A Florida education task force established by Governor Rick Scott is recommending that students at the state’s public colleges and universities be charged extra for majoring in subjects that the state considers unattractive for employers.
Under the proposal, state lawmakers would draw up a list of “high-skill, high-wage, high-demand” undergraduate majors, and tuition in those fields would be frozen for three years. If state funding did not replace the revenue lost due to the targeted tuition freeze, colleges would be free to raise tuition in other specific disciplines to make up the gap.
In addition to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the report identified degree programs in “Globalization … Health Professions … Education-critical (math, science) … and Security and Emergency Services” as meeting its criteria for the tuition freeze. According to the report, 37% of Florida’s state university degrees are currently awarded in these fields, which means that any statewide tuition hike would have to be 58% higher to provide equivalent revenue while excluding those students.