Florida's top public universities could become a lot more expensive under a legislative plan that could also erode the value of Bright Futures scholarships and potentially end the state's prepaid tuition program.
The bill, approved by the education committees in both chambers, would essentially create a two tier university system. On the top tier would be the University of Florida and Florida State University. Instead of charging the same tuition and fees as other state universities, they could charge "market rate tuition" or whatever they believe is needed.
The other nine universities would continue to operate under the caps currently in place, which limit tuition increases to 15 percent a year.
"The strong universities are going to get stronger, and the less selective may get weaker," predicted Terri Roher, an adviser at Broward College Academy, a public school for advanced students.