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