Tuition Hikes of 15 Percent Coming in Two States
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
On Thursday (June 23), the governing board of the State University System of Florida agreed to a 7 percent increase in tuition next year, on top of an 8 percent hike approved by the Legislature earlier in 2011, the News Service of Florida reports . College officials say increases of that size are likely to be the norm for the forseeable future.
"Universities disclosed to the governing board this week that without significant improvement in the economy, 15 percent tuition hikes will continue to be necessary every year," the News Service notes. "Each university, except for the University of North Florida, projected 15 percent increases the next four years."
Florida higher ed officials said the tuition hikes are necessary because of declining state funding, and they defended their decision by saying that Florida students pay substantially less in tuition than their peers in other states. The increases will affect hundreds of thousands of students, including those attending Florida State University and the University of Florida.
In at least one other state, Tennessee, some students also must prepare for 15 percent tuition increases next year. The University of Tennessee's Board of Trustees decided Thursday to raise tuition that amount at the school's Health Center in Memphis, while raising it 12 percent and 9.9 percent at other campuses, according to The Commercial Appeal of Memphis .
Next year will be the first time that tuition and fees will provide more money than taxpayer appropriations for the University of Tennessee, the school's treasurer told the Board of Trustees on Thursday. The increases come on top of 9 percent tuition hikes at the University last year.
Separately, the Tennessee Board of Regents, which sets tuition rates at other public schools in the state, will vote today (June 24) on a plan to increase tuition elsewhere, including an expected 11 percent increase at the University of Memphis, according to The Commercial Appeal . Higher education officials in Tennessee, like their counterparts in Florida, blame the tuition increases on reduced state funding.