Student leaders across Florida are speaking out against a budget plan announced by the governor Tuesday. The hike in tuition was expected, but many were surprised by the governor's plan to give universities "unlimited" ability to raise graduate and out of state tuition.
Aleta Fantoni came to FSU from Vermont specifically to major in anthropology. We told her she could face unlimited tuition hikes in August.
Aleta says, "I’m surviving on loans as it is, so it’s going to make it harder for me in the long run."
The seven and a half percent hike for under grad studies was expected by student leaders, but that doesn’t make it any easier for average students.
Tory Fisher from Lakeland says, "I have Bright Futures and I have a scholarship from the school also, but I mean, tuition is still high in that aspect and books are raising prices too. With all these increases, it’s going to be hard."
Board of Governors member Steve Uhlfelder says the hike is justified because a quality education costs money.
Steve says, "They will pay a lot more for gas increases than they will pay for tuition increases as a result of this, but yet the best bargain for tuition for the quality of universities that we have in the country anywhere."
But students could face a double whammy. In addition to higher tuition, students are also facing the prospect of blocked tuition. That means they will have to pay for at least 15 course hours no matter how many their taking.
Scott Ross of the Florida Student Association says the average student can only schedule about 13 hours.
Scott says, "You are going to have a lot of students paying for two to three credit hours that they are not going to take."
The hikes must ultimately be approved by the state Legislature. The legislative session begins in March. If lawmakers decide to raise tuition, the increases would take effect this fall.