News Release: Governor Rick Scott's Office
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– During today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott discussed how important it is to make getting a college education affordable for all Florida families.
Governor Scott said, “Every parent wants their child to get a great education and for many that doesn’t end at high school.That is why we recommended $80 million in my “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” for those colleges and universities who graduate students best positioned to get a job. If we want to make higher education more accessible, we have to make it more affordable.
“Last year, I vetoed a tuition increase that would have taken more than $42 million from Florida families and this year, we want to get rid of the 15 percent annual increase and inflationary increase on tuition. Undoing these laws is another way we can keep higher education affordable and accessible.
“Parents saving for their children to get a four-year degree from a public university today need to save over $53,000. We shouldn’t celebrate how accessible higher education is until we can make it more affordable. That’s why I am proud that all of Florida’s 4-year state colleges now offer bachelor’s degrees for only $10,000. These degrees aren’t just affordable – they are also geared toward high-demand job fields so students are prepared to start a great career when they graduate.”
Floridians Shared Their Perspective
Four Floridians shared how higher tuition costs affect them personally, their fellow students and those they serve.
Jared Ferreira, a Veteran of the United States Navy and current student at St. Petersburg College, said, “Thank you for allowing me to speak about the importance of college affordability and for your leadership Governor Scott. The $10,000 bachelor’s degree concept is new and very important. The state colleges that offer the $10,000 degrees have relationships with their local communities to address their local workforce needs.”
J. David Armstrong, Jr., President of Broward College, said, “Governor, we appreciate your support. It’s important that we work with businesses to help grow our higher education system and prepare students for the jobs of the future. Nationally, student loan debt has gone up significantly, largely because tuition has gone up. It is very important we do everything we can to control costs and to provide options to students that are affordable. At Broward College, we are one of 28 State Colleges that are working hard in a lot of ways to do that. We have not raised tuition even though we have the option to do that.”
Jon Radar, a student at Florida State College at Jacksonville, serves as the Student Government President for his campus as well as the District Four Coordinator for the Florida College System Student Government Association, said, “Thank you Governor for your commitment on keeping our colleges and universities affordable and holding the line on tuition. There is truly no better place to get a great education that is affordable than in the State of Florida. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to take the first step in my higher education at FSCJ. One of the great things I love about our Florida College System is that it attracts some of the best and brightest minds, which is why we need to make sure that Florida continues to pursue a path that leads to higher education affordability.”
Carly Rohrbacher, a senior at Florida State University, said, “My parents understand the value of higher education and saved for me through the prepaid program and I worked hard in high school to earn the Bright Futures Scholarship. Even still, I work 30 hours a week to pay for everything else related to getting my degree.Every year I’ve had to pay more. If any more fees are added or if tuition goes up, I won’t have the money I need to pay for it. Getting a university degree is already expensive and I don’t think it should cost any more than it already does. Thank you Governor Scott for your efforts to keep tuition down.”