CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
GOVERNOR SCOTT: TUITION COSTS MUST BE AFFORDABLE FOR FAMILIES
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Executive Director of the Florida Prepaid College Board Kevin Thompson made a presentation to Governor Scott and the other trustees of the State Board of Administration on prepaid contract sales and prices.
Governor Rick Scott said, “It is evident from today’s presentation that the rising cost of a four-year degree at a university not only makes it difficult for our children to obtain a degree, but also makes planning for college difficult for Florida families. A prepaid plan is dependent on the cost of tuition and our families simply cannot afford the price tag that comes with a four year degree today. At current projections, the cost of tuition and fees for a newborn, like my grandson Auguste, to get a degree in 2030 would exceed $140,000. This is simply unacceptable. I have asked our universities to hold the line on tuition increases and because of our efforts, I am pleased the Florida Prepaid College Board was able to decrease their tuition inflation assumption for the next three years.
“Like most Florida families who have had to tighten their belts, our universities need to be creative in how they lower the cost of higher education and ensure our higher education graduates have the degrees and skills to be immediately employed in higher paying industries.
“Everyday, families throughout Florida tell me they care about three things – getting a good job, a quality education for their children so they can live the American Dream, and keeping the cost of living low. Last month, we issued a challenge to our state colleges to find innovative ways to offer a bachelor’s degree at a cost of just $10,000 in an effort to make higher education more affordable for Florida families, for families like mine growing up who could not help pay for college tuition. It is imperative we continue to drive down costs for our families. Universities must continue to look for ways to lower the cost of education in our state to ensure all students have the chance to live their version of the American Dream.”
Below details key data from today’s presentation:
· In 2012, the Florida Prepaid Board was able to decrease their tuition inflation assumptions from 15 percent down to 10 percent for the next three years and put in place pricing caps. This means the price of a 4-year university contract for a newborn was nearly $5,000 less than it would have been otherwise. The price of a seventh grade contract was almost $2,500 less than it would have been otherwise.
· Since 2006-07, the price of a 4-year university plan for a newborn has increased from $14,616 to $53,729– a more than 350 percent increase in six years. As a result, fewer Florida families have been able to afford to purchase prepaid plans for their children and grandchildren.
· Today, a 4- year university prepaid plan costs more than $53,000 for a family with a newborn. This factors in tuition-inflation assumptions of 10-15 percent annually. If tuition were instead to increase at only the rate of inflation, the price for a 4-year university prepaid plan would decrease to around $18,000 for a family with a newborn – that is a 66 percent decrease.