Students who have been attending a Florida college for the past two years will see another tuition increase during the 2010-2011 school year. Following the 2010 Florida Legislative session, Gov. Charlie Crist signed the bill.
Tuition will increase by 8 percent for undergraduates, along with a 7 percent tuition differential fee; resident graduate and law programs students will see a 15 percent increase in tuition and fees; however, non-resident students will only receive an increase in their tuition.
The second consecutive tuition increase will also impact student fees, which includes an athletic fee, repeat course fee, transportation and access fee. Pharmacy and occupation therapy students can expect to see a new material and supply fee attached to their bill.
“The tuition increase of course is not something that anyone supports because of the understanding that it is the state’s responsibility to provide funding for our education, so students can be able to acquire a better quality of life,” said Gallop Franklin, 21, Florida A&M University Student Government Association president. “That’s the American dream.”
With a 15 percent tuition increase – the maximum increase in a fiscal year – FAMU may be in a better position, according to Franklin, a fifth-year doctorate of pharmacy candidate.
“We are thankful that the legislature supported higher education in fiscal year 2010-2011,” said Teresa Hardee, chief financial officer and vice president for administrative and financial services. “The reductions were much less than expected.”
Effective fall 2010 semester, resident undergraduates will pay $153.90 per credit hour and non-resident will pay $551.92. Resident graduate students will be charged $313.79 per credit hour, and non-residents will have to pay $930.16.
“I don’t see where some the student fee is going,” said Gene Richardson, 22, molecular cell biology senior and a Miami native. “There are special demands for the labs and we don’t have sufficient equipment to do our work.”
According to Hardee the budget cut is from General Revenue Funds. The university has to reduce its base budget; tuition increase is expected to reduce the impact of the cuts
However, tuition is not the only changes in higher education. Students who are receiving the Pell Grant and loans will see an increment in their financial aid.
Thanks to the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, the maximum annual Pell Grant award will increase from $5,550 to $5,975 by 2017. In addition, the government has shifted to a direct-loan program, which will allow students to receive their load directly from the government – eliminating the bank as a third party.
The direct-loan program will operate as an income-based repayment by placing a monthly cap of 10 percent to 15 percent. This program was implemented to decrease unmanageable debt.
According to Franklin, 30 percent of the 7 percent tuition differential fee goes into need-based financial aid to assist students who meet the requirements.