Today, Governor Rick Scott outlined his vision for Florida's state university system with five goals that would give Florida a competitive edge over other states:
Be No. 1 in university and college affordability.
Be No. 1 for graduates finding jobs in their fields of study.
Be No. 1 in the percentage of students receiving STEM degrees.
Have Florida university graduates be ranked No. 1 in preparation for the workforce, as named by Florida employers.
Be the No. 1 place where taxpayers feel they are getting a good return on their investment in higher education.
Governor Scott expressed his concern that tuition rates have risen 71 percent over the past four years. He also pointed out that the out-of-pocket costs for a student with a Bright Futures Scholarship at the University of Florida has increased by about $5,000 since the 2007-08 school year. College graduates are facing unprecedented levels of debt, with the debt of students at public four-year institutions and private non-profit four year institutions averaging $21,184 statewide.
"Every Floridian wants the same three things: for government to make sure it doesn't increase the cost of living, the opportunity to get a job, and the opportunity to get good education," Governor Scott said. "Florida's state universities are important to making all three of things available to the people of our state."
Governor Scott addressed the Florida Board of Governors and state university system presidents in Orlando, thanking them for their commitment to hold Florida's university system accountable and urging them to make the tough choices that will give Florida's university graduates and the state of Florida the greatest chance of success.