Raising the Bar by Raising Tuition?
Gov. Crist vetoed tuition hike earlier this year, but during the meeting, six of the 11 student body presidents said a tuition increase would be welcomed if it helps reduce class sizes and offers more need-based financial aid.
Former University of Florida Student Senate President Josh Weiss said the hike hike could be promising idea.
"You would be hard-pressed to find a student who hasn't been in a lecture hall of 350 students or who hasn't had a chance to meet a professor during office hours because there aren't enough of them," Weiss explained.
The additional funds must be used properly however.
"Students don't want to pay extra money so that we can build additions to the stadium," Weiss said. "They want to pay extra money so they can take the classes they want and classes that aren't larger than 50 students."
Some fear a tuition increase will hurt their bank accounts, but other said a tuition hike could lead to more students graduating on time and saving money in the long run.
"Students that are in the science and engineering field where they are required to take courses one after the other often can't get a course or get in on time," University of South Florida Student President Barclay Harless said.
Gov. Crist said there are alternative methods to improve the educational experiences of Florida's students, such as a tiered system when institutions can focus specifically on undergraduate or graduate-level educations.
"We talked about this many times, a tiered system where you have an opportunity at the community colleges to pretty much assure access," the Florida Governor said.
Access, however, is not the only thing that concerns students. According to Weiss, university objectives, such as faculty research, can help build the prestige of the diploma he is scheduled to receive this spring, but not when it comes at a cost to students.
"You get to a point where you need to refocus your priorities and realize that without the students, you don't have a university," he warned.
Gov. Crist maintained he still opposes a tuition hike even though tuitions to Florida Colleges are some of the lowest in the Nation. Gov. Crist did approve a possible increase of up to 40 percent for school like U.F. over the next four years.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV20 News.
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