Fla. college tuition could see spike

Published On: Mar 27 2013 04:56:02 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2013 10:08:43 AM EDT

The cost to attend college in Florida is in the spotlight as the House is set to unveil a 6 percent tuition hike proposal in Tallahassee.

The tax hike is something the Senate and Gov. Rick Scott don't want.

Another group that doesn't want these increases is universities.

Earlier this year, university presidents signed off to not raise the cost in exchange for a promise of more than $100 million in a budget increase.

Before the 2013 legislative session began, presidents of Florida's public universities gathered in Tallahassee and promised not to raise tuition.

The schools are seeking an extra $118 million. If the Legislature gives them the money, they promise not to increase tuition for a year, but they may not have a choice.

"We may see a smaller tuition increase," Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford said. "It's not going to be a double digit increase or anything like that."

In a Channel 4 one-on-one interview with Weatherford Monday, he said it's hard to find the cash the schools are asking for.

"We unfortunately don't have $418 million, but we've got about $360," Weatherford said. "So to bridge the gap to get them to the ask that they had, there's a 6 percent tuition increase, but not a 15. We think a 15 is too high."

Channel 4 also caught up with Scott to ask about the House tuition plan. Scott has long opposed tuition increases and he's holding his ground.

"I'm against tuition increases. This is a tax. It's a tax on students. It's a tax on families," Scott said. "We can't be raising the cost to get higher education in this state."

As of now, the Senate isn't recommending any tuition hikes.

More details will be seen about each chamber's budget recommendations in the coming weeks.


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