Earlier this month, the Board of Governors authorized a 15 percent tuition increase for all 11 of Florida’s public universities.
Originally, the Legislature set an 8 percent increase, which would have been more manageable, but the universities themselves pushed for an additional 7 percent, reaching the highest rate the state will allow per year.
Although no major need was at the forefront of the increase, board members said that these steps are necessary for keeping the universities running.
The increase has become a highly debated issue, especially after tuition at other states’ universities was taken into account when making the adjustment.
If the current tuition is working for Florida schools and student and staff expectations are being met, then there should be no need for an increase. The notion of making us equal with out-of-state institutions defeats one of the prime benefits of living here: low tuition.
Now, with Florida schools on track to cost as much as other states, there is no unique educational value being gained.
As schools back the rise in tuition, many students are fighting it.
During these hard economic times, increased funding to extracurricular activities and inconsequential programs are not what matters to a student anymore when considering a college. What matters is how deep into their pockets – or their parents’ wallets – that they will have to dig.
Another important matter to assess is the incremental number of grants given out. One should hope this is taken into account by the board as well. If in-state students are dishing out more money, some students should be getting it back in the form of grants. Students with financial need rely especially on grants to avoid taking out loans, a no-no for those looking for a peaceful graduation.
Luckily, for many students, the increased tuition varies from college to college. Students can expect increases of only $463 per academic year at Florida Gulf Coast University compared to $991 at USF Polytechnic, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
While this may not seem like a lot for some, for others it’s just an added burden that makes it harder to get through college without accumulating debt.
It seems as though going to college now takes more financial savvy than ever before. Demanding schedules, pricy books, persnickety professors and increased tuition creates a full plate for students this fall.
Danielle Vercesi is a junior majoring is mass communications.