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 licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo


    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming


    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa


    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday morning within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them


    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]