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Board of Governors to weigh tuition increases

The Board that oversees Florida’s 11 public universities will meet over the next few days and weigh whether to approve requests for tuition increases. Due to years of budget cuts, the schools have dealt with layoffs and program closures. They’ve also raised tuition. And many of them are asking the board to raise tuition again.

The Board of Governors is also expected to hear from Governor Rick Scott, who has been a vocal opponent of tuition hikes. But the Board’s spokeswoman, Kelly Layman, says the tuition increases are a last resort.

“Tuition has increased over the past several years at about 30 cents on the dollar. So for every dollar we were cut, tuition went up about 30-40 cents, but it has never filled the entire gap.”

Layman says contrary to popular belief, tuition hikes have never made up for the loss of state funding.

That gap widened again this year as the university system was cut by $300 million dollars.  Over the last six years, the schools have lost about 45-percent of their state- based operating funds.

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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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