FSA wants Florida to aim higher

Stock photo by Keri Weiland

Lydia Moneir

A man in Fruit Cove signs away $300 million. Two months later, UNF’s tuition increased by 13 percent.

Gov. Rick Scott cut those $300 million from state higher education in Florida this year.

After several years of being ranked 50th in per capita spending for higher education, Florida universities are attempting to raise awareness and increase funding for all 11 of Florida’s state universities through the Aim Higher Program.

“It’s a simple message: We’re all students, and we don’t want to pay 15 percent tuition increases every year to make up for government cuts,” said Student Body President Carlo Fassi.

The Aim Higher Program, organized through the Florida Student Association, will use letter-writing as a strategy to reach legislators in Tallahassee. The goal is to send 1,000 letters from each state university, asking for an increase in funding for Florida state higher education.

Fassi said increasing funding for state higher education should not be thought of as an expense but as an investment in Florida’s economy and future. He said an educated workforce is a prepared workforce.

Michelle Staton, the director of UNF Government Affairs, said state legislators should be aware that students care about increasing funding to state universities.

Aim Higher Day, which will occur Jan. 14, will seek to increase student awareness and encourage them to join the letter-writing campaign, Fassi said. That day is the same day spring tuition is due.

Rally in Tally is another event planned for the Aim Higher Program. University students from all over Florida will come together on the steps of the the capitol to demand state legislators to increase funding for higher education in the state.

Email Lydia Moneir at [email protected].