In an effort to boost FAMU’s retention and graduation rates, FAMU President James H. Ammons plans to grant $3.8M in waivers to out-of-state students in 2010-2011.
“$3.8 million sounds like a lot but it’s not going to go very far,” Ammons told the Capital Outlook. FAMU’s recent general revenue cuts have placed a strain on the financial aid budget, making it harder for the university to assist out-of-state students who are struggling to pay for their education.
In 2009-2010, an out-of-state student taking a full course load had to pay $14,030 plus $1,869 in fees. A full course load for an in-state student cost $2,658 plus $1,300 in fees.
FAMU’s housing shortage makes college very expensive for the student body. Most students come from families that make $30,000 or less per year. Students typically reduce their course loads as the cost of college goes up. That hurts the university's retention and graduation rates.
The increase in out-of-state waivers will give these students more money for class and help them complete their degrees more quickly.
Florida State University is another public institution that is using out-of-state waivers to provide financial relief to its students and raise revenue.
In 2008, FSU trustees approved a 50 percent reduction in fees for certain out-of-state students. That lowered the cost of annual full-time (30 credit hour) enrollment from $18,000 to $12,000 for those students.
The total fee waiver amounts to $999,661. The fee break will help FSU enroll a larger number of out-of-state students and help its current out-of-state students buy more credit hours. In the end, FSU officials expect to create 109 additional out-of-state full-time equivalents (units of 15 credit hours). That will bring in $1,999,322 in new tuition revenue.
FAMU’s in-state students, however, must prepare to pay more. The Westside Gazette recently reported that the FAMU administration plans to implement the maximum in-state tuition increase permitted by law. The legislature mandated an eight percent increase for in-state undergraduates and gave universities the option to add a “differential” that could take the amount up to 15 percent.
“We are anticipating a 15 percent increase in tuition,” Provost Cynthia Hughes-Harris said. “Eight percent will be automatic.”
Thanks to Student Body President Gallop Franklin, II, the Board of Trustees waived last year’s tuition differential for students who qualified for the need-based Florida Public Student Assistance Grant (FPSAG). Franklin also played a key role in persuading the administration to support bigger out-of-state tuition waivers.