Florida tuition undergoes price reform

The Florida Board of Governors is considering allowing state universities to set block tuition when it meets in November.  

Block tuition, or flat tuition rate, is a system in which all students pay one constant rate for credit hours. The cost will be based on 15-credit hour semesters, according to Steve Orlando, spokesperson for University of Florida.

The proposal was originally for FAMU. UF is considering bringing the plan before its board of trustees budget meeting in January. 

According to the Florida Student Association website, block tuition was in effect for most of the 70’s. 

In the early 80’s, the Florida Senate implemented additional fees such as health, food and housing. 

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor said he would prefer block tuition if he were a student.

Orlando said the program would give students an incentive to take more credit hours. 

“We’re trying to encourage students to get their degree more quickly,” he said.  

Kelly Layman, executive director of communications and development for the Board of Governors, said the earliest a university could bring a proposal forward would be after the regulation is in place.  Layman said the situation would not affect students because the other universities do not have plans to pursue block tuition next year.  

Florida A&M spokeswoman Sharon Saunders said FAMU is waiting to see what unfolds as UF goes through the process.  

“It is not an option that FAMU currently has, but if faced with the option, the FAMU Board of Trustees will weigh the pros and cons,” said Saunders.

“Ultimately, we will want to make sure that we do what is in the best interest of our students and the university.” 

Despite these precautions, students are concerned about any change in tuition, but Layman assures students will not be affected until a proposal for it is suggested and passed.  Portia Carter, 20, a junior healthcare management student from Jacksonville, said finding means to pay for tuition is hard enough.  

“It’s tough because every dollar counts when you’re paying for school,” said Carter.  

According to Orlando, if the board of governors approves it, the flat tuition rate will be made optional for all universities.