State lawmakers gave the greenlight for the University of Central Florida and other state schools to hike fees by 15 percent and raise tuition by another 8 percent — while at the same time slashing funding for the Bright Futures scholarship program.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the budget deal was made Monday in Tallahassee, and will give universities more money by placing the higher costs on the backs of students and parents.

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In addition to other cuts to Bright Futures, the deal yesterday slashed the scholarship by $1 per credit hour. In other words, the extra fees and tuition being tacked on by Tallahassee won’t be covered by Bright Futures. It will also be harder for future students to qualify.


Lawmakers told the Sun Sentinel Bright Futures held Florida universities back.

“It’s a dilemma. Universities drive economies, and we starve our universities with Bright Futures,” Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland, told the Sun-Sentinel. “Bright Futures was set up to be a merit-based program, but it’s free college for all. As great as that sounds, it doesn’t allow our universities to thrive.”

UCF administrators have told KnightNews.com in the past how tens of millions of dollars in cuts over the past couple years have caused major financial strains for the school, including forcing layoffs and deleting majors last year.

KnightNews.com will work to get reaction from SGA leaders on these changes, and what they could mean to students at UCF.