Gainesville Sun reporter Nathan Crabbe: SUS students in high-demand fields may pay lower tuition than others

From a post at the Gainesville Sun education blog Chalkboard:

State university students in high-demand fields might end up paying lower tuition than their classmates under a plan being considered by the governor’s higher education task force.

The task force held a conference call this morning to discuss proposals to allow different tuition levels to be charged by different universities and for different programs. Group member Frank Fuller proposed a designation for strategically important programs that meet state workforce needs.

The state would commit to boosting funding for those programs if universities kept the tuition charged for them low, he said.

“All we’re doing is saying that in those programs that are going to be important for Florida’s economic development, we’re going to try to keep an incentive in place for students to go there,” he said.

Under the plan, universities meeting certain standards would be allowed to higher tuition rates for other programs. Task force members debated whether all universities be given free reign to boost tuition to the national average, or whether it should be limited to major research institutions such as the University of Florida.

Such a plan would be dramatically different from the idea of raising tuition on majors like engineering and science that are high-demand but are more expensive to teach.

 

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