UF Wants $1,000 Boost in Annual Fees Each Year

Florida's largest university is hoping a boost in student fees will enable it to provide its students a better education.

University of Florida President Bernie Machen met with Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp at the Capitol Monday.

He was trying to win support for UF's Academic Enhancement Program, a plan to charge students an extra $500 per semester to hire additional faculty.

Machen says although state funding has gone up, the extra cash is needed because UF's tuition hasn't kept pace with the times.

"The state provides good support for higher education. The place where we are way below the national average, in fact we are 75th out of 75 flagship institutions, is in the amount of tuition we charge. Our tuition is way low compared to everybody else."

Lawmakers will consider a proposal during the coming legislative session that gives University Boards of Trustees the authority to charge additional fees.

Other universities in Florida are watching to see how UF's controversial proposal plays out before proposing similar plans.

The Florida Prepaid Tuition Program is among the critics, with board members concerned the additional costs will make higher education less affordable.

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