Forgiveness Opportunities For Student Loans, Florida Tuition Rise Produces Cloudy Outlook
For the first time in 10 years, tuition fees at Florida public universities could increase as part of the new President of the State Senate’s plan to fill the state’s shortfall.
On the other hand, the elected president Joe Biden’s support for the forgiveness of some student debt could mean better access to higher education for some Floridians.
But it’s not yet clear what these conflicting ideas might mean for Florida college students.
For several years now, Florida colleges and universities have been ranked by some among the the best educational institutions in the country – yet the state’s public universities have the lowest tuition and undergraduate fees in the country.
But if the potential increases as new Florida Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson suggested in Tallahassee this week, that could change.
In comments shortly after Republican Trilby took office on Tuesday, he talked about what the state needs to do to deal with an estimated $ 5 billion reduction in state revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to potentially increasing tuition fees at state public universities, Simpson pitched the idea of cutting the state’s K-12 system. Although the state restored some of the funding for public schools that was cut during the 2008 recession, it did not meet its pre-recession funding levels.
Florida is already at the bottom of the national ranking for public education funding, and Senatorial Minority Leader Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, warns that such budget cuts could lead to lower education levels in the city. kindergarten to grade 12.
“Education remains one of the keys to prosperity and success, so I hope we can close the budget shortfalls without further straining our public schools or reducing the quality of education our students deserve.” Farmer told the News Service of Florida in a text message.
Simpson’s thoughts on raising tuition fees run counter to ideas put forward by his Florida House counterpart.
In an effort to spur increased interest in high-demand jobs, New House Speaker Chris Sprowls has proposed tuition reductions for students who enroll in courses associated with careers that reflect Florida’s economic needs.
“We shouldn’t be subsidizing, as taxpayers, every degree, to the same degree,” the Palm Harbor Republican told the News Service of Florida on Tuesday. “I think we need to figure out what’s important to our state, what drives us forward economically, and there should be an incentive for universities to want students to be in these degrees. And not all of these degrees should be funded at the same level. “
At the same time, President-elect Joe Biden is behind some level of student loan cancellation.
NPR reported this week that “Biden reiterated his support for a provision of the HEROES Act … (which) calls on the federal government to repay up to $ 10,000 in private and non-federal student loans for” economically troubled “borrowers. “
Other Democrats in the US Senate, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, are asking for more relief that could potentially write off up to $ 50,000 in student debt.
One of the arguments put forward by supporters of such measures is that any reduction in student loans or tuition fees could make higher education more accessible, regardless of the student’s economic status.
Supporters also hope that canceling or reducing debt would help young people eventually start households, start families and run businesses that could all help improve the economy.
But others believe that canceling student debt helps those who are already advantaged, as college graduates typically make more money.
More information on the final plans and what they could mean for Florida, along with its colleges and students, could arrive as early as January 2021 – supporters of debt reduction want it to be one of the first moves of Biden after the inauguration. Florida’s 2021 legislative session is scheduled to begin on March 2.
Additional information courtesy of The News Service of Florida.