JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Anyone hoping to earn a bachelor's degree in the next few years would be delighted to hear Florida Gov. Rick Scott say Monday, "I'm issuing a challenge to our state colleges to find innovative ways to offer a bachelor's degree at a cost of just $10,000."
Locally, students at Florida State College at Jacksonville pay some of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, but it currently costs at least $13,000 for a four-year degree. Many FSCJ students working toward an associate degree wish a $10,000, four-year degree were possible when they enrolled.
Krysty Brogden, an FSCJ sophomore, told Action News, "I think that would be great. It would help a lot of students including me. I don't have financial aid or anything. My parents help me pay for my schooling, so it would definitely be beneficial."
Several state colleges have already accepted the governor’s challenge. Gainesville’s Santa Fe College agreed to offer a Public Safety Management degree for $10,000. Seminole State College of Florida says it’ll lower tuition to that level for Construction Management. Daytona State promises to drop tuition to $10,000 for any bachelor's degree a student can complete within three years.
Broward College, St. Petersburg College, The College of Central Florida and Valencia College accepted the challenge, but offered fewer specifics for which degrees they would offer at that cost.
Action News asked Endorika Riley, an FSCJ associate degree student, if she would've enrolled in the four-year program if her school offered a $10,000 bachelor's degree. "Oh yeah! I would definitely be applying for it right now," she said.
Dr. Steven Wallace, FSCJ’s President, told Action News, "The board and administration of Florida State College at Jacksonville share Governor Scott’s interest in optimizing the affordability of bachelor’s degrees. We are intrigued by the concept of a full degree for less than $10,000 in tuition and fees. We are currently exploring the idea of designing one or more new high-demand bachelor’s degrees that can be delivered at that cost with the requisite academic quality."