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Tuition Wars

September 27th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

College students and their parents can expect to pay higher tuition come January…Or not. There is a battle on between the legislature and the board that governs the university system over who has the authority to raise tuition, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us students could get caught in a double whammy.

Hear it Here: Tuition Wars

College students can expect to pay 55 dollars more per semester starting in January.  Javier Ortega of Cape Coral says that’s not so bad. “It’s only 55 dollars. It were 200 that would be way too much!”

While not set in stone, the state legislature is moving to re-pass a 5 percent  tuition hike, to offset budget cuts. The governor vetoed a 5% hike in the spring, but State Senator Evelyn Lynn is hoping he’ll let this one become law. “And I hope he’ll be realistic in recognizing the needs. If  we’re going to have high quality education,  we’ve got to begin to fund it.”
Here’s where it gets complicated. After a voice vote, the University Board of Governors also passed a 5 percent tuition hike.  What’s unclear is whether the Board, which was created in 2002 has the authority to raise tuition…that’s being fought over in court.

University of Florida President Bernie Machen says the increase shouldn’t be too painful.

“The spring tuition we will get is about two and a half million dollars. The cut I am making in my budget is 34 million dollars.” says Machen.

The story gets even more complicated….because if the Board of Governors sets tuition, the increase likely won’t be covered by Bright Futures….but if the legislatures hike sticks….it will be.

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