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Statewide initiative pushes for priority in higher education

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Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013 1:10 am

Florida universities across the state have launched an initiative to show that the state university system is a priority.

Aim Higher is a statewide initiative by university students to raise awareness of the positive impact increased funding has for higher education in Florida.

Student Body President Tj Villamil said the initiative is already on its way to making the state understand the importance of higher education.

In early December, he was in Tallahassee with other university student leaders and presidents. The group presented a plan to the state legislature, asking them for $118 million in exchange for no tuition increases this year.

“The universities have never been this united,” he said.

Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement after the presentation, applauding the universities’ position on not increasing tuition.

“We know Florida families want the best value possible from our higher education system, which means we have to make advanced degrees more affordable and more connected to students’ ability to get a great job when they graduate,” Scott said. “ We are pleased to share this important goal with many of Florida’s finest higher education leaders who are committed to holding the line on tuition. We look forward to working closely with them as we put together a proposed budget and other policies for the upcoming legislative session.”

Villamil said this is part of the action. In the meantime, he said, Aim Higher will have a rally on Turlington Plaza in the next week to raise awareness about it on UF’s campus.

“We’re an investment, not an expense,” Villamil said.

Contact Samantha Shavell at [email protected].

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