This article comes from the Campus Contributor Network. Over the course of the semester, students from across our campus outreach program will analyze their school’s finances and assess the overall return students see on their educational investments.
The rising cost of college tuition has been the subject of much debate recently. Higher education has become exponentially more expensive over the years, and it is becoming more and more financially stressful for students and their families to pursue a college education.
Tuition by the numbers
The 2016-17 University of Florida tuition and fees for an in-state undergraduate student averaged $6,380, and, for an in-state graduate student, averaged $12,740.
However, those totals are significantly more expensive for out of state students (an extra $22,278 per year for undergraduate students and an extra $17,394 per year for graduate students).
Contrary to what some may argue, the slashing of state funding for higher education is not the definitive cause of tuition hikes. According to the New York Times, funding for higher education has actually increased astronomically. The Times article puts forward that due to a larger percentage of Americans attending college today, the state appropriations per student have decreased, despite a large increase in the amount of money appropriated to higher education.
Over the last decade, the cost of tuition and fees at the University of Florida for in-state undergraduate students has nearly doubled from $3,330 per year in 2006-2007 to $6,380 per year in 2016-2017.
In addition, the University of Florida does utilize tuition-discounting practices. These practices include providing scholarships, grants and need-based financial aid. According to U.S. News, “48% of full-time [UF] undergraduate students receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $6,910.” This demonstrates that the University of Florida does try to make sure that undergraduate students receive the aid they require.
Where the money goes
According to the University of Florida RCM manual, nearly 100 percent of the tuition money received by the University of Florida goes directly towards educational costs. Some of the money is allocated to the Strategic Fund. However, 70 percent of the remaining base tuition goes to the colleges based on student credit hours taught. The remaining 30 percent goes to each college based on how much tuition is generated by students of its majors. Any revenue received from an increase in tuition goes to things such as financial aid and prior commitments to the Provost.
It does appear that the University of Florida allocates an appropriate amount of the tuition money it receives to educational costs by putting the money directly into the colleges themselves.
According to Forbes, the University of Florida is the third best college in the nation in terms of value. Although tuition at the University of Florida has nearly doubled in the past decade, the university has managed to keep tuition relatively low in comparison to other schools.
In addition, the University is a nationally ranked university with excellent academic and athletic programs. It would be difficult for the university to avoid the upward trend in tuition prices due to the increasing percentage of Americans that are attending college.
Given what they have to work with, the University of Florida gives a strong effort in making the college experience more affordable.
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