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UF, FSU could get tuition freedom

Two of Florida’s biggest universities could soon be allowed to raise their tuition rates to the national average. Lynn Hatter reports a proposal to allow the schools to break free of the state’s tuition caps is now moving through the legislature.

Florida State and the University of Florida have argued they need to raise tuition in order to attract better faculty, lower teacher-student ratios and fund expensive programs like those in science, technology, engineering and math. They say tuition increases would also enable them to climb higher in national rankings.  And a proposal set to be released in the House Tuesday would give them what they want.

The House Education committee is expected to take up a proposal that would allow tuition increases if universities meet 11 out of 14 measurements. Only UF and FSU would qualify.

The national tuition average at public universities is around $15,000 a year. But in Florida, it’s only 55-hundred. Governor Rick Scott has said he does not support a tuition increase for the state’s universities.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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