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BOT meets to rubber stamp tuition increase

The Board of Trustees will convene Friday to vote to implement tuition increases for the fall semester.

At the special meeting, which will be held in the Administration Building, Room 241 at 8:30 a.m., the BOT is expected to approve the tuition increases detailed at the budget meeting June 12. The increases will be implemented via an emergency rule as it is considered that the normal rule process would not allow the new rates to be set in ample time for the return of students in the fall.

If approved as is, the rule will increase tuition fees for resident undergraduates and graduates by 5 and 10 percent respectively. For students paying out-of-state rates, with the BOT voting to apply an additional discretionary increment on top of the mandatory statewide increment, the increment will be more substantial, with increases of 18 percent for both undergraduates and graduates.

Costs per credit hour, exclusive of mandatory A&S fees, would increase from $55.67 to $58.45 for resident undergraduates, from $133.95 to $147.67 for resident graduates, from $306.08 to $361.45 for nonresident undergraduates and from $521.73 to $616.88 for nonresident graduates.

The discretionary increment was the subject of a campaign by the Florida Student Association in May, which attempted to influence Gov. Jeb Bush to veto the part of the education appropriations bill detailing discretionary increments. USF Student Government also assisted in the campaign sending, according to student body president Mike Griffin, 500 letters to Gov. Bush objecting to discretionary increments.

Regina DeIulio, associate general counsel, said the BOT could still amend the emergency rule at Friday’s meeting.

“They’ll either approve the rule or approve with changes,” DeIulio said. “Normally, we’d go through a longer rule process, but there’s not the time between them getting the instruction related to the increase and the end of this semester.”

According to DeIulio the emergency rule can only be approved by a full meeting of the BOT and not a subset committee. Once the BOT has voted on the emergency rule, they will initiate a permanent rule change.

“An emergency rule is good for 90 days,” she said. “Once the rule is approved, we’ll start the permanent rules process also.”