Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

PolitiFact Florida: Jeb Bush says that Florida has cheapest public college tuition, but that was years ago

RECOMMENDED READING


During a discussion about student debt at the CNBC Republican presidential debate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich talked about bringing down college costs, prompting Jeb Bush to chime in about the low cost of tuition in Florida.

"We don't need the federal government to be involved in this, because when they do, we create a $1.2 trillion debt," said the former Florida governor during the Oct. 28 debate in Boulder, Colo. "In Florida, we have the lowest in-state tuition of any state, because there's accountability, just as John (Kasich) said. You'll create a much better graduation rate at a lower cost, and you won't indebt the next generation with recourse debt on their backs."

We wanted to know: Does Florida hold the No. 1 spot for lowest in-state college tuition? Bush's point is actually out of date.

Bush spokesman Matt Gorman said that when Bush left office in 2007, Florida had the lowest in-state tuition for a public four-year university among the 50 states. The data from the College Board bears that out: It was $3,881 for a four-year public university in 2006-07.

But during the debate, Bush didn't say he was referring to when he ended his tenure as governor — he made it sound like he was talking in the present tense, so we looked at that data, too.

The College Board publishes an annual comparison of in-state tuition and fees at four-year public universities nationwide, comprised of survey data from almost 4,000 postsecondary institutions. The comparison refers to average price paid by a full-time student for one year of undergraduate enrollment.

For 2014-15, the lowest was Wyoming at $4,646, followed by Arkansas at $6,138; Utah at $6,177; New Mexico at $6,190; Montana at $6,279, and then Florida at $6,351. So Florida was the sixth-lowest, although four of the states were only between $72 and $213 cheaper than Florida.

"Florida is one of the most affordable states for public university tuition," said Ralph Aiello, who supervises college counselors for Broward County public schools in Florida.

The College Board produces a similar report comparing tuition for two-year degrees which showed that Florida was again on the low end but not at the cheapest spot in 2014-15.

"There are a number of reasons for the wide variation in published tuition and fees by state — state tuition philosophy, aid policy, economic conditions and funding for higher education," said Jennifer Ma, the College Board's policy research scientist. "For example, New Hampshire, which has the highest published tuition and fees for the public four-year sector in 2014-15, does not have a state grant aid program and has the lowest state appropriations on a per-student basis."

Bush specifically mentioned "tuition," but we'll note that there are a lot of factors than influence the ultimate price tag for students, including fees, scholarships, financial aid and room and board.

So Bush said, "In Florida, we have the lowest in-state tuition of any state." That's not accurate if we look at 2014-15 tuition for four-year public universities compiled by the College Board. That data shows Wyoming had the lowest tuition, followed by Arkansas, Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Florida. Florida was the sixth-lowest.

Bush's campaign said he was referring to Florida's ranking as the lowest in 2006-07 when he left office, but he didn't specify that time frame during the debate.

We rate this statement Mostly False.

Read more rulings at PolitiFact.com/florida.

Comments
Bucs-Dolphins: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

The Buccaneers won their second straight game Sunday in Miami Gardens, breaking a six-game road losing streak in the process. Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s instant analysis from Tampa Bay’s 30-20 win over the Miami Dolphins:WINNING IS WINNIN...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Bucs offense awakens in time to beat Dolphins, 30-20, on late field goal

Bucs offense awakens in time to beat Dolphins, 30-20, on late field goal

Ryan Fitzpatrick made three big throws to set up Patrick Murray’s winning kick.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live blog: Bucs at Dolphins

Live blog: Bucs at Dolphins

Follow our live coverage of the Bucs’ game against the Miami Dolphins this afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. You’ll find news, analysis, photos, video and more from Times reporters, columnists and photographers — all in real time. View...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Two unhurt after small plane clips tree during emergency landing in Clearwater

Two unhurt after small plane clips tree during emergency landing in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Two men walked away unhurt from a small airplane after it clipped a tree and spun around as the pilot tried to make an emergency landing on Keene Road, deputies said.Pilot Marc Benedict, 61, and passenger Gregory Guinee, 55, of Clearwate...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

By ROGER MOONEYTAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium postgame late Saturday to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrat...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

OCALA — Mel Tillis, the Tampa native and affable country star who overcame a stutter and wrote hits for others and himself, has died.A spokesman for Tillis, Don Murry Grubbs, said Tillis died early Sunday at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala. H...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Forecast: Cold front to bring rain, wind gusts to Tampa Bay

Forecast: Cold front to bring rain, wind gusts to Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — A warm Sunday will be threatened by a few afternoon rain showers and wind gusts up to 20 mph, forecasters predict. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatu...
Updated: 7 hours ago
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 ...
Published: 11/19/17
Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

TAMPA — Avery, 6, slid his sneakers up the side of 200-pound rubber tire from the space shuttle Columbia and sat on top.His father, Ilder Jeannot, called for him to get off of it — usually climbing on museum displays is frowned upon. But in the new M...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Published: 11/18/17