunday
- Bulls alumni voice support for former strength coach
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Food, Fuel, and Finance ... The 3Fs of Economics
- Top Tips for Timely Performance Driving
- Wellness Program Rewards Healthy New Year's Goals
- New Medical Supplement Offers Advance in Bladder Control
- Get An Edge on College Prep Tests
- Noodles to the Rescue: Make Dinner In a Snap
- Student Athletes Emulate the Pros in Abusing Prescription...
- Specialized Firefighter Training Helps Save Farmers' Lives
- One New Year's Resolution You Don't Have to Keep to Be a...
- Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Retirement Planning
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- College Students Head Back to Campus with Amazon Prime Student
- Phi Kappa Phi 2017 Award Programs Now Open
- MAX FROST RELEASES NEW VIDEO FOR INFECTIOUS TRACK "ADDERALL"
- PEPSICO AND 21ST CENTURY FOX ANNOUNCE "THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN FIGURES"
- The Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Companies for College Graduates