Universities turn to market rate tuition to make money

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Lilly Rockwell of the News Service of Florida reports: Desperate for money after years of budget cuts from the state, universities are increasingly turning to out-of-state and online students to bring in more revenue.

Through a pilot market rate tuition program, universities are able to charge different tuition rates for online and continuing education master’s degrees and certificate programs. In most cases, this means a higher tuition rate than what was charged before. Money from this tuition is used to help support other college or university programs.

University presidents say they want the power to set market rate tuition for more than just online and continuing education programs in the future, citing a need to bring in more money and offer tuition closer to the national average. After years of budget cuts from the state and strict limits on tuition increases, many universities say they are crippled in their ability to recruit and retain faculty, cope with growing enrollments and maintain campus buildings.

“What we seem to find is market rate tuition is working well,” said Tico Perez, the chair of the State University System Board of Governors’ Budget Committee. “It allows universities to benefit and put that money back in play often times in those other graduate categories

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.