Florida tuition breaks part of higher-education deal reached by lawmakers

By: | April 28, 2021

Florida lawmakers have reached a compromise on a wide-ranging higher education bill that would create several tuition breaks for college students and would expand on the Legislature’s push to provide coronavirus liability protections.

The legislation, passed unanimously by the Senate, would shield public and private universities from lawsuits seeking tuition and fee reimbursements as a result of pandemic-related school disruptions — and could do away with about 24 lawsuits filed in Florida against higher-education institutions.

Lawmakers have stuffed the bill (HB 1261) with several new tuition breaks — a contrast to agreed cuts to other college financial aid programs this year. The bill, for example, offers in-state tuition to out-of-state students whose grandparents live in Florida, creates a “buy one, get one free” waiver for students who enroll in programs aligned to the state’s economic and workforce needs, and tuition and fee waivers for one online course for certain students, including veterans and active-duty military members.

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