Florida hopes a flat-rate tuition will help progress towards degree

In Tennessee, we did the opposite in pursuit of more tuition dollars.  Even though the state passed legislation mandating that we increase the number of graduates from our colleges and universities.

Florida universities weigh flat-rate tuition system
Florida's state university system is mulling a one-size-fits-all tuition structure for full-time students -- an idea that could lead some to graduate sooner, but also carries the risk of students biting off more than they can chew.

Under the plan, which could receive receive final approval from the state Board of Governors as soon as November, full-time students at participating universities would pay a flat rate per semester, regardless of how many classes he or she actually takes.

The pricing structure, known as block tuition, is already the norm at private universities across the country, and has been adopted by some high-profile public universities as well, including The University of Texas at Austin and UCLA.

An exact pricing model for Florida schools has yet to be hammered out, and schools may decide to charge slightly different rates.

If a school chose 15 credit hours as the standard, a student taking only 12 credits would be paying for a class he or she wasn't taking. On the plus side, a student taking 18 credits would be taking an extra class for free.

If approved by the Board of Governors, schools could then request to make the switch -- or they could opt to keep the current per-credit pricing.

``We're giving it serious consideration,'' said University of Florida Provost Joseph Glover. ``It accelerates students' progress toward graduation. . .it's definitely an encouragement for students to take additional hours toward their degree.''

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