A state board has voted down a 15 percent tuition increase request for the University of Central Florida.
The Board of Governors is voting individually on tuition requests from the 11 state universities and it looks unlikely any will get a 15 percent increase. The board split 8 to 8 on the UCF request, which meant it doesn’t pass. They’ve voted on several other increases, including 9 percent and 13.5 percent, but haven’t reached a figure all board members can agree on yet.
Tuition and fees this past year has been $ 5,584 at UCF. Board members are considering smaller increases, saying they are trying to be sensitive to students and families who have faced big tuition increases for the past few years. The board hasn’t considered tuition for any other universities yet.
Many board members said a 15 percent increase, which is about $ 500 to $ 700 per student, is too difficult for many families during tough economic times. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has also opposed the big increases.
“People are getting laid off and may be going back to school,” Board member Matt Carter said. “Now is not the time. This is not the year.”
For the first time in recent years, the Legislature voted not to increase tuition at all this year and left the responsibility to the universities and the Board of Governors, which oversees the state system. State law allows tuition to increase by up to 15 percent a year. All 11 state universities sought the full 15 percent from 2009 to 2011, but this year, three made smaller requests: the University of Florida at 9 percent, the University of South Florida at 12 percent and Florida Gulf Coast University at 14 percent.
Gov. Rick Scott has been fighting 15 percent tuition increases, saying they’re a burden on Florida families.
Dennis Crudele, vice president for finance at FAU, said last week the state Legislature gave universities their funding based on the assumption that each would seek the full 15 percent increase. FAU received a nearly $ 25 million cut in state funds this year and is already planning to close the Fort Lauderdale and Port St. Lucie campuses and lay off affected employees.
“If we don’t get the tuition request, it would result in fewer course selections, a reduction in faculty and would probably have an impact on our graduation and retention,” Crudele said.
You can follow the discussions on the Board of Governors website.