Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

More state students paying double cost

RECOMMENDED READING


ORLANDO — Records show that more Florida college students are paying double for racking up too many credit hours.

According to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of school records, about 3,770 students were charged about $2.35 million in excess credit-hour surcharges during the fall 2015 semester at the University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of South Florida. That compares to one year earlier when roughly 1,760 students paid about $851,120 in penalties at the four schools.

The typical bachelor's degree requires 120 credits to complete and students are allowed to take up to 132 credits without any penalties. After that, students who enrolled in fall 2011 or later are charged an excess credit hour surcharge that is double the tuition rate.

The fees are required under a 2009 law enacted during the economic downturn to push graduates to finish school on time and save tax dollars by reducing the number of enrolled students. Some students were grandfathered in through the years and the requirements have changed, which could explain the large increase in 2015, according to university officials.

Stephanie Samples changed majors a few times, starting with theater and singing, then switching to psychology before landing on graphic design. By then it was too late to avoid paying double tuition.

"If you don't know what you want to do, it's hard to experiment with different classes," said Samples, 23, of Daytona Beach, who graduates in 2017. "Once you hit (so many credits), you get hit."

Tuition at UCF, the largest school in the state, cost $105.07 per credit hour this past year, but under the penalty, the price rises to $210.14. Nearly 2,000 UCF students were charged $1.25 million in surcharges in fall 2015, according to school records

University officials say they're advising students on how to avoid paying the penalty.

"We want students to graduate and be successful, and we don't want to drag them along to take a long time," said the University of Central Florida registrar Brian Boyd. "The challenge is we want to make students as educated as possible early on so they can make those decisions if they want to be a double major or repeat a course."

Heidi Mattern majors in music and anthropology at UCF and has only taken the classes she needed for her two majors to graduate sooner. Yet, she pays the surcharge.

The university will reimburse double majors for the surcharges after graduation but if they drop one of their two majors before then, the fee will stand.

Comments
Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Player of the Week | Michael Penix Jr., Tampa Bay TechPenix, a Tennessee commit, has been good all season and it seems as if he’s getting even better in the playoffs. On Friday night against Palmetto in the Class 7A region semifinals, he was too ...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 11 hours ago
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Updated: 12 hours ago
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?With WR Mike Evans back from h...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSU’s first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Updated: 12 hours ago