Florida Today is reporting on Valencia President Sandy Shugart’s call for Florida colleges to lead the nation in graduation rates. Shugart is proposing a multiyear effort, along with a request for a 35 percent increase in state funding, to raise the performance of Florida colleges in response to Governor Scott’s challenge to address the state’s economic and unemployment challenges. For the full story, click here.
Over the last decade lawmakers have cut financing for state colleges or not allocated enough to keep pace with growing enrollment, while expecting colleges to make up the difference by increasing tuition. Valencia leaders opted not to raise tuition this fall–though many of the state’s colleges and universities did–out of concern for the financial burden placed on students. Shugart said, however, that the plan to freeze tuition was a short-term solution and could not be sustained indefinitely.
In the past, state dollars funded about 65 percent of a student’s education at Valencia, with students funding the rest. But in recent years that model has shifted. The state now pays about 38 percent of the cost with students paying 62 percent.