Students pay more for degrees

The Florida Legislature and Board of Governors created a policy that will require freshmen students and all students enrolled after this year to pay more per credit hour by the time they graduate.

According to Dorothy Henderson, dean of general studies, public universities in Florida will require the student to pay an excess hour surcharge equal to 50 percent of the tuition rate for each credit hour in excess of 120 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete their baccalaureate degree.

“The change will take effect for all incoming freshmen for this fall 2009 semester,” Henderson said.

The adjust will raise the cost of an in-state tuition per credit hour from $124 to $186.

“This would not work in my favor at all,” said Cecily Staples, 20, a third-year business administration student from Orlando. “I had trouble making a final decision on my major in my first few years here, so I would be forced to pay more if it affected me.”

The change, however, will apply to freshmen for the 2009-2010 academic school year.

According to Kenneth Tellis, a representative of the university registrar’s office, the excess credit hour price increase will apply to all 11 state universities in Florida.

According to a June 2 Report by the Sun Sentinel, “Crist, university officials and the Florida Student Association supported the tuition bill, saying rates that now are among the nation’s lowest must go up to improve quality, help pay for need-based scholarships and stop a brain drain of faculty to other states that pay better.”

“The Florida Legislature is concerned that students are (misusing) the funding programs that pay for student’s education,” Tellis said. “About two-thirds of in-state tuition paying students are being paid for by the state … their financial aid or scholarships will not cover the cost of the heightened prices.”

Tellis said to prevent the bottleneck of students who will be unprepared for the price change, the changes should be made aware to high school students.

“Guidance counselors and high school teachers should pass this information on to their students so that they may take advantage of (Advanced Placement) classes and Dual Enrollment programs,” Tellis said.

Tellis said that the changes may motivate future college students to take advantage of the opportunities given to them early.

“It is too late to start at day one, we have to make progress at ground zero,” Tellis said.
For more information, go to the Board of Governors Web site at