TAMPA — University of South Florida trustees on Wednesday approved a 7 percent tuition hike for undergraduate students and a renovation project at the USF Sun Dome arena.
The tuition increase is on top of an 8 percent tuition hike already approved by the state Legislature. It raises USF's tuition for full-time students by about $600 a year, to more than $5,000, including fees.
With Florida ranking 48th among the 50 states for public university tuition and fees, USF is not alone in its quest to bring in more money. Other state universities will likely approve similar hike recommendations. Those will then need to be approved by the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state's 11 public universities and will meet this month at USF's campus.
The tuition recommendations okayed by USF also include a 15 percent decrease in out-of-state fees for undergraduates, 10 or 15 percent tuition increase for graduate students, depending on the college, and an increase in the undergraduate distance learning fee from $35 to $50.
The approximately $35 million Sun Dome renovation project will extend the arena's life for another 30 years, according to documents given to the board. It includes a renovation of the 10,000-seat bowl, modifications to the southwest and southeast entries, restoration of the existing exterior and the addition of a center-hung scoreboard, concessions and bathrooms. No educational money will be used, USF said, with the funds to be repaid through the renovated center's rental fees. Construction will begin this month and is expected to be completed by May.
Also in the approved consent agenda were several faculty nominations for tenure, a preliminary operating budget and the second phase of a university-wide strategic plan.