Brogan: Universities Expecting 15% Tuition Hike ‘Need To Think Again’Beyond UCF, News, Politics, Tuition, UCF Administration — By Staff on June 12, 2012 at 2:06 am Tweet
Live video of Board of Governors meeting at UCF in Orlando:
State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan made it clear the 15 percent tuition hikes proposed by Florida universities — like UCF — are far from a done deal.
The SUS’s Board of Governors is meeting at UCF’s campus over a three day period starting June 19, in part to hear requests from each universitiy’s board of trustees to raise tuition. In the past, the perception was that the BOG basically rubber-stamped the tuition hikes, but those days may be over.
“If universities are walking into next week’s meeting in Orlando simply expecting to get a 15 percent differential (tuition) increase, they need to think again,” Brogan told cameras in Tallahassee Monday, including one hired by KnightNews.com to get his take on Florida’s skyrocketing tuition.
Tuition increases at Florida’s universities over the past few years have totaled between 45 and 60 percent. Brogan said slamming students with yet another 15 percent would be “a tough ask” this time.
Even the University of Florida, which had been seeking unlimited tuition increase potential during the legislative session, backed off from seeking the maximum 15 percent increase — following pressure to do so from UF Student Body President T.J. Villamil, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Villamil voted against the original 15 percent hike in committee before voting in favor of the 9 percent increase when UF backed down, calling it a “perfect compromise” between students and the administration, the Sun reported.
“We’ve got to meet in the middle,” he told the paper.
UF took a different path than UCF. On May 24, UCF Trustees, including SGA President Cortez Whatley, voted to go for the full 15 percent tuition hike, which would make a full load of tuition and fees combined for an undergraduate student jump from $5,584 to $6,247 a year. Only Trustee Harris Rosen opposed the hike.
The move by UF is among the reasons Brogan is questioning how much higher tuition can go, admitting he sees a “wind of change” sweeping Florida that’s bringing a new perspective on ever-increasing tuition rates. He says people are rightly asking if big tuition hikes for students every year are sustainable. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has also opposed tuition hikes this year, saying he doesn’t believe in them.
State operating funds for universities have dropped about 43 percent over the past five years and universities have tried making up the difference with the tuition hikes of about 60 percent over the past few years. Still, Florida offers some of the lowest in-state tuition rates in the nation, Brogan pointed out.
KnightNews.com will cover the BOG meeting to see if it rejects UCF’s 15 percent tuition hike request. Check back for updates.