University tuition bill clears two more hurdles

Feb 28, 2012

Plans to let the University of Florida and Florida State University to break free of the state’s tuition caps moved forward in both the House and Senate Tuesday. Lynn Hatter reports.

 The House version of the measure cleared the chamber’s appropriations committee on an 18-5 vote.
The Senate version of the bill cleared its chamber’s Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously.

Under the bills the universities would have to meet 11 out of 14 benchmarks in order to be allowed the tuition freedom. Right now only Florida State and the University of Florida qualify. The state limits tuition increases to a maximum of 15-percent a year. But the bill would allow UF and FSU to go beyond that with approval from the Florida Board of Governors.

Both universities have long argued for more tuition flexibility, saying it will help them attract stronger faculty and increase degree production in science, technology, engineering and math -- something Governor Rick Scott has said he wants to see more of.

However, the Governor has also said he’s opposed to tuition increases.