The University of Florida and Florida State University could soon have the power to set higher tuition rates than the state's other 11 universities — a flexibility they have been seeking for years.
Under a proposal that sailed through a Senate committee last week and heads to the House Tuesday, top-tier research universities that meet 11 out of 14 benchmarks would be allowed to charge what lawmakers are calling "market-rate" tuition.
The critera include having an average GPA of 3.8 among incoming freshmen, having more than 100 patents, having six or more faculty members in a national academy and being a member of the Association of American Universities — an elite club of which UF is the only Florida member.
UF is also the only Florida school that meets all 14. UF president Bernie Machen said he had not decided whether to start charging more money, provided that the proposal is approved.