Degree Based Tution

Capital News Service

October 29th, 2012 by Whitney Ray

Education experts are exploring a plan that could lower the price of college for some students and raise it for others. Under the plan universities would be given more state money for degrees where their graduates excel and as Whitney Ray tells us, that money could then be used to lower tuition to attract the best students in those fields.

Right now students pay tuition based on the university they attend, not the degree they pursue, but that could change.

Dr. Dale Brill, heads Florida’s Blue Ribbon Task Form on Education. Brill says the state needs to rethink its higher education strategy. The task force is exploring a plan to lower tuition for certain degrees at certain schools.

“At some institutions it will be less expensive to pursue some degrees than others,” said Brill.

Under the plan FSU could have the cheapest English degree in the state because FSU has one of the best writing programs in the nation… and FAMU has one of the best pharmacy schools in the nation, which means students who study medicine here could get a break in their tuition. UF could charge less for journalism and the University of West Florida might give students who major in economic development a break. Brill says the plan is play to each school’s strength.

“Let’s get specificity in all the institutions. What is it they want to excel at? Let’s tie it to funding that lets them excel at it,” said Brill.

Schools would be given more state dollars in fields where they’re graduates excel. They could then use that money lower tuition for students in those majors.

Chey-Rae Pitts studies Chemistry at FAMU, and could possible benefit from the plan, but she doesn’t like the message it sends.

Chey-Ray: It should be a flat rate, kind of how it is now.
Reporter: Even if it would lower your tuition?
Chey Ray: Even if it would lower my tuition.

While the plan could lower the cost of some degrees, it could raise the price of others. Part of the plan is to push more students into math and science majors.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force will finalize its recommendations next Tuesday. The recommendations will then be given to the governor and state lawmakers and could end up in legislation during the 2013 legislative session.