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Senators Pressing Statewide For Higher 4-Year Grad Rates

Douglas Green via wikimedia commons

Incoming Senate President Joe Negron is pushing to improve four year graduation rates at Florida’s universities.  He’s floating a policy known as block tuition on his tour of the state’s university system.

Sen. Negron (R-Stuart) is looking for a way to encourage students to take 15 rather than 12 credits a semester, and he’s raising a policy known as block—or flat rate—tuition to get there.  The University of Florida flirted with the proposal in 2010 before rejecting it, and school president W. Kent Fuchs isn’t exactly eager to bring it up again. 

“I would want support from the Board of Governors,” Fuchs said, “it would be controversial.” 

“Why would it be controversial?” Negron asked.

“Because if I’m a student I like the flexibility,” Fuchs began before Negron cut in, “I mean that’s too bad.” 

“It’s like, here’s the thing,” he went on, “I don’t buy this idea that any student is entitled to have a leisurely stroll through a university education.  It’s supposed to be rigorous.”

The last time UF raised a block tuition proposal, the tuition rate was set at 15 credit hours.  This means students taking 12 credits would effectively see their tuition climb.  But Negron has suggested a different course—allowing students paying for a 12 credit load to enroll in 15 credits for the same price.  Taking only 12 credits a semester means a student would need 10 rather than eight semesters to graduate.