Students at USF are bracing for a huge tuition hike. The state's Board of Governors will vote on Thursday.
USF is asking for an 11-percent increase. That amounts to about $529 a year for a full 30 hours of classes.
Shameyah Francis, a mom who's also studying to be an international lawyer, says she'll have to dig into her pockets to pay for it.
"I guess loans or credit cards. That's the only option you have right now. With tuition going up every semester, we have no other way of coping or surviving."
Studies show an education at a Florida university is still a bargain, compared to other state universities. And many students understand the need to increase tuition.
"I understand where they're coming from. I just don't think it should be the 11 percent, so dramatic," said Woody Brink
For Woody, he says he'll do what he has to, to stay on track with his education.
"That is my number-one priority over everything. Having a good education will put me in the right steps to get a good job."
Ashley Hinman works part time as a nurse but wants to boost her B.A. she already has. So the extra $500 means working more.
"Close to an extra shift every pay period, depending on how I budget it, working it in here and there."
USF could have asked for a 15-percent increase. Only the University of Florida asked for less, 9 percent. Every other state university asked for the full 15 percent allowed by the Legislature.
A spokesman for USF says they need the 15 percent, but weighed a high quality education against affordability for their students.
Earlier this year, the Legislature and the governor approved a state budget that cut $300 million dollars from higher education.
Joshua Traina who's in the honors program at USF, says it's been a tough year.
"I do understand Florida schools are relatively cheap in terms of total tuition compared to other states, but to hike it up 11 percent, that's pretty high."
He calls the tuition hike "a burden" -- one he'll have to live with the rest of his life, paying off extra student loans and possibly stretching out his college career.
Some USF students say they are left holding the bag.
"I think it's unfortunate that the students have to front the bill for a political situation. But I'm certainly not happy with it," added Monica Canales.
The Board of Governors is in Orlando at their annual meeting. Again, they will vote on the tuition increases on Thursday.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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