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Tuition increase proposed to speed up graduation

A new proposal — part of Gov. Jeb Bush’s proposed appropriations bill — could force some Florida-resident USF students to pay out-of-state-tuition.

The proposal is aimed at non-degree seeking students and students who take more than the 120 credits required to graduate.

Bush is requesting that all university boards of trustees adopt this measure to force students to declare their majors and graduate in a more timely fashion.

During Thursday’s USF Board of Trustees meeting, Faculty Senate President Elizabeth Bird briefed board members on the proposal.

The Faculty Senate recently passed a resolution written by the statewide Advisory Council of Faculty Senates, which opposes the governor’s proposal.

“It’s a good thing that students should get through efficiently, but there are a lot of students that want to take extra courses for their own intellectual improvement or because they have changed their majors,” Bird said. “I don’t think we should penalize them for taking a few extra hours.”

The Faculty Senate resolution indicated that under the new proposed system a student could pay $2,000 for a class that normally would cost $400.

Bird said she fears that many students will not be able to bear the burden of rising costs and will be forced to drop out.

According to the resolution, the new plan could be particularly tough on students seeking professional certification or looking to obtain or maintain professional licenses or community service training.