Rising tuition costs for out-of-state students could change the student bodies at Florida universities.
According to the State University System of Florida, Florida boasts of being the number one state for higher education. For nearly ten years, Florida has had the second lowest tuition costs in the country and has now moved to the lowest state in the nation for tuition costs. These low costs are a leading factor when it comes to attracting students for higher education, raising the value of a degree in Florida.
January 25th, there was a state of the system address held that highlighted the current progress and future goals of all Florida State Universities. One of these future goals, suggested by Chair Brian Lamb, urged the board to work alongside universities to lessen the burden of taxpayers by raising the fees of out-of-state students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.
Some students attending Florida A&M University, the number one historically black college and university (HBCU) in the nation, feel as if this isn’t the right decision.
“I feel that the triple cost of attendance for out-of-state students is unnecessary. College is already expensive and I’m moving from my home state which has its own expenses,” stated Destiny Coleman, an environmental science major from Conyers, Georgia.
For FAMU, in particular, the cost of attendance for on-campus students considered to be Florida residents for the fall and spring semesters is $24,152. Compared to the cost of attendance for on-campus students who are considered out-of-students for the fall and spring semesters is $36,098, an $11,946 difference!
With out-state-students already at a financial disadvantage, raising the cost of attendance even more, would potentially discourage students from choosing a school in Florida for higher education.
“FAMU should welcome students from all types of different backgrounds, not just Florida backgrounds. If a qualified student from out of state wants to come, they shouldn’t be penalized more for doing so,” said Javon Thomas, a psychology student from Chicago, Illinois. “Limiting out-of-state students limits diversity of thinking for the whole institution. Different cities think differently and FAMU should embrace that.”
Should the fees increase for out-of-state students, it leaves an impression that Florida students are the priority and that the system is structured for them to benefit the most when it comes to paying. Although Lamb suggested the action to alleviate the taxpayer’s troubles, this shouldn’t be at the expense of students simply choosing to enjoy the high-quality education that the state of Florida has to offer.