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Paying More for Less

June 15th, 2009 by flanews

The cost of a college education in Florida is going up, but the quality isnt. All 11 of Floridas public universities are seeking the maximum tuition increase allowed by the state, but as Whitney Ray tells us, many colleges will still cut programs and layoff professors.

Florida college students are looking for extra cash to cover a 15 percent tuition hike.

I have enough money saved up right now to cover one semester, but next semester, in the spring, Ill have to find a job, said FSU Freshman Suzanna Denninghoff.

But even though students will be paying more, they wont be getting an extra bang for their buck. The tuition hike will pump 35 million dollars into the states 11 public universities… not enough money to stop cut backs.

Florida State University is cutting 56 million dollar from its budget. To make ends meet the school may layoff 200 employees and cut programs. FSU Junior Amanda Davison feels cheated.

The thing that makes me the angriest of all, its not as though they are raising tuition and taking away Bright Futures and keeping our departments. They are taking away our departments, said Davison.

And its not just FSU scaling back. Three consecutive years of budget cuts have hurt all of Floridas universities. Education activist Bud Chiles said the state will be paying for the cuts for years to come.

You cant replace those programs that are being decimated overnight. It takes 10 or 20 years. Weve worked so hard in this state to build up a good university system and its being dismantled, said Chiles.

And while raising tuition wont save universities in the near future, a steady increase over time could go a long way to help stabilize funding. The University Systems Board of Governors is expected to approve the 15 percent tuition hikes for all of the schools at its Thursday meeting.

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