Tuition for Higher Education in Florida Likely Going Up, But Details Still Murky

Friday, February 10, 2012

In all likelihood, tuition is going up this year. The devil, though, is in the details.

The House Wednesday gave early approval to a spending plan that includes an 8 percent hike, which equates to $245 million for universities, and $73 million for colleges. The Senate has proposed a 3 percent increase for colleges only.

An increase has the giddy support of the higher education officials. During a round of hearings before the House Education Committee, the state's university presidents hammered home the point that tuition increases are needed to stay competitive.

"You never like to see anything go up, but Florida is still one of the best deals in the nation," said John Delaney, University of North Florida's president, during a Wednesday interview.

He said the 8 percent bump proposed by the House would be acceptable this year.

Because of the gap between their proposals, tuition could also become one of the growing number of political footballs tossed between the House and Senate.

House Speaker Dean Cannon tried to put a lid on that idea after the full House met to discuss their budget.

"I don't think it is a point of friction, it is a point of differing approaches to get to the same goal," he told reporters. "The degrees they [students] are getting are underpriced."