By this fall, UF’s tuition will likely increase by 15 percent in order to bring it closer to the national average, according to UF President Bernie Machen.
The hike could accompany a switch to block differential tuition, which benefits students who take 15 or more credit hours per semester and would create a more steady revenue stream for the university.
Under block differential tuition, the state could increase tuition by 8 percent, and, according to Machen, UF would then increase tuition by 7 percent, which brings the total increase to 15 percent.
The 8 percent increase affects the tuition cost per credit hour while the 7 percent increase is based on a 15 credit hour course load, which means students get a better value by taking 15 credit hours or more.
A bill related to the change in tuition policy for Florida public universities is currently being debated in the state legislature.
Before the change is made at UF, the bill must be approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. UF would need to notify parents if administrators wanted to implement the change in the fall.
According to Machen, block tuition encourages students to graduate faster.
Currently, 58 percent of students graduate in four years, he said.
As the cost of education becomes more of a burden for students, Machen said he hopes they will want to play a bigger role in the university’s budgeting process.
“The student voice is important,” he said.
Different budget proposals are being considered in both houses of the Florida State Legislature, and more budget cuts could be on the horizon.
Machen emphasized that there are some areas of the budget he would prefer not to cut.
“It is our preference not to make any more personnel or program cuts,” he said.
At this month’s Board of Trustees meeting, he expressed his concerns about cutting employee health and retirement benefits.