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Pricey paper chase
By SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER, Times Staff Writer
Published January 14, 2008
Compared with other states or private colleges, it's still a bargain to attend one of Florida's 11 public universities. Undergraduate tuition and fees are less than $3,500 a year - compared with the national average of about $6,100. But as spring semester gets under way this month, it's not as cheap as it used to be. And tuition might go up more in years ahead. For now, this much is certain: Tuition this semester is up 5 percent for all in-state undergraduates, and the popular Bright Futures Scholarship isn't covering as much for books and supplies as it used to. Community colleges, too, can now charge up to 5 percent more for tuition. Officials say the increases are inevitable, given growing demand for college access, rising costs and shortfalls in state funding. But for many families, the reasons behind the higher bill don't matter as much as the bill itself. What they care about is the bottom line. So here's a glimpse at the bottom line:
$77.39 Per-credit tuition rate (not including fees) for Florida undergraduates this semester, up from $73.71 last fall.
$43.92 Per-credit tuition rate in 1997.
$1,715.85 Tuition and fees for an in-state undergraduate taking 15 creditsat USF this semester.
$55 Per-semester tuition increase overlast semester for those students.
$55 Cost of a keg of beer.
$9.5-million What the 5 percent tuition hike will generate in new revenue for the11 universities.
100 Number of faculty members who canbe hired statewide with the revenue.
$390-million Lottery revenues budgeted this year for Bright Futures.
3.5 and 1270 Minimum high school GPA and SAT score needed to receive the full Bright Futures scholarship.
0 How much students' family incomefactors into Bright Futures reward.
80 Percent of state financial aid dedicated to Bright Futures.
20 Percent of state financial aid set aside for needy students.
$95,000to $100,000 Median family income of UF incoming freshmen.
Sources: Florida Board of Governors, ENLACE Florida, UF, USF