LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Florida Gulf Coast University trustees have approved a tuition hike proposal that will have students paying up to 14 percent more for their degree. The vote passed seven to five, after much debate. The student body president cast the vote that broke to six to six standstill.
The school says after facing five years of state funding cuts, it has little choice.
"The legislature and the state did place the burden on us to make the decision about tuition. No one wants to take a full 15 percent tuition," said Robbie Roepstorff, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The increase is expected to generate an extra $5 million for the school. But FGCU says with cuts and enrollment growth it will still end up spending less per student than last year.
The 14% increase will mean students taking 30 credit hours per year will now pay an extra $523.80.
"Increasing the cost of tuition is only really gonna make it that much harder for us," said student Samuele Cole.
But the Trustee Vice Chairman said the increase prevented faculty cuts.
Student Body President and trustee member, Peter Cuderman initially voted no on the proposal.
"I said no twice because I have 2 roles. The role of Student Body President, on behalf of 13,000 students and my role as a member of the board of trustees," he said.
In the end, he said had to look at the big picture and cast the deciding vote in favor of the tuition hike.