Florida legislation proposes 6 percent increase to tuition

Mariella Roque/Staff Writer

While members of the Florida legislature are considering a 6 percent tuition increase, members of the University’s administration are not considering an increase at all.

The House’s budget currently recommends a mandated 6 percent increase, but it is yet to be seen whether the Senate will agree to the increase or make a different decision.

According to Steve Sauls, the University’s vice president of Governmental Relations, University students will only experience the legislature’s tuition increase and not one from the University itself.

“We’ve taken a lead advocacy role on behalf of student financial aid,” Sauls said. “The President has spoken out repeatedly on behalf of financial aid.”

“I’m told the Senate is considering something,” said Sauls.

Both chambers have agreed to restore the $300 million cut from state universities last year.

“That’s very good news, that’s worth over $24 million to FIU,” Sauls said. “The state doesn’t seem to be cutting our budgets further and they’re restoring money that was cut before and maybe provide some additional money beyond that, and some of that might be a small tuition increase.”

Florida currently ranks 41 in the country in terms of tuition, although House Speaker Will Weatherford previously noted that it ranked 48.

“We were 48, but in recent years we are now 41,” Sauls said. “There are nine states that have tuition on the aggregate less than us, so comparatively we are still a low-cost tuition state.”

Last year, the Florida Board of Governors approved a request from the University to increase tuition by 15 percent.

“Despite the series of increases in tuition, some of our neediest students did not experience an increase because they got more FIU scholarships and they got more student financial aid dollars,” Sauls said.
The legislative session is set to end May 3 and the joint budget at that point will be sent to Governor Rick Scott for his signature.