Block Tuition on the Way for UF

The University of Florida took steps Friday to change the way students pay for their education. UF is moving to block tuition, charging students by the semester instead of the credit hour.

Block tuition will provide an incentive for students to graduate sooner, and for the first time, public universities statewide have the option to adopt the system.

Friday morning, FSU Sophomore Kenneth Grubba strolled to his last final exam of the semester. Kenneth has yet to pick a major. He’s taking 12 hours a semester. “I am an exploratory scientist; trying to figure it out.”

Twelve hours is the minimum number of credits needed to be a fulltime student. The recommended class load is 15. Kenneth is confident he will graduate in the traditional four years, once he decides on a major. “Yes I am on a four year plan, hopefully. Find something to do; economics maybe.”

But with four year graduation rates falling, the Florida University System’s Board of Governors is allowing the state’s 11 public schools to up the ante. A plan called block tuition would require every full time student to pay for 15 hours every semester. Supporters of the plan say block tuition would provide the financial incentive needed to encourage students to graduate on time.

The plan would actually save Kay Brinkworth money. Kay is a senior. She has taken 15 hours or more most of her semesters at FSU. “It would safe a lot of money, especially if you are paying out of pocket.”

So far, the University of Florida is the only state school moving toward block tuition. UF trustees gave the plan approval Friday, but postponed the start date until 2012.

The average cost of one credit hour at a state university is 165 dollars, which means every hour a student takes over the 15 paid for in block tuition, there’s a direct savings of 165 dollars

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  • by Paul on Dec 13, 2010 at 09:13 AM
    Sabrina, I imagine this block tuition only applies to full time students. Under your scenario, you would be classified as a part time student.
  • by Sabrina Location: LH on Dec 11, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    So for those of us who can only take maybe 6 credit hours due to trying to earn a living and put food on the table...we are pretty much discouraged then NOT to go back to school and to stay poor! Nice! There is a special place in hell, for those who purposely hold back the progression of those who want to succeed in life.
  • by Joe Location: Tallahassee on Dec 11, 2010 at 09:47 AM
    Back In "the Day", in 1974 and '75, I completed my junior and senior years at FSU when there was a system of quarters instead of a semesters. The normal academic year consisted or three quarters and a summer quarter, if you chose to attend it. Tuition was also paid by by a flat "block" quarterly fee of $190 per quarter, not an hourly fee. Students could take up to eighteen "quarter hours" per quarter, and an additional three hours, with your academc advisors permission, all for the same $190. Under this system I was able to complete my final two years in five quarters (not six) by taking eithteen to twentyone hours each quarter. This system clearly gave me the incentive to complete my degree as quickly as possible. Whether a student is paying his/her way through college, or their parents are, block payment clearly can create the incentive to finish their degree program on time, if not early.
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