Trustees approve 15 percent tuition hike
Increase would generate $20 million
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012 17:05
The UCF Board of Trustees approved a 15 percent increase to the tuition rate for fall 2012 on Thursday, a move that could generate $20 million for UCF.
Now, the increase will have to be approved by the Board of Governors, which is scheduled to meet at UCF June 19 - June 21.
The board members had much discussion about the increase with the general consensus being that although the move is unwanted, it's better than the alternative.
"We don't like this either," UCF President John C. Hitt said during the meeting. "I especially don't like having to ask Cortez [Whatley] and his fellow students to pay more for what may be less."
If approved by the Board of Governors, $19.24 would be added per credit hour, which would increase the tuition from $128.28 per credit hour to $147.52 per credit hour for undergraduates. For graduate students, the tuition would increase $11.08 from $277.08 per credit hour to $288.16 per credit hour -- a 4 percent increase.
The Board of Trustees also approved increases to several of the fees students pay, including a $.34 increase to the athletic fee and a $2 increase to the capital improvement fee.
Students taking 30 credit hours per academic year should expect an average increase of $663.
Provost and Executive Vice President Tony Waldrop wrote in an opinion piece published earlier this week saying that without the increase, 112 faculty positions and 550 classes will be affected. Students would have to deal with increased class sizes, fewer courses and professors and graduation delays.
"From a student perspective, all students are going to be upset with an increase in tuition, but looking at the alternative, students would be outraged..." Student Government Association President Cortez Whatley said during the meeting.
During the past five years, UCF's state budget has been cut by 49 percent, or $144 million, and the university also faces a one-time $52.6 million state budget cut this year.
Board members also decided that they would work on crafting a resolution to show that they don't support state budget cuts and increased tuition in hopes that legislative changes will be made.
"We have gone above and beyond to do more with less and I think beyond our efforts of the Board of Trustees we need to band together with the rest of the state university system..." said Marcos Marchena, vice chair of the UCF Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Trustees.
Of the $20 million that would be generated by the tuition increase, $14 million will go to courses and programs; the other $6 million will go to need-based student aid.
Undergraduate students have experienced 15 percent tuition increases each year since 2009. The average annual undergraduate tuition has jumped from $2,910 in fall 2009, to the proposed $4,426 for fall 2012.
It was stated for the record that Harris Rosen was in opposition of the tuition increase, but he did not speak about it during the meeting.
As for student debt, 49 percent of students graduate without any debt from UCF. For those who do, the average is $19, 400, which is 23 percent below the nation average.
The board also approved tenure recommendations, UCF's operation budget and a policy that would ban smoking on all properties owned, operated, leased or controlled by UCF effective the first day of classes fall 2012.