A dozen schools accept discounted degree challenge


Gov. Rick Scott’s $10,000 bachelor’s degree challenge to 28 institutions in the Florida College System is getting a lot of attention.

So far, 12 of Florida’s 28 state colleges have announced interest to support the challenge in an effort to make college affordable for students at their institutions.

Scott wants to bring awareness to the issues of rising college costs and student debt. The program is only being offered to community colleges.

“The challenge is just for colleges right now, although the governor has stressed the importance of affordability in education at all schools,” said Jackie

Schutz, press secretary for Scott. “Students should be able to leave college and get a good job without being racked with debt.”

Scott said in a press release, “It’s a real testament to Florida’s college system to see so many schools stepping up to the challenge, and I look forward to seeing even more schools work to make school more affordable for Florida families.”

However, in Florida, the four-year degrees on a community college level, which are the same institutions that have agreed to Scott’s $10,000 challenge, cost about $13,000.

Tallahassee Community College is one of the six colleges that has not accepted Scott’s challenge.

“TCC is a college of higher quality in our college system and one of the less expensive colleges in the

state of Florida,” said Bill Spiers, director of financial aid at TCC. “We are well on the way of supporting Gov. Scott’s challenge”

The Florida Department of Education is also supporting Scott’s proposed plan to make sure the Florida College System stresses the importance of receiving an affordable education and producing graduates of high quality.

“The Florida College System has a strong history of responding to state and community needs,” said Chancellor of the Florida College System Randy Hanna. “I am encouraged to hear that even more colleges are accepting this challenge to improve access and affordability, making college a possibility for every Floridian. We will be working with the Legislature to move this program forward.”