Highly distinguished universities, such as the University of Florida and Florida State University, could charge more than others. Tuition would be lower for students pursuing degrees most needed for Florida’s job market, including ones in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as the STEM fields.
The committee is recommending no tuition increases for them in the next three years.
But to pay for that, students in fields such as psychology, political science, anthropology, and performing arts could pay more because they have fewer job prospects in the state.
A task force in Florida put together by Gov. Rick Scott has suggested that colleges in the state should require students to pay different tuition depending on what degree they pursue. Basically, the more practical degrees in science and engineering would be cheaper than an arts or humanities degree. You can instantly see the problems with this.
Students who pursue arts degrees will graduate with higher debt loads and enter a job market that won’t pay them the money they need to pay off their education loans. Science and engineering programs are more expensive to run because they must keep up to date with technology, yet students will be paying less for these programs, so these programs will require subsidies. Tuition (and tuition subsidies) will be tied to the Florida job market, but not all students who attend college in Florida stay in Florida after college.
I understand that there are practical reasons for the task force to want to revamp the higher education system according to the market, but it seems very unfair that if you are a good musician, or dancer, or writer, or anthropologist, or whatever else isn’t in high demand, that you have to pay much more to get your degree. There’s something here to consider, but they need to work out some more kinks on this idea to convince me that this is the best idea ever. [via]