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Tuition Hike Proposal Worries Bright Futures Students

March 2nd, 2009 by flanews

During the legislative session that begins tomorrow, state lawmakers will vote on a bill allowing colleges and universities to raise tuition up to 15 percent a year for six years. As Whitney Ray tells us, the plan would cost some freshman on bright futures scholarships an extra 2,400 dollars by the time they graduate.

Hear it Here: Tuition Hike Proposal Worries Bright Futures Students

Freshman Hannah Clark wouldnt be at Florida State University if her Bright Futures Scholarship didnt pay full tuition costs.

I wanted to go away to school, but because of Bright Futures I stayed in Florida, said Hannah.

A plan being discussed by lawmakers would allow state universities to raise tuition 15 percent a year over the next six years. The tuition increases wouldnt be covered by Floridas Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

Lawmakers say they had to separate Bright Future from the tuition increase or else the scholarship program would be too expensive for the state.

Money from the so-called differential tuition increases will help universities keep quality staff and avoid cutting courses. Senator Chris Smith said Bright Futures students need to pay their fair share.

When we decided to allow colleges to raise tuitions we wanted to make sure we were fair about, now all students can bare some of the burden, said Smith.

Senator Larcenia Bullard said shell fight to keep Bright Futures students from paying the increase.

The language will need to be tweaked, said Bullard.

If the plan is approved Hannah Clark could have to pay 2,400 extra dollars by the time she graduates.

My mom would probably make me take out a loan or a job or something, said Hannah.

By 2014 Florida students could be paying 17,000 dollars more for a four year degree. Lawmakers may also consider raising the GPA and SAT standards to decrease the number of students eligible for the Bright Futures Scholarships.

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