June 15, 2009 — The New College of Florida Board of Trustees on Saturday approved a 15% increase in the cost of tuition for Florida residents and a 10% increase for non-Florida residents, both effective starting this fall.  Components for the tuition increases, including the so called 15% differential tuition increase for Florida residents, were part of the state budget passed this spring by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Crist in early June.  For 2009-2010, the cost of attending New College as a Florida resident will rise to $4,784, up from $4,127 in 2008-2009.  Out of state residents will pay $26,386 in ’09-10 compared to $23,766 last year.
Both measures now must be formally adopted by the State Board of Governors (BOG), a move that is expected to take place this Thursday during the BOG’s monthly meeting in Orlando.  So far, boards for all 11 member institutions of the State University System (SUS) have approved the full 15% differential tuition increase allowed by the Legislature. The tuition increase for Florida residents was called a differential one because only 8% of the increase was mandated by the state.  The remaining 7% “differential” was left up to the individual boards at each SUS member institution.
The 15% tuition increase for Florida residents at all SUS schools received widespread media attention this spring and provided for some spirited debate in both chambers of the legislature.  Proponents for the increase, which included the BOG, presidents of all SUS institutions and leaders of all SUS student government organizations, argued that the increase was necessary to maintain academic quality in the state’s higher education system.
They cited statistics compiled by the College Board showing that resident undergraduates in the state of Florida paid less for tuition in 2008-2009 than their counterparts in all other states, as well as the District of Columbia. They also argued that underfunding of higher education at the state level was leading to “brain drain,” where leading faculty members were being wooed away from Florida by other states offering better salaries and research perks.
Opponents argued that the legislation unfairly shifted the burden of paying for public higher education away from the state and onto the backs of individual students and their parents.
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Other actions taken by the New College Board during their meeting on Saturday, June 13, included the following:

  • Approval of new student fees related to activities, technology and housing/rental rates;
  • Approval of the College’s preliminary $29 million budget for 2009-2010;
  • Ratification of the College’s collective bargaining agreement with the United Faculty of Florida;
  • Ratification of the College’s collective bargaining agreement with the Florida Police Benevolent Association; and
  • Approval of the College’s Florida Educational Equity Act Report for 2009.

For more information, contact Jake Hartvigsen, Director of Public Affairs, at (941) 487-4150 or jhartvigsen@ncf.edu.

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