SFSC accepts governor's $10K bachelor's degree challenge
Marc Valero | Highlands TodayAVON PARK - South Florida State College is accepting the affordable bachelor's degree challenge Gov. Rick Scott issued Tuesday.
Published: November 28, 2012
Published: November 28, 2012
"We certainly accept Governor Scott's $10,000 challenge with enthusiasm," SFSC President Norm Stephens said in a prepared statement. "The governor's challenge is very achievable for students attending SFSC."
Stephens' statement comes on the heels of Scott's challenge to Florida's state colleges to create bachelor's degree programs that would cost no more than $10,000. His move was intended to address rising college costs and student debt.
"Our goal is to make it possible for any student to pursue a bachelor's degree through SFSC for less than $10, 000," Stephens said.
SFSC freshman Agustine Ancelmo, of Wauchula, is studying electrical engineering with plans to earn his associate in arts degree at SFSC and then transfer to a university, possibly the University of Central Florida.
"I am looking for scholarships and I am working right now to save up to pay for my college," he said.
Ancelmo had not heard of the Scott's challenge, but he has heard that college costs go up nearly every year.
SFSC freshman Mackenzie Myers of Avon Park is receiving financial aid, but thinks the affordable four-year degree challenge is a good idea.
Her fall semester is costing nearly $2,000 and the books can cost over $200 a piece, she said.
She working and trying to save for a car, Myers said.
She plans on earning an associate in arts degree at SFSC and then transfer to another college or university
SFSC is one of 22 of Florida's 28 state colleges that offer bachelor's degrees.
The college's first class in its Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management program began in August and the college plans to offer bachelor's degrees in nursing and elementary education in the near future, Stephens said.
Last year, 71 percent of tuition and fees collected at SFSC were not paid by students, but covered by scholarships, grants, third-party payers and financial aid, he noted.
"Using this percentage, the average tuition and fees paid by students for a four-year degree at SFSC would be approximately $4,000," Stephens said. "Of course, some would pay much more than this while others could complete a degree without paying any tuition or fees. The actual amount depends upon many factors, most of which are under the control of the student."
The Florida College System responded to Scott's challenge stating that seven institutions have already identified programs to be offered for $10,000 or less. Those institutions are: Broward College, College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida, St. Petersburg College and Valencia College.
The programs are in high-demand areas including information technology, business and organization management, education and engineering technology, the college system notes.
In response to the critical statewide need for baccalaureate degree production, the Florida legislature approved a process in 2001 that allowed community colleges to seek approval to offer bachelor's degrees. Today 22 of Florida's 28 state colleges are authorized to offer almost 150 baccalaureate programs.
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