After an initial rejection vote, the Florida Board of Governors approved a 15 percent tuition increase for University of Central Florida and several other universities.
Originally the board rejected the tuition hike for UCF in a tight vote.
However, after more than three hours of debate, the board approved the hike.
For a full-time in-state student, the hike adds up to about $580.
However, UCF administrators think higher tuition will actually help students.
Board of Governors member Matt Carter urged his colleagues Thursday to think about the impact of their decision.
“This is not the year,” Carter said. “This is not the year.”
According to university officials, four out of five students receive financial aid.
Vice President of Undergraduate Admissions Gordon Chavis, Jr. said the tuition increase will actually help those students.
“The increase in tuition will bring us additional resources for student aid. Thirty percent of differential tuition is contributed towards financial assistance,” explained Chavis.
He also said the tuition increase is needed to help offset a $300 million cut in funding for state universities like UCF.
However, critics like Carter said it's about more than just money.
“But the bottom line is behind everything we talk about, there's a human being,” Carter said. “Students are human beings and folks are just, they're finding it tough.”
Tuition will also be going up at other state schools:
- University of Florida: 9 percent
- University of South Florida: 11 percent
- Florida A&M University: 12 percent
- Florida Gulf Coast University: 12 percent
- Florida State University: 13 percent
- University of North Florida 13 percent
- University of West Florida: 14 percent
- Florida Atlantic University: 15 percent
- New College of Florida: 15 percent
- Florida International University: 15 percent
Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement of disappointment Thursday in the board's decision:
“I’m disappointed to see the Board of Governors’ decision on tuition increases today. Tuition rates have risen 71 percent over the past four years and graduates are facing unprecedented levels of debt. We can’t continue on this path."