Gov. Scott: Florida Should Offer $10,000 Degree Programs

Monday, 26 Nov 2012 03:21 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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State colleges in Florida should create bachelor’s degree programs costing students no more than $10,000, Governor Rick Scott says.

“Today, what I’m doing is saying to our state colleges, ‘Can you come up with $10,000-degrees, where people can get great jobs, so you could live your version of the American dream,’” Scott told WFLA-TV in Tampa.

“You should be able to work and go to school and not end up in debt. If these degrees cost so much money, tuition is so high, that’s not going to happen.’’

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The Sunshine State’s Republican chief executive — who made the same pitch later at an appearance at St. Petersburg College — has been on a crusade to reign in the cost of a college education.

The costs of bachelor’s degrees at Florida’s 28 state colleges have been creeping up slowly over the years.

The current average cost of an undergraduate degree is $13,264, Randy Hanna, chancellor of the Florida College System, told The Palm Beach Post.

Scott's challenge mirrors a similar challenge by Texas Governor Rick Perry.

But some critics are wary of a cost ceiling.

“Officials acknowledge that most of these programs would only reduce the price tag for the student, not the cost to the institution of providing the degree,’’ the National Journal said.

“While select students might pay less overall, institutions must deliver the same faculty, facilities, time, and knowledge they provide to students paying full price for their degrees.’’

And Daniel Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, told the Journal: “I question an artificially set benchmark of $10,000.”

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