TAMPA - Leaders of Florida's 11 public universities are again seeking to charge students fees that will pay for technology upgrades on their campuses.
The State University Presidents Association said the fee could pay for new computers, equipment and making campuses wireless. Fees would vary at each school, but the association has not determined exactly how much they would be, or how much money they would raise.
At the University of South Florida, the fee could add up to $100 to the average student's annual tuition bill.
"Without a regularized source of revenue, there's no way we can keep up," said John Cavanaugh, president of both the association and the University of West Florida.
Countered Bijal Chhadva, student body president at the University of South Florida: "The next thing you know, we'll have a fee for utilities and a fee to cut the grass."
University presidents say a technology fee would put four-year schools on the same footing as the state's community colleges, which have discretion to levy a technology fee. Nine of the state's 28 community colleges charge the fee of $1.80 per credit.
Scott Ross, the executive director of the Florida Students Association, said he considers a technology fee tantamount to another tuition hike. "We're concerned this is just another way of getting more tuition out of students," he said.