Scott issues $10,000 challenge to state collegesby John Kennedy | November 26th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott, who has been trying to rein-in the cost of higher education in Florida, fired off a challenge Monday to state college leaders — urging they create bachelor’s degree programs costing no more than $10,000.
Such degrees at Florida state colleges — formerly known as community colleges — currently average $13,264, said Randy Hanna, chancellor of the Florida College System.
“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 a Tampa television station, before announcing his proposal in an appearance at St. Petersburg College.
Most of Scott’s earlier questioning of higher education costs have been directed at the State University System, where the latest round of tuition increases of from 9 percent to 15 percent, have boosted the average annual rate to $6,232 this fall — 41st highest in the nation.
But the State College System now serves almost 900,000 students, with enrollment rising with the slow economy.
Hanna said the “logistics still have to be worked out,” on the governor’s challenge. But Hanna said he expected individual colleges to embrace the idea of offering at least one popular degree program at the lower rate that is aimed at getting students out into the local work force.