Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senate recommends no base tuition hike for Florida universities, 3 percent increase for colleges

TALLAHASSEE — With Gov. Rick Scott calling for no tuition increases at colleges and universities this year and the Florida House recommending an 8 percent hike, the Florida Senate is meeting them in the middle.

In a Senate higher education budget proposal released Tuesday, state colleges and workforce education programs would see a 3 percent base tuition increase. But state universities would see no change to their base tuition, leaving it up to them to raise prices through differential tuition.

The feeling is that tuition certainly needs to go up, said committee chairwoman Sen. Evelyn Lynn. "But being cognizant of the governor's desires as well, this is a starting point."

Under a program known as tuition differential, universities are able to add to the tuition increase in the final budget, as long as the total increase does not exceed 15 percent per year. Last year the Legislature approved an 8 percent hike, and universities followed suit with another 7 percent.

They can keep upping prices until they reach the national average for tuition, currently $8,244. Florida now ranks 45th in the nation with an average price of $5,626, according to the Florida Board of Governors.

The Senate committee also recommended cutting about 25 percent in funding for Florida's higher education programs almost across the board. For the State University System, that translates to a $400 million cut in nonrecurring funds. Lynn said she expects that money to be restored next year.

The Florida College System would see a slight increase in state funds, about 1.1 percent. Factoring in the 3 percent base tuition increase, that's a 2 percent revenue increase, Lynn said.

The recommendations of the Senate and the House will be considered by both chambers' budget committees before a final budget is hammered out. Gov. Scott will then have to sign it.

Even with prices as low as they are, Florida's students are shouldering a larger chunk of their higher education costs than ever. Traditionally, tuition paid for about 25 percent of a student's education, with state dollars making up for the rest.

With tuition going up and state support going down, that model has now shifted to about 50-50.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at

Senate recommends no base tuition hike for Florida universities, 3 percent increase for colleges 02/07/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  3. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.