Laura Seitz, Deseret News
If you go to school in Florida, having a passion for the arts could require a pricey investment.
If a proposal being studied by a task force in Florida is adopted, universities will be able to charge higher fees to undergrads seeking degrees in fields the state deems less employable, like Art History, according to an article in The Atlantic. Other non-Florida schools choose to do tuition differential another way.
Florida’s incentive is to guide undergraduates to major in fields like science, technology, engineering and math by making tuition cheaper for those areas.
However, the University of Utah has had success using a different approach — fields with higher employment potential are more expensive.
At the U., tuition is higher for business and engineering undergraduate degrees while all others have the same lower fee. However, graduate degree programs tend to vary widely in their tuition charges.
The U. degrees that charge higher fees are almost opposite of what is being proposed in Florida. In these programs, most which have changed to the differential cost model within the past 10 years, increasing the tuition has been beneficial.
“It has increased enrollment,” said Sandy Hughes, the director of budget at the U. “There are lots of factors about that. When the economy is in bad shape, more kids go to school. I think they also accept the extra cost because they see the extra benefit and that’s the ideal situation. “
More expensive graduate programs at the U. include law school, nursing, pharmacy, social work, architecture, business health, MBA, Master of Public Administration, engineering and educational psychology.
A 2011 study by Cornell University researchers found that the U.’s model is the most accepted nationally. The most common differential charges are in business, engineering and nursing. At the time of the survey, 120 public institutions used the differential tuition approach.
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