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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

On Friday, Gov. Charlie Crist again switched his position on increasing tuition in Florida when he said he would accept a proposed statewide tuition increase of 5 percent.

If approved, the increase, which is about ,55 per student, would be implemented in January.

Steve Orlando, UF spokesman, said UF would welcome the increase.

"We've been saying for a long time that it takes more than we get in tuition to keep building a great university," Orlando said.

In May, Crist vetoed a 5-percent increase proposed by the Florida Legislature.

He also threatened to veto the Tuition Differential Program, but with ,1 million in cuts facing the state budget, Crist eventually accepted it.

The program will allow UF, Florida State University and the University of South Florida to incrementally raise tuition up to 40 percent over the next four years.

The Board of Governors, the State University System's highest governing body, ignored Crist's veto of the 5-percent hike and said it would raise tuition at all of Florida's 11 public universities.

The board also joined former Florida Sen. Bob Graham in suing the Legislature for tuition-setting power. A circuit judge will rule on the lawsuit by December.

Orlando said the extra funding from a 5-percent increase could help UF better itself in comparison with other schools.

"When you look at the US News rankings, (UF's slip) is not necessarily because we're getting worse, but the other schools aren't standing still," he said.

He added that implementing the increase would be difficult, because there has never been a tuition increase in the middle of the academic year.

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"It's going to be a logistical challenge, that's for sure," Orlando said.

Alligator Writer Devin Culclasure contributed to this report.

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