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USF grad students' tuition rises
Trustees approve a 10 percent hike for the 2007-08 academic year.
By SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER
Published June 27, 2007
TAMPA - Graduate students attending the University of South Florida will pay 10 percent more starting this fall, as USF follows other state universities in raising its upper-level rates.
USF's board of trustees this week approved a 10 percent hike in out-of-state and in-state tuition for the 2007-08 academic year, plus 3 to 10 percent increases in tuition for medical and physical therapy students.
The change means USF's nearly 900 out-of-state graduate students and 6, 843 in-state graduate students will go from paying $207.59 in tuition per credit hour to $228.35, an annual increase of $373.68, based on the typical 18 credit hour load.
Florida residents at USF's medical school will pay 10 percent more, and out-of-state medical students will pay 5 percent more in tuition and fees. In-state and out-of-state students in the doctor of physical therapy program will pay 3 percent more. Out-of-state fees for those enrolled in the program will rise by 3 percent, too.
Helen Kantaras, president of USF's Graduate and Professional Student Council, said her group only just recently learned that trustees planned to vote on the increase this week.
"I have no problem paying more tuition if it means putting it back into the university to make it a better school, " said Kantaras, 31, who is earning a master's in rehabilitation and mental health counseling.
USF trustees' decision comes just weeks after Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed state universities' proposed 5 percent tuition increase for undergraduate Florida residents, but vice provost Ralph Wilcox said the graduate rate hikes are a separate matter.
He said it is simply getting more expensive to deliver high-quality graduate research programs, so trustees used their authority over out-of-state and graduate rates to address the problem. The higher graduate-level tuition will go right back to those programs for improvements, he said.
"The last thing we want to do is hinder access to a high-quality graduate education, but we also don't want to do anything to hurt the quality of the programs we have, " Wilcox said, citing nationally ranked graduate programs at USF like psychology and applied anthropology. "Our students are expecting more and more."
USF's new graduate resident tuition rates and fees, less than $5, 000 a year, will still rank well below the national median. And Pat Haney, associate vice president for USF Health, said the in-state increases in medical school and physical therapy programs will leave USF in a competitive range with other universities around the country.