UF fee revived
An overhauled version of the House bill that would allow the University of Florida to charge undergraduates an extra $500 per semester passed the Schools and Learning Council Tuesday, following lots of negotiations between lawmakers and Bright Futures and Florida Prepaid representatives.
The bill as amended by sponsor Rep. Charles Dean would allow university trustees to implement the fee at UF only. It would be implemented gradually between fall 2008 and fall 2012, during which time Bright Futures would cover the bill. Bright Futures would not cover the fee starting in fall 2012, by which time incoming undergraduates would be charged the full $500 per semester.
Families also could buy Prepaid plans that include the UF fee, but Prepaid would not have to cover the fee for families that already have contracts and end up sending their children to UF once the fee is in place.
UF President Bernie Machen estimates the fee will generate $37-million a year when in place at the maximum $500 level, and he will use the revenue to hire 200 additional faculty members and 100 additional career counselors.
-Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler