Published: Mar 27, 2014 6:39 AM EDT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott met with five high school students and their parents to discuss the rising cost of college tuition.
    
The students from Thomas Jefferson High School told Scott on Wednesday that it will be difficult for them to afford college without going into debt, unless they happen to win scholarships.
    
Scott says he wants to keep college tuition at Florida's public schools low. He criticized his predecessor, Gov. Charlie Crist, for signing into law an automatic 15 percent annual tuition increase and urged the students and their parents to call their legislators to repeal the law.
    
Crist, a Democrat, is running against Scott for governor.
    
Democrats Wednesday criticized the Republican governor's school visit, calling it a campaign event at taxpayer expense. Scott didn't respond to questions about the criticism.